Latest News

2016 California Statewide Needs Report Released

The 2016 California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment Report was released last week. No surprise to any of you, the 2016 Report found continued decline in pavement condition, bridges and essential components that make up the local street and road system. The average condition has dropped from a 66 on the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) [a scale of zero (failed) to 100 (excellent)] to a 65 which is in the “at risk” category. While this drop may not seem significant on its own, consider that since the inaugural report in 2008 the number of counties with an average PCI in “good” condition has dropped from 16 to 6 in just 10-years.


Since 2008, NCE has performed the Statewide needs assessment study of 539 cities and counties in California and has updated it biennially in 2010, 2012, 2014 and the most recent report in 2016. The scope of work includes collecting data on over 143,000 miles of local streets and roads, or over 80% of the state’s publicly maintained roadways.

The major tasks in this study include data collection from all cities and counties. These data is reviewed, summarized and evaluated. A methodology for standardizing the comparison process (converting all “apples” and “oranges” to “strawberries”) was developed in 2008 and continues to be utilized. This considers agencies with old data, missing data or no data. The results are presented to a variety of audiences including the California Transportation Commission, the State Legislature, Regional Transportation Planning Agency Planning Group and industry representatives.

Please visit to download a copy of the report.

FHWA Sustainable Pavements Program

FHWA_Thomas Van DamThe FHWA launched the Sustainable Pavements Program in 2010 to advance the knowledge and practice of sustainability related to pavements. The overall objective of the program is to increase the awareness, visibility, and the body of knowledge of sustainability considerations in all phases of the pavement life cycle. Under that program, the FHWA has completed the technical resource publication “Towards Sustainable Pavement Systems: A Reference Document” (FHWA-HIF-15-002), and is now delivering a series of five webinars to help implement and promote key elements of pavement sustainability.

NCE’s Principal, Thomas Van Dam, PhD, PE, will be co-presenting the webinars which are scheduled from 1-3PM (EDT). The schedule and topics are listed below:

June 25th – Sustainable Strategies for Concrete Pavements: Materials, Design, Construction
August 20th – Maintenance, Rehabilitation, and End-of-Life
September 9th – Use Phase, Livable Communities, and Path Forward

For more information, click Sustainable Pavements_Webinar Flyer.

Strategic Highway Research Program Resource Manual Published

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Report S2-R23-RW-2: Guide to Using Existing Pavement in Place and Achieving Long Life provides guidance for selecting, designing, and constructing long-life pavements using existing pavement structure has been published. The guide is intended to complement the design tools developed by SHRP 2 Report S2-R23-RR-1: Using Existing Pavement in Place and Achieving Long Life. This project also produced Addendum 1 and Addendum 2 to update and expand the information presented in the guide. The NCE Team authored the guidelines, best practices, pavement evaluation manual, and construction specifications.

Dr. James Signore Joins NCE as an Associate

James Signore
It is our great pleasure to announce the addition of James Signore, who has joined the NCE team in our Richmond office as an associate engineer. He has a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a registered professional engineer in California.

James has over 17 years of pavement consulting, research, and teaching experience. He specializes in pavement design and evaluation and materials assessment. Dr. Signore is a Member of the Transportation Research Board Committee AFD70, Pavement Rehabilitation, and AFD70-1, Pavement Interlayer Systems. Prior to joining NCE, James served as Director, Principal Investigator, and Laboratory Manager at the University of California Pavement Research Center at UC Berkeley. He has taught numerous graduate level courses in pavement engineering and has taught for the National Highway Institute and American Society of Civil Engineers continuing education since 2000.

As an Associate of NCE, Dr. Signore will serve as a project manager and Principal Investigator, performing and working with a team of engineers on a variety of projects. As a subject matter expert in pavements, he will be a tremendous resource, both internally and externally, complementing our extensive existing pavement expertise. James will be a technical resource to clients as they encounter pavement related problems ranging from forensic analysis to requests for information from contractors.