On October 22, 2019, the City held a public meeting to present findings from the work performed by Beta Engineering in reviewing the condition of Newburyport’s streets and sidewalks. As part of Beta’s analysis, a road surface rating (RSR) was assigned to each street in the City based on a 0-100 scale. The City’s composite RSR is 68.4. Beta presented a funding model to illustrate the estimated investment needed each year to improve the overall RSR score, which assumed that 10% of work would be completed on “Good” roads, 40% of work would be completed on “Fair” roads and 50% of work would be completed on “Poor” roads.
The next step in the Pavement Management Program is to work with the engineers to develop a methodological and cost effective approach to improving the City’s streets and sidewalks, taking into account roadway condition (good, fair, poor), roadway function, cost benefit value, cost of repairs, life of the improvement, sub-surface utilities, and sidewalks/curb. There will also be a focus on addressing the many small or local roads throughout the city that are in dire need of attention. While these roads serve a lower volume of traffic and may have a a lower cost benefit analysis to repairs compared to the major, arterial roads, they are equally important to the quality of life in our City and will be factored into the planning. We anticipate this next phase of the program being completed in January 2020 to be followed by resident meetings to review the plan and gather feedback.
As with any large capital need, multi-year planning is central to a successful pavement management program. Once the priorities have been developed, the Administration will be working with Beta, the City Council and residents to put in place a multi-year plan to improve and maintain the City’s 73 miles of roads and sidewalks as applicable. This multi-year plan will then be incorporated into the City’s five-year capital improvement program for annual review and approval.