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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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How Portland prioritizes street repairs

A road in good repair provides a smooth ride, limits wear and tear on vehicles and improves safety.  However, fixing the worst roads first is not a cost-effective strategy.  Like other transportation agencies across the nation, Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) policy is to prioritize early-stage repairs and do preventive maintenance work.

As shown below, it can cost ten times more to rehabilitate or reconstruct a road in very poor condition than it would to perform preventive maintenance earlier in the road’s life.  


In order to know which roads need repair, or reconstruction, Bureau staff monitor and rate the condition of the streets. With the help of a rating tool called the Pavement Condition Index (PCI), the Bureau employs a pavement management system that calculates costs and prioritizes maintenance work. All streets receive a visual inspection that results in a numerical rating between 0 and 100, placing them on a continuum from “Very Poor” to “Very Good” condition. PBOT employs pavement management software to assist in developing the most efficient plan for road repair.

For more details on the condition of Portland’s pavement and the City’s pavement preservation strategies, click on the links listed below: