City officials say they seek to get the biggest bang for the taxpayers’ buck when it comes to road repairs.
Figuring out which roads, intersections and corners need the most work, they say, takes a methodical approach.
Rock Hill recently updated its road maintenance initiative map, which marks its roads based on their level of service and condition. Roads marked in green are generally considered in good shape, yellow roads need some maintenance, while red roads typically are in need of major upgrades.
Currently, less than 10 percent of Rock Hill roads are considered “red,” around 39 percent are deemed “yellow,” and more than half are “green.”
Never miss a local story.
“The goal is to turn the map green and yellow,” said deputy city manager Jimmy Bagley. “We propose to spend serious money on the reds, but instead of ignoring the yellow, we do patching on those in order to extend the life another 7-8 years. It’s buying time to come back and do more repair.”
Street condition ratings are calculated using a Pavement Condition Index (PCI), which rates the condition of a road network’s surface. The rating of 0 is the worst possible condition, while 100 is the best.
The interactive map below was created by City of Rock Hill Geographic Information Systems (GIS). To use it, type an address into the bar in the upper-right hand corner and select from the options that appear below, or click the magnifying glass to search.
The roads are given “red,” “yellow,” and “green” designations, depending on the street’s condition rating determined by Rock Hill officials. Depending on the rating, certain Rock Hill roads could be scheduled for routine maintenance, patching and overlay, or reconstruction.
Green roads are rated between 85-100, yellows are rated between 70-84, and reds are rated between 0-69. The map currently shows roads that are on the paving schedule for 2017 as green.
According to Transportation Project Manager Ivan McCorkle, PCI measures two conditions: the type, extent and severity of pavement surface distressses, and the smoothness and ride comfort of the road.
PCI is subjective, based on inspection and observation, but it’s calculated by knowledgeable and experienced city officials who drive the roads every day, McCorkle said.
Using PCI, he says, can help the city identify maintenance and rehabilitation needs, monitor the condition over time, and help develop road maintenance budgets.
City staff has proposed a significant bump in road maintenance in the next two years, according to deputy city manager Jimmy Bagley.
$860,000 Rock Hill’s budgeted paving fund has risen from $300,000 to $860,000 in the past six years.
The budgeted general funding for paving has risen from $300,000 in FY2011 to $860,000 in FY2016. The proposed hike would push those numbers to $1.16 million in FY2017 and $1.385 million for FY2018.
Since 2015, the city has been able to lower the number of “red” and “yellow” roads while increasing the number of “green” roads by three percent. Most of that progress comes from patching and overlay work.
“Certainly, the additional funding made that happen,” said Bagley. “Unfortunately, the cost of asphalt has risen. But at least, when you put more resources toward that, it’s gotten us into the single digits.”
The city now operates two pothole trucks, according to Bagley. One truck is dedicated to fixing potholes, while the other works on utility repairs.
51.1 percent Since 2015, the percentage of Rock Hill’s “green” roads have increased from 47.8 percent to 51.1 percent
When people call in pothole or utility problems, that becomes “priority No. 1,” Bagley said.
For the larger projects, Rock Hill transportation officials can use the map.
Currently, 17 roads are expected to see major resurfacing or patching this year, including Forest Glen Drive, Whaley Court, Bristol Parkway. Thirteen of those roads will be rehabilitated using general fund money, while the other four will be paid through state money administered by York County.
Bagley said it was important to place focus on what helped for the majority of Rock Hill’s roads. That could mean patching 10 miles worth of “yellow” roads, rather than completely renovating one mile of “red” roads.
“For the red,” he said, “That red will still be red next year. But we want to be keeping the yellow from going into that red category.”
9.8 percent Since 2015, the percentage of Rock Hill’s “red” roads have dropped from 12.27 percent to 9.8 percent.