City Leases Laser Vans for $750K to Assess Road Quality, Deterioration • Long Beach Post

The City of Long Beach is spending $750K to essentially lease two vehicles from Infrastructure Management Services (IMS)—but of course, these vehicles are not just vehicles, but rolling computers of sorts that will measure the quality of of our streets as well as the deterrence they can withstand.

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And the end result is pretty spectacular: a comprehensive 5-year pavement management plan that will identify Long Beach’s entire roadway network condition, maintenance requirements, level of funding needing to maintain them, and a list of roadways which will need to be treated over that five years.

The initial phase will be conducted by one of IMS’s vans, something that the common person would mistake for a rented tour courier. However, the front of its hub is equipped with—prepare for laser beam sounds and Conan O’Brien saying, “In the year 2000”—a laser road surface tester (RST). IMS’s RST has a series of lasers that, in a nutshell, perform an almost perfect survey of pavement conditions by measuring rutting, roughness, and cracking distresses.

The end result is pretty spectacular: a comprehensive 5-year pavement management plan that will identify Long Beach’s entire roadway network condition.

Where? The city’s vast network of roadways measuring 785 miles with data that is directly connected to GPS to pinpoint everything needed.

“The RST will survey every roadway at least once, with most arterials and collectors receiving two passes,” said Onofre Ramirez, Senior Civil Engineer for the City of Long Beach. “The RST is also equipped with 5 digital cameras that will be utilized for pavement data for quality assurance/control, virtual drives down a street, and potentially the development of right of way asset inventories such as sidewalks and ADA ramps.”

Vehicle numero dos is the Dynaflect, specifically designed to assess high traffic roadways and arterials. Surveying each road twice—once in each direction—this device imparts a virtual load of sorts to the pavement; that is, a non-destructive load. Sensors then measure the deflection of this “load” through the pavement, resulting in data that City can use to assess the adequacy of load limits on our roads.

“Roadways with a weak, moderate, or strong sub-grade will then require different types of treatments with varying costs,” Ramirez said.

Arizona-based IMS is not only contracted to perform the data collecting but analyze it and submit it to the City of Long Beach. The project, expected to be completed in April of this year, was funded through one-time funds allocated in the 2014 budget.

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