For Immediate Release
Board of Supervisors boosts funding for county’s pavement preservation program
SANTA ROSA, CA | June 12, 2023
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a 3 percent boost in the General Fund contribution for resurfacing and maintaining the county road network, an increase that will be equal to $310,145 for fiscal year 2023-24. This is an addition to the $10 million in General Fund dollars that the board already allocates to the program each year, which supplements the gas tax funds that also are spent on road improvements in Sonoma County.
The Board of Supervisors proactively contributes more discretionary dollars to road repairs than any of the 58 counties in the state. Since 2012, the Board has invested more than $203 million to improve 516 miles of roads totaling 38 percent of the county’s 1,368-mile road network, the largest county-maintained road network in the San Francisco Bay Area.
With its action on Tuesday, the Board agreed to increase the General Fund contribution to the Pavement Preservation Program from 2 percent to 5 percent.
According to the Sonoma County Department of Public Infrastructure, the increase is necessary to maintain progress on improving road conditions following persistent construction cost increases, diminished gas tax revenue, multiple recent natural disasters and other factors. Current economic uncertainty and financial revenue factors such as property tax revenue projections, delays in federal disaster reimbursement, and the annual Consumer Price Index, which measures the average change in prices over time, also contributed to the funding request.
“Sonoma County is a state leader in terms of discretionary dollars going to road paving, and there are noticeable improvements in the condition of our roads,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Continuing to invest in critical road, bridge, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure remains one of our highest priorities, consistent with the Resilient Infrastructure pillar of the county’s Strategic Plan.”
In 2019, recognizing that storm water is a major factor contributing to roadway degradation, the Pavement Preservation Program was enhanced to include roadside ditch re-establishment and replacement of damaged culverts to improve the outcome of paving work and extend the life of the pavement. The drainage improvements were added to the program without additional funding requests to support the work, and account for approximately 20 percent of the overall costs of road paving.
In addition, according to the Construction Cost Index, an industry standard used to measure yearly cost inflation, labor and material costs have increased in the past ten years at a rate faster than the 2 percent adjustment factor approved by the Board of Supervisors in fiscal year 2016-17. As a result, the General Funds allocated for pavement preservation does not provide sufficient annual adjustments to maintain the program at its intended level.
The Pavement Preservation Program was established in 2014 to prioritize higher volume roads categorized as Major Collectors and Minor Arterials, which comprise 26 percent of the county-maintained road system. These roads provide transportation routes that connect communities, are used by a high number of vehicles, and generally operate at higher speed limits than most county roads.
County officials have reported less public acceptance for maintenance treatments and more demands for road reconstruction, which has prompted an additional focus on addressing secondary rural roads with lower traffic volume and inferior pavement conditions. These roads comprise most of the county system and require more substantial treatment at higher cost.
According to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Sonoma County’s Pavement Condition Index, which is an industry standard to measure road pavement conditions, has improved eight points since 2012, from 44 to 52 out of 100. This is due primarily to the Board of Supervisors General Fund contributions.
To view a map of county paving projects in 2023, please visit:
For more information about how roads are selected for paving, please visit:
Non-emergency road requests may be submitted and tracked via:
A current road closures map, including registration to receive alerts, is at: https://roadclosures-sonomacounty.hub.arcgis.com/.