Public Works is taking an increasingly scientific approach to road repairs, gathering information that will help us to provide a pavement management report that will lead to more cost-effective maintenance programs for our streets.
We’re in the middle of our first comprehensive Street Assessment Study, which will provide a pavement condition index (PCI) rating for every City roadway in Victoria by analyzing such items as surface distress, roughness and deflection. Roads that receive low scores will be prioritized for reconstruction or comprehensive repairs. Those that receive higher scores, meanwhile, will likely become candidates for maintenance procedures such as crack seal, seal coat or slurry seal in order to preserve their good condition. More information will be available this summer.
We’re also recording pothole repairs in a more comprehensive way, tracking not only which streets receive repairs but the precise location of each pothole and how many potholes are filled during the completion of a single work order. This new system will give us a better idea of which areas have the most trouble with potholes and how to better address those problem areas. Our response to potholes is also becoming much more proactive. Since adding a new patch truck to our fleet, we’ve been able to send trucks to specific zones to monitor for problems rather than relying on citizen calls.
Meanwhile, we’re making exciting progress on some of our long-term projects.
- Crestwood Drive: The Crestwood Drive project is a complete reconstruction that stretches from Ben Jordan Street to Laurent Street. We’ve completely finished with the underground work of putting in utilities, which is the most time-consuming phase of the project. For the next step, we will start laying down concrete pavement. This phase will begin in early July.
- Placido Benavides Drive: We’re excited to be entering the last stages of the Placido Benavides Drive extension project, which has entailed the construction of a brand-new roadway as well as significant work on surrounding roads and streets. We’re currently working to place hot-mix on Salem Road between Placido Benavides Drive and Zac Lentz Parkway, and we expect the project to be fully completed by mid-August.
- Seal coating in neighborhoods: Earlier this month we finished placing the initial seal coat in several neighborhoods around the city, including Fleetwood, Parkstone, Hillcrest and Oaklawn. The next step will be to place an ONYX surface course, which is a ceramic-based asphalt that provides an extra layer of protection as well as reducing the shelling of the aggregate (loose rock) and giving the roadways a nice black appearance. The ONYX coating can be seen in the Northcrest and Hathaway neighborhoods.
- River erosion: Take a drive through Riverside Park and you’ll notice that the Guadalupe River near the duck pond has been shored up where it was eroded after Harvey. We added a layer of stones outside the riverbank to prevent future erosion and rebuilt the sidewalk in the area. We also rebuilt a section of riverbank near the pump station, a project that is less visible to residents but no less important since it helps to protect our water supply.
For updated information about road projects and closures, visit www.victoriatx.gov.
Ken Gill is the City of Victoria engineer/director of Public Works.