Riverside County’s roads to undergo close scrutiny


City News Service
RIVERSIDE – The Board of Supervisors signed off on Tuesday, Oct. 1 on a $1.8 million contract with a civil engineering firm to analyze the quality of the more than 2,200 miles of roads and highways maintained by the Riverside County Transportation & Land Management Agency.
“These inspectors are going to go out and inspect every single road in the county,” TLMA Deputy Director Patty Romo told the board. “They will tell us the condition of every single road … (providing) an accurate, consistent assessment of road conditions.”
The roughly three-year compact with Alpharetta, Georgia-based Dynatest North America Inc. will entail two-man crews scouring county-maintained roads in vans towing trailers with proprietary “road surfacing profiling equipment,” featuring cameras capable of capturing road surfaces while moving at highway speeds, according to TLMA documents.
Romo said the 2,234 miles of county-maintained roads will be assessed within three months. Afterward, Dynatest engineers will compile the data, using GPS technology to ensure pinpoint accuracy of each section of road that’s evaluated.
Surfaces will be qualitatively judged based on “alligator cracking,” “distortions,” “longitudinal cracking,” “patching,” “rutting and depressions,” “raveling” and “weathering,” according to the contract terms.
The results will be documented in the TLMA’s Pavement Management Database, with Dynatest engineers assisting in recommending the types of repairs needed to bring the county’s roads to an average score of 80 under a state-sanctioned grade system for roadway health.
According to Romo, two-thirds of the county’s roads currently rate 72, which is considered “good.”  However, 20 percent fall into the poor or “at-risk” category, she told the board.
Supervisors Jeff Hewitt and Chuck Washington both expressed concern for the overall quality of roads in segments of their respective districts. Washington was particularly interested in seeing how the Dynatest evaluations rate some of the corridors in the vicinity of Hemet, where the supervisor noted that a number of roads are in need of major corrective action.
Romo said the Dynatest work will accelerate countywide road assessments and support the county’s ability to access gas tax revenue for transportation infrastructure projects.
The county’s in-house roadway evaluations run on a four-year cycle, the TLMA spokeswoman said.