Phoenix wants to buy million-dollar van for road projects

Posted at 4:53 AM, Jul 06, 2017

The City of Phoenix is in the market for a million-dollar vehicle you probably won’t see driven by the rich or the famous.

“This is really our most valuable tool,” said Ryan Stevens, a civil engineer with the city.

City council will decide Thursday morning whether to approve spending up to $1.15 million on a new ARAN van, short for Automatic Road Analyzer, for the public works and street transportation departments. The city’s current van is 9 years old and, according to Stevens, has outdated technology that’s becoming more difficult and costly to maintain.

The new model “uses lasers instead of actual pavement images so we're getting a better scan of our streets," he said.

It takes two years for the van to cover all 5,000 miles of roadway. The data it collects goes toward deciding what spots need to be worked on or repaved as part of the city’s $50-million-a-year Pavement Management Program.