The California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Assessment has found that state and local operated roadways are in need of $82 billion worth of repairs over the next decade. The study also found that local infrastructure only receives roughly half the funding necessary to prevent further decline.
When grading roads on a scale of 0 to 100 (with zero representing the lowest possible score), California roadways now score an average of 66, a drop from the 68 registered in the 2008 assessment. That decline is projected to continue over the next decade, bringing the average score to just 53. The corresponding backlog of repairs will increase from $40.4 billion to $66 billion.
Currently, funding for the local transportation systems is just $2.5 billion per year, despite local governments owning more than 81 percent of all roadways. Increasing funding by $1.9 billion per year will help negate some of the deterioration, but as the roads age, they will continue to require more and more costly repairs. But if enough funding is allocated to maintain industry Best Management Practices, costs of repairs can be controlled.
According to the study, it costs 12 times more to repave a road at the end of its life than one that is being maintained using BMPs.
The study continues to demonstrate how various funding schemes for infrastructure might impact the state’s road conditions. Those schemes range in cost from $882 million per year to $7.23 billion per year.
The best-case scenario described, $7.23 billion per year to address roadway needs through BMP would help all roads in the state recover to “Excellent” conditions over the next decade and, according to the study, would represent a $102 billion savings over the status quo.
Read the full report here.