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Are you counting pennies or benjamins?

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As an engineer, I am very analytical and linear in my thought process. This is natural and almost expected as I deal with equations following specific procedures to arrive at design solutions. After all, there is no gray in engineering – it is either black or white. I refer to this thought process as counting pennies – that is examining every detail down to the smallest one to make sure everything is accounted. Because of my ethical obligations to protect the public with my designs, I, as an engineer, have to count and take into account these pennies to avoid potentially disastrous situations.

As the leader of PILLAR, my thought process is different. I can’t get bogged down with all the little details; otherwise nothing moves forward at the pace it needs to because people are waiting on me. I need to think bigger and broader and count the Benjamins. That doesn’t mean the details aren’t important. On the contrary, they are very important and can’t be ignored. Here is where leadership comes into play. As I don’t have the resources to examine all the little details, I have to responsibly delegate them by providing a clear vision with enough direction to my employees.

In short, I have to lead not do.

When I focus on the Benjamins – the big picture or total package – and let other employees count the pennies, I have to provide the tools and atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork to maximize individual strengths in order to achieve maximum performance in a timely fashion to either meet deadlines, exceed expectations, or act quickly enough to stay ahead of the competition. I also have to know my employees well enough to put them in a place where they can confidently work the details and excel at what they are good at. When my employees take a portion of the bigger picture, they accept responsibility for taking care of and focusing on their stack of pennies.

All this dialog of pennies and Benjamins is not a discussion on revenue or profit. Rather it is a discussion on short-term versus long-term thinking. As a leader, focusing on pennies is short-term thinking dealing with an event happening now or in the immediate near future. Focusing on Benjamins is long-term thinking dealing with the future or the direction of the firm. Dealing with pennies is like a horse with blinders. You can only see what is in front of you with a very limited and narrow view of the scene. You cannot get stuck in one pile of details for any length of time, lest some of the other piles get either too enormous to overcome or dwindle away to nothing from lack of attention. If you’re focusing on Benjamins, you’re gazing on the wider view of the horizon.

As a by-product of focusing on the Benjamins and relinquishing control of the pennies, I have fostered a cultural shift of accountability and responsibility while simultaneously empowering those who can make it happen. When you empower others, growth occurs exponentially not linearly. Empowerment comes in several forms. Simply put, it is removing roadblocks thereby building an atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork. Empowerment also fosters an environment that nurtures a positive spirit, pride, and loyalty.

Focusing on Benjamins allows me the time to reflect on our firm’s vision and purpose and formulate a path on how to fulfill them. It is easy to get caught up in working a pile of pennies as problems arise. I call this putting out brush fires. Unfortunately, this leads one to scramble with no sense of direction or purpose and eventually reflects and resonates with employees by stagnating any growth, duty, or loyalty.

I’ll admit focusing on the Benjamins is a continuous work in progress and there are still times I get stuck in the piles of pennies. As the firm grows and I mature, I like to think I am getting better at looking at Benjamins.

How about you? Are you focusing on pennies or Benjamins?

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What PILLAR Asset Management Means For Your Company

Is “asset management” more than a buzz-word to you and your organization? Are regulations and costs leading you to question whether you need a better understanding of your assets and their future value, risks, and needs?

You may find yourself wondering “How can we boost asset life-span?” or “Has the cost of this asset been justified?” PILLAR provides asset management to help you with the entire process of properly planning, building, operating, maintaining, upgrading and decommissioning assets.

This is big-picture thinking and long-term strategizing. For assets to be sustainable and cost-effective, you need a broad analysis of engineering, economics, risk management and user needs.

With appropriate asset management methods, you can answer key questions about:

FINANCES

  • Long-term funding, including grants and loans
  • Potential budget fluctuations
  • Total cost of ownership

DECISION-MAKING

  • Current state of assets
  • Maintenance scheduling
  • Rehabilitation vs. replacement
  • Risk analysis
  • Gaps in institutional knowledge
  • Internal and external communication

REQUIREMENTS

  • Technological and material life-spans
  • Current and future regulations
  • User demands

Asset management results in better business practices and a more proactive mindset. It allows your organization to identify strengths as well as weaknesses, creating a better foundation for decision-making.

With systematic and coordinated asset management techniques, PILLAR will provide your organization with the tools to succeed now and in the future.

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Choosing a commercial surveyor

Surveying is a vital step in commercial property development and construction. Land surveyors are licensed professionals who are knowledgeable about local, state and federal requirements. They also provide important information for your attorney, banker, realtor, architect and builder.

