According to a 2019 study by Rutgers University in conjunction with the NJDOT, roadway construction and maintenance in New Jersey costs an estimated $183,757 per lane mile, excluding debt service.
When interest payments on bonds are added in, the total cost increases to an average of $212,927 per lane mile.
It’s therefore no wonder that townships across the state are seeking ways to maximize road usage while finding ways to minimize the man-hour costs of maintenance evaluation.
Presently, Lakewood is planning to implement a program that would utilize AI to perform these evaluations.
Vialytics is the company that provides the system Lakewood plans to use, and is already used by several municipalities across the state, including Ewing, Metuchen, and Edison, as well as many other governments worldwide.
According to the company, their system operates off of a dashcam phone system that photographs every few meters as the surveyor drives through a town.
These images are then fed into an AI program that evaluates cracks, potholes, and a list of 15 other damage categories that may need to be addressed.
The information can be sorted as well to filter the worst damage to address the most severe issues more quickly or in many other ways to help Department’s of Public Works evaluate their needs.
Until now, many municipalities, Lakewood included, have been doing this evaluation manually, using many precious man hours in the process.
Residents are still and will continue to be able to report potholes or road issues by calling in as well.