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October 28, 2017 1:22 am

City Paves the Way for Long Term Road Rehab Plan

Friday, November 27, 2015 @ 4:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The City of Prince George is  hoping to find a consulting team that can develop a Strategic Paved Road Management Plan.

Asset Manager Kristy Brown says   this kind of planning is used in other  departments such as water and sewer “They  have a master plan that is done every ten years or so.  The road management plan is going to provide us  with, where  our roads are right now,  what do we need to do  to maintain them at an overall condition rating  and when do we need  to do those types of treatments.  So essentially,  to get the best bang for the dollar.”

The City  has been collecting  road condition  information for the past  15 years or so, and  created what is called a ‘deterioration curve’ from that information “it  shows us what point in time we need to do a certain type of treatment  such as micro-surfacing or complete reconstruction.  But   that is an outdated,  non standardized approach.  The  Strategic Paved Road Management Plan will get us into the industry standard for road condition inspections, which will allow us to benchmark with other communities as well.”

Those  comparison’s communities will not be limited to British Columbia says Brown, as she suspects the successful proponent will look to places like Edmonton or  cities in Northern Ontario which experience  similar winter conditions and freeze -thaw  scenarios.

The City spent $7 million  dollars this year on road rehabilitation, and  it is proposed that $7 million  be budgeted for 2016 as well.  “This report will be more of showing us where best to spend that money” says Brown  as it will be  integrated with the city’s overall asset management plan, so, for instance,  if  a water line  is noted  as having  just 5 years left in its life, and the road  has 4 years, projects can be coordinated to  do both at the same time.

The tender ( which is posted on BC Bid) will close December 17th.  According to the bid documents, the consultant’s report  won’t be due until July of 2016,  which  will be too late for  the 2016  paving season but will be used in planning  for  projects in 2017 and  beyond.


This is great news. This type of planning for road rehab is long overdue. How often have we seen roads paved and then dug up for some other reason.

The $5 Million plus in tax dollars along with the $2 Million from the Gas Tax Fund, which is money that is available every year gives the City the ability to do some long range planning, knowing that the money will be available.

Spending money for much need projects like this is acceptable for most tax payers.

Great news? I don’t think so!

Look on the city website and the exact same thing was done a only couple of years ago under RIVA Asset Managment System including a section entitled “Road Life Cycle and Integration with Utility Replacement” Now they are starting from scratch again developing yet another system and hiring more consultants. Complete and total waste of money.

Hello Municipal auditor….that flushing sound you hear is more money going down the drain,please come for a visit,PLEASE!

The city is in the in the final stages of implementing a multi million dollar CMMS system…is this too going to be tossed on the scrap heap in a year or two?

The worst road in PG possibly BC for volume of traffic, Marleau, Bear road, totally ignored by the city. Narrow, no sidewalks, dark. Three subdivisions empty onto it, heavy pedestrian traffic, a school. It is also the only way out of Walmart area if one wants to go west unless dropping down to Domano.

Hello PG road works, anyone home, hello, well I hear an echo.

As with most of these City of Prince George initiatives, it begins with good intentions of elected representatives doing the bidding of unelected bureaucrats to make it look like they are doing stuff.

I see this in the same light as the official community plan. A wonderful concept, but not quite needed. Then when all the dust settles and bills have been paid, pats on the back distributed for good job, then it will be back to business as usual. The only time that the OCP gets dragged out is when someone wants to challenge or modify it for their own self interests.

So, all the work that went into the good intention of the OCP is down the drain, and I see this ending up the same.

In addition, I am sure that the city has a civil engineering department with qualified engineers. Why are we outsourcing a project that could be done in house or even locally to support local business. It is very much like buyin a brand new vehicle from Mertin Chev/olds in Chilliwack rather then from the local dealer. True story, ask the city works where they got the latest crop of vehicles including the one with city ID number 1161.

I have heard a cock (male chicken) and bull story about getting the best deal, but when it comes to new vehicles, there is little room for negotiation unless you are buying more than a few tens so I call bullpuckey on that lame excuse. On top of that, if the Chilliwack dealer can make such a significant deal, why couldn’t the local dealer also?

I agree with sparrow. This is just more bad news which shows that we have professional administrators not professionals who are experts in the technical areas.

“The road management plan is going to provide us with, where our roads are right now,” …. I sure hope she did not mean that literally. I mean, with a GIS tool they should know where the roads are, what kind of surfaces they have, when they were constructed, what repair has been done, where the locations are where they have had repeated problems, etc.

The City should be the ones to tell the consultants that. It would be impossible for the consultant to know that without the city telling them.

