The City uses a Pavement Management Program (PMP) to assist with prioritizing streets to include in maintenance and rehabilitation projects. As part of this program the City is required to regularly inventory the condition of the streets and assign each a rating from 0 to 100. This rating is referred to as the Pavement Condition Index (PCI). Currently, the City’s streets have an overall network PCI rating of 53, which is considered just inside the “good” condition rating.
The PMP is designed to optimize funding available to maintain the roadways in the most cost efficient manner. The most cost effective does not mean pave the “worst streets” first. Often times, the worst streets are the most expensive streets to do because they require some form of reconstruction. Many streets identified for simple, regular maintenance treatments are those that are rated in better condition. The program provides suggestions on various types of maintenance treatments and the quantities that should be done/amount that should be spent in order to keep street conditions a specific desired PCI. Keeping the “good streets” in good condition is one of the keys to effective maintenance.
The City of Watsonville developed a 3-layer pavement maintenance system, with input from the industry. The system includes: 1st layer – “microsurface”, filling in cracks and evening out road surface; 2nd layer – “chip seal” rock; 3rd layer – “slurry”, to lock in the rock from the chip seal and smooth out the surface and seals the streets against surface water. This keeps the streets in working order far beyond the normal life span. This system is less than one quarter the cost of a 2″ road overlay with conventional asphalt.