Pavement and Sidewalk Management Program
Since 2015, the City has utilized a data-driven pavement management program based on a number of factors to support objective decisions and develop cost-effective results. Pavement condition data and information regarding other City capital improvements is updated annually to adjust the City's multi-year plan for repaving roads. This page presents the updated paving and sidewalk improvement plan and provides information on the street selection process.
Preliminary Future Plan
Cedar St. Roadway Improvement Plan
Preliminary Future Plan
Preliminary Future Plan
Following the process outlined in the section below, pavement condition will be surveyed again starting in the fall of 2018, and the prioritization will be updated again to define next year’s plan. However, based on the current data, the table below presents the streets anticipated to be included in future years’ repaving contracts:
Future Repaving Plan
|College Ave||Broadway||Medford City line|
|College Ave||Elm St||Broadway|
|Holland St||Dover St||Broadway (E)|
|Highland Ave||Cherry St||Ellington Rd|
|Mount Vernon St||Pearl St||Washinton St|
|Washington St (E)||Webster Ave||Line St|
|Webster Ave||Prospect St||Cambridge City line|
|Pearl St||100' E Of Walnut St||Skilton Av|
|Pearl St||Crescent St||Franklin St|
|Pearl St||Cross St||100' E Of Walnut St|
|Pearl St||Franklin St||Cross St|
|Washington St (W)||Boston City line||100' E Of Joy St|
|Broadway||College Ave||Josephine St|
|Broadway||Wallace St||College Ave|
|Broadway||Westminster St||Wallace St|
|Newton St||Webster Ave||Marion St|
|Cameron Ave||Holland St||Cambridge City line|
|Langmaid Ave||Broadway (W)||Heath St|
|North St||Broadway (E)||Medford City line|
|Summer St||120' E Of Belmont St||120' E Of Cedar St|
|Summer St||120' E Of Cedar St||Willow Ave|
Pavement Management Plan Roadway Prioritization
The Engineering Department, with the aid of an outside consultant, maintains a database that defines several characteristics for every City-owned street. Three factors that strongly influence the prioritization of roads for repaving are: “Functional Classification,” which ranks roadways from major arterial ways to residential side streets; “Average Daily Traffic,” and “Pavement Condition Index,” which describes the physical condition of the pavement. The City reassesses those factors on an annual basis, including conducting field surveys to update Pavement Condition. Those factors are then used in a formula to prioritize roads for inclusion in the annual improvement contracts.
The formula assigns the highest weight to Functional Class as it has been the City’s policy to prioritize main roads that receive the most use by the greatest number of travelers. Figure 1 provides the functional classification for each street in the database. The factors used for Average Daily Traffic are also consistent with those used by the City for other transportation studies and are generally associated with the functional class categories. Pavement Condition Index is constantly degrading as roads experience wear over time. Consequently, the PCI is updated every year.
Only public rights-of-way are included in the database and are used for determining pavement priority. Private roads are not included in the database, and conditions are not assessed. Similarly, roads owned and controlled by Massachusetts DOT, including Alewife Brook Parkway, Mystic Avenue and McGrath Highway, are not included in the City’s Pavement Management Program.
Figure 1 - Functional Classification Map
2018 Data Update
Since the initial data was collected in 2014, the City’s consultant has conducted annual surveys to update the Pavement Condition Index (PCI). Our goal is to re-survey one-third of the City each year. Figure 2 provides the limits of the survey and when the survey occurred. Generally, the eastern side of Somerville was surveyed in the fall of 2016, and the western end of the city was surveyed in the fall of 2017. The central portions of Somerville last surveyed in 2015 will be surveyed again in the fall of 2018.
Figure 2 - Pavement Condition Index Survey Update
Based on this year’s survey, the average PCI in Somerville equals 58.8 on a scale of 0 to 100. This score is fairly typical of municipalities in Massachusetts. But like a grade of 59%, could be considered an F, which is also consistent with infrastructure grades throughout the country.
The PCI also informs the engineering decision on the best approach to repair the full-depth streets with very low scores will require full depth reconstruction or mill and pavement overlay. Streets with higher scores can be treated with crack sealing or pavement patching to extend their service life. Somerville has adopted the approach that it will simultaneously fund both types of projects so that degraded roads can be addressed at the same time pavement is cost-effectively managed to prevent slightly impacted roads from becoming worse. Figure 3 illustrates the inverse relationship between pavement aging and management cost.
