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Public Works Set To Collect Pavement Distress Data On Metro Roads


Digital Survey Vehicle will assess which Nashville Roads Need Work

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Nashville and Davidson County residents may see a vehicle like the one pictured below traveling on our roadways starting this week. The high-tech pavement evaluation vehicle will begin winding its way at posted speeds through the streets of Nashville and Davidson County surveying our streets and capturing high quality digital images of pavement surfaces. The data will be used to perform comprehensive analysis of the condition of Metro maintained streets on approximately 1445 miles in central and western portions of the county.

Using lasers, the technology aboard the Digital Survey Vehicle will record the degree of roughness and distress along street surfaces, including potholes, cracks and other stresses, and will collect images of the road conditions in forward, side, and downward views. Lasers on the vehicle can measure the change in road surface within two-thousandth of an inch, or roughly 1/2 the thickness of a piece of paper. The vehicle is also equipped with cameras, which will take photographs every 20 feet.

“Managing the condition of our roadway infrastructure helps us improve the quality and life cycle of our roads,” said Don Reid, Metro Public Works Paving and Right-of-way Manager. “This evaluation is a vital component of our pavement management program, and helps us ensure roads receive proper preventative maintenance.” City engineering staff will use the data collected to manage street maintenance in the most cost effective and efficient manner for short and long term streets and roads maintenance.

There are over 5,800 travel lane miles of public roadways and rights-of-way in Nashville and Davidson County. A combination of preventative maintenance techniques from crack sealing, infrared repair, and fog sealing, to full-on asphalt resurfacing when a road surface has reached the end of its service life are used to ensure smooth, safe and economical pavements across our roadway network.

Metro Public Works has contracted with Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) for the road assessment project. Weather permitting; data collection will be complete by early August 2015.

For more information on Metro Public Works' Paving Management Program visit:

Digital survey vehicle
Alternate view of digital survey vehicle