StreetSaver Blog

Better Roads Ahead: Gilroy's Pavement Improvement Program

by City of Gilroy | Sep 13, 2022

5-Year Street Repair Program

The 5-Year Street Repair Program is a program dedicated to improving the condition of City streets over the next 5 years. Starting in 2022 and continuing for 5-years, the City will dedicate $3.9 million annually towards the rehabilitation and reconstruction of City streets. The 5-Year Street Repair Program is not designed to rehabilitate or reconstruct every street in Gilroy but prioritizes streets based on need and use in an effort to bring the overall pavement conditions of Gilroy to a higher level.

Annual prioritization of streets for rehabilitation and reconstruction is done through recommendations from the StreetSaver program and consideration of the highest-traveled "failed" condition streets. "Failed" condition streets aren't typically recommended for repair by the StreetSaver program due to the high cost of reconstruction of these streets and the program's algorithms for maximizing efficient use of funds. However, City staff recognizes the need for reconstructing these high-travel streets and prioritizes them for repair along with the recommendations provided by StreetSaver. 

Approximately 65-75% of the funds allocated to the 5-Year Street Repair Program are dedicated to rehabilitating the streets identified by StreetSaver. The remaining funds are dedicated to the reconstruction of failed streets. With this strategy, the City anticipates that it will be able to improve the City’s Pavement Condition Index (PCI) value from 62 to 67 over the next five years. More information about the PCI is included below.

As part of the Fiscal Year 2022 and 2023 budgets, the Gilroy City Council allocated $3.9 million in annual funding towards the 5-Year Street Repair Program for the next five years. A variety of sources will be used to fund the program, including Measure B, SB-1, Gas Tax, and General Fund.

2022 is the first year of implementing the 5-Year Street Repair Program, and we’re looking forward to getting to work and making some much-needed improvements. More information about the pavement improvements anticipated for this year is available on the City Infrastructure Projects page. For more information about pavement rehabilitation techniques, types of asphalt, and PCI, please continue reading the information below.

Map of City Streets Scheduled for Improvements

The map below shows the streets that are scheduled for rehabilitation during 2022 (streets highlighted in orange). It also provides a summary of streets that have been rehabilitated between 2019-2021 (streets highlighted in green). To view the key, which includes a list of the street segments, click the icon in the top left corner. To view the map in full-size, click the icon in the top right corner.
Link to map.

Benefits of Gilroy's Program for Safe and Accessible Roads

Gilroy's Program for Safe and Accessible Roads is not a program for repaving every road in Gilroy - it is a plan to maintain and strengthen the roads in Gilroy. Preventive maintenance and rehabilitation work preserve the lifespan of the roads and are much more cost-effective than reconstruction. That's why it's so important to proactively repair roads before they require more extensive and expensive reconstruction work.


Life Cycle of Asphalt

Well-designed and well-built asphalt roads will last about 25 years. However, no matter how good a road is constructed, the asphalt will begin to deteriorate almost immediately. Over time the materials that make up asphalt begin to break down and become affected by elements such as rain, sunlight, and chemicals that come into contact with the pavement surface. Roads that experience a high volume of vehicle traffic will deteriorate at a faster rate than roads less traveled.

How We Measure the Quality of a Road
The overall quality and condition of a road is measured using the Pavement Condition Index (PCI). PCI is a numerical index between 0 and 100, with 100 representing the best possible condition and 0 representing the worst possible condition. Pavement features such as the existence of cracking and potholes will impact the PCI classification. PCI is not a measure of drivability. Zero PCI does not necessarily mean that a road cannot be driven, but probably means it will be a very bumpy ride.

Add information here about the PCI condition for Gilroy and how often the PCI is measured. Include information about best practices for increasing the PCI level.

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Types of Road Treatments

There are more than a dozen ways you can treat a road, from a simple fog seal to complete road reconstruction. But we’ve broken these down to three major categories Preventive, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and have included some of the more common treatments within each of those categories.

The goal of Preventive maintenance is to maintain or improve the functional condition of the road, slow the rate of deterioration, and extend the life of the road by five to seven years. By slowing the rate of deterioration, we can delay, or completely eliminate, the need for major rehabilitation or reconstruction in the future. Preventive maintenance treatments can be done independently or combined with other treatments to help extend the life of the road. Some of the more common Preventive maintenance treatments used in Gilroy include crack seals, slurry seals, and thin overlays.

Rehabilitation treatments are carried out on roads that exhibit distresses and failures like block cracking, rutting, shoving and potholes that are beyond being fixed with preservation maintenance techniques, but aren’t severe enough to warrant complete reconstruction. Rehabilitation treatments used in Gilroy include Chip Seals Cape Seals, asphalt remove and replace (Dig-Outs), and overlays. The goal of Rehabilitation treatments is to help create a safer driving surface, improve the overall appearance, provide a seal to repel moisture from damaging the base and extend the useful life of the existing pavement by eight to ten years.

Reconstruction involves the complete replacement of the road with new or reused asphalt which can have a useful life upwards of 20 years. Reconstructed roads are most favorable to drivers but are also the most costly. By comparison, Preventive maintenance treatments can cost as little as $1,200 per lane mile while Reconstruction can run as much as $261,000 per lane mile. In addition, Reconstruction projects can take several months to design and construct, making it very disruptive to drivers and adjacent businesses.

Link to original article.