The deterioration of public roads is inevitable, but public works staff in Longmont, Colo., plan to utilize a new system to better plan for future road maintenance needs.

The city’s Department of Public Works and Natural Resources is responsible for city infrastructure like local roadways and water management. For tasks like asset management, inventory control and carrying out service requests, the department utilizes a Web-based asset management system that staff can connect to when working in the field.

Earlier this year, the department upgraded its asset management system from Infor Public Sector to the newer version. Now, staff can create a five-year decision model that helps plan for future road maintenance needs, according to Tamara Teravest, a project manager for Longmont.

To properly predict what road maintenance lies ahead, the department will soon work with a contractor to “drive the city” using a truck with specialized equipment that will gather data on current pavement conditions. Once the data is collected, it will be integrated into the asset management system tool for analysis.

From there, the department can develop a five-year plan to determine what streets need specific types of maintenance as well as establish when that maintenance should be completed. The idea is to fix the road before any major damage is done, Teravest said.

A decision model within the Infor platform has already been built and is currently using existing road data. Once new data is collected and added into the system, the department will be able to make more accurate predictions. The department’s 2014 budget will be approved later this year, and will also be factored into the decision model.

Teravest said a five-year decision model would correlate well with the department's five-year capital budget cycle. Road data paired with budget data will help the department schedule maintenance on a timetable that corresponds with available funding.

According to Infor, the tool can perform advanced analysis on all types of assets – not only pavement, helping to inform more accurate capital budgeting.

Sarah Rich, Staff Writer Sarah Rich  |  Staff Writer

In 2008, Sarah Rich graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in news-editorial journalism and minored in sociology. Since 2010, Sarah has written for Government Technology magazine and covers a spectrum of public-sector IT topics, including cloud computing, transparency, broadband, and other innovative projects and trends. She currently lives in Sacramento, Calif.