Sonoma County’s Public Work’s department is responsible for maintaining 1,387 miles of the County’s 1,857 roads, a network of blacktop which is regularly traveled by hundreds of thousands of San Francisco Bay Area residents and visitors. To track and manage the condition of its road network the County uses StreetSaver 8.0, a Pavement Management System (PMS) application developed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Bay Area’s regional transportation planning and financing agency, located in Oakland.
County engineers use StreetSaver and a Microsoft SQL Server database to store and analyze the condition of the County road network and to define and adjust maintenance treatments and costs. Engineering technicians enter information about specific stretches of roads into a StreetSaver form, allowing the software to calculate important measures of the street’s pavement condition. These calculations are used to assess the quality of the County’s streets and to allocate pavement maintenance budgets.
While StreetSaver is a powerful pavement management tool, its output is limited to forms and tabular reports. County Engineers recognized that presenting the results of their analyses on maps would be a much better way to visualize results, allowing both managers and technicians to see where maintenance efficiencies might be gained. Unfortunately, Streetsaver and the County’s ESRI Geographic Information System (GIS) were not linked and contained different types of data. To display road condition information, County managers printed out hard copy maps from the GIS and then manually highlighted problem areas that were identified based upon Streetsaver database printouts.
Both MTC and the County realized that linking and dynamically integrating the GIS and StreetSaver would be necessary to create maps that could show both detailed street maps and pavement condition and maintenance information.
Farallon Geographics installed ESRI’s ArcSDE with a Microsoft SQL server database. Through data modeling and testing, dynamic views were created that allowed the information in the GIS to be shared with the Streetsaver database. Tools in ESRI’s ArcGIS were used to develop dynamic segmentation procedures to render Streetsaver information to the GIS. The segmentation of the streets into paving sections is done dynamically using the Streetsaver database post mile data at the time the user requests the information so that the two datasets never get out of sync.
Dynamic segmentation also means that edits can be made to the Streetsaver data directly from the GIS by clicking on a segment and changing its criteria. This allows pavement managers to immediately see the results of these data changes on a map. Using Farallon’s integrated GIS and PMS, County staff could quickly map Streetsaver information into the GIS and perform spatial analysis, allowing them to quickly create maps showing the extent of distressed streets.
“We already had spent the time and research to develop a route-based system,” said Tom Nguyen, Senior Engineering Program Analyst with Sonoma County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works. “Public Works staff could now use Farallon’s GIS-PMS to quickly create and present maps showing the extent of distressed pavement, and the location and number of lanes and average daily traffic volume throughout the County.”
“We immediately recognized the usefulness of the maps. Because they were interactive, we can use them to show funding agencies our street maintenance responsibility,” said Mark Wein, Civil Engineer with Sonoma County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works.
“The Sonoma County implementation’s goal was the improvement of workflow and their effort and foresight to create a route-based GIS has made the County a model to other cities and counties. Ultimately, the team effort resulted in a solid return on investment through the real-time visualization of interactive maps,” said Dennis Wuthrich, CEO of Farallon Geographics.