Pocket PCs speed data collection for county PMS
The “Measure M” program in Orange County, Calif., requires every city in the county to complete an arterial and collector pavement condition survey and issue a report about the performance of its pavement network. To ensure standard results, the county’s transportation authority (OCTA) has adopted a pavement condition index (PCI) that rates pavement on a zero to 100 basis. (A zero PCI defines a failed pavement section; a new street or reconstruction has a 100 PCI.)
Ultimately, OCTA expects the data to help create or update a city’s Pavement Management System (PMS). Data eventually will be converted into PavementView Plus, a countywide PMS software system manufactured by Dubuque, Iowa-based CartéGraph Systems.
To comply with Measure M, Cypress, Calif., a city of 49,000 about 30 miles south of Los Angeles, contracted with San Diego-based Berryman & Henigar to perform an arterial and collector pavement inventory and condition assessment. Once that was completed, the city extended the contract to include a residential condition survey and a condition assessment of all residential sidewalks, curbs and gutters. The project involved collecting standard pavement condition data for 94 centerline miles of residential streets and more than 200 miles of residential right-of-way.
Because a citywide survey indicated that pavement condition was of paramount concern to residents, the city council placed a high priority on finishing the residential condition survey. To speed data collection, the crew used pocket PCs (Ipaqs with Windows Visual CE database functionality by Houston-based Compaq) that:
Reduced the number of hours needed to compile and enter data. The city estimated that, without handhelds, the two-month project would have taken an additional three weeks plus one extra person.
Provided versatility. Laptops are cumbersome and impractical for field personnel. The PCs were networked with asset management and maintenance software programs, so data entry was no more difficult than it would have been with laptops.
Ensured quality control. The collected data was downloaded electronically every day, allowing quality control managers to perform their duties daily. Rather than flipping through paper survey forms sheet by sheet or printing out reports, staff could review the data instantly, and each record was date/time stamped to provide a detailed record that can be used to address liability issues.
Helped in project coordination. The crew was able to streamline quality control to the point that it involved only the review and assessment of one set of data. Time and resources did not have to be allocated for review of the field technicians’ and data entry person’s work.
The condition survey findings, along with corresponding recommendations for implementing a cost-effective maintenance program, provided the city with up-to-date information on pavement conditions. That information was incorporated into the county’s PMS, which displays data for all road classes and surface types in tabular and graphical format. The PMS also includes condition assessments for all residential sidewalks, curbs and gutters. The data is helping the city establish a five-year annual repair/rehabilitation program, including project schedules and associated budgets.