The finished product is a combination of a PASS CR scrub seal, which acts as a stress-absorbing membrane, and a micro-surface placed on top. Photo: Santa Barbara County Public Works, Transportation Division
PASS CR is being applied and scrubbed into the road surface with a scrub broom that is specifically designed for this process. Photo: Santa Barbara County Public Works, Transportation Division

Once the plan was properly communicated, public involvement and awareness of local infrastructure issues increased, says Scott McGolpin, deputy public works director for the county. “Every spring, our staff would gather input by conducting public workshops, processing road repair requests from constituents, and taking input from our superintendents and our board of supervisors. Along with our pavement inspections, this information gave us a well-rounded picture so we could carry out the necessary administration in order to be ready to issue contracts when our fiscal year began.”

With accountability comes confidence, and elected officials and their constituents responded favorably. “Our commitment is to continually make the RdMAP a multistakeholder plan that tells our board of supervisors and the community exactly what we are going to do each year,” says McGolpin. “Since its inception, we have won our board's confidence and the support of the community for this process.”

Another important lesson learned was the need to think “out of the box,” bringing new maintenance strategies to the table due to dwindling funding sources. For preserving its best roads first, this meant exploring a variety of sealers and rejuvenators.

“We realized emulsions technology has progressed to where we could confidently use surface treatments to indefinitely preserve the life of our highest PCI roadways,” says Kevin Donnelly, project manager for the county's transportation division. “Lower costs and lower lifecycle costs satisfy our constituents, help us stretch our limited dollars over more roadways, and meet the budget.”

— Vandermost is a professional writer in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.