Revitalizing Infrastructure: An Efficient and Cost Savings Approach (Source: Texas ASCE)
By Austin Duehr, PE, ENV SP,
Every day, as civil engineers, we get to get to see designs come to life. We observe how infrastructure improvements positively impact our communities. As we know, all infrastructure has a finite lifespan, but routine maintenance and improvements can improve that longevity exponentially. The lifespan of roadway pavement, for example, can be extended—not surprisingly– simply by performing routine maintenance every three to five years.
For cities, a proactive approach can easily and efficiently revitalize existing infrastructure. Properly employed condition assessments can determine what needs maintenance, repair, or replacement. Bringing in outside experts can lead to cost savings. Jonathan Wheat, Director of Engineering for the City of Carrollton, says, “For example, we utilize a third party to survey the roads and collect the information (about their condition).” Wheat says the experts then combine that information with issues the City is already aware of, “such as Public Works callouts and work orders, water/wastewater condition reviews, and drainage issues” in the contiguous areas. The combination of outside help and the City’s own “boots on the ground” documenting conditions and locations provides for an effective analysis that produces comprehensive improvement plans.