Topeka's Pavement Condition Index (PCI)
An independent assessment of Topeka’s street network in early fall of 2016 gave us an average grade (Pavement Condition Index or PCI) of 55 on a scale of 100. Topeka’s grade means our roads are right on the border between fair and poor – and we have some decisions to make. The interactive map and glossary below will help you 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.
For the last 10 years, we have invested an average of $14 million each year to improve existing streets. To keep our PCI of 55, we would need to invest $19 million each year for the next 10 years. Comments from the public indicate our current street conditions aren’t acceptable, so we need to determine what grade we want to reach.
Either way, we’re going to have to start investing more money into maintaining, rehabilitating and reconstructing existing streets. For example, to increase our grade to 65, we would need to invest $31 million each year for the next 10 years. To get to 80, the annual investment jumps to $51 million.
The Topeka Governing Body at its April 4, 2017, meeting made one of its budget priorities reaching a street grade (PCI) of at least 60, with a goal of 70. That would require annual expenses of $24.4 million and $38.3 million, respectively. We currently are working through the budget process to determine how to accomplish that goal.
We presented the following table to the Governing Body during the Feb. 7, 2017, meeting. It details the different funding levels, and corresponding backlogs, to achieve different goals for our street conditions.
|PCI Goal||Annual Cost||Current Funding Gap||Backlog as of 2017||Backlog 2027|
For more information about the best investments for each PCI, see “PCI and Corresponding Maintenance Strategies” below the map.
Additional information, including a glossary of terms and pavement management strategies, is below the map.
By The Numbers
|Street Type||Average PCI||Percentage of Street Network|
PCI & Corresponding Maintenance Strategies
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. Stop gap work does not result in an improved pavement condition. It only addresses high severity potholes or other significant pavement failures.
0-54: Poor condition pavements
- Most effective investment: Complete reconstruction
- Some pavements may be suitable for rehabilitation (mill & overlay), but will require significant amount of full-depth patching
55-70: Fair condition pavements
- Most effective investments: Major to minor rehabilitation
70-100: Good condition
- Most effective investment: Regular preventative maintenance to keep the road in a good condition.
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.