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Local Governments Say Roads Need $100 Billion Of Maintenance

Local road and street maintenance needs an additional $71 billion investment over the next 10 years, according to a study prepared by the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities. The study identified $99.7 billion worth of maintenance needed to roads, streets and their essential components, such as storm drains, sidewalks and signals. However, only $28.3 billion is expected to be available.

The additional $71 billion would permit all facilities to attain a "best management practices" (BMP) condition, under which basic preventive maintenance measures slurry seals and thin overlays, for example would be adequate to keep roads in good condition. "It costs twelve times less to maintain a BMP pavement compared with a pavement that is at the end of its service life," the report by Nichols Consulting Engineers stated. "Even a modest resurfacing is four times costlier than a pavement in the BMP condition."

The study is the first to comprehensively assess local street and road conditions in California, according to the local government organizations. The study found that the average pavement condition is "at risk," and that conditions will worsen based on recent funding trends. An additional $7 billion a year for the local system equates to a 38-cent increase in the gas tax.

You may find the needs assessment report here.

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Josh Stephens on The Urban Mystique at SPUR: January 19
On Tuesday, January 19, please join CP&DR Contributing Editor Josh Stephens and our friends at SPUR for a conversation about his book The Urban Mystique and the ineffable complexities that make all cities wondrous, maddening, and fascinating.

New Book by Josh Stephens!