Excelsior Springs Paves the Way with High-Tech Street Scans

The City of Excelsior Springs hired Lamp Rynearson, in partnership with Stantec, to conduct a comprehensive street evaluation program, which was recently completed. The project aims to enhance the city’s ability to prioritize street repairs and establish a well-informed budget for these essential improvements.

Utilizing Stantec’s advanced Road Tester 3000 (RT3000), a state-of-the-art mobile solution equipped with laser GPS and crack recognition technology, the team gathered data on the condition of local streets. This high-tech approach has proven to be a game-changer in street assessment, significantly reducing the time and labor traditionally required.

The city’s street network, spanning approximately 159.5 lane miles, predominantly consists of asphalt surfaces. Lamp Rynearson’s assessment, using data fed into the PAVER pavement management software, revealed that a substantial portion of these streets are in less than fair condition, necessitating more than just routine maintenance.

The Lamp Rynearson study presented at the City Council Meeting on November 20, 2023, emphasized the importance of maintaining newer streets as opposed to focusing solely on severely deteriorated ones. This approach is vital for preventing streets from falling into a state where expensive reconstruction becomes necessary.

Public Works Director Chad Birdsong used the analogy of maintaining a home. “If you keep a regular schedule of maintenance on your home, you’re protecting your investment. If you have a new home and paint it every five years, you’ll save yourself having to make bigger repairs in the future. You can think of our roads the same way,” said Birdsong.

City Manager Molly McGovern highlighted the significance of the program, stating that the plan aims to extend the life of street improvements to 25 years, as opposed to just 13 years without regular maintenance. This proactive strategy is expected to optimize the use of the city’s street improvement funds.

Greg Van Patten, Project Manager for Lamp Rynearson, underscored the urgency of implementing a structured maintenance plan. Ideally, streets should have an average Pavement Condition Index (PCI) of over 70. Currently, Excelsior Springs has (PCI) scores of 45 for asphalt and 72 for concrete streets and faces a challenging task in managing its street network.

The pavement condition index supplied by Lamp Rynearson, see more detail in the report below.

Currently, Excelsior Springs allocates $1 million for asphalt overlays and $150,000 each for concrete and infrastructure repairs from its half-cent transportation trust sales tax fund. This budget allows for improvements on about ten lane miles per year, with a lifespan of 12 years for each project. However, a report suggests an annual budget of $1.3 million is necessary to maintain 13-20 lane miles using methods such as crack sealing, base repair, chip seal, and UBAS (Ultra-Thin Bonded Asphalt Surface).

The Lamp Rynearson report also advises establishing a secondary fund, estimated at around $2 million, for bi-annual street reconstructions. The public prefers mill/asphalt overlay and UBAS among the treatment options. With an annual cost escalation of about 6%, the report recommends focusing more on preventive maintenance for cost-effectiveness and extending pavement life to 25 years, thus maximizing the city’s street improvement budget.

The introduction of this new technology in Excelsior Springs’ street maintenance program is a noteworthy advancement, offering a much more precise and detailed understanding of the city’s infrastructure needs. While the technology has laid out a plan for a more efficient and sustainable infrastructure, it simultaneously underscores the daunting task ahead for the city in terms of financing these critical upgrades.

Read the full report from Lamp Rynearson and Stantec below:

If you appreciate the value our local journalism brings to the community, please consider making a recurring contribution to the Excelsior Citizen!

Dearing Delivers: Junior Clinches Team Conference Title for Excelsior Tennis
ESHS Commencement was a Jubilant Farewell for Class of 2024
ESHS Awards Night Highlights Senior Achievements
Other Trails, Fizer’s, Morgan Honored with Historic Preservation Awards
J&J’s Stocking Up for Grand Opening Later This Month
City Council slide with the Hall of Waters in the background
City Council Recap for May 6th, 2024

News for and About Excelsior Springs!

Get the Excelsior Citizen e-newsletter delivered straight to your inbox each week. It’s a collection of the best news and events all focused exclusively on Excelsior Springs. No fluff just local news and information you can trust!

Free Newsletter Signup