What’s behind the mysterious truck on Dayton’s roads?

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A road trip that’s turning corners and heads is now in Dayton.

“A couple times people have asked if we’re tornado chasers, says Gary Baxter with Enterprise Information Solutions. “You get all kinds of reactions.”

But, these guys aren’t seeking out destruction, just documenting it, and the major culprit isn’t the wind but the winter.

“It’s been a rough winter for everybody,” says Steve Finke Deputy Director of Public Works. “I hear it all the time. This winter was particularly rough on our roads.”

But, with budgets tight only so many can get paved.

So, how does Dayton determine when your street will be fixed?

That’s what the road trip helps determine. It’s being made in a high tech van that will drive every Dayton street, about 800 miles in all. That’s enough mileage to get from here to Florida.

The vehicle is equipped with 3D cameras and a 3D scanner to measure how bumpy the road is.

“I call it Google Street View on steroids,” Finke says.

The information is used to give every street a score from 1 to 100. Anything below 50 is considered in need of repairs.

The city can then see which roads are in the worst shape.

“It allows us to easily make decisions on what our priorities should be as far as resurfacing,” Finke says.

The project costs about $160,000. We wanted to know if the investment is a good one.

“It’s well worth it,” Finke says. “The important thing is once you have the data is to keep it up to date.”

The city last did this in 2008. They hope to do it more frequently in the coming years.

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