Grading the streets
It's Donnie Floyd's job to assess and record the condition of Oklahoma City streets.
Known around the shop as the “pave-man,” Floyd drives city streets in his pickup, noting “distresses” such as alligator cracking (a pattern of interconnecting cracks), divided slab (a section of concrete begins to look like tic-tac-toe squares), and spalling (concrete slabs breaking down at a joint or corner).
On a ride through neighborhoods in far west Oklahoma City, he pointed out the cracks, potholes and the general deterioration that make Wilshire Boulevard a rough ride west of N Council Road.
Cracked concrete on River Bend Boulevard where it feeds onto Council near Cooper Middle School shows how pavement breaks down from the weight of cars, trucks and buses as they wait, stop and start at intersections, he said.
Floyd has worked for Oklahoma City nearly 22 years and has been assessing pavement conditions for four. He punches data grading the severity of cracks, bumps and sags into his laptop computer. The information is dumped into a server each day, and his grades are compiled to create the pavement rating for a given stretch of asphalt or concrete.
Longitudinal cracks — those running curb to curb — are among the most common flaws that develop as streets age, Floyd said.
“I drive to the end of the segment, wherever it ends at, and I have a calculator, and I just multiply each crack by 26 feet (width of a residential street),” he said. “That'll give me a running total.
“I'll make four or five passes on each segment or each street, and look for other distresses. If I find those, I'll figure them and put them on my inspection form.”
William Crum, Staff Writer