How Sunset Hills Selected the Pavement Management System Currently in Use
In the late 80's, the Public Works Department decided it was necessary to focus on the quality of our streets from a network-wide basis versus a Ward by Ward basis. This approach was implemented with the intent to eliminate the political aspect of project selection. The department selected the PAVER system of street inspection that was adopted and is used by the FAA for airport runway assessments and by the FHWA for Interstate Highway pavement quality assessments. PAVER was developed by the Corps of Engineers in conjunction with the APWA (American Public Works Association). It is a very objective system in that sections of streets were evaluated for the amount and concentration of about 20 different types of stresses with 3 degrees of severity each. While eliminating much of the subjectivity in inspection, training was difficult and expensive and the inspection process itself was extremely time consuming for each street in the city.

10 Point Scale
In the mid 90's, St. Louis County, along with numerous participating Municipalities, explored several pavement management systems to try to adopt a consistent system to be used by most of the street jurisdictions in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. What this group decided was to go with the PASER method of inspection, coupled with the Deighton Pavement Management evaluation software. PASER allowed the pavement inspector to drive down an entire street and rate the pavement on a 10 point scale. This 10 point scale reflected whether the pavement was:

In excellent condition and required no maintenance
10 or 9
In good shape and might require some minor crack seal activity
8 or 7
In fair shape where you might have a slab or 2 or some minor patching or a micro seal applied to an asphalt street (Thus far, all of these streets would be maintained by an in-house street crew.)
6 or 5
In poor shape where a number of slabs needed replacement or there was enough patching of an asphalt street to require a rehabilitation project 
4 or 3
In failed shape where the sub-base to the street was failed and the entire pavement and base would require replacement
2 or 1

Note: Essentially the streets that rated 4 or below, would require contract related activity to bring the street back into good order. Continued in-house maintenance on streets in this condition, would not likely improve the pavement significantly.

To see what this data actually looks like for your street, take a look at the pavement rating history (PDF) we have of it online. You can easily print out this report to see how your street compares to the entire Sunset Hills street network.

The PASER method of rating streets was found to be quick and effective means for getting a snap shot of the entire street network. It was also found to be able to relate directly to what activity was required, thus allowing the jurisdiction to properly manage their resources to provide the most impact for the street repair dollar.

Recent History of Pavement Management in Sunset Hills