A pavement management study in the village of Scarsdale shows many of the village’s roads need improvement, though they are trending in the right direction.
This past fall, a Ohio-based consultant called Pavement Management Group surveyed 81 miles out of the village’s 90 miles of roadway — 79 of which are village-owned. For the survey, the consultant reviewed high-definition video in conjunction with an artificial intelligence model to identify the various types of roadway distress and severity levels on the miles of roadway surveyed.
According to a report from village staff, the consultant gave a rating to 809 individual segments of the 81 miles surveyed. 29% of the surveyed roadways were rated “excellent,” 18% were rated “good,” 28% were rated “fair,” 24% were rated poor and 1% were rated “failed.”
For comparison, according to the report, the village had 15% of its roads rated “excellent” in 2017, and 6.5% rated “excellent” in 2008.
“The trend clearly shows that with proper funding coupled with life cycle analysis, the village is progressing in the right direction,” the staff report says.
Overall, the village’s roadways average out to just one point below the “good” category.
“The entire roadway network has an average of 69, which puts us in the very top end of the fair category,” Superintendent of Public Works Jeff Coleman told the Scarsdale Board of Trustees.
Coleman told the board the reason for road condition is often dependent not just on weather and age, but is also linked to the road’s original construction.
“It’s generally the manner and time that the road was originally constructed and how it was originally constructed,” he said. “So for example there are a variety of roads that were originally constructed on old farms. Those soils may be more organic in nature, they hold a lot of water, they were constructed by developers many years ago, maybe not according to the current standards.”
The village has been conducting surveys since 1999, having contracted to have the studies done in that year, 2008 and 2017, Village Engineer David Goessl said.
Coleman said the village is paving roughly 5 miles of roadway per year, which results in about a 15-year road repaving cycle.
Trustee Sameer Ahuja questioned whether that is enough to keep the village’s roads up to par.
“I guess my fear is that it seems necessarily that some possibly significant number of the currently poor roads will drop into failing before they’re repaved,” he said.
Mayor Jane Veron said that’s a question that has been raised before, and one the Board of Trustees will have to answer for itself in terms of determining funding.
“The question is, did we do the right thing? Did we allocate enough funds to move roads out of poor or fair?” she said.
The survey was only shown to the board as a presentation; no vote was taken on the matter of roadway repaving.
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