An experienced surveyor will advise you on what type of survey—boundary, topographic, land title, or mortgage inspection—should be performed. As a basis for contracts, resale, subdividing and engineering, surveying provides a foundation for many key decisions in property transactions and development. The surveyor can be a valuable resource in environmental analysis and land disputes.

Training, expertise and technical resources are key considerations when choosing a surveyor. Their understanding of existing records and property descriptions as well as their skills in mapping, identifying defects and setting monuments, as well as documentation and communicating with other parties, are essential to a job well done.

Technical aspects of surveying include advanced data, measuring and reporting methods. The modern theodolite or total station is an expensive, highly specialized piece of equipment that can save data into internal registering units or external storage. Photogrammetric scanning, satellite navigation systems, airborne LIDAR and GIS data application have greatly expanded the accuracy and effectiveness of modern surveying.

Therefore, the cost of surveying is only one factor when comparing service providers. Recommendations, resources and experience must be considered as well. Expertise, skills and judgment—all part of the high quality, problem solving approach used by our staff—come standard with PILLAR surveying services.

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Keeping and Maintaining Inventory for Roadway Infrastructure

“Now where did I put that (insert item here)?” This is a question I ask myself more than I should. Usually I’m looking for some sort of tool around my house that doesn’t get used very often, but, when I need it I need it now. The wrench to remove the element in my water heater is a good example. When an element goes out it’s usually at the worst possible time.

So the quicker I can find the wrench the quicker I can get the heater fixed. I have gotten better about keeping tools, etc. organized and one thing that has helped me with this is to actually bring home skills that I’ve learned at from work. While keeping track of tools around the house and maintaining incredible volumes of infrastructure are vastly different, there is a commonality in that the core of managing both of these is to know what you have and where it is located.

A drainage pipe can be similar to that missing household wrench in that it is an asset that you may lose track of. The original maintenance crew moves on, retires, etc. and they forgot to tell the new crew about it, the maintenance crew doesn’t have access to the original plans, or the area gets overgrown with brush, etc. Then all of a sudden it rains one day and water is backed into the road. Just like that when you need it you can’t find it.

One of the areas PILLAR helps our infrastructure clients is keeping and maintaining an infrastructure inventory. The roadway infrastructure we deal with was mostly built in the mid1900s with some dating back ever further. Most of these roads had design drawings or plans but not always follow up drawings or asbuilts to show field changes made to plans.

We have incorporated a number of methods and technologies to help our clients collect their inventory, and continuously and easily update what is added and removed. We have used everything from;

  • “Boots on the ground” location where we visually identify an asset location using metal detectors, brush axes, shovels, and an iPad loaded with a specialized application InfraTrak®. This allows us to add inventory, edit and remove inventory as well as log inventory conditions and generate work orders from the field. InfraTrak® works disconnected from the internet with information synced to the cloud where the collected field data is shared with office personnel.
  • Mobile LiDAR which generates a digital 3D model of the roadway with corresponding spherical photos taken at specified intervals.
  • Digitizing 5060 year old roadway plans.
  • Survey and GIS grade asset inventory mapping utilizing traditional GPS and survey equipment.
  • Development of a specialized department to explore the use of our cutting edge drone for the generation of digital 3D models, high resolution digital orthophotography, videos, and thermal imaging.

These methods have allowed us to inventory municipal utilities as well as hundreds of miles of roadway for our clients to help them know what they have and where it is located.

Pillar, Inc.’s staff has been involved with highway maintenance and incident response on many different projects with 40+ years of combined experience. We can generate, collect, and maintain digital asset inventories for your existing infrastructure. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

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Land Surveying: Is what I found what was set?

“IP”… I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at a survey plat (mostly older ones) and cringed when I saw those two little letters at the change in direction of a boundary line.

Over the last almost 20 years of being a Land Surveyor, I think that I have come across almost everything imaginable at a corner of a parcel of land. Let me elaborate. A piece of iron rebar, iron rod, threaded rod, pipe, 6″ nail, 8” nail, a 16 penny nail, a railroad spike, a steering knuckle of (insert your junk car name here), an axle, a roof bolt, a section of drill steel, an actual wooden stake or a pinch pipe. I could continue on but I think you get the idea. But is what I found in the field what the original surveyor actually set or found as a corner monument or just some random piece of junk? Or what I like to call “the rod du jour.”

