Topeka’s Pavement Condition Index (PCI)
An independent assessment of Topeka’s street network in 2022 gave us an average grade (Pavement Condition Index or PCI) of 64 on a scale of 100. The average PCI score in the 2019 assessment was 65 and the 2016 assessment provided an average PCI score of 54. The interactive map and glossary below will help readers understand the grade of individual streets and our network as a whole.
For more explanation about what different PCIs mean, see the glossary of terms below the map.
The City has to make strategic choices on how to maintain its variety of assets that in total cost more than repair and/or replace than what the City receives in revenue. Below are the major assets in the City that the public works department maintains as of the most recent PCI report for each asset type:
- Bridges (2019): 102
- Center Line Miles (2022): 703.6
- Miles of Paved Alleys (2022): 45.24
- Miles of Curb and Gutter (2019): 918
- Signalized Intersections (2022): 186
- Miles of Sidewalks (2019): 655
The City of Topeka has four main funding sources that it can use in order to improve and/or maintain the conditions of the road network. Listed below are the funding sources, their projected 2024 amounts, and stipulations:
- Citywide Half-Cent Sales Tax (estimated annual revenue of $17,000,000): To be used exclusively for costs of maintenance and improvements of existing City streets, gutters, curbs, sidewalks, alleys and street lighting. The citywide half-cent sales tax was renewed, and took effect on October 1, 2019 and set to expire on October 1, 2029.
- Countywide Half-Cent Sales Tax (estimated annual revenue of $7,000,000): Funded through the half-cent countywide retailers sales tax established by the inter-local agreement and is to be used for economic development. Can only be used for designated projects that are listed on the following link: https://www.jedoecodevo.com/Documents/JEDOInterlocalAgreementbetweenSNCOandCOT-2017salestax.pdf
- Federal Funds Exchange (estimated annual revenue of $1,500,000): Voluntary program that allows local agencies to trade all or part of its federal fund allocation in a specific federal fiscal year with the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) in exchange for state transportation dollars. Typically, this fund is earmarked for bridge and major street projects.
- General Obligation Bonds (Amount Varies): Used to construct areas that are not designated under the half-cent guidelines; typically for assets that currently do not exists within the transportation network. The governing body typically bonds $9,000,000 per year where a variety of departments vie for those the pool of dollars such as police, fire, public works, community engagement, etc.
For fiscal year 2023, the City is investing the following approximate amounts for construction in each asset type:
- Bridges: $300,000
- Signals: $885,000
- Sidewalks: $1,000,000
- Streets: $22,778,929
- Curb and Gutter: $1,250,000
- Alleys: $500,000
PCI Explanation and Current PCI Statistics
Below is an explanation of what a road’s PCI means for the work needed to fix it. Additionally, the lower the PCI score, the higher the potential for deferred maintenance/stop gap measures. Streets and alleys are done every three years while sidewalks, curb and gutter, and bridges are done every six years.
- 0-54 – Failed to Poor Condition
- Most effective investment: Complete reconstruction
- Some pavements may be suitable for rehabilitation (mill & overlay), but will require significant amount of full-depth patching
- 55-69 – Fair Condition
- Most effective investments: Major to minor rehabilitation such as mill and overlay with full depth patching where applicable
- 70-100 – Satisfactory to Good Condition
- Most effective investment: Regular preventative maintenance to keep the road in a good condition such as crack sealing with micro-surfacing
Interactive map: https://maps.topeka.org/PublicWorks/StreetManagement
- PCI Range 86-100: 148.3 center line miles or 23% of network
- PCI Range 71-85: 214.1 center line miles or 32% of network
- PCI Range 56-70: 117.3 center line miles or 18% of network
- PCI Range 41-55: 133.6 center line miles or 18% of network
- PCI Range 0-40: 62.2 center line miles or 9% of network
- PCI Range 86-100: 9.06 miles or 22% of network
- PCI Range 71-85: 6.94 miles or 16% of network
- PCI Range 56-70: 7.25 miles or 17% of network
- PCI Range 41-55: 7.38 miles or 18% of network
- PCI Range 0-40: 11.32 miles or 27% of network
- PCI Range 86-100: 69.12 miles or 11% of network
- PCI Range 71-85: 314.69 miles or 48% of network
- PCI Range 56-70: 229.26 miles or 35% of network
- PCI Range 41-55: 33.64 miles or 15 of network
- PCI Range 0-40: 8.84 miles or 1% of network
- PCI Range 86-100: 83 miles or 27.0% of network
- PCI Range 71-85: 42 miles or 59.76% of network
- PCI Range 56-70: 29 miles or 10.27% of network
- PCI Range 41-55: 5 miles or 2.78% of network
- PCI Range 0-40: 68 miles or .18% of network
- PCI Range 86-100: 49 bridges
- PCI Range 71-85: 45 bridges
- PCI Range 56-70: 7 bridges
- PCI Range 41-55: 1 bridge
- Arterials: Streets that carry the greatest volume of traffic; their primary purpose is supporting through-traffic. Examples: Wanamaker Road, Adams Street and 29th Street.
- Collectors: Streets that connect local streets to arterial streets; these streets carry a higher volume of traffic than local streets. Examples: SW MacVicar, River Road and SE 25th Street.
- Local Streets: Neighborhood and other streets that carry low volumes of traffic; their primary purpose is to provide access to adjoining properties.
- Preventative Maintenance: Application of crack seals, thin non-structural surface overlays and other treatments used to maintain and extend the service life of pavement. Even newly constructed streets will require preventative maintenance after two to three years.
- Rehabilitation: Application of structural pavement overlays, full-depth patching and other treatments to repair and extend the service life of pavement.
- Reconstruction: Replacement of existing pavement with new pavement and base material on streets that renews the service life of pavement.
- Pavement Condition Index (PCI): Rating scale that measures the condition of pavements through systematic measurement of surface distresses, like cracking, rutting, joint failure, roughness, oxidation and other factors. The PCI scale ranges from 0 -100 and is an indicator of the maintenance strategy needed. The PCI is grouped into seven categories correspond to most cost effective maintenance strategies:
- Good (PCI 85-100): Pavement has minor or no distresses and requires only routine preventative maintenance.
- Satisfactory (PCI 70-84): Pavement has scattered, low-severity distresses that need only routine preventative maintenance.
- Fair (PCI 55-69): Pavement has a combination of generally low-and medium-severity distresses. Maintenance needs are minor to major rehabilitation.
- Poor (PCI 40-54): Pavement has low-, medium- and high-severity distresses. Near-term maintenance and repair needs may range from rehabilitation up to reconstruction.
- Very poor (PCI 25-39): Pavement has predominantly medium- and high-severity distresses that requires considerable maintenance. Near-term maintenance and repair needs will be intensive in nature, requiring major rehabilitation and reconstruction.
- Serious (PCI 11-24): Pavement has mainly high-severity distresses that result in frequent potholes. Near-term maintenance and repair needs will be intensive in nature, requiring major rehabilitation and reconstruction.
- Failed (PCI 0-10): Pavement deterioration and distresses are extensive. Pavement has progressed to the point that complete reconstruction is only applicable maintenance strategy. Note: This does not mean the road is unsafe for travel.Pavement Condition Index (PCI): Rating scale that measures the condition of pavements through systematic measurement of surface distresses, like cracking, rutting, joint failure, roughness, oxidation and other factors. The PCI scale ranges from 0 -100 and is an indicator of the maintenance strategy needed. The PCI is grouped into seven categories correspond to most cost effective maintenance strategies: