By C.J. LOVELACE
6:00 AM EDT, September 14, 2012
The City of Hagerstown is considering contracting with a high-tech surveying firm that would provide a “snapshot in time” of the condition of city streets, a city official said.
City Engineer Rodney Tissue on Tuesday outlined for the Hagerstown City Council a pavement condition survey process using vehicle-mounted cameras and measuring equipment that will take photos and catalog the city’s 110 miles of streets.
The survey would provide a starting point from which the city would decide what roads need work and then prioritize repair and maintenance efforts, Tissue said.
Tissue suggested awarding a contract for the services to Enterprise Information Solutions Inc., based in Columbia, Md., in the amount of $34,687.82.
The contract will be up for a vote on the five-member council’s agenda on Sept. 25, he said.
Another firm, ECS Mid-Atlantic LLC, submitted a proposal that would cost about $6,000 less, but Tissue said the company primarily relies on manpower to inspect roads, which takes longer to complete, introduces human error and won’t provide video documentation of the street conditions.
“Many communities are getting away from” conventional methods driven by on-site human inspections, Tissue said.
“It’s just a better way of inventorying the condition of our 110 miles of streets,” he said of Enterprise’s services.
Enterprise uses a laser crack-measurement system to acquire a high-resolution three-dimensional profile of roads, according to documents provided to city council members.
The technology has the capacity to accurately gather data that depicts several different types cracking, roughness and general fatigue of roadways before developing an overall condition rating, the documents state.
In July, city officials discussed Hagerstown’s Pavement Preservation Program and laid out a plan for the next few years, which included setting aside $35,000, about 5 percent, from the city’s Pavement Preservation Fund for the digital surveying in fiscal year 2012-13.
Tissue said having a digital catalog of photographs of the city’s streets can help officials develop “what if” scenarios that would help prioritize needed work and repairs.
The city council was in support of the idea, with Councilman Martin Brubaker saying he believes the survey “should stretch the city’s dollar further.”
Tissue said the City of Frederick and Washington County have both used this type of service for documenting its roadways, and communities typically have to do a new survey every four to six years.
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