SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Lasers and other technology will be used over roughly the next five weeks to evaluate the condition of 900 city streets in Sioux Falls.

The technology used by Roadway Asset Services is so precise it can identify different types of cracks and the likely source of the problem, said principal city engineer Wes Philips.

The RAS van will travel on “every single city street,” said Mike Schmidt, a staff engineer with the city. Most streets will need one pass but larger streets may require two passes, he said.

The evaluation is a pavement management survey the city will use to determine street projects. The survey scores the street condition on a scale of 1 to 100. The city now has an overall score of 70 and it wants to maintain that, Philips said

“(RAS) will provide us a condition rating. They will work with us to identify potential projects,” Philips said.

The city’s typical annual budget for street projects such as slurry work, overlay and similar is $16 million. The RAS pavement management survey will be used for projects within this typical $16 million.

RAS will focus on the condition of the pavement, while the city will also need to consider other factors such as the condition of utilities under the street, he said.

“We want to cooperate with utilities before we do a street project,” Philips said. The street department doesn’t want to do a project if the utilities need a future repair, he said. It’s better to coordinate two repair projects.

The city will spend about $222 per mile to have 900 miles of city-owned streets evaluated RAS. The total cost is about $200,000, Philips said.

RAS will have access to prior surveys including 2015 and 2019 which will help in evaluation of streets.

Sioux Falls has had surveys over the past 30 years.

The city had 800 miles surveyed in 2019. The city has grown in population and miles since then. Maintaining and preserving the condition of city streets is important, Philips said.

Past citizen surveys indicated street conditions are very important to the public, he said.