Pennoni Perspective Volume 22 • Issue 2 • Summer 2018 - Page 24

The quality of our nation’s roads and highways affect our lives each day. From a minor pothole on our neighborhood street to the closure of a bridge on a major highway, these inconveniences impact our safety and our commuting quality of life. It’s these issues that are increasingly obvious as our infrastructure ages and have prompted experts to find a solution. Whether you are an elected or public official or a commercial property owner responsible for these repairs, objectivity on which repairs to prioritize with a limited budget is paramount. For municipalities like Aston Township in southeast Pennsylvania, unbiased and fast-acting quality solutions regarding damaged roads was a reoccurring issue in the preparation of their annual budget. Municipal officials and property owners need a way to objectively and economically prioritize yearly road and parking lot maintenance. With the help of Pennoni’s Intelligent Pavement Management (IPM) system and Roadbotics, Aston was able to analyze the roads within their township and objectively prioritize their road maintenance needs, with the ability to provide an explanation on those decisions to the public. Pavement management analysis sy stems have existed in the transportation world for quite some time. These systems, however, were not economically feasible to small municipalities or private commercial entities. With systems available today, Pennoni can team with companies like Roadbotics and provide Aston and other municipalities with high-level analysis turning subjective repairs into meaningful objective decisions. Roads are compared to a worldwide database rather than relying on comparisons within one entity. Another advantage of objective data is that decisions can be reached in a much shorter time frame. In the absence of an IPM system, road analysis and prioritization is a subjective process. As such, decisions are not easily defendable. The pavement management system collects data using Artificial Intelligence (AI) through video collection taken by driving along the road. Photos of the road conditions are taken at interval points along the route. These images are compared to a database of roads and each image is given a rating. There are five levels of ratings assigned. This data becomes even more powerful when imported into a geographic information system (GIS) map. By analyzing GIS data, municipalities and private commercial property owners can receive data not only on which roads or parking facilities should be prioritized over others, but also which roads will deteriorate more quickly. This can be done by introducing daily traffic counts, truck versus car traffic, poor subsurface drainage, etc. on any given road into the GIS database. The data collected can be used to build a road maintenance program and can be tied to a smart community environment. The availability of the IPM system provides an innovative and efficient solution to municipalities and private entities looking for an objective analysis of their roads, parking lots and highways. The system provides a high-level analysis with a visualization of the results which can be shared with stakeholders to determine future planning needs. 24 | P E N N O N I For more information, please contact: Joseph Viscuso, PE, PLS, ENV SP Senior Vice President and Director of Strategic Growth 610-422-2470