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  • Writer's pictureJames Golden

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

In the world of infrastructure maintenance and repair, where budgets are tight and public expectations are high, it's essential to ensure that every dollar spent is effectively utilized. Roads, the lifelines of communities, often bear the brunt of weather and wear, demanding constant attention. In this article, we delve into the art of stretching your road maintenance budget while delivering quality outcomes that truly fix the problems rather than just skimming the surface.

Unlocking the True Potential of Roadway Maintenance Expenditure

Picture this: on average, municipalities are allocating anywhere between $125,000 to $250,000 per mile for road repairs. But is this allocation truly making a lasting impact? Are we genuinely addressing the underlying issues, or are we merely putting a Band-Aid on the problem? In essence, are we **fixing** the roadways, or are we merely touching up the surface?

The familiar strategy of milling and overlaying may offer a quick solution, but it often falls short of providing a lasting fix. The reality is, the money is being spent, whether it's in a reactive manner or through thoughtful strategic planning. Roadway maintenance and repair consistently claim a significant portion of municipal budgets, often topping the list of expenses.

The Challenge of Maximizing Expenditure

The question then arises: How can municipalities maximize their expenditure on roadway maintenance? The answer lies beyond the traditional approach of milling and overlaying until the budget is depleted. This one-size-fits-all tactic doesn't solve the underlying issues and fails to bring about sustained improvements in road conditions.

Many municipalities face the challenge of convincing decision-makers, from councils to mayors, about the necessity of exploring alternative approaches. Skepticism towards innovative treatments and concern about the efficacy of new solutions can further complicate the process. This is where success stories come into play, showcasing that smart strategies can yield significant positive results.

The Rise of Informed Public Expectations

In the age of information, the public is more connected and informed than ever before. With tools like the internet and social media at their disposal, citizens are closely monitoring the activities of their local authorities, particularly concerning infrastructure management. While efforts to enhance communities often go unnoticed, any lapses or issues receive widespread attention and criticism.

Imagine receiving calls, emails, and social media messages from frustrated residents demanding to know when their roads will be fixed. The urgency of these concerns is real and underscores the significance of taking a comprehensive approach to road maintenance.

Beyond Surface-Level Assessments

The initial step towards a strategic solution is undoubtedly conducting a thorough condition assessment of roadways. However, this assessment, while essential, is merely the beginning of a journey towards effective road management. The collected data paints a picture of the current state, but it's the actions taken afterward that truly make a difference.

Creating a Vision for Sustainable Roadway Improvement

The heart of the matter lies in crafting a vision for sustainable improvement. Instead of distributing the budget evenly across all roads, it's crucial to allocate resources based on the potential impact. For instance, roads in dire need of intervention should be prioritized, as the ROI of their revitalization far outweighs that of a road with a minor issue.

The pivotal question then becomes: How do we maximize the lifespan of roadways, considering factors such as usage, climate, and maintenance history? The answer lies in a combination of targeted treatments, strategic timing, and careful consideration of the long-term budget analysis.

Overall, in the world of infrastructure management, the stakes are high, and the public's expectations are even higher. The days of merely patching up roadways are behind us. Today's challenge is to make the most of every dollar spent on road maintenance and repair. A comprehensive strategy that includes innovative treatments, informed decision-making, and a focus on long-term sustainability is the key to unlocking the true potential of municipal budgets. So, as we move forward, let's remember that the road to success is paved with strategic planning, innovation, and a commitment to delivering lasting results for our communities.

- James Golden, Founder and CEO of Pavement Management Group

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  • Writer's pictureJames Golden

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

In the realm of roadways, maintenance, and repair, staying ahead of challenges requires a deep dive into trending topics and public concerns. As we explore the ever-evolving landscape of pavement management, one question stands out: Are potholes truly a problem in the US? Today, we delve into this pervasive issue, shedding light on the significance of potholes and their impact on motorists and roadways alike.

The Quest for Insight

In the age of information, staying informed is a crucial aspect of addressing roadway concerns effectively. By harnessing the power of tools like Google and tapping into trending news items, we can glean valuable insights into what's capturing the attention of the public. Potholes emerge as a recurrent theme, a challenge demanding our collective attention.

The Burning Question

Peering into the minds of the populace, a pivotal question emerges: Are potholes a genuine concern in the US? This query, poised by curious citizens, underscores the significance of the issue. For those involved in civil engineering, road construction, and public works, this query holds profound implications. It beckons us to reflect on the experiences of motorists traversing our roadways.

A Resounding Affirmation

The answer to the question is unequivocally affirmative. Potholes are indeed a pressing problem, exacting a substantial toll on both vehicles and budgets. The estimated financial burden on motorists due to pothole-related expenses is staggering, hovering around three billion dollars. This sum isn't just a figure; it's a testament to the magnitude of the issue at hand.

