A peculiar-looking van outfitted with lasers and cameras is driving all 1,300 lane-kilometres of paved road in the City of Prince George through to mid-July, collecting data that will provide a comprehensive assessment of local road conditions. The equipment uses technology to document every road defect and rolls up the data to produce a “condition score” for each segment of road and intersection. It also captures the location and type of every road sign.
The pavement surface profiler is being operated by Tetra Tech, which has performed similar assessments of nearly one million kilometres of roadways in North America.
This marks only the second time that such a comprehensive analysis of local roads has taken place, and follows a similar review in 2016/17. Since that time, more than 95 per cent of the streets that have been re-paved in Prince George have been those that were classified by the initial analysis as being in poor or fair condition.
“The city invests millions of dollars every year in road rehabilitation and this information – along with other factors, such as traffic volumes – is central to determining which roads around the City are in greatest need of re-paving and also allows us to effectively target pothole repair,” said Mick Jones, Supervisor of Streets Operations, in a news release.
In 2020, just over 40 lane-kilometres of city roads are being re-paved at a cost of about $5.7 million.