What this is telling me is that we have a variety of roads in this city and we have no one qualified on staff to manage their maintenance. Does anyone attend conferences? Does anyone attend continuing education programs in their areas of supposed expertise? We had a transportation engineer and he left. Was he knowledgeable in these areas?

The City needs to have better communications people. Where are they hiding.

Hopefully this will not end up like another botched KPMG study, but sure starting off on the wrong foot in my view.

“How often have we seen roads paved and then dug up for some other reason.”
Across from me are 5 houses from intersection to intersection. Over the last 3 to 4 years, the driveways and road sections in front have been dug up 4 or 5 times, occasionally in twice in the same spot. The problem was the supply waterline from the City connection. Must have been some poor connection work some 40 years ago because it is the only spot in the neighbourhood that this has occurred.

There is no engineering firm in the world that can predict which those kind of problems.

As far as ages of underground sanitary and storm systems as well as water services, the City should have that on their GIS infrastructure management system along with the results of any photo inspections which may have been done over the years, repairs, etc.

Reading this, I am wondering whether anyone at the City actually knows how to fully use a GIS system for asset management.

This bit of information provided today raises more questions than answers for those who have some knowledge in these fields.

“Spending money for much need projects like this is acceptable for most tax payers.”

Not to this tax payer. Did you take a survey?

There are efficiency and effectiveness questions. In effect, this is an audit of how well the city staff can do the job they are supposed to do. The KPMG study may have show that they are doing a lousy job and this is one of the many follow ups from that study. I am not keeping up with all of that is why I am saying it may be the case. We have people at City Hall whose task it is to keep up with it and they get paid for it.

If it has been mentioned in the KPMG study that there is inadequate information in this area, then that should be mentioned as the reason for doing this.

Oh oh – the “C” word – consultants!
In my opinion, consultants are often hired when management faces a problem that is controversial or difficult to solve without backlash. Engaging a consultant creates a buffer between the decision makers and those who are on the receiving end of the solutions. And it’s a good place to divert the finger pointing when things go sideways. Here’s what will happen:

1. A scope document will be drafted and a “Request for Proposal” floated to the consultant community.

2. Over numerous meetings, city tours, etc. the consultants will be short listed and one will ultimately be chosen.

3. A team of consultants will come to town from Ontario, Wisconsin, or wherever and begin by developing a “Present State” document. This will be done by interviewing managers, city employers, and outside stakeholders. In other words, all the local folk who already have the information needed to solve the problem.

4. Consultants will then develop a “Future State” . This will be done by consolidating all the info they’ve gathered, taking various managers etc. on field tours to other cities they’ve worked with, and putting all the info – complete with action plans – into a common template. This is usually done by cutting/pasting over the documentation from Windsor, ON, Madison WI, or wherever they last worked.

5. Presentations will be made, plans adopted, pens/hats/trinkets passed around, and Project Binders will be provided (consultants are typically paid by “inch of documentation”, so the binders will be thickened with lots of photos, big headers, white space, etc.

6. Dusty old binders from last project will be removed from shelves and replaced by the new binders. City workers will go about their tasks in largely the same way they always have, albeit with a few new phrases or buzzwords in their dialog.

7. Success story will be covered by the media, appropriate backs will be patted, and off we go again.

It looks like the CMMS system the city is putting in place is Cityworks. Information can be found at cityworks.com.

My question is why when you have a CMMS that still has that new car smell and cost literally millions of dollars to purchase,implement and train people would you have a parallel system for pavement and poo pipes.It sure looks like cityworks has everything required to properly maintain all assets at once. The only reason I could think of is that they did not buy the modules that deal with these areas.

Running two systems and getting them to talk to each other so you can extract usable information can be next to impossible.

well done tarnfeather. !!!

Your scenario outcome is no change. I have seen it myself in several places. No baseline, no implementation recording, no follow-up measurement of measurable established form the baseline. Result = no information on which to base whether there was any improvement from following a prescription that is different from the normal operations.

In other words, did one get value for dollars spent.

Which independent body will do that evaluation? Can we trust our own administrators to do that?

Bottom line. The City will spend $7 Million a year on road rehab. They may very well spend this amount of money every year for the next 10 years. So $70 Million on roads. This is what we pay the single line item for in taxes ie; Road rehab. Same as we do for the single line item for snow removal.

So we are going to finally get some long term planning on road rehab and get some upgrades that are long overdue.

We have spent some $14 Million in the past two years on roads, and you have to admit that there is a great difference between our roads now and what they were like a few years ago.

This money is targeted for roads, and will be spent on roads, and the plan is in place to move forward.

Bitching, bellyaching, and trying to sound profound on every issue will change nothing.

We are actually making progress at City Hall with the new administration, so sit back and enjoy the ride on this one.

Thanks for the link sparrow.

