I don’t see my street on the city’s list to be paved this year. How does the Street Department determine which streets to pave?

The City of Carmel’s Street Department uses the PASER rating system, which is recognized by the Federal Highway Administration as an acceptable system of rating road pavement conditions when seeking grant funds. Many people think the age of a road is a good indicator, but that is not always the case. It is more determined by the wear on the road (including the number of daily vehicles or heavy trucks) along with the integrity of the road surface.

The PASER rating scale is a 1-10 scale – with 10 being a newly constructed roadway and 1 essentially being gravel.  The City prioritizes any street that would rate at a 3, although Carmel has very few of those.  Each segment is rated from intersection to intersection. A street may be 1 segment or represented by multiple segments. Main roads are evaluated and prioritized the same way.

Once the Street Department has the PASER ratings for all the street segments and then considers the overall subdivision, they prioritize the summer project list based on available funds and they attempt to spread out the projects across the City.

Another factor that plays into the City’s decision to prioritize some roads over others, is the obligation during a resurfacing project to bring all city crosswalks up to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

You can read more about the PASER scale and see pictures here.

Numerical PASER ratings are translatable to condition categories and prescribed treatment options, as shown below.

Authored by Laura Campbell, Sue Finkam, Kevin Rider, Jeff Worrell, Sue Finkam, Bruce Kimball, Miles Nelson, Anthony Green and Adam Aasen.