Multnomah County uses the pavement management program provided by the Association of Oregon Counties. This program identifies seven pavement surface distresses in a uniform and repeatable manner. The seven distresses are:

  • alligator cracking
  • block cracking
  • distortions
  • longitudinal and transverse cracking
  • patching and utility cut patching
  • rutting and depressions
  • weathering and raveling

Pavement inspection is conducted in detail on inspection units, which are small segments of a road section. The distresses found in the inspection unit are measured, and the measurements are used to calculate the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) for the inspection unit. The PCI of the inspection units in the section are then used to represent the condition of the entire section. The total pavement surface area of all of the inspection units in a section is 10% of the pavement area of the entire section. Private driveways within the public right of way are not inspected, not included in the area of the section, and not maintained by the county.

The PCI scale ranges from 0 to 100 with 100 being in the “excellent” category.  Other categories are “very good,” “good,” “fair,” “poor,” “very poor,” and “failed.”

Every section of concrete and paved county road has a PCI. These are specified in the Master Road List.

After sorting the road sections by PCI, we have a list of the worst road sections that are potential paving or chip seal projects. We also use other criteria in determining which sections to pave or chip seal. A partial list of these criteria includes:

  • average daily traffic counts
  • percentage of truck counts
  • truck route designations
  • safety improvements
  • budget constraints