By Ken Striplin
Santa Clarita City Manager
The City of Santa Clarita’s annual Road Rehab project does more than just repave roads — it also works to stabilize our critical infrastructure and address issues before they develop into more serious problems.
Each year, the Road Rehab project identifies residential and arterial roads in need of attention and addresses potholes, cracks, crumbling and more, resulting in a smoother drive that also extends the life of our roadways.
Road Rehab uses a data-driven approach to select roads for targeted overlay or slurry seal treatment, which rehabilitates and maintains streets in Santa Clarita.
In 2021, the project addressed 76 lane miles of pavement — equivalent to nearly 6.8 million square feet — on four arterial streets and in six residential areas throughout the City. To be selected for inclusion, streets are prioritized based on their average daily traffic number and Pavement Condition Index (PCI), which is an industry-standard that accounts for cracking, potholes and other problems.
Roads are then grouped with those in their geographic area so that sections of the City can be treated at the same time, which creates efficiency and minimizes project costs. Thanks to a mixture of overlay and slurry seal work last year, the City improved its overall PCI from 70 to 71, which also represents a five-point increase in pavement condition since 2019.
One arterial road that was rehabilitated in 2021 — Railroad Avenue between Magic Mountain Parkway and 15th Street — utilized a Cold In-place Recycling (CIR) process. Rather than trucking in all-new asphalt for the road, CIR grinds up the existing pavement and recycles it. By using this process, the City was able to eliminate the need to create nearly 25,000 tons of new asphalt, as well as the nearly 4,800 truck trips to and from the construction site by the construction crew.
As a result, the Railroad Avenue portion of the Road Rehab project reduced greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 70% and lowered costs by approximately $2 million, compared to original projections for this area.
Road Rehab will return this summer with overlay and slurry seal treatment on residential and arterial roads based on priority score and projected maintenance needs over a five-year period. The annual budget allocates 45% of Road Rehab funds to arterials, 45% to residential areas and 10% to performing preventative maintenance to help the City avoid costly repairs in the future. The list of streets selected for the program this year will be available once it is finalized.
To learn more about the Road Rehab program and see updates for 2022, please visit the City’s website at santa-clarita.com/RoadRehab.
Ken Striplin can be reached at [email protected] The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.