From that site

“Cityworks is a cost-effective approach that helps decision makers balance risk of asset failure with its consequence. Organizations can use condition assessment from the maintenance history (clustering, frequency, and costs analysis of unplanned maintenance) and visual inspection (routine maintenance, SCADA interface, etc.) to gain insights regarding the level of asset deterioration to assess likelihood of failure.”

As I hinted in an earlier post, I am unsure of how effective the City has been in using the PGMap GIS integrated database. For instance, they are at least a year or more behind in including the latest roads in the subdivisions off Tyner and the lower Malaspina area. When I looked for something on PGMap a few weeks ago, the latest, one year old, photogrammetry shows roads which PGMap does not show yet.

Of course, not all the layers are visible to the public, I am sure, so I cannot tell how much data relevant to the issue under “discussion” actually is on the GIS database.

Awesome! Least looking ahead now is better then looking behind! 👍🏻

“Bitching, bellyaching, and trying to sound profound on every issue will change nothing.”

I hope that if you ask us to do that with our bitchin’, you do the same when you go into that mode on other issues.

Promise??? LOL

The issue here is at a much higher level than fixing roads, Palopu. The question I am asking, Palopu, is whether we have the right people working for us each and every day who can work with modern asset management software and understand the technical issues of the assets they are managing.

The indictors I am observing time and time again is that we need to fix that level as well, or even first if possible. The best advice a consultant should supply to us in this case is to tell the City whether they can maintain the assets with the staff they have or whether they need to hire some others to actually implement the system they recommend without having to hire consultants every decade for each separate asset category.

We need to start nipping this in the bud. At least that is what it looks like from the outside.


You throw enough money at almost any problem it can be solved but that does not mean it is being wisely spent or that we are getting full value.

Case in point, for the last couple of years in the city’s unfunded capitol plan there has been a line item described as “High priority requirement to replace exterior building envelope materials ” of the Four Seasons Pool with a total budget of $3.2 Million. Not a penny in the pot to begin repairs till 2020 while still unfunded is pencilled in to borrow the 3.2 from MFA.

I don’t know if the envelope is compromised but suspect that if is flagged as urgent it will continue to deteriorate over the next 5 years. Secondly I doubt 3.2 million 2015 dollars will do the job in 2020 that might be in a lot worse condition than it is today. Might save a few bucks if the pool and the old cop shop demolition contracts are bundled together in 2021.

With a fully intregated CMMS with a few clicks you could see the results of reducing the paving budget by a million a year over three years to fix the pool…click click…..half a mill from paving and half a mill from travel budget…click….Bingo!

One has to wonder how the world managed to survive for thousands of years before we had computer programs, and analysts to tell us what and how to do things.

Seems to me that in days gone by if you needed to build a road, sewer, drainage system, etc; you went out and built it. Look at what the Romans did.

All of Canada and its transportation and railway system was built long before we had all these goofy programs to tell us what and how to do things.

I might add that things were done much more efficiently and cost effective in days gone by, than they are to-day.

I cant help but reflect on the construction of the empire state building in New York in the 1930’s which was built on schedule and under budget. When they were building this structure the steel beams were brought in by the railways from Pennsylvania and offloaded at the site and lifted to whatever floor they were working on.

This system of transportation, and unloading, came to be known some fifty years later as **On time delivery**. So the intelligencia of to-day did not create the system (common sense did) they merely came up with a name for it and took the credit. We have a lot of this going on to-day.

The plan for the City of Prince George was done about 100 years ago, (the cresents etc) and was basically done with a pencil, a piece of paper, and a lot of common sense. Most of what is done to-day falls under the heading of *BS* Many people have their hand out to get money from the City.

Bottom line. We will get move paving and better roads under this Council than we did in the past 20 years. Mainly because the money will be targeted to where it is needed.

Simplicity has gone the way of the dodo bird. The world is more complex now! It totally amazes me that a city of less then 80 thousand inhabitants needs close to one thousand people to run it, plus the hired consultants and outside contractors. To revert to a simpler direct way of doing things would lead to massive job losses in every one of the three levels of government.

Hmmmmm…lets see now.where I live city truck came this way 4-5 times and did a patch work on what should have been a repave.TOTALLY
And it is still a mess.
The DUMP at transfer station in the C Heigths….I watched them dump loads of PAVING material….while they DRANK there beers…got pictures too….of 2-3 crews…..I did not vote for this Lyn[green]….How much they spend on Consultations….hehehe!

“One has to wonder how the world managed to survive for thousands of years before we had computer programs, and analysts to tell us what and how to do things.”

I never wonder about that.

I know that they did things by trial and error.

I know that job safety was not a concern.

I know that they did not have universities nor high schools.

