Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Department of Public Works



January 7, 2010


January 26, 2010







Honorable Board of Supervisors


James C. Porter, Director of Public Works


California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment



Adopt a resolution:



Supporting the findings of the comprehensive statewide study entitled, “California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment”; and



Authorizing the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors to send a copy of the Resolution to the Governor and each State Legislator involved with transportation policies and budget making decisions; and



Authorizing the President of the Board of Supervisors to send a letter to the Governor and each State Legislator involved with transportation policies and budget making decisions, supporting stable transportation funding and opposing future cuts to vital transportation funding.



In 2007, the League of California Cities (League) and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), in conjunction with the County Engineers Association of California and Los Angeles County Department of Public Works embarked on a mission to complete the first comprehensive statewide study of California’s local street and road system. CSAC has requested all counties to adopt resolutions in support of the recently completed study.



The objectives for the study were to assess the condition of the local system, to complete the overall transportation funding picture for California’s transportation network, and to educate the public and policymakers at all levels of government about the infrastructure investments needed to provide California with a seamless transportation system.


California’s 58 counties and 478 cities own and maintain 81% of the State’s total of publicly maintained lane-miles. All 58 counties and 478 cities were surveyed in the study. Information collected resulted in capturing data from more than 93% of the State’s local street and road miles.


The results of the study show that, on a scale of zero (failed) to 100 (excellent), the statewide average pavement condition index (PCI) is 68, which is considered “at risk”. By comparison to the State average of 68, the roads within the unincorporated areas of the County of San Mateo (County) currently have an average PCI of 68. If the current funding levels remain unchanged, the study indicated that the statewide condition is projected to deteriorate to a PCI of 58 in ten years and 48 in 25 years.


The PCI is a measurement of a road’s condition, and indicates the type of repair work that will be required. Typically, a score between zero and 25 is considered “failed;” between 25 and 50 is considered “poor;” between 50 and 70 is considered “at risk;” and between 70 and 100 is considered “good/excellent.” According to the study, an additional $51.7 billion of funding over the next ten years would be needed to bring the statewide pavement condition to a PCI of 80, which is considered a Best Management Practice (BMP) condition. At BMP levels, preventative maintenance treatments, such as slurry seals and chip seals would be recommended to keep the roads in good condition. If the County can bring and keep its road system to BMP levels, the Department of Public Works can cost-effectively maintain more streets on an annual basis.


Transportation funds are vital to achieving BMP levels and cost-effective management of the County’s road infrastructure. Funds, such as Proposition 42 and the Highway User Tax Account, were and may still be in jeopardy due to the State budget crisis. These funds are used to maintain and rehabilitate the County’s road system. Without these critical funds, a significant reduction in maintenance work and rehabilitation projects would be necessary, resulting in a decline in the condition of the County’s roads.


The Department is in agreement with the findings in the study, and recommends your support of the findings of the study. A copy of the study (without Appendices A-F) is attached for your reference. A complete copy of the study can be obtained at: The League and CSAC are encouraging all cities and counties to urge State legislators to stop future cuts to transportation funding, as it is imperative to funding the transportation systems vital in the State of California. This Department recommends that your Board include this action.


Support of the study contributes to the Shared Vision 2025 outcome of a Collaborative Community, and demonstrates the County’s support of an alliance with the other counties and cities for preservation of local road infrastructure and required funding.


The resolution has been approved as to form by County Counsel.



There is minimal impact to the General Fund for supporting the study due to possible staff time necessary to prepare a letter to the Governor and State Legislators.



California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment (w/o Appendices A-F)