Pavement Asset Management

Keeping up with pavement asset management is an essential component of transportation planning and is an ongoing process. The condition of the pavement on our roads is not only a safety concern, but it also directly impacts road maintenance planning and managing project lifecycles.

Each year, the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and local county road agencies, assesses the pavement conditions of the federal aid-eligible roads in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties.

2023  Pavement Condition Reports

Berrien                                      Cass                                        Van Buren

Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating

The Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating system, or PASER, is used to visually assess pavement conditions while driving. This allows for a quick assessment and is thus often referred to as a “windshield survey.” The PASER system assigns a value of 1 thru 10 based on the observed defects.

Staff members from each of the agencies are trained and certified annually to use PASER. Working together, this team ensures that the maintenance, preservation, upgrading, and operation of our paved streets is done cost effectively and that Michigan's transportation system is managed in a strategic and efficient manner.

Transportation Asset Management Council

Another group that is an essential component of keeping our local road safe and operational is the Michigan’s Transportation Asset Management Council, or TAMC, which is comprised of professionals from County Road Commissions, Commissioners, Cities, Townships, MDOT Regional, and Metropolitan Planning Organizations. A resource for independent objective data on the condition of Michigan’s roads and bridges, the TAMC is also a resource for implementing the concepts of asset management.

The TAMC offers web-based tools to help users get additional information on local pavement asset management. The TAMC Dashboards show the condition, operation, and investment in Michigan’s public road system. Users are able to view the overall condition of federal-aid eligible roadways by Act 51 jurisdiction, as well as compare condition ratings to other surrounding jurisdictions. Any village, city or county is an Act 51 agency; Road Commissions are the designated county recipients of Act 51 funds, and they are responsible for maintaining roads for all of the townships.

The TAMC also provides an Interactive Map where the PASER ratings of roadways and bridges can be found. By typing in a jurisdiction in the query box, the map will zoom to and highlight that jurisdiction boundary.

Michigan Act 51

Michigan’s Act 51 specifies that fuel taxes are to be used for transportation purposes. Act 51 creates a fund into which specific transportation taxes are deposited and prescribes how these revenues are to be distributed and the purposes for which they can be spent. One of the TAMC’s primary objectives is to assist Act 51 agencies in the implementation of an asset management program for roads and bridges under their jurisdiction. As a part of this process, the TAMC facilitates statewide collection of system condition data, supports the development of tools and procedures, and sponsors training and educational sessions in the practice of asset management.