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Oro Valley knows pavement preservation

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Satish Hiremath

Updated

You’d be hard-pressed to find a pothole in Oro Valley, thanks to the Town’s strategic investments in its roadway infrastructure. For Fiscal Year 2012-13, Council approved just over a million dollars in funding for the pavement preservation program, which will extend the life of our roads and prevent costly repairs. How costly? Estimates place that amount at around $64 million in the long-run if roadways are not maintained.

Thanks to the foresight and courage of Oro Valley Town Council, even in the face of economic challenges, we have been investing in annual pavement preservation since FY 2001-02, averaging $400,000 on surface treatments in each of the program’s first three years. In FY 2005-06, funding was increased to approximately $700,000 per year, and in FY 2007-08, that amount was raised to just over $1 million, where it remains today. Funding for the roadway surface treatments originates from Construction Sales tax and Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF).

Adequate funding, coupled with strategic and systematic management by Oro Valley’s Development and Infrastructure Services staff, have ensured that our roads are among the best in the region. And the Pima Association of Governments agrees. In a recent newspaper article, PAG identified Oro Valley’s Pavement Preservation Program as a model for other jurisdictions.

So how does the program work? 

Oro Valley’s pavement management staff generates a five-year list of roadway projects that is updated annually based on the Pavement Management System (PMS), in which Town staff catalogs, assesses, evaluates and prioritizes all public roadway pavements throughout the town.

Projects are then divided into two phases, each comprising a list of roadways that have been prioritized based on the current and projected Overall Condition Index (OCI), and type of surface treatment that would sustain or increase the OCI.  

Roadways that are designated for fog seals (light spray of oil) are placed in Phase 1, which is performed in the fall. Roadways that are designated for surface treatments with oil and sand or chips are placed in Phase 2, which is performed each spring.

This year’s Phase 1 work is well underway, with the application of protective rejuvenating surface treatments to local, collector and arterial roads throughout the town.  Phase 2 will commence in late March or early April 2013.  

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Satish Hiremath

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