It’s estimated that there are some 64,185,000 kilometers of roadway in the world. In fact, there are more than 4,300,000 kilometers (that’s about 2,672,000 miles) of paved road in the United States alone.
And around the globe, these thoroughfares represent one of our most valued public assets. We use these roads on a daily basis to travel between our jobs, schools, shopping markets, and homes.
The residents of Bernalillo County, New Mexico are certainly no exception.
A Gem of the American Southwest
Located in the heart of the Land of Enhancement, you might already be familiar with this gem of the American Southwest. The city of Albuquerque is the county seat, and the region is famous for its high-desert climate, Native American culture, and the world’s largest hot air balloon festival.
Bernalillo County is also the year-round home to more than 673,000 residents who look to their local government for such basic services as clean drinking water, reliable sewer lines, and safe roadways.
All of these services are the responsibility of the county’s Public Works Division, and road maintenance is one of the department’s top priorities.
This is no small task. The county maintains nearly 750 miles of roads that crisscross a territory of some 1,200 square miles – including large unincorporated areas that lie outside of Albuquerque.
But mobile technology is helping shrink these distances for Bernalillo County’s road maintenance crews.
Keeping Road Crews Connected with Real-Time Insight
Today, Bernalillo County uses a mobile app that gives workers out on the road real-time access to detailed job information. This includes the ability to view and complete assigned work orders and service requests right from their mobile devices.
The app also incorporates data from the county’s geographic information systems (GIS). The GIS data is used to assign a unique location ID for each road segment in the county – that’s more than 5,000 functional locations in all.
This real-time information and visibility has helped Bernalillo County’s road crews improve their response times, reduce downtime in the field, and decrease costs for citizens. And it has eliminated a lot of unnecessary travel as the crews no longer need to travel back to the office just to process paper work.
Meanwhile in the county offices, administrators can track equipment deployment and more accurately assess road conditions. The mobile app is also tightly integrated with the county’s plant maintenance system, which supports better planning, optimized scheduling, and more comprehensive reporting.
So how does all this benefit the residents of Bernalillo County? For them, faster response times by maintenance crews mean safer roads.
A Better Way
Most citizens expect timely repairs and routine road maintenance in return for their tax dollars. But with challenges that range from budget constraints to severe winter weather, many governments are seeking better ways to provide their constituents with the highest levels of service at the least cost.
Looks like Bernalillo County found one of those better ways.
Follow me on Twitter @JohnGWard3.