San Diego Unveils Data-Driven Pavement Plan

The City of San Diego recently released a  five-year Pavement Management Plan which used data to identify specific streets and roads which should be prioritized for funding. The data was gathered by lasers and other tools to measure pavement surface distress, such as cracks and potholes. The City maintains more than 10,600 kilometers of roadway, the second largest street network in California.

“This crucial data gives us what we need to make informed strategic investments in our roads and the long-term plan on how to do that,” said Todd Gloria, Mayor of San Diego. “What the Pavement Management Plan reveals is the need for major funding to reverse decades of neglect that allowed our street network to fall into serious disrepair. That’s the work that lies ahead.”

Mayor Gloria dedicated a record $140 million investment in the FY24 budget to repair City streets by focusing on repairing San Diego’s high-volume roadways. 

The Pavement Condition Index (PCI) measures the pavement health of a road, and uses a scale of 0 to 100 (where 100 means a newly paved road) – with an industry average standard of 70. Many factors are taken into account, including: pavement age; climate and precipitation; traffic loads; and available maintenance funding. In 2016 the San Diego roads scored 71 points, and currently have a “fair” category with a score of 63. 

“Having this condition assessment data is crucial for our operations so that our team can be more strategic and cost-effective in allocating limited resources for road repair and maintenance,” said Bethany Bezak, Transportation Department Director. “What the [plan] shows is that significant investment is needed over the long term in order to prevent further deterioration of our roads and to bring San Diego’s PCI score closer to the industry standard where our residents expect us to be as the 8th largest city in the United States.”

The plan is incorporated into StreetsSD, the city’s interactive webpage that allows residents to see ongoing and future paving projects in their neighborhoods.