Virginia Code 18VAC1020370 (section 4) mandates that “as a requisite for completion of the work product, each land boundary survey of a tract or parcel of land shall be monumented with objects made of permanent material at all corners and changes of direction on the land boundary”. This section of code itself leaves a lot of latitude for a choice of monument at a property corner. While other sections of the code place a minimum standard on the procedures and practices of land surveying, why hasn’t there been a standard set for boundary monuments other than “shall be made of permanent material?”

I know that all of the items that I stated as discovered while performing a boundary survey are in fact “made of permanent material” and technically they have satisfied the Virginia standards. But there is a great deal of merit placed on a corner marker that is specially described on a survey plat. “IP” doesn’t give me much description when I’m out there on the job. All it takes is a few other characters on a plat like “1/2″ iron rod or 1” pipe or even a steering knuckle of (insert your junk car name here) and all of the sudden, voila, I found what the last surveyor set or found 50 years ago. There is a legal term that we use for items we find near a property corner that don’t include these little adjectives: “Prima Facie” or face value. In other words “I have found something near the property corner; if it works then it just happens to work,” not because it was specifically placed there. But is there something else there?

All I can say is that I know 50 years from now some Land surveyor will be looking at my maps while in the field and says “yep here it is, a ½” iron rod set at the corner”. Not standing there scratching their head looking for an “IP.”

Pillar, Inc.’s staff has been involved with highway maintenance and incident response on many different projects with 40+ years of combined experience. We can help write an O&M plan including Snow and Ice Control procedures for your next project. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

Click here to download the PILLAR Talk November 2015 PDF.

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Snow and Ice Control: Roadway Winter Preparations

Pillar, Inc. offers consulting services to Public Private Partnerships, specifically regarding the many different Operations and Maintenance services these specialized procurements include.

In order to better educate our partners, as part of our Continuous Improvement philosophy, Pillar periodically provides these informational O&M fact sheets to interested parties. 

NOW is the season to order your stockpiles of salt, abrasives, and pre-treatment liquids. Actually, this order should have been placed back in July, but we’ll bring you up to speed just the same.

Asset Managers are tasked with taking care of infrastructure, such as roadways and related facilities. This includes budget, cash flow, finance, credit, etc. Basically, here is some advice from our school of experience to help you manage cash flow with a minimum of pain and a few easy to execute tips. 

Salt. A simple chemical and relatively inexpensive, but in the quantities we use it, with prices from $75-$125 per ton, we need to manage our stockpiles carefully. Industry standards call for having at least 100% of your “worst case” winter inventory on hand before the season starts. While this is a good rule of thumb, it can be costly both in inventory holding costs as well as capital outlays to build a larger than necessary containment facility.

Consider the following operational tips:

If your project is located within a reasonable distance (1-2 hours) of the shipping point, consider ordering less salt at the beginning of the season and being very proactive in re-ordering salt. In order to do this, you must do it with forethought, not a guess.

Place a resupply order a day before the next event happens. You can estimate the salt you will use during the event and simply order that amount before it snows. Your project will be first in line to receive salt after the storm while other projects are ordering after the event and waiting longer.

If your project is too small to demand “first priority” delivery, negotiate this into your purchase agreements; it may cost more per ton but save you the corresponding outlay for facility and holding costs.

Delays in shipment are usually due to lack of trucking availability, especially at the rate negotiated by the salt supplier with their independent carriers. Consider an FOB price to provide flexibility and redundancy: You go pick up the salt with your own truck fleet rather than wait for non-guaranteed resupply by the vendor’s trucks.

Consider keeping the doors of your facility open at offhours or weekends. Many DOT’s will only receive salt between normal operating hours of 8am-4:30pm Monday-Friday, thus creating a bottleneck in the supply lines. If you tell the shipper “we’ll accept your salt 24-7” you’ll probably get it quicker.

The extra few dollars in staff overtime is minor compared to the cost of not having the salt.

At some point the shipper’s dispatch personnel will call you to confirm shipment. Have your on-call staff save this number into their phone. It is likely this trucking company will be your exclusive supplier. You can get more up-to-date delivery information from the shipper than going through your supplier, who is only going to contact the shipper and email you back. Short circuit the runaround.

Use less salt. This seems elementary, but you would be surprised at how much salt can be wasted by ineffective salting strategies or uncalibrated or out-of-adjustment equipment.

  • Salt at the right time.
  • Re-calibrate your equipment if usage seems excessive.
  • Use a well thought out and sufficiently detailed pre-treatment plan to minimize the usage of salt.
  • These are all standard procedures, probably already written into your O&M Plan, but is it really happening on the project?