Figure 3 - Age - Condition - Solution - Cost Relationship
Figure 4 illustrates the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) for each road in Somerville
Coordination with other Programs
Per Department of Public Works policy, once a road is resurfaced under the Pavement Management Program, that road remains on a moratorium for roadway opening for five years. Excavations in moratorium streets are discouraged, and when allowed require full pavement restoration a minimum of five feet on either side of any trenches with an overlay from curb-to-curb. Consistent with that policy for private services, and in the interest of intelligent management of City funds, areas targeted for other infrastructure improvements in the next five years are excluded from eligibility in the Pavement Management Program.
The Union Square Infrastructure Improvement Program identifies several improvements to the City’s combined sewer and drain system. The first project under that program, the Somerville Avenue Infrastructure and Streetscape Improvement Project, will begin construction in 2018. Two other projects, the Poplar Street Stormwater Pump Station Project and the Spring Hill Sewer Separation Project, will begin design in 2018. As that sewer-related capital investment program continues, several streets will be exempt from the Pavement Management Plan:
Roads in Sewer CIP for CY2018 to CY2022
|Somerville Ave||Bow St||Medford St|
|School St||Summer St||Highland Ave|
|School St||Somerville Ave||Summer St|
|Central St||Summer St||Highland Ave|
|Central St||Somerville Ave||Summer St|
|Highland Ave||School St||Central St|
|Highland Ave||Central St||Cedar St|
|Oxford St||School St||Central St|
|Berkeley St||School St||Central St|
|Avon St||School St||Central St|
|Summer St||School St||Central St|
|Summer St||Central St||Bow St|
|Gibbens St||Central St||Benton Rd|
|Cambria St||Central St||Benton Rd|
|Westwood St||Central St||Benton Rd|
|Bow St||Washington St||Church St|
|Vinal Ave||Summer St||Highland Ave|
|Putnam St||Summer St||Highland Ave|
|Elm St||Cherry St||Somerville Ave|
|Somerville Ave||Cambridge Line||Bow St|
|Poplar St||Joy St||McGrath Hiwy|
|Fitchburg St||Linwood St||Dead End|
|Linwood St||Fitchburg St||McGrath Hiwy|
The City’s Capital Investment Plan for improving the water distribution system was initiated in 2013 and identifies several water mains for renewal or replacement. High-priority locations have been addressed, and generally the pace of the program is dependent upon funding. In 2017, the two programs were coordinated, for example deferring pavement of Properzi Way until the water work was completed in 2017, and prioritizing water work in Pearl Street so pavement work can be completed shortly after 2018. There are no specific Water CIP-related exclusions to include for the 2018 Pavement Management Program analysis.
The City is currently developing a master plan for Central Hill including the High School, City Hall and the Central Library. Similarly, the City is working with developers to identify additional developments in the Assembly Square area. Those planning efforts could result in recommended streetscape changes to improve multi-modal transportation. Consequently, the following segments are excluded from the Pavement Management Plan analysis:
Roads Subject to Planning Studies
|Middlesex Ave||Mystic Ave||Fellsway|
|Highland Ave||School St||Medford St|
Following gas main construction in 2015 and 2016, National Grid completed permanent trench patches in Broadway between McGrath Highway and Central Street. Per City policy, the warranty period on those repairs is two years. To maintain the benefit of that warrantee and avoid patches in newly paved roadway should the National Grid trenches develop an issue, the following segments are exempt from the Pavement Management Program through 2019:
Trench Repairs Performed by National Grid in CY2017, Defer from 5-Year Plan
|Broadway (E)||Montgomery Ave||Mcgrath Hwy|
|Broadway (E)||Sargent Ave||Montgomery Ave|
|Broadway (E)||School St||Sargent Ave|
|Broadway (E)||Central St||School St|
|Broadway (W)||Mcgrath HWY||130' E OF MARSHALL ST|
The Pavement Management Plan will be reevaluated in the winter of 2018/2019 and an updated plan posted before the 2019 construction season begins.