State of the art technology is being used to fix city streets

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A state of the art program is currently underway to fix city streets. You may remember "The Pothole Killer" unveiled in New Orleans in 2007. WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter gives us a look at the latest in street repair technology.

You may have seen a white van, equipped with multiple cameras and satellite dishes rolling through your neighborhood.

It's called the Road Tester 3000 and it's part of the plan to repair city-owned streets.

"It’s going to be driving every city block, collecting data. It's got a robust suite of sensors to include high-definition cameras, lasers, GPS, accelerometers to measure conditions on the street itself," Public Works Director Mark Jernigan said.

The data collection process began back in December.

An analysis of the information will help engineers determine the exact condition of a given street. That information will be used to prioritize street repairs and scientifically determine the best way to get it done.

It's welcomed news for the group, Fix My Streets, that's been fighting for street repairs.

"I think what's good about it is that the city is taking the time to figure exactly what's wrong and that's what's been wrong with the city's attempts for so long is they would just patch this up, patch that up. They didn't know exactly what they were doing," spokesman Jeff Januszek said.

The Road Tester 3000 is owned by a consultant hired by the city to develop both short and long-term maintenance plans.

The bulk of the $500,000 cost is covered by FEMA funds.

It includes data collection, analysis, and repair recommendations for those nagging potholes cracks, and other bumps in the road.

"Whether it's in excellent condition, good condition, fair, poor, or very poor; we're going to use that information to determine how long the streets are going to last, what we need to do to fix the street and bring it to excellent condition," Jernigan said.

"I really would like to see the city moving faster on tons of things but with this, let's do it the right way. Let's figure out exactly how to get it done properly," Januszek said.

1600 miles of roads are under assessment. The assessment period is expected  to be completed in spring 2015.

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