City of Los Angeles Wins 2015 Sorenson Award

Pavement Preservation Journal, Spring 2016
Keith Mozee, Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services

The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Streets is the winner of FP2’s James B. Sorenson Award for Excellence in Pavement Preservation for 2015.

There, a 40-year decline in city-wide road quality was arrested via aggressive pavement management and preservation.

Last year, the Bureau of Street Services completed the largest annual pavement preservation program in the history of Los Angeles, with a total of 2,400 lane-miles of pavement preservation completed during FY 2014-15, the distance between Los Angeles and New York City.

“We made it happen by working incessantly – days, nights, weekends, and holidays – while embracing the principles of efficiency, innovation, performance stats, and intra-departmental collaboration,” said Nazario Sauceda, director of the Bureau of Street Services.

The Bureau of Street Services gained support for its pavement preservation program by providing quantifiable data to elected officials while educating citizens.


In the mid-1990s, the bureau recognized the need to use engineering-based technologies to manage the needs of the City of Los Angeles roadway network, composed of 69,394 street segments equaling approximately 28,000 lane-miles. In 1998, MicroPAVER became the city’s pavement management data collection system.  This tool provides a means to collect, store, and analyze information on pavement condition, allowing the bureau to make optimal use of road maintenance funds.

Then, in the last decade, the bureau undertook a proactive approach to inform elected officials, city staffs and the public of the importance of prolonging the life of road surfaces by using a practical pavement management system that applies cost-effective treatments at the right time. Since implementing MicroPAVER, the bureau has provided comprehensive needs assessment presentations to several mayoral administrations, 15 elected council members, and approximately
100 neighborhood councils as well as the general public.

Through a systematic analysis of pavement life cycles, MicroPAVER allows the bureau to determine the most cost-effective means to keep pavement functioning at a desirable condition and level, that is, “The Right Treatment, for the Right Road, at the Right Time.”

In 2005, the first State Of The Streets (SOTS) report was published, detailing the goals of the bureau, which were to maintain all improved streets in a perpetually good-to-excellent condition through the use of a pavement management system, and most importantly, providing condition assessments of every city street segment.

Stakeholders have embraced the sharing of open data and in return have demonstrated a strong sense of support.  This was instrumental in securing funding for the then current and future pavement preservation programs.

In 2008 the second SOTS report was published. That same year Los Angeles County voters passed Measure R, resulting in a dedicated 0.5 percent sales tax for the purpose of funding transportation improvements.

Today, the bureau conducts extensive community outreach to stakeholders through social media, a bureau website, notification mailers, and attendance at neighborhood council meetings. The city’s and bureau’s websites offer the public ongoing performance metrics, information on roadwork in progress, a list of monthly committed scheduled projects, and pavement condition assessments.

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