You may have already seen this vehicle winding its way through Kingston streets over the past few weeks: a white utility van with flashing yellow lights, a simple logo with the letters IMS, and warning stickers on the back saying “test vehicle” and instructing other drivers to “stay back 20 feet”.
But despite the rather ominous look of the vehicle, it’s performing a relatively routine job. The Infrastructure Management Services vehicle is conducting a comprehensive road condition survey on behalf of the City.
This survey, which is conducted on a schedule of approximately every 3 years, gathers data on the condition of Kingston’s roads, which will be used to inform future road construction and maintenance planning.
The vehicle, called a Road Surface Tester (RST), is capable of automatically collecting a multitude of pavement condition data in a single pass by using lasers, distance measuring instruments, accelerometers, gyroscopes, GPS and a plethora of high resolution cameras.
With this arsenal of equipment, the vehicle collects data on the pavement surface’s levels of distress, roughness, and rutting for later analysis.
Once the data is collected and compiled, it is then used by the municipality to prioritize road repairs in the future.
This year’s road condition survey has an approximate cost of $90,000. The City expects the data gathering to be completed by November.