The streets of Grand Junction are about to get a good 'once over'.

The city of Grand Junction is wanting to develop long-term maintenance plans and budgets. That means they need to get a condition rating on all of the roads and some of the right-of-way areas owned by the city. Knowing the condition of all the roads will help the city prioritize future construction and road improvement projects.

The road assessment will be done by IMS Infrastructure Management Services out of Tempe, Arizona. Starting this week, weather permitting, IMS will use a high-tech Laser Road Surface Tester or RST. The RST is equipped with up to five inside-mounted cameras and GPS devices as well as a modified front bumper. The evaluation process is expected to take a little more than a week.

The RST will be measuring the roughness of streets, rutting, cracking, and other 'surface distresses. With three field technicians on board, the RST will travel at posted speed limits and will survey each road at least once.

The fact is, city streets don't last forever. They have to constantly be maintained and improved, even though most of us find ourselves grumbling every time we encounter a slowdown or slight detour due to a construction project. The information gathered by the RST will be vital to the city's future plans and efforts to provide the best possible infrastructure for the community.

If you see a large odd-looking white van with an extended front bumper you'll know what it is.  Everybody knows of a street or two that are in need of repair and maybe they will be on the list of streets getting some much-needed attention. It's nice to think that city leaders are planning for the future so Grand Junction can have well-maintained roads for years to come.

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