PBOT’s pavement maintenance policy is to carry out the right treatment in the right place at the right time.
In practice, this means that bureau work crews focus on maintenance work that will keep a street from falling into poor or very poor condition. The reason is simple: it saves Portland money. The cost of repairing a road that has fallen into poor or very poor condition is typically ten times more expensive than maintaining a street that is in fair or good condition. This is illustrated in the following graph:
A gap exists between the current condition of Portland’s roads and PBOT’s maintenance goals. For example, PBOT’s stated goal is to maintain 80% of the city’s busy arterial and collector streets in very good, good or fair condition. In FY 13-14, 51% of Portland’s busy streets met this standard of very good, good or fair condition Through Back to Basics’ combination of operational efficiencies and targeted resource allocation, PBOT has successfully increased the number of lane miles maintained as illustrated in the first chart. Nonetheless, PBOT simply lacks the necessary funding to close the gap. Thanks to the Back to Basics Program the gap is growing more slowly, but the fact of the matter is that it is continuing to grow.