I know that they had people who had the training on the job.

I know that the built structures which still exist after 100 years, 200 years, 300 years and longer passed the trial and error test.

I also know that many of those built structures no longer meet today’s needs because they are cold, humid, have no electricity, have servants’ quarters we can no longer afford, do not have elevators, are in the wrong locations, cannot withstand today’s vehicle loads, etc. and thus are refurbished or torn down.

We have torn down schools in this city as well as others that are no older than 50 years. We tore down a perfectly good BC Hydro building because it was supposedly cheaper to do that and build a new one. Other buildings are on the way shortly.

Computers are first of all keepers of records. People these days, however, are not good at keeping records. Try getting some good as built drawings for all the infrastructure in this town. Virtually impossible. Totally unreliable if there are some. Computers are not going to help with that. GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. The biggest failure of GIS based asset management systems is exactly that – unreliable data.

It is only once there is reliable data that one can actually use it for analysis.

It is not an all or nothing. We have new tools. We have new ways of doing things. We have new lifestyles to which we have to fit our infrastructure. Most of all, we have many more people in the peanut gallery who can observe what is happening around them because they have the time to do so and they have the tools to do so.

Actually, the most important part of the last sentence which I forgot is that they have the freedom to do so and will not be fed to the lions.

“It totally amazes me that a city of less then 80 thousand inhabitants needs close to one thousand people to run it”

At least we have gotten rid of the need to hire sculptors to create a statue of every City Councillor and an ornate tomb for every City Mayor. ;-)

So, I wonder if this means Haldi will get sewer and water, BEFORE it gets paved.
Palopu, I think yer right. This is good news and long overdue.

gopg2015 don’t be so quick about dismissing “fed to the lions” form of workplace encouragement. The city could have the most highly motivated work force in the country. We as a society have progressed since Roman times and this must be reflected in the use of this extremely effective motivational tool,so the following steps must be followed to the letter.

1.Verbal warning
2.Written warning
3.Fed to lions

Haldi Rd?

I think they are planning an above ground utilidor for that area.

Anyone remember the controversy on the women’s treatment centre on Haldi Road???

Huge need, must be done right away, OCP changes, court cases, upset citizens, etc; etc; etc;

Where is it all now?????

For those who think that a 1:75 ratio of City employees to Citizens is high, I am including a link to local government structures in the Roman Empire.

We have to remember that the source of much of our laws and systems of managing the infrastructure of cities and supporting the population were passed down over the years from Rome as well as ancient Greece.

The advantage that the Romans had was that they enslaved people, thus every “magistrate” was entitled to privileges to assist in carrying out their duties with the use of slaves.

I have not been able to find someone’s estimate of the number of people who would have been involved in such governance, administration as well as building infrastructure and maintaining it, but I suspect that the lack of modern machinery would likely have meant a ratio of fewer citizens to City managers and workers.

We must remember that they had many public buildings and had no pumps available which meant they often had to bring water from the hills/mountains via aqueducts. Some of the cities in the colonies had to have defensive walls built around them.

Building and maintaining a city was expensive then and is expensive now.

During feudal times, when there was little wealth, only the lords could afford such luxury. The rest of the rabble had to stay outside the defenses and fend for themselves. No roads. No games. No city squares. No Baths.

We have to make up our minds what we want. :-)

The link is here: societasviaromana.net/Collegium_Historicum/local.php

Once again. The bottom line.

Roman roads built from 500 BC through the expansion and consolidation of the Roman Republic. They provided efficient means for the overland movement of armies, officials, and civilians, and the inland carriage of official communications and trade goods.

Roman roads were of several kinds, ranging from small local roads to broad, long distance highways built to connect cities, major towns and military bases. These major roads were often stone-paved and metaled, cambered for drainage, and were flanked by footpaths , bridleways and drainage ditches. They were laid along accurately surveyed courses, and some were cut through hills, or conducted over rivers and ravines on bridgework. Sections could be supported over marshy ground on rafted or piled foundations.

At the peak of Rome’s development, no fewer that 29 great military highways radiated from the capital and the late Empire’s 113 provinces were interconnected by 372 great roads. The whole comprised more than 400,000 km of roads of which over 80,500 km were stone paved.

So there you have it roads built in 500 BC as good if not better than those built to-day. Certainly better than some of the roads around Prince George BC.

I rest my case.

Amazing what can be accomplished with tens of thousands of slaves. I wonder how the snow removal was in the Alps back then.

What case?

Those cobblestone roads would be lucky last a year in Prince George. Everyone in town would have a cobblestone wall at the front of their lot when the snow melts where the plow trucks and graders piled them up. What the machinery didn’t get the spring freeze thaw cycles certainly would.

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