City of Austin Performance Report 2015-16

Percent of Lane Miles in the City's Street Inventory that are in Fair to Excellent Condition 

Measure Description
The condition of the roadways in a community impacts mobility, commerce, and quality of life for its residents and businesses. The appearance of the roadways also makes a statement about the value of a community’s infrastructure and the commitment of the public to care for its transportation investment. The City’s ultimate goal is to improve and maintain the percentage of the inventory rated as satisfactory to at least 80% by the end of FY 2017-18. 
Calculation Method
Data is collected from an annual street condition survey and is used to classify the pavement condition with an A-F rating. Streets rated as fair (C) to excellent (A) are considered satisfactory. To calculate the percentage, the total number of lane miles of streets rated as satisfactory is divided by the lane miles in the inventory. A lane mile is defined as 1 mile (5,280 feet) in length for each 10-foot wide road segment.
FY 2015-16 Results
The established goal for this measure was 79.6% for FY 2015-16; the Department was short of the goal with an actual result of 78% (or 5,977 of 7,663 lane miles).
Assessment of Results
The Department achieved the 80% mark in FY 2011-12, almost six years ahead of the FY 2017-18 schedule. However, due to a number of factors the number of satisfactory lane miles (those rated fair to excellent) has declined slightly. Factors affecting this performance measure are changes in pavement data collection, some necessary delays for scheduling and coordination for road maintenance, and—the most critical factor—the need to shift some street maintenance funding to meet other department priorities. Thus, a number of roadways scheduled for overlays or rehabilitation have been delayed. Although thin surface treatments, crack sealing, and routine maintenance (reactive spot repairs like potholes) are crucial to preserving the long-term performance of the street network, reducing the number of unsatisfactory streets can only be accomplished by overlay, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. A balance of all these strategies is constantly needed in the proper proportions to offset the natural deterioration of streets, which are expected to last an average of 67 years, depending on the type of roadway material and soil conditions. Since the heavier treatment categories are much more expensive than thin surface treatments, the number that can be completed is extremely sensitive to available budget.
Next Steps
Beginning with FY 2016-17, the amount budgeted for overlays has increased. This, together with future rehabilitation program increases, will allow for further improvement of the network and a reduction in the number of unsatisfactory streets. Funding from the 2010 and 2012 bond programs is running out, and funding from future bond programs will be needed to address streets rated as “very poor” that require reconstruction and rehabilitation to improve the condition. However, reconstruction only affects a relatively small number of streets each year. Major maintenance projects such as overlays and rehabilitation are the only effective way to improve a large number of streets annually.
Contact Information
For more information contact David V. Magaña, P.E., Office of the City Engineer, at (512) 974-7042 or visit http://austintexas.gov/page/street-preventative-maintenance.