Harris County Invests in a Smart, Modern Approach, to Infrastructure Management

In a unanimous decision by the County Judge and Commissioners Court, the county invested in OpenGov—software designed to manage a wide range of infrastructure assets in a data-driven manner. The county is deploying the asset and work management software in all four precincts, along with the Toll Road Authority, Flood Control, and Engineering groups.

“A smart county is a connected county—and we have an opportunity to pave the way on smart infrastructure management in Harris County,” said Major General (Ret) Richard Noriega, executive director for Harris County Universal Services. “The need to modernize our approach to managing streets, parks, stormwater, facilities, water utilities, and other critical infrastructure assets is critical. Harris County strives to be a leader in providing premiere customer service to our constituents—and [OpenGov’s] best-of-breed infrastructure management software is one of the cornerstones of our vision to do that.”

As the most populous county in Texas, Harris County is focused both on maintaining existing assets and building new infrastructure to accommodate population growth. Today, the county is managing its infrastructure operations and maintenance efforts with printed work orders, spreadsheets, and legacy software systems. County crews and contractors will have the ability to complete maintenance work orders via the OpenGov application on their mobile devices. Capturing this data will give the county visibility on the true condition and cost of its infrastructure.

Precinct 2 was the first group to implement OpenGov. They went live with the software in February and the team is already seeing results. They’ve completed more than 7,000 tasks and logged over $5M in maintenance costs related to road maintenance, pothole repairs, sewer jetting, and other activities.

“One high-priority project we’ve been focused on is road ditching to help mitigate flooding,” explained Juan Hernandez, Assistant Director of Public Works for Harris County Precinct 2. “Our goal is to ditch one million feet per year. With the dashboards in [OpenGov], we can quickly and easily see how we’re progressing toward that goal. So far, we’ve ditched more than 360,000 feet and we’re on track to hit our target by the end of the year. This is a big win for the county—both the progress of the project and the visibility of our data.”

The other precincts and groups are at varying stages of their implementation. In addition to using OpenGov to document all operations and maintenance activities in the field, the county plans to set up preventative maintenance schedules and start planning out future work. With this data, the county will be able to clearly communicate infrastructure management plans, projects, and results to residents.

Published: December 27, 2021