When will your streets be repaved?

Soon! With the new transportation package that was passed earlier this year, we will have the money to get back on track!  But it’s going to take some time.  We cannot repave all the roads that have been neglected for a decade in one year.   I contacted VDOT to see what the procedure is for selecting roads for re-paving.  While VDOT has a lot of problems, I must say that I am impressed by the process they use to select streets for repaving.

VDOT uses multiple criteria in the selection process.  First, they use a scientific standard.  They have a machine that uses radar to penetrate asphalt and determine the quality of the underlying pavement that the human eye cannot see.  Each year, they look at 20% of all residential roads in the entire state.  Thus, within 5 years, they run this machine on every road.  This machine gives a rating from 0–100, with 100 being perfect.   If I recall from my conversation with VDOT correctly, “fair” is defined as a rating of 60+.   If a road gets ranked at 30 or below, it gets listed as a “major problem,” and requires major work.  If it is 30-60, it requires a milling and re-paving.

The goal is to have 65% of all roads scoring “fair” or better.  Because almost none of our residential roads have been repaved for a number of years, the state only has 35% of its secondary (residential and connecter roads) at “fair” or better.  (Our interstate and primary roads goal is 82% “fair” or better.  We are currently at 70%.)

Now, looking only at the scientific ratings would overlook some other criteria.  It would not be wise to spend taxpayer money on a road that needs repaving if it only carries a couple of cars a day, when another road that may not be as “bad” carries hundreds of vehicles.  So VDOT also considers traffic volume when compiling their repaving list.

Finally, VDOT looks at the surrounding roads.  It also would not be wise to spend money on a “bad” road that is surrounded by “good” roads.  VDOT does not want to spend money to initiate a repaving on a single road in a certain area.  Their money can go much further if they repave a bunch of roads while their machines are already in one area.

In summary, the main criterion is a scientific measure of pavement quality; balanced by considerations of traffic volume and the economics of fixing that a if it is the only road in the area.

At this point, we don’t know exactly when each street will be repaved.  The lists are compiled every year based on the above criteria.  But I can assure you, that based upon this system, your street will be repaved because VDOT now has the money to do it.

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