Unique Research Team Helping Metro Determine Which Roads Need Work

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Unique Research Team Helping Metro Determine Which Roads Need Work

CREATED Jun 18, 2014

by Shannon Royster

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A team researching the pavement has come to Nashville to help Metro Public Works determine which roads might soon need repair work.

It’s a two-man team and they have a very busy road ahead of them using what's called a digital survey vehicle.

They work for Applied Research Associates out of Pennsylvania. It’s their job is to survey every single road for imperfections in the southeast and northeast parts of Davidson County. That's 1,089 center lane miles. They give their findings to Metro Public Works.

"They send us a numerical value of all the distress of the roads, potholes, and alligator cracking," said Thomas Jones, a paving technician with Metro Public Works.

This way Public Works can predict ahead before the problem grows and save money in repair work. And Ron Strine with ARA says they never have to leave the truck to get the job done.

"The lasers along the front bumper read down to a thousandth of an inch perfection, so every time we hit a little impression it's gathering data from the lasers," said Strine.

So far, they've put in 11 hours a day, 14 days straight while taking thousands of photographs of the roads.

Strine said the date then heads to ARA's experts.

"The pictures are what the engineers in Pennsylvania use to interpret what's known as industry standards for the ride condition of the roads," he said.

Once Public Works reviews the findings, they can prioritize the repair work needed for the following year.

"Being that we have 35 districts in the county we do a budget for each district and then they come out and do paving on the roads depending on which roads are the worst," said Jones.

The data for this year's road research should be completed by September. Next year ARA will come back to Nashville to survey the southwest, northwest and center of Davidson County totaling close to 14-hundred center lane miles.