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Free assessment of Lansing roads will guide future road repairs

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.

G&AI mounts an imaging system on the back of their vans to collect 2D and 3D images of the pavement surface. (Photo provided)

“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 the roads are scanned, pavement raters look at the images and assess them. (Image provided)

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.

Benefitting Lansing

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.

Road repairs this summer will be based on data collected in a 2015 streets assessment. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

This year’s street repairs will be based on data collected in a 2015 assessment and will include:

  1. Community Street from 172nd Street to Bernice Road
  2. 180th Street from Exchange Avenue to School Street
  3. Washington Street from William Street to Wentworth Avenue
  4. Bock Road from 185th Street to 186th Street
  5. Oakley Avenue from the railroad tracks to 186th Street
  6. Miller Drive from South Schultz Drive to 186th Street
  7. Bernadine Street from 186th Street to 187th Street
  8. 188th Street from west of Walter Street to Henry Street
  9. 190th Street from Oakwood Avenue to Greenbay Avenue
  10. Oakwood Avenue from 190th Street to north of 190th Place
  11. 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.

Katie Arvia
Katie Arvia
Katie is a lifelong Lansing native who currently works full-time in marketing while also freelance reporting for The Lansing Journal. In 2015, she graduated with high honors from Saint Xavier University in Chicago with a BA in English, and she plans to pursue a Master's degree in the near future. Her favorite Lansing Journal assignments include coverage of TF South High School's walkout ("Demonstrating the possibilities") and her St. Patrick's Day interview with her grandma ("St. Patrick's Day traditions: reflections of an Irish granddaughter").


  1. I can’t believe that the streets in Monaldi Manor are being passed over again ! Been bad for several years and getting worse. Terrible holes, etc.

  2. “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.

    Dear Mr. Podgorski,
    While resurfacing is an easy, less expensive fix to beautify the street like a new coat of paint is to the pealing wall, can you justify spending the money on something cosmetic when the foundation is crumbling. There are dips in some streets that measure 100sq.ft. with a depth of over 2in. I have watched the Public Works employees unload at least a yard of fill. I am sure this road will not get resurfaced as it is way beyond such an application.

    I recommend monies be put toward bringing all repeatedly-patched roads to a status where all that is left to do is resurface to make it look pretty instead of painting over the slightly pealing roads while the others fall so far out of feasibility they are never addressed until they fall into the systems running beneath them.

    It is much more costly to reconstruct than repaint, but there is a different message here than wanting to put our (sic) best face forward to attract new residents/businesses to Lansing. It is the message that the current residents get to see. It is the face that raised vehicle sticker fees to cover road repairs stating there was no money in the coffer to do so (per Mayor Eidam). It is the face that seeks out new information through outside sources on how best to proceed with the current condition of village roads when it was obvious prior to current administration. It is the face that buys new toys and expands the play area only to have to crawl over dilapidated roads to get there.

    Looking for cracks in the streets seems foolish when there are craters in others.

    It is about priorities.

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