CARMEL, Ind. — The city of Carmel is launching a new piece of technology that will help them assess road conditions.
The city has partnered with StreetScan, a company that uses vehicle-mounted sensors to determine which roads need to be repaired or repaved. The technology scans the road while the car is in motion to identify defects like potholes, bumps and cracking.
“[Streetscan] will actually finish this whole project – the entire city – in roughly 14-15 days,” said Jeff Worrell, Vice President of the Carmel City Council.
Prior to this new technology, Worrell said Carmel relied on its street department staff to drive each street and take their own visual assessment.
Worrell said those employees used the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) system, recognized by the Federal Highway Administration as an acceptable system of evaluating the state of road pavement.
“We use our snow plow drivers who run the same route every year,” said Worrell. “They know what they’re doing, but there’s some subjectivity involved in rating a street.”
Worrell said the PASER system rates each stretch of road on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the worst condition, and 10 being the best or newest condition.
City officials said the new technology uses the same metric, but makes the process more efficient using fewer resources.
“This is really good for Carmel. It’s good for the taxpayer. It’s frankly great for our street department,” said Worrell. “We’ve got 500 road miles in Carmel. We’re 49 square miles so it’s pretty significant. This will definitely speed [the process] up.”
The Carmel Street Department said the partnership with StreetScan is contracted for four years at $68,000 per year.
Roughly $4.5 million worth of street repairs are already underway for the year, so this year’s scans will help determine repairs for 2023.
“We’ve always prided ourselves in having exceptional roads,” said Worrell. “So now we feel like we can even go a step further and maybe find a defect that wasn’t caught by the naked eye. If we get it caught early, we can repair it and actually save a rebuildable road or maybe make a road last several years longer. So I think it’s a win-win all the way around.”