8A — April 25 - May 15, 2014 — Spring Preview — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal

E ngineering

By Stephen Johns, PE, PLS, VanDemark & Lynch, Inc. Use your computers to prevent potholes


f you own commercial properties, chances are you have a lot of pave-

Most of the time, pavement is neglected until it starts to fall apart, and then it is patched. When the patches fail, and the pavement looks like a ratty quilt, it’s ripped up and replaced. A better option may be to use a Pavement Management System to keep track of the paved surfaces and schedule routine maintenance. Often, completing minor repairs in a timely manner will re- duce the number of potholes produced each winter, and significantly extend the life of a paved surface. Planning

your pavement maintenance by using a Pavement Man- agement System will allow you to reduce your costs by extending the life of your pavements, and by bundling repairs into more cost-effec- tive contracts. A Pavement Manage - ment System starts with a database that catalogs the amount, type, and condition of the pavement you have. The pavement is first parti- tioned into areas that would logically be considered for repair, such as an individual parking lot, road segment,

or stretch of sidewalk. The pavement is then inspected and the condition is entered into a computer program that creates a database with the critical information for each partitioned area of pavement. Once the data is cataloged, the program provides a de- tailed schedule of repairs for each area of pavement, including the type of repair, a timetable for implementa- tion, and the expected cost. This information is broken down into time segments, so you can budget funds each year for expected pavement

repairs. The types and tim- ing of repairs can be adjusted each year to revise the budget to meet expected cash flows. A major benefit of having this database is knowing where repairs will do the most good. There will be some paving that is close to the failure point, but with some minor repairs, the life of the paving could be extend- ed considerably. Other paved areas may have already passed the failure point, and you should spend as little as possible to keep the paving safe until a full reconstruc- tion can be implemented. In either case, the Pavement Management System will provide the information you need to minimize your repair costs while reducing the number of potholes and other vehicle-damaging pavement failures. A Pavement Management System enhances the de- cision making process for maintenance planning by relating an objective evalua- tion of pavement conditions to the owner’s maintenance budget, practices, and pref- erences. A Pavement Man- agement System can help predict the fiscal impacts if maintenance activities are increased, decreased, or de- ferred. The program can also be used to review alternate “what if” scenarios and de- velop the most cost-effective and optimum schedule for repairs for the next five years or further into the future. A Pavement Management System can be an extremely effective tool for making decisions about scheduling and budgeting repairs, and can be helpful in discuss- ing the status of pavements with tenants and custom- ers. VanDemark & Lynch, Inc. has helped a number of clients control the costs and schedules for pavement re- pairs, including Birmingham Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the Dela- ware State Division of Parks and Recreation. Stephen L. Johns, PE, PLS, is Vice President of Engineering, with Van- Demark and Lynch, Inc. He is a registered Profes- sional Engineer in four states and a registered Professional Land Sur- veyor in Delaware and Maryland. n

m e n t t o ma i n t a i n . W h e t h e r that pave- ment is as- phalt, con- c r e t e , o r some other surface, over t h e y e a r s

Steve Johns

it will need to be repaired and/or replaced. This winter has been especially hard on paving, causing significant vehicle-damaging potholes.

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