What is the “right” time to apply salt? There are now rugged and accurate sensors available to measure the slickness of pavement in real time.

Instead of guessing when to put down salt, you can now accurately and remotely measure pavement friction and apply salt if needed, not when it “feels right”. Keep an eye on the temperatures. Salting at 9am at 31 degrees on a slushy road is not cost effective if the forecast is for sunny skies and a high temperature of 40 degrees.

“If we have it, let’s use it.” This mentality is a problem with oversized inventories of any material. It’s just human nature. If your client gave you their existing facility, remember that facility may have been sized to service more road network than you now have. Resist the urge to fill it up.

What is your real “worst case” winter scenario? Re-examine the assumptions used to calculate your annual usage. Is it a case of “that’s how we have always done it”? How much salt is left every year to sit all summer long? If it’s more than 1/3rd of your annual usage, you are probably buying too much. That’s a lot of money sitting there in a pile all summer.

While these ideas may sound counterintuitive to some readers, remember that we are managing the road, our crews and our materials and should be looking for efficiencies and improvements wherever they may exist. Because a lot of money goes into snow & ice control, it’s a good place to look for improvements. If you are satisfied with your current results and expenditures, then keep doing it. Our Asset Management philosophy at Pillar tells us to keep looking for improvements. We think there are methods and techniques to reduce or delay capital expenditures without affecting performance.

Pillar, Inc.’s staff has been involved with highway maintenance and incident response on many different projects with 40+ years of combined experience. We can help write an O&M plan including Snow and Ice

Control procedures for your next project. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

Dan Dennis, PE | Senior Project Manager / P3
Dan@Pillarens.com
8042401179
PILLAR, Inc. 

To download a PDF version of PillarTalk 2015 please click here.

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Geotechnical Subsurface Investigations

In my years of being involved in the civil engineering realm, several entities, both private and public, have undervalued the information revealed and achieved from a geotechnical or subsurface investigation program.

It has been my experience that the most challenging aspects of any construction project is getting structural foundation elements out of the ground or providing a stable subgrade for various types of roadway pavements, as just a few examples.

A geotechnical investigation looks at the site subsurface for various things such as:

  • Depth to rock, rock type
  • Soil types and depths, their consistency (cohesive soil: clays) and/or relative density (cohesionless soils: sands)
  • Water features and depths, depth to water table, seasonal estimations of water table fluctuations, capillary rise

Industry accepted techniques have been established such as Standard Penetration Tests which can be correlated to soil properties such as cohesion, angles of internal friction, and rock strengths. These values are consistently used for design of foundation systems, retaining wall systems, and slope stability analyses. Additionally, further testing of obtained samples of soil or rock can be catered to mimic in-situ conditions at the site to provide better analysis of the soil-structure interaction.

The most basic subsurface investigation can provide information for designers when performed by experienced geotechnical firms. Because of their experience local to areas where they perform their work, significant history and background of the soil and rock types has been obtained through the years.

The types of information and recommendations which can be presented are as follows:

  1. Allowable bearing pressures – used to design foundation sizes utilizing an allowable load transfer to the soil or rock at the bearing elevation.
  2. Feasibility of reusing cut material as fill and to what standard it should be compacted in a controlled fill scenario.
  3. Moisture conditions to be considered before, during, and after construction which can be useful in deciding long-term maintenance needs.
  4. Evaluation of an existing soil surface for stability characteristics prior to placement of fill material. This is especially important in deep fill scenarios.
  5. Anticipated depths at which rock will be encountered – which we know can be a costly endeavor if unforeseen.

Finally, it should also be noted that borings only provide information relative to where they are drilled. Significant changes in strata borings are always a distinct possibility as the nature of soil and rock in some areas can change drastically. However, information gained coupled with a geotechnical engineer’s experience can often mitigate these concerns substantially, or at least disclose the potential scenarios.

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Importance of Roadway Operations and Maintenance

In our world today we have an incredible amount of freedom to move about wherever and whenever we want. We just hop in the car, spend some time on the road and voila. We go to work, visit friends and family, or just go out for ice cream.

But sometimes we find ourselves asking, “Why is this lane closed? I’m in a hurry,” and assume there must have been an accident to cause this inconvenience. “It must be a bad one, traffic is terrible. I hope no one was injured.” Then when you find out there is no accident but a crew diligently working on the road you think, “What? Why are they doing this now? Couldn’t it wait till a time when I’m not trying to get through?” Unfortunately, if we waited until a time that was convenient for everyone there would never be time for maintenance, and maintenance needs to be done.