Beyond Reactive Measures

While discussions about how to address and repair potholes are abundant, a critical aspect often goes unexamined. It's remarkable how often news reports and articles feature pothole-ridden roadways, yet preventive maintenance remains conspicuously absent from the conversation. The pattern of paving and forgetting has led to a cycle of recurring potholes and deteriorating roadways.

Drawing Parallels with Vehicle Maintenance

An apt analogy can be drawn between maintaining roadways and maintaining vehicles. Just as we invest in regular oil changes, brake replacements, and tire rotations to safeguard our vehicles, we must adopt a similar approach for our roadways. Neglecting preventive measures results in a cascade of issues—just as failing to protect a vehicle's exterior leads to rust and decay, lack of preservation leads to potholes in our roadways.

A Call for Proactive Solutions

Addressing the pothole predicament calls for a shift in perspective. Instead of pouring resources into reactionary fixes, it's time to invest in preventive strategies. Roadways that are properly sealed, cracks expertly filled, and surfaces routinely maintained stand a better chance of weathering the elements and traffic.

A Vision for the Future

Imagine a city where well-maintained roadways are the norm, where potholes become an exception rather than the rule. Visualize communities that allocate resources wisely, protecting their investments in infrastructure. By embracing proactive measures and shedding the "pave and forget" mentality, we can work towards a future where potholes are an anomaly, not a constant concern.

The pothole predicament paints a clear picture of the challenges that beset US motorists and communities. This issue is not a fleeting concern—it's a question asked by curious citizens, a problem that impacts budgets and safety alike. Let's recognize that the key to addressing this challenge lies in preventive action. By prioritizing preservation, sealing, and proper maintenance, we can transform our roadways into resilient networks that stand strong against the forces of nature and time. The road ahead is clear: it's time to pave the way for lasting change.

- James Golden, Founder and CEO of Pavement Management Group

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  • Writer's pictureJames Golden

America's infrastructure problem is no longer a secret, yet the full extent of this issue often remains hidden from the public eye. As we engage with communities, municipalities, and engineering partners, it becomes increasingly clear that our roadways are in dire need of attention. From local gatherings to networking events, questions about the deteriorating state of our infrastructure have become a staple. In this article, we'll delve into the core of the problem and explore a fresh perspective on how to reshape the future of our roadways.

The Funding Challenge: Putting the Pieces Together

When we examine the landscape of America's roadways, a complex picture emerges. Responsibility for maintenance largely rests with municipalities, townships, and village owners. Surprisingly, only around 1.5% of maintenance and repair funding comes from the federal level. The remaining funds are cobbled together from various sources, such as grants, general funds, and taxpayer contributions. This fragmented approach has given rise to a significant issue – the backlog of maintenance and repairs that cities are struggling to tackle.

A Case Study: The Struggle of Small Communities

Let's take a closer look at Heath, Ohio, a community of around 15,000 people. With 60 miles of road under its jurisdiction, over 50 miles are maintained through local tax funding. The rest is divided among state and federal contributions. This reliance on local funding poses a challenge for Heath and countless other small communities grappling with the same issue. The consequences are clear: roads are deteriorating, citizens are dissatisfied, and businesses are affected.

A Shift in Focus: Setting Roads Up for Success

Rather than fixating solely on reactive measures like milling and overlaying, it's time for a paradigm shift. A key solution lies in a proactive approach through preservation and preventive maintenance. Just as we care for our homes and vehicles, our roadways deserve the same treatment. It's time to awaken to this reality and capitalize on the benefits it offers.

The Power of Preventive Maintenance

At Pavement Management Group, we emphasize the significance of preventive maintenance and preservation through our LinkedIn platform. While our core offering revolves around roadway condition assessment and pavement management, we recognize the importance of advocating for long-term road health. This approach is about ensuring that every dollar spent yields a lasting impact on the state of our infrastructure.

Taking Action: Embracing a Comprehensive Plan

To those responsible for maintaining roadways, the call is clear: pause and reflect. Prioritize preservation and preventive maintenance in your budget allocation. By dedicating 20% to 30% of your budget to these proactive measures, you'll unlock a substantial return on investment. Treat your infrastructure like a diversified portfolio, ensuring its long-term growth and stability.

A United Effort: Restoring America's Infrastructure Legacy

The situation demands urgency. It's time to halt the decline and take action. The countries leading the way in infrastructure development, such as China and India, share a commitment to maintaining and preserving their investments. The federal government must mirror this commitment by allocating a more substantial portion of funding to infrastructure. The race to restore America's infrastructure legacy is on, and our roadways are at the forefront of this transformation.

As we reflect on the state of America's roadways, we must acknowledge the urgency of revitalization. By prioritizing preservation and preventive maintenance, we can reverse the decline and pave the way for a resilient future. Let's heed this call, step away from the status quo, and collectively build a foundation that will carry our nation forward. For all those working tirelessly to improve our infrastructure, we salute you – keep paving the way for a brighter tomorrow. Stay tuned for more insights on our journey ahead.

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