In order to accurately plan street and road repairs, restoration and maintenance, Riga, as the first city in Latvia, uses the newest generation technology created in Scandinavia and widely used – “Vaisala’s RoadAI” program – which scans streets with the help of artificial intelligence to determine which are good or in satisfactory condition that have worn to a poor or critical condition.
In 2022, the Department of Transport performed street scanning using “Vaisala’s RoadAI” technology, which was used for the first time in Riga. The obtained results show that approximately 200 kilometers of asphalted streets are in critical condition. The total length of Riga’s asphalted streets is around 1000 kilometers.
Riga City Council Vice Mayor Vilnis Ķirsis reminds us that asphalt pavement, like any other thing, has its own service life: “In order for Riga’s streets to be maintained in good condition and to prevent potholes from forming, the asphalt pavement should be replaced on average once every ten years. Since 2021, we have constantly increased funding for Riga’s street and road infrastructure, which before that was maintained with very little resources, which is why the reality in the city is so harsh. It is our duty to start the capital repair of Riga’s streets, so already this year we will invest more than 22 million euros in the city budget for the renovation of streets and roads. Our absolute priority is also to increase the funding to such an amount that allows us to make street and road asphalt renewal a matter of routine in the coming years.”
By scanning the streets, the artificial intelligence captures high-resolution video, which is instantly uploaded to the program’s cloud. The obtained data provide not only an overall representation of the condition of Riga’s streets, but also an opportunity to view the condition of a specific section of the street more precisely. Also, the obtained data reflect different categories of defects.
Olafs Pulks, chairman of the Traffic and Transport Affairs Committee of the Riga City Council: “Of the major objects that will be repaired this year, that is, the asphalt surface will be completely restored, I would like to mention some of the major ones, for example, the section of Ulmaņa gatve to the airport, Biķernieku street, Aspazijas boulevard. Another important initiative that we will continue this year is the so-called double surface treatment of Riga’s gravel streets. The double surface does not replace asphalt, but provides a dust-free life and more comfortable driving in the neighborhood. If last year we arranged 46 streets in this way, then this year they will be already 85. This innovation is highly appreciated by residents in the neighborhoods, for example, Dārziņi, Bieriņi and elsewhere.”