Better Roads

October 2014

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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RoadScience 8 October 2014 Better Roads right treatment would lead to unaffordable capital improve- ments. This is counterproductive to road maintenance programs achieving ADA goals, and flies in the face of the pavement preservation language of our federal surface transportation legislation, MAP-21." Survey shows California impact That's borne out by a survey this spring of local govern- ments in California that shows the impact that the ADA guidance will have on local governments that now must recalibrate their pavement preservation programs to ac- commodate the cost of compliance, or change strategies completely. The survey was conducted in May by Ding Cheng, Ph.D., and Gary Hicks, Ph.D., of the California Pavement Preserva- tion (CP 2 ) Center at the California State University-Chico. Nearly 260 road professionals answered – of whom 62 percent were from local agencies, and 25 percent from state or federal agencies – and the survey found that more than 63 percent of respondents believe the new interpretation of what is considered alteration and what is considered maintenance will greatly impact their ability to maintain their roads. Preservation treatments like micro surfacing, cape seals, thin and ultrathin HMA, and in-place recycling now are considered by the new rules to be alterations that will require curb ramps and amenities. More than 90 percent of respondents said they currently use these treatments, but 54 percent said they'd no longer use them in the face of the new ADA interpretation. Would the new ADA interpretation lead to deferred projects? Some 65 percent of respondents said it would; 55 percent said it would increase the cost of roads by 20 to 40 percent, 34 percent by 40 to 60 percent, and 11 percent of respondents believe they will see 60 to 80 percent increases in their road costs. Nearly 70 percent of respondents said the new ADA guidance will cause them to shift away from treatments that have worked well in the past, and 75 percent said it would lead to deferred maintenance. "The new interpretation of what is considered as altera- tion and what is considered as maintenance will affect agencies' ability to maintain roads," Cheng and Hicks say. Local governments now must recalibrate their pavement preservation programs to accommodate the cost of compliance or change strategies completely. An ideal curb ramp that meets ADA requirements is shown. Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Justice

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