Roads and Bridges

Updated: May 7, 2022

county highway department seal Roads and Bridges. The condition of roads and bridges probably gets the most complaints in social media commenting. The highway superintendent briefs the Commissioners at every meeting (two a month). Occasionally, a citizen or two will provide a complaint at the meetings and rarely gets a satisfying response.

Commissioners praise the work that is and has been done and the “record number” of miles of road that have been paved under their leadership. It’s an Endless Loop: “We’re doing great” vs the ‘Roads are terrible.” 

A SOLUTION? Demand a Comprehensive Asset Management Plan for Roads and Bridges that identifies priorities (paving and repair) and the type of work being done to include the schedule. The status of the plan can then be briefed at the commissioner meetings and posted online.  The condition and status of all the roads and bridges can also be made available as a layer on the County GIS Map.

Planning and Assessment Examples – other counties in the US:

Highway Department – Brown County Indiana

Inventory and Condition – All County Roads. 20200211-pavement-inventory-and-condition (PASER) Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (Wikipedia)

PASER Rating

Purdue University

Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP)

Indiana Local Roads – An Asset Management Guide for Cities Towns

For paved roads (PASER scores range from 1 to 10 with a 10 representing a pavement in excellent condition):

    • » PASER ratings of 8, 9, or 10 indicate that little or no maintenance is needed.
    • » PASER ratings of 5, 6, or 7 indicate that some preventive maintenance and patching might be needed.
    • » PASER ratings of 4 or lower indicate that rehabilitation or reconstruction might be needed.

For bridges (NBI ratings range from 0 to 9, with a 9 representing a bridge in Excellent condition):

    • » NBI ratings of 8 or 9 indicate that little or no maintenance is needed.
    • » NBI ratings of 5, 6, or 7 indicate that some routine or capital preventive maintenance
      work might be needed to restore the integrity and serviceability of the bridge.
    • » NBI ratings of 4 or lower indicate that structural improvements, such as rehabilitation or replacement, are needed.

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