The 2012 California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment shows a steady downward trend in the pavement condition since 2008. It will take $8.22 billion annually over the next 10 years to bring the pavement condition and essential components, such as storm drains, gutters, sidewalks and curbs, of local streets and roads to the most cost-effective maintenance level.
Cities and counties own and maintain 81 percent of California’s roads, and these byways underpin California’s statewide transportation network. From the moment we open our front door in the morning to drive to work, bike to school, walk to the bus station or buy groceries, we depend on our local streets and roads. Emergency responders and law enforcement rely on the network to save lives and keep us safe. It’s hard to think of a single aspect of daily life that doesn’t involve a local road.
The study surveyed all 58 counties and 482 cities and covers an exceptional 98 percent of the local streets and roads system. For the first time, the report includes a first time in-depth study of bridge needs. The report shows that pavement conditions are deteriorating throughout California and that while the costs are high for even the most basic repair and maintenance, the price tag for waiting is far higher, from both an economic and a public safety standpoint. Simply put, pay now or pay much more later.
Cities are encouraged to review the results of the study and the condition of the transportation system in their own cities. Sample press releases, letters to the editor, and PowerPoint presentations can be found on the League website.