Integration of Underground Utilities with Pavement Management System

The City of Vaughan is located just north of Toronto, ON. Canada. Vaughan was the fastest-growing municipality in Canada between 1996 and 2006, achieving a population growth rate of 80.2%, having nearly doubled in population since 1991.

In 2005, Vaughan implemented dTIMS as their pavement management system (PMS). The solution is used to generate an optimized, multi-year pavement management program. In 2006 Vaughan Bridges were added to the dTIMS solution. In 2007, subdivision analysis was created from dTIMS.

Project Overview

In 2015, the City decided it needed to be more pro-active with their underground utility program and coordination with their PMS. The goal of this project was to integrate their underground utility assets with their corporate asset management strategy and dTIMS solution. 


Municipal rights-of-way are typically comprised of complex and interconnected systems of infrastructure assets including roadways, bridges, water, sanitary sewers and stormwater pipes, sidewalks, valves and chambers, to name but a few. Municipal decision makers are tasked with making the best use of available funding to manage these assets at an acceptable level of service. This means having to manage a broad range of assets within a portfolio, with each asset deteriorating at a different rate and requiring interventions that often times are not optimally coordinated to reduce cost and limit disruption to customers. Quite often, the O&M, renewal and replacement of different asset classes are managed by diverse operating entities or “silos” within an organization. This piecemeal or silo-based planning results in poor communication between operating entities and sub optimal asset portfolio performance.

Project Scope

This project entailed the following tasks:

1.     Develop a renewal decision model by conducting a data gap analysis and facilitate
        workshop to understand existing life cycle activities, workflow, and capital works

2.     Complete an asset level risk assessment by conducting an asset data gap analysis
        and facilitate a workshop to document risk data based on existing risk

3.     Populate, implementing, and integrating dTIMS with existing GIS system

4.     Develop a life-cycle model coordinated with the utilities and roads program.

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By using the recommended treatments coming out of dTIMS, Vaughan is able to perform an optimization on all the assets within the road rights of way, including the underground utilities. In fact, Tetra Tech performed an optimization study using the City of Ft. Saskatchewan AB and dTIMS. They leveraged the City’s GIS data for underground utilities, combined with unit replacement costs for different intervention options (e.g., open cut replacement or relining), and an optimization performed within dTIMS to identify an optimal capital budget for each of these asset classes over 30 years. Amongst the findings were that an “optimally coordinated” capital plan could save a city between 5% and 10% over an un-coordinated approach over 30 years, which translated into an annual savings of $85,000 in the case of Ft. Saskatchewan.

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•      Recommended annual spending profile for any budget amount

•      Quantified inspection budget

•      Identification and filling in of data gaps

•      Coordinate open-cut interventions between water mains, sanitary and drainage
        sewers, and roadways

•      Improved public perception

•      Cost savings

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For more information on this project contact:

Gary Ruck P. Eng. PMP,
Director Business Development
Deighton North America