Lexington using hi-tech truck to identify road problems

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Mayor Jim Gray and officials from the Department of Environmental Quality & Public Works announced a new technology-based road assessment today, one that will use lasers and cameras to scan the road for various signs of wear.

It reportedly came in the form of a Ford Expedition, with flashing orange lights and cameras pointed in various directions.  Based on an evaluation method developed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Mayor Gray says “This project is just another example of the city using technology to make informed decisions and show citizens their tax dollars at work.”

The city says it contracted with Applied Research Associates, Inc. for the project. They say a technician will be inside the vehicle, monitoring data, and the company will rate each block or street on how degraded the road is.  Officials state that it utilizes lasers that can detect changes in the road surface up to the thickness of a piece of paper.

Prior to this project, the city says pavement assessments in Lexington were done on foot, with city employees walking and personally assessing the road condition. They say this method proved to be slow and dangerous.

“Data collected by the digital survey vehicle will help Council Members determine paving priorities and identify roads where short-term repairs can be made.” Mayor Gray said, adding “Maintaining basic infrastructure like roads is a key responsibility of local government.”

Officials say the digital survey vehicle will be moving at normal traffic speeds, and will be in Lexington for several weeks, covering 40-50 miles each day. All lasers are located on the bumpers and faced downward, so equipment will not affect other motorists.

The city assures that no private data will be collected.

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