CMAP program will help Village officials objectively determine areas of greatest need
by Katie Arvia
LANSING, Ill. (April 15, 2020) – Last month, representatives from Gorrondona & Associates, Inc. (G&AI) visited Lansing, Illinois, in white Ford Transit vans. They drove up and down every road performing a condition assessment. G&AI is a Texas-based corporation that provides full-service professional land surveying, geographic information systems, and other similar services.
These evaluations are part of a free program implemented by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), which utilizes funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The main objective of the program is to provide each municipality with a pavement management plan. Municipalities throughout the area can apply for an evaluation; CMAP encourages participation and, in fact, contacted Lansing to take advantage of the free program.
“CMAP is trying to get as many municipalities within the region participating in the program, with the goal of each municipality having a comprehensive pavement condition survey,” explained Kurt Keifer, Director of Pavement Engineering for G&AI. Keifer was part of the team that evaluated Lansing’s roads. “CMAP also wants to encourage member agencies to be more proactive with preventative maintenance and pavement preservation activities that help extend the life of recently resurfaced or reconstructed roadways.”
Collecting and rating
To evaluate Lansing’s roads, G&AI mounted an imaging system on the back of those Ford Transit vans. The system has sensors that continuously collect downward images of the pavement surface. Keifer explained that this system collects not only a 2D image, but also a 3D image of the road surface. The different images collected allow the pavement to be displayed in high resolution, making it easier to detect cracks in the surface.
“We have software that is able to detect those cracks and provide an estimate of how much cracking is on a roadway,” Keifer said. Next, pavement raters (folks who have been trained to evaluate roadways) look at the images and assess them.
After all roads have been evaluated, a map is provided to the municipality showing which roadways are in good condition (green), which roadways are in poor or failed condition (red), and everything in between (yellow).
Using the info
“Every street in Lansing was evaluated or is in the process of being evaluated,” Keifer said. “It’ll be about a month or two before we have a final report for Lansing.”
The data collected from this program will provide the village with the necessary information to make informed decisions about road maintenance.
“The information generated by this project will assist the Village in being as efficient with street funds as possible and enable the available budget dollars to be allocated to the streets most in need of attention,” said Village Administrator Dan Podgorski.
Although the program is free for municipalities to participate in, there is a bit of “sweat equity” involved, as Keifer put it. G&AI provided several days of training to Lansing’s leaders to explain different methods for repairing roads, keeping the roads in good shape, and how to do so as cost effectively as possible. In addition to the training, CMAP also requests that each participating village play an active role in the project.
“Meaning, would the village kindly review the map that we intend to use that represents the roadways owned by the village. …We’d also like them to provide information pertaining to when roads have been reconstructed. Basically, a list of birthdays for all of the roads. When they were born—or reborn, for that matter—when they were last resurfaced or reconstructed, and if the village knows when the roads were originally constructed, that’s even better,” Keifer said.
After all of Lansing’s roads have been evaluated, Keifer said G&AI will present the findings to the Village. These presentations usually take place at an open meeting, meaning residents can attend as well. Staff from CMAP also are in attendance.
In addition to cost effectiveness, this analysis can help improve the lives of residents and beautify the town: “Street resurfacing is vitally important to the overall quality of life for our residents and business owners. It is also critical to maintaining a positive appearance and impression on those that visit, pass through, or may be considering relocating their residents or business to Lansing,” said Podgorski.
Those sentiments were echoed by Keifer, who said it will be very beneficial for residents to see the conditions of the roadways within the village. He said some people may be surprised to know how expensive road maintenance and repairs can be, but he is committed to helping residents—both in Lansing and in surrounding areas—stay well-informed.
“In a nutshell, what we’re trying to do is provide [Lansing] with an objective assessment,” Keifer said. “We’re just providing the Village with objective data that then they can use to determine where they want to spend their funds. …[CMAP] would like to provide this service to as many municipalities as possible.”
This year’s repairs
The data collected by G&AI will not be available for the 2020 season of road repairs in Lansing, as Village Engineer Jeff Pintar reminded the Board at the April 7 Committee of the Whole meeting.
This year’s street repairs will be based on data collected in a 2015 assessment and will include:
- Community Street from 172nd Street to Bernice Road
- 180th Street from Exchange Avenue to School Street
- Washington Street from William Street to Wentworth Avenue
- Bock Road from 185th Street to 186th Street
- Oakley Avenue from the railroad tracks to 186th Street
- Miller Drive from South Schultz Drive to 186th Street
- Bernadine Street from 186th Street to 187th Street
- 188th Street from west of Walter Street to Henry Street
- 190th Street from Oakwood Avenue to Greenbay Avenue
- Oakwood Avenue from 190th Street to north of 190th Place
- Bernadine Street from 190th Place to 191st Street
In each round of road repairs, the Village focuses not only on repairs but also on extending the pavement life cycle in order to prevent roads from ever reaching failed condition. In the long run, proper maintenance is more cost effective than allowing roads to degrade to the point where they need complete replacement.
The Village of Lansing is responsible for maintaining 90 miles of pavement.