California highway pavement healthiest in 10 years
Caltrans has announced that the condition of the pavement on California’s highways is at its healthiest level in more than a decade, according to the recently released 2013 State of the Pavement Report.
“It’s important to maintain and preserve the existing transportation system first and foremost before making other improvements,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “This improvement in our pavement proves that we are committed to doing just that.”
Caltrans reported that the percent of healthy pavement on the state highway system increased from 75 to 84 percent from 2011 to 2013 — an increase of 4,500 lane miles of smoother pavement.
Caltrans maintains its aging state highway system even while it carries nearly 35 million vehicles. Each year, the department surveys the condition of its pavement to determine how much of the system needs maintenance.
Annual maintenance needs far outpace dependable funding, but Caltrans uses high-tech strategies, recycling and innovative treatments to make pavement last longer, to stretch every dollar and to preserve the environment. Cold-in-place recycling allows Caltrans to recycle and reprocess existing pavement without leaving the construction site. That method, and using rubberized hot-mix asphalt and warm-mix asphalt, has reduced more than 61,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Caltrans used one-time funds from the 2006 Proposition 1B transportation bond and the 2009 Recovery Act to help pay for nearly $4 billion in pavement projects on nearly 18,000 lane miles in the last four years. Continued improvement of pavement health is contingent on a stable funding source for road rehabilitation and repair.
Caltrans reported on pavement health and other road maintenance conditions earlier this year in its publication Mile Marker, a plain language and clearly written report on how Caltrans is performing and the current state of the California transportation system. Mile Marker is available online at dot.ca.gov.
The 2013 State of the Pavement Report is available online at http://bit.ly/1jddsIT.