Marana’s interns share their summer experiences.
This past Friday was a heckuva busy day, filled to the brim with software demos and Coca-Cola products (check back for Heath’s blog for details on that). I spent the morning with Brian Costa of Public Works. He walked me through one of his duties, measuring the Overall Condition Index (OCI) of our paved roads here in Marana.
The process of determining OCI is sophisticated but surprisingly not entirely technology-driven. In his function as an inspector, Brian uses his senses and judgment to check our roads against the standards of excellence we hope to achieve and to determine a Pavement Condition Index (PCI). Then, a PASER rating is obtained. The Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating is a visual rating on a scale of 1-10. These two factors contribute to the OCI, which helps determine how roads are treated.
This is all a part of the pavement preservation program, a Public Works initiative. Brand new roads cost a ton of money, and even though they may last 20 to 30 years, the last 5, 10 or 15 years is at a significantly lower quality. This program is designed not only to keeps our roads looking and feeling good for longer, but also to save the Town and the citizens of Marana lots of money over the years. Putting down a temporary pavement treatment can help protect the road’s structural integrity for several years and the treatments come at a fraction of the cost of a new asphalt concrete construction.
It was a great learning experience to actually get out there and see the program at work. These days, it seems like all you hear about is the excess in government spending. The pavement preservation program is a strong step the Town is taking toward countering that trend.
Anthony Hunter is a Master of Public Administration candidate at the University of Arizona.