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Van examines every street in Pocatello

Starting this week, an Infrastructure Management Systems van is patrolling Pocatello’s streets collecting data to help decision-making with future street projects. This is through a partnership with the city’s streets operations department.

The van will be driving up and down every single street in the city. As it rides along, a laser ray on the front will measure the road’s condition. With the laser, it can detect any surface deviation, like cracks or grooves.

When the data is collected, the city will install it into a pavement management system.

“This system – it will allow us to run certain models based upon the conditions of the road,” said Tom Kirkman, streets operations superintendent. “The results of those models will allows us to make better decisions.”

Better decisions to help the city save more money on future road projects.

“We have an array of different treatment options that we can put on roads and it all just depends on the condition of the road. If we have a better understanding of what the condition of the road is, we can put the proper treatment on that road,” said Kirkman.

Those savings translate to the taxpayers, which Kirkman said is always a goal for any public works department in the city.

“We’re always trying to target more efficient ways to do what we do,” he said. “It’s a benefit for everyone in the community and it’s a benefit to the traveling public in general.”

The van will also be analyzing crosswalks, signs and pavement marking with GPS technology. It will map them out spatially.

There will be no lane closures during data collection, but traffic will be slowed in collection areas. The van will be collecting data for two weeks.

The streets operations department will be updating their Facebook with the van’s location daily.

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