New tech helps Kilgore become street-smart city

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Every crack and pothole. Every fault.

A rolling survey of Kilgore’s streets and sidewalks got underway Tuesday morning as contractors out of Massachusetts focus their cameras for an up-close look at 250 road-miles maintained by the City of Kilgore.

The $60,000 project by StreetScan will take about two weeks, but the overall effort will continue through late-spring as the data’s crunched for an extensive, digital inventory of everything that’s wrong with local routes.

According to Kilgore’s public works director, “They are driving around town with a specially-outfitted van that’s taking high-resolution pictures of the streets,” Clay Evers said, “as well as other imagery to get a condition assessment of the pavement.

“They’re going to look at the data they collect and score and index the condition of the streets to give us a nice GIS map to use for planning purposes.”

A similar stroller-sized apparatus will do the same on sidewalks and their ramps. Evers offered a rough guess that phase will include about 50-miles of pavement.

“We don’t have a good estimate on sidewalks, but we will after the project is over. We’re expecting to have a final product by May as far as the assessment. It’s going to take a few months to digest all the data.”

Kilgore’s the first city in Texas to utilize StreetScan, utilizing the company’s tech to supplement and update a visual street survey conducted by firefighters in 2014.

“It was the first step in establishing the baseline for what condition our streets were,” Evers noted, identify glaring issues and helping develop a statistical sample of the overall state of local roads.

Using that information, city employees developed a rough plan for maintenance, rehabilitation and care to address what is, time after time, the number one priority residents put on survey forms.

“We’ve been working off of that first plan for the past five years to the best of our abilities,” Evers added. “This technology is less subject to user error. It’s very objective. It’s every single inch of every piece of pavement. It’s literally every alligator crack, every pothole, every base failure. We will have a complete inventory of that.

“Using the data we have from five years ago we will be able to see also how the streets are performing over time.”

Crunching all the information together, city leaders will be able to develop multiple funding scenarios for addressing roads.

“To really get a handle on how we’re going to continue to move forward managing our streets,” Evers concluded. “This will give us a good inventory of what we have and where we need to make improvements.”

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