Pavement Management System (PMS) FAQ’s

Who Chooses the Streets to be Paved?
The streets are not chosen by any individual or group, the list is generated by a computerized Pavement Management System (PMS) that utilizes data collected by a consulting firm to determine the condition of the pavement, the ride quality, and the best means to repair or restore the street pavement. The PMS then priorities the street sections based upon a cost/benefit analysis and a budgetary analysis. This method provides an objective way to compare the needs of the city’s street sections and ensures that the decisions are made in the city’s overall best interest.

The PMS list is then reviewed by the Engineering Division and compared with lists of known and proposed utility and maintenance work to coordinate activities. Some streets may advance on the list so paving can occur immediately after current utility repairs, while others may be delayed so that the paving can occur after repairs are made, thus saving money and preventing damage to the new pavement. Please call 301-759-6600 for more information.

Why Are Worse Streets Not Being Paved First?
One of the goals of pavement management is pavement preservation. Pavement preservation is a form of preventive maintenance, by slowing the rate of deterioration to delay the need to reconstruct the street section. Streets in really poor condition might need reconstructing, which is very expensive, as opposed to an overlay or mill and overlay of a street which is more economical. The goal is to address all of the streets in a comprehensive manner to maintain an overall level of road serviceability.

The previous worst-1st method of street improvements has resulted in a $67 million dollar backlog of street improvement that needs to be completed. By applying a pavement preservation approach, the city can improve more streets with the amount money it budgets, which enables it to maintain the network of streets in good condition for a long period of time, thereby reducing the rate at which the backlog grows while a portion of the program is targeted to addressing the streets already in backlog condition. Reducing the backlog will take time, but that is much better than allowing the backlog of work to continue to grow. Please call 301-759-6600 for more information.

How Much do Street Improvements Cost?
The cost of street improvements can vary greatly depending on the type of improvement needed which is determined by the existing pavement condition, its structural strength, drainage, traffic, and other factors. The following list of costs are for repairing the streets only, and do not include some of the additional cost that are associated with street improvement projects (utility repair or replacement, drainage improvements, and sidewalks), and are based on contract prices from previous projects:
  • Overlays can cost approximately $2.50 per square foot of street surface.
  • Overlays with Pavement Patching can cost approximately $3.50 per square foot of street surface.
  • Mill and Overlay can cost approximately $4.50 per square foot of street surface.
  • Mill and Overlay with Patching can cost approximately $8 per square foot of street surface.
  • Reconstruction can cost approximately $12.50 per square foot of street surface.
Please note: The above listed costs are based on the value of dollars in 2006, the current costs of street improvements could vary due to inflation and other factors. Please call 301-759-6600 for more information.