The City of New Ulm utilizes the "MicroPaver" pavement management program, an indispensable tool for managing street pavements into the future. The U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories (USACERL) originally developed the program. The pavement management research has been ongoing (at USACERL) since the early seventies and has been sponsored and funded by several agencies, including the:
- American Public Works Association (APWA)
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
- U.S. Airforce Engineering and Services Center (AFESC)
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE)
- U.S. Navy (USN)
Pavement Condition Rating
An important feature of any pavement management system (PMS) is the ability both to determine the current condition of a pavement network and to predict its future condition. This is exactly what MicroPaver was designed for. It uses a reliable, objective, and repeatable rating system for identifying the pavement's condition. The pavement distress condition rating procedure, developed just for this program by the Corps of Engineers, is the Pavement Condition Index (PCI). This PCI procedure has been widely accepted by the above mentioned agencies and has been published as an American Society of Testing and Materials standard (ASTM 1993).
Policies, Costs & Future Needs
The City of New Ulm purchased the MicroPaver program through the APWA in 1999. The existing New Ulm "Pavement Inventory System" data was sent to the APWA offices in Kansas City, and was converted into the new MicroPaver program at no expense to New Ulm. Condition surveys were performed on all of the paved street sections during the spring and early summer of 2000. The New Ulm Model (decay curve) was established after the condition survey data was entered. Then the New Ulm specific maintenance policies and costs were entered into the appropriate tables.
Now that all this data has been appropriately entered into the program, predictions may be made regarding future needs. The MicroPaver program uses built in formulas and calculations to make predictions of future conditions based on estimated budgets. These predictions may be projected out to twenty years into the future. Using this feature, today's budgets can be established that may determine a positive trend for pavement conditions in the future.
In addition to future trends, the MicroPaver program helps set priorities for annual projects. By looking at present conditions and their causes, judgments can be made as to repair boundaries and methods for next year's projects.