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Engineering interns take to the city streets this summer

SEGUIN, Texas – Every street in the city will be analyzed for the second time this summer by an internship duo sporting bright yellow safety vests. The two college engineering seniors have already embarked on their mission to obtain road samples (indicative of the overall street section conditions), record distresses, and grade the amount of deterioration from every roadway in the city limits.

The study is conducted every two years with the initial assessment being completed in the summer of 2015 when the City of Seguin acquired a pavement management system developed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, PAVER 6.0.  The system allows City staff to predict future pavement conditions with and without maintenance, and reconstruction work being performed on the street network.

This summer, Texas State University Senior Darian Amejorado and Texas Tech University Senior DJ Arambula were selected as the two engineering interns to complete the study. Residents should expect to see them on every street in town wielding a bright orange measuring wheel and a laptop to record the data needed to complete the road assessment.

“I think the exposure to the project development aspects of the internship will translate into my future career. Seeing the design process by the city’s engineers gives me a glimpse into what I could potentially be doing in my career,” said Amejorado who is studying manufacturing engineering.

“I’m learning that there is a political/social aspect to engineering. The work doesn't stop at just engineering, but also having to advocate and show the officials why a certain project should be done. I think it’s a cool balance and I am excited to learn more about the process,” said Arambula who is studying civil engineering.

The data is entered into software program that creates predictive graphs which staff uses to determine what types of maintenance, rehabilitative and reconstruction techniques can be applied to different streets across the City. It helps in predicting the overall condition of the street network and the overall improvement or decline of the street network, over time, depending on how much funds are dedicated to street maintenance, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

“These guys will use standardized criteria to grade the condition of our roads– it’s the same standard of measurement that the federal government, the military and other cities and counties use.  The results are standardized, and accurately predict what type of maintenance or reconstruction the city should plan for,” said Joe Ramos, City Engineer.

Staff will make recommendations to City Council based on the results from the study to prioritize street maintenance and road reconstruction dollars.  The information will help identify what streets can just be maintained for now, and which streets are at the point of being unrepairable (and will require complete reconstruction).  The prioritization of street projects will also take into account the state of underground utilities, in order to maximize tax and utility revenues. ###