The City of Selkirk is using best practices and strong asset management to reduce the number of bumps in the road for everyone travelling on city streets.
So far this summer, more than 7,000 metres of Selkirk streets received a crack sealing treatment that will protect the road’s base and extend its lifecycle by preserving its integrity and delaying the occurrence of potholes and further cracking.
Right streets at the right time
Duane Nicol, Chief Administrative Officer, said the city rates its streets according to the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) and then uses its Capital Asset Management Program (CAMP) to identify which roads are ideal candidates for things like crack sealing, targets them and by doing so extends their life.
“The PCI is an international standard, so we’re using best practices in terms of assessing the condition of a road, and by understanding the condition of the road it allows us to select particular treatment options to maintain or improve the quality of the road,” Nicol said.
“A lot of research goes into this stuff and we’re able to benefit from that research and optimize our spending. We’re bringing together leading practices with high quality data we’ve collected and as a result we are making optimal investment decisions. Decisions that get the best return on our limited infrastructure dollar.”
An ounce of maintenance beats a pound of repair
Selkirk’s Strategic Plan calls for the city to make safe and sustainable infrastructure a priority by having adequate funding for city owned assets as well as get maximum value from community resources through active management of capital assets, and crack sealing aligns with both.
Ryan Sicinski, Manager of Public Works, said crack sealing prevents water penetration to the base, which accelerates deterioration of the road.
“Things like potholes and cracking that you see on the surface of the roadway are symptoms of an underlying problem, and the underlying problem is that the base has damage,” Sicinski said.
“Crack sealing prevents the water from getting in before the potholes and other damage can take hold and can greatly extend the surface life.”
Road-tech made simple
The city is making use of the latest technology to help it identify which roads need to be crack sealed.
Using TotalPave Condition Assessment Index software, which is installed on a cell phone, Public Works employees literally drive the city’s streets and the software assesses the condition of the road.
Staff members then do a visual inspection of areas indicated by the software, marking and measuring potential problem spots.
“Everything’s measured, everything’s marked, everything’s painted and marked down and then all that information is put into our predictor tool, which gives us much more accurate information on what the roadway as a whole looks like,” Sicinski said.
“And it makes it faster for us to be able to determine which roadway actually needs the work.”
Ahead of schedule
The city spent $50,000 this year on crack sealing and was able to complete all the streets that were planned to be sealed over a three-year period, putting them well ahead of schedule on road maintenance.
“All of our roads that would have fallen in a five- to 10-year category for our inspections and our actual five-year maintenance plan are all up to date now,” Sicinski said.
Nicol said the city is also building capacity within its own staff. Not only has Sicinski learned more through asset management and the data collection that goes hand in hand with it, his staff have been trained as well and have a better understanding of the need for things like crack sealing.
“My crew has an understanding of why we’re doing it, so a lot of times I don’t even have to ask for it, they’re bringing me the information without me even having to look for it. So it’s been good that way,” Sicinski said.