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Street Cuts Get Intelligent

Several dozen municipalities are adopting CDO Technologies' RoadTag solution to identify who performed road restoration work so that any follow-up repairs or maintenance can be dispatched quickly.
By Claire Swedberg

"The more we install them, the more people will be using them," Marks says, as the city's road-inspection crews begin to expect the tags to be in place for accessing data.

The next phase, Marks says, is to link each tag ID with the installation location on a digital map as the tags are installed. That could be accomplished by collecting location data from a handheld as it reads the tags being embedded in road cuts. Administrators could then easily view the tags' locations in the software. The city has applied for a grant that would help to pay for that expansion of the system.

Zielinski recalls an inspector at Dayton who received a phone call regarding a problematic section of roadway that had been cut and restored. The inspector reported that he then visited the site equipped with a handheld reader, immediately captured the permit number and who performed the work, and placed a call to the contractor while walking back to his truck. By the time he climbed into the vehicle, the repair work had already been scheduled.

In October 2015, CDO announced that Denver's public works department was evaluating the RoadTag for use with its approximately 8,000 street cuts each year on 6,100 lane-miles of roadway (see RFID News Roundup: CDO Technologies' RoadTag Hits Denver Streets).

Last month, Colorado Springs made a similar announcement. The city has 5,688 road miles that must be maintained, repaired and investigated during failures or damage, says Robin Tisdale, an engineering technician for the city's public works operations and maintenance division. The greatest challenge that cities face without having an automated system in place for collecting data about road work, Tisdale explains, is the amount of time employees must spend researching permits to determine what has previously taken place at a particular road cut.

"Using RFID technology, we can quickly identify and greatly enhance our response times to any excavation failures or emergencies," Tisdale states. "We are now able to easily determine warranty periods for all road cuts. We anticipate a dual-purpose benefit for both inspectors in the field and office personnel."

Colorado Springs issued approximately 3,568 permits for road work last year. Each permit represents at least one cut in the roadway. The city's public works division now provides encoded tags for contractors, which it issues with all roadwork permits.

"We previously spent a large amount of time researching failures in the roadway—tracking down who is responsible, age of street cut, and warranty information," Tisdale says. "Our goal is to have a tag in each cut made in the road."

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