The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Lily Martin
Staff writer 

Meeting highlight road management software


Last updated 8/29/2020 at 2:46pm

CLOVIS — A presentation on new robotic road management software was the highlight of last week’s Clovis Public Works Committee meeting. The software, called Roadbotics Roadway Management, is used to digitally track the quality of roads throughout the city to help determine when and where roadwork should take place.

On a screen in the North Annex of Clovis-Carver Public Library Geographic Information System coordinator Steven Hewett showed how Roadbotics was able to map and grade individual roads on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the best. The roads of Clovis showed up on the map as a series of yellow and red lines. Yellow indicates that a road is rated toward the middle of 1 and 5, and red indicates that the road is closer to a 5.

“Where you see 3.26, that’s the overall score of the city,” Hewett said. “As you can see most of the roads are a 3 which is not the worst but not the best.”

City Manager Justin Howalt said one of the benefits of the software is that it clearly shows which sections of roads need to be worked on, and they can focus their efforts to chip seal the parts that need it most first.

“It’s also a good product in that it’s a livable document I would say,” said Clint Bunch, Public Works director. “As we do some of these areas, all this review has to do in the future is drive some of these areas that we’ve repaired, repaved or chip-filled, and they will be upgraded to the next level.”

Hewett also demonstrated how the software can be used to find the area of a section of road, which makes estimating the cost for a chip-sealing project easier.

“In the past I used to have to go out and drive each road, and I’d have my wheel with my leg hanging out the door — you know the old-school way,” Bunch said. “Now I can just pull everything up right here, get the measurements from my office, and have it in just a fraction of the time.”

The program cost the city less than $20,000, a reduced price, Hewett said, because he volunteered to track all of the city roads instead of having the software company do it.

Other items discussed during the meeting included a motion made to renovate the Justin Street drainage channel to a concrete channel. The renovation would cut down on maintenance and overall spending of the city on a property the city owns that the channel drains into, as well as reduce overflow on nearby private property. The estimated cost of the project would be $80,000, but Bunch said it was an old estimate that would have to be done again.

An action was taken to approve to flatten the slopes of Sorgen Playa on the north side of Llano Estacado. Howalt said the project would make the area look better and easier to maintain. The quote for the project was $27,000. Approval was also given to obtain quotes for a project that would improve access to 21st Street and Prince Street.

Howalt and Bunch gave updates on ongoing projects, including a design for a new drainage system on Llano Estacado. The project will have 60% of its design drawn up by the end of the week and will cost an estimated $2.3 million.

In addition to the projects, Howalt announced that the Clovis High School mascot image of the “power cat” will be displayed on EPCOR’s elevated water storage tank in Clovis — something he said the city and schools have been working on for years.


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