Tahlequah city councilors Monday night paved the way for future street improvements by approving a plan to inventory and “grade” all roads.

The Pavement Management System, which will be conducted by Holloway, Updike and Bellen Inc., will produce a street inventory of all roads within the city limits that are maintained by the city.

Field surveys – part of the first phase – typically identify whether a street is paved with asphalt, concrete, gravel, or by other combinations of materials; identify curbs, sidewalks, storm sewers, ditches and other such items; identify speed limits, one-way streets and other traffic-control parameters; record the number of traffic lanes, street widths and divided or undivided roads; and identify areas that have on-street parking, and whether the spaces are parallel or angled.

Phase One would take approximately 90 days at a cost of $12,750, said Clay McAlpine, who spoke on behalf of Holloway, Updike and Bellen during Monday night’s city council meeting.

The city could then move forward with two other phases. In the second phase, a high-tech vehicle loaded with cameras, sensors, GPS capabilities and other gadgets would drive every street within the city.

“It would create an index of how that street rates,” said McAlpine.

Maps would be created outlining the city streets’ status, using color codes to identify the best and worse of the roads. Using the gathered data, the company would later provide a condition assessment, and help city officials determine how to focus on road upkeep.

A multi-year street plan would be created for the city. Among the results of the project, city officials will be told how much they should be budgeting on street upkeep each year to maintain or improve the conditions.

The total Pavement Management System project cost is around $57,000, McAlpine said, and will take approximately six to eight months to complete.

“I think it’s a good deal; we’ve been needing this for years,” said Street Commissioner Mike Corn.

Mayor Jason Nichols said the information gathered during the project will provide city officials with a data-oriented approach for targeting street problems.

In other matters Monday night, Planning and Development Director Doug Moore spoke during a public hearing about more than $95,000 the city has received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for a 2012 Community Development Block Grant.

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