Our roadway infrastructure ranges from brand new to 100+ years in age. Even roads that are brand new still need maintenance. There are numerous reports that talk about the condition of the nation’s infrastructure and how bad it is. The majority of the nation’s interstates were built 50 and 60 years ago with some structures approaching the end of their designed lifespan. To make things more challenging for DOTs they have to make decisions with tighter budgets.

Road maintenance (Asset Management) is similar to home maintenance in the fact that there are variables that guide your decisions. Let’s use the roof on your home as an example of different aspects of maintenance to consider.

Condition: knowing the condition of the roof is a critical part of the decision making process. If the majority of the roof is in good shape but you are missing a few shingles you may just want to repair the shingles. Maybe the wind is steady against the front of your house but not the back. You might need to replace the front half every 5 years and the whole thing every 10. When enough shingles have blown off, they are deteriorated, or they are reaching the end of their lifecycle, then it may need to be replaced. If you installed 20 year shingles and it’s been 19 years you might want to consider replacement.

Budget: replacing a roof is an expensive endeavor and you want to make sure you have the money to cover the cost or the roofer might not show up. Knowing the condition helps tremendously with budgeting. Environmental factors: you don’t want to expose the roof to rain or snow. That’s what it’s supposed to keep out, right? You might skip scheduling it in April (April showers) and wait till July or August to make repairs.

Material requirements: the ideal temperature for asphalt shingle installation is between 70 and 80 degrees. Any colder than 70 and they may not seal correctly.

Resources: you’ll inevitably need some resources to help. Probably a ladder or some type of lift, extra manpower, a truck to get your materials to the house, etc.

Safety: if you install your own shingles you’ll want to make sure your ladder is safe, that you always use a three point stance when climbing up and down, and that you have a harness among other things. Or you can hire a professional and let them worry about it. So like the homeowner, budgets, asset conditions, environmental factors (weather/seasonal), material requirements, resources, and safety all have an effect on the decision making process of Transportation Asset Management.

The Asset Manager has to also consider items the homeowner does not: the scale (number of assets and locations) and contending with traffic. Asset locations: the homeowner’s asset is in one location, where the maintenance manager has tens of thousands of assets of different types scattered over hundreds of miles. In this situation, the asset location becomes important to help direct work and eliminate wasted efforts.

But wait a minute! That’s great you are considering all these different factors, but why are you in my way? The homeowner doesn’t have to contend with Traffic. With scheduled work, some maintenance work can be completed at night when traffic volumes are low. But even low traffic volumes have increased risk factors such as an increase in the number of drunk and tired drivers. Some work is just better accomplished during the day. You have more light to see and temperatures are usually more conducive for the workers and materials used.

Either way, the maintenance worker has to keep one eye on traffic and one eye on the job. They work just feet away from 2 ton hunks of steel traveling at 70 miles per hour. Traffic engineers do everything they can to keep workers safe. They design special boxes to go on big trucks that absorb the blow of a misdirected vehicle called crash attenuators; and they require workers to install signs, cones, barrels, messages signs that give the traveling public as much advanced warning as possible. The public can also call 511 for traffic information, check the 511 app, or use third party apps such as Google Maps and Waze all to see how traffic is flowing.

We refer to juggling all these different variables as Transportation Asset Management. This is all done to keep the infrastructure in the best shape possible for as long as possible, to keep the workers and traveling public safe, and make sure travelers can get from point A to point B with as little interruption as possible while staying within budgets. So the next time you run across a work zone hopefully you’ll have a better appreciation for the amount of work and planning that has gone into that work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpzvaqypav8

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/falling-apart-america-neglected-infrastructure/

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Why Land Surveyors Are On Your Property

“Hey, you there!” “Can I ask what you are doing on my property?!”

Every Land Surveyor at some point in his or her career has heard this very question.

Trespassing as defined by Meriam Webster’s Dictionary is “an unlawful act committed on the person, property, or rights of another, one of these unlawful acts is the wrongful entry on real property prior to or without acquiring permission either verbal or written”. As to the Law of Trespassing in Virginia, it is said to “exist for the sole purpose of protecting rights of owners (or people with lawful control) of property both real and personal”.

