A new report finds that pavement conditions statewide are declining, and current funding levels are insufficient to properly fix or maintain streets, roads, bridges, sidewalks, storm drains and traffic signs.
The ‘California Local Streets & Roads Needs Assessment Report’ breaks the state down by county and analyzes the condition of the roads and streets we drive every day. The biennial report — a collaboration between the California State Association of Counties, the League of California Cities and the state’s regional transportation planning agencies — indicates that the majority of roads in Southern California are considered “at risk.”
On a scale of zero (failed) to 100 (excellent), the condition of roadway pavement in Los Angeles County was rated in the study as a 66, which falls in the “at risk’’ category and matches the state’s overall rating. Orange County fared better, with a pavement condition index (or PCI) rating of 77.
Bringing roads up to par in Los Angeles County over the next decade will cost more than $19 billion, the highest total of any county in the state, according to the report. Road and bridge repair work in Orange County will cost more than $4.8 billion over the next 10 years.
“The state gas tax is only worth half of its value compared to when it was last increased in 1994,’’ said Matt Cate, the executive director of the counties association. “While revenues are decreasing, cities and counties are doing more with less, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building sustainable communities, both of which rely on a functioning local transportation network. It is no wonder that funding is woefully inadequate.’’
He said it’s “time to get serious about a more stable funding source for local streets, roads and bridges so we can begin to catch up on a backlog of work that should have been completed long ago.’’
Analysis in the biennial report states that: “The results of this study continue to be sobering. It is clear that California’s local streets and roads network are not just at risk; they are on the edge of a cliff with an average PCI of 65. With this pavement condition and the existing funding climate, there is a clear downward trend projected for the next ten years.”
The report predicts that further deferrals in completing the work could double the cost of repairs in the future. Nearly $7.3 billion in annual statewide transportation spending is needed to fix California’s roads and bridges, according to the report.