Date of Award

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Baris Salman

Second Advisor

Charles Driscoll


Local Roadways, Prioritization Model

Subject Categories



There are many cities like Syracuse that do not have a structured system of managing local roadways. Every city has its own unique way of managing roadways within their boundaries by utilizing different tools. This research focuses on developing a prioritization tool for roadways to help transportation experts prioritize local roads. This tool identifies what roadway segments need to be managed closely under conditions of failure (serviceability limit). For this research, serviceability limit was defined as a condition when it becomes not safe to drive on the road and the only way of improving the road’s condition is total reconstruction. The prioritization model includes two analysis methods that generate a list of critical roadways that require the most attention. Currently, many transportation experts who are employed by local authorities utilize ratings from 1 to 10 to identify which roadways should be considered as candidates for reconstruction. A general rule of thumb when utilizing this approach is to include all roadways with a condition rating of 5 and below as candidates for reconstruction.

A database of all roadway segments within the City of Syracuse was obtained from local authorities for this research where a road segment is identified as a portion of a road from one intersection to another. There are approximately 5000 roadway segments in Syracuse making the street prioritization process complex and time-consuming. As a result, a hierarchy of roadway factors was created to better differentiate roadways and produce importance scores for each road segment. The hierarchy includes three major categories of roadway factors: social, economic and environmental. All of the categories were further divided into sub-categories to evaluate every road section. The importance scores generated from the hierarchy were used with the most recent condition ratings to produce a list of the most critical roadway sections. All of the categories and sub-categories within the hierarchy were assigned weight factors to emphasize what groups of roadway factors have a greater influence on the decision-making process.

Two analysis methods, the first (preliminary) and the second (final), were developed to identify critical roadways using their importance scores and most recent condition ratings. A hierarchy of roadway factors was utilized in both methods to generate importance scores for local roadways. Two methods have some major differences including how importance scores and condition ratings were combined, weights assigned for each category within the hierarchy, and scale values. Top road segments from both methods were compared and showed 24% similarity in results. This means that some of the road sections were identified as critical by both analysis methods even though the analyses have some major differences between two methods. Both prioritization methods were developed based on feedback provided by transportation experts employed by the City of Syracuse.


Open Access

Included in

Engineering Commons



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