For now the Commonwealth of Virginia doesn’t have provisions in the state code that allows land surveyors to enter upon lands that adjoin the property that is the subject of the survey. We simply have to rely upon the willingness on the community to understand and allow us to trespass without the fear of criminal charges. But it doesn’t stop at just criminal charges; upon entering a piece of adjoining land to look for monuments that would allow us to re-establish a missing common corner, we also have to consider civil charges for any possible damage that may occur to the property while we are on it. Trampled landscape, a divot cut in the sod of a well-manicured lawn to expose a property corner, a snipped limb from a tree to improve line of site or an accidentally cut signal line for an underground dog fence. The list is endless and each item of this endless list could be a possible civil charge that could result in serious monetary fines.

Even with verbal or written permission to enter upon land we are not exempt from the possibilities of civil charges for action taken upon these lands that are perceived as damaging.

The biggest misconceptions about preparing a survey is that we only have to survey our client’s land. This isn’t the case. In addition to documenting our client’s boundary lines, title lines, and possession lines we also have to document how these lines interact with the boundary lines, title lines, and possession lines of the adjoining properties. After all that’s what a survey is, a detailed document that reflects how each piece of property interacts with each other and the physical improvements placed upon those lands. And in order to truly paint that accurate picture, well we might need to take a few more than one or two steps over the preverbal line. The vast majority of the time we i.e. land surveyors make every effort to talk with adjoining property owners. It’s this initial contact that would hopefully provide them with the information they seek regarding the reason why we are there in the first place. If this is the case then voila we now have permission to enter upon lands that are not the direct subject of our project. But every once in a while you come upon the situation were the owners are not home, out of town, or simply just not interested in hearing what you have to say. Such is the rights of property ownership and great consideration needs to be taken in regards to those rights.

From my experiences over the past decade and a half as a surveyor I have come to the conclusion that if you have permission to be on the property or you are holding to that old saying “forgiveness later instead of permission now” then treat it as if you do not, really consider what actions you take upon that property. If you cut a divot in someone’s manicured lawn make it as small and neat as possible; if you have to cross a fence either look for a gate or gently cross at a post. Because in the end it’s an all new ball game when that “sweat little ole lady” you just talked to (who just came home from a losing day at bingo) finds out you trimmed her prize winning rose bush back a little too far.

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3 Roadway Drainage Maintenance Tips

Rain, and more specifically drainage maintenance, is key to well managed roadways. After the structures and pavement, drainage is the third most important asset making up a roadway system.

Drainage consists of everything from main storm drain trunk lines to ditches and all the way down to pavement under-drains. Preventive and proactive maintenance is critical to keep your roadway functioning for the long term. We will address some broad maintenance issues and strategies in this issue of Pillar Talk.

The storm drain system is designed to quickly drain the pavement surface and channel the water away from the roadway into the BMP (Best Management Practiceusually some type of basin or pond) and ultimately to a nearby creek or river. Basic maintenance is simple: keep large debris from clogging the inlets to preclude flooding events, and prevent or clean the small debris to prevent reducing the system capacity over time. Some strategies to maintain your drainage system include:

1. Debris Removal: While removing debris regularly may be called an “aesthetics” issue, in actuality this task is very important for drainage maintenance. More often than not, a broken Styrofoam cooler, old life vest, or even a large cardboard box will wash down the curb or barrier wall and cover the inlet grate/throat or even make its way down into the inlet and clog the drain lateral. This is easily remedied with routine debris removal operations. Be especially vigilant if your roadway is a tourist route leading to recreational water-sports areas.

2. Sweeping: Routine mechanical or vacuum sweeping will prevent accumulations of sand and sediment in the pipes. Theoretically, storm drains
are designed to be “self-cleaning,” however this only means the sediment makes its way into your BMP or nearby creek, necessitating costly cleanup at some later date. However, if the system has small debris wedged in the pipe or poor joints due to settlement or poor construction, the sediment will deposit in the pipe and cause a flooding condition. Routine sweeping will prevent these issues.

3. Drain Flushing/Vacuuming: If debris removal and sweeping are not performed, the only way to remove debris and compacted sediments is by manual drain cleaning or Vac-Truck flushing. This is an expensive way to remedy a flooded roadway. Typically this work is done on a reactive basis, once the roadway has flooded. Traffic control will likely consist of a shoulder or lane closure installed in an emergency situation at night, in a rainstorm, with traffic trying to pass at high speed with hydroplaning occurring.

As part of your Operations and Maintenance Team, we can provide a preventive maintenance plan to maintain your drainage assets in line with your contract Performance Requirements.