Monterey Herald-“Monterey County Roads Among Worst in State”

Local transportation officials are pointing to a recently released report that rates Monterey County’s roadways among the worst in the state as a justification for a proposed transportation sales tax on the Nov.8 ballot.

Entitled “California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment,” the report indicates the county’s roadway conditions are tied for eight worst in the state with neighboring Santa Cruz County based on a pavement condition index of 50 out of a possible 100. That leaves the county’s 1,783 miles of streets and roads in an “at risk” condition, meaning they will be increasingly more expensive to maintain and may end beyond repair if they continue to deteriorate, according to the report. The state average pavement condition index is 65, according to the biennial report. It indicated the county’s roadways had an index of 63 as recently as 2008, but then sagged to 45 two years later before settling in at 50 in 2014 and this year.

According to a Transportation Agency for Monterey County release announcing the report’s findings, the report indicates the county has met 11 percent of its road pavement needs, and an estimated $1.5 billion is needed over the next decade to meet the need, while the gas tax funding has stagnated.

TAMC executive director Debbie Hale noted the county’s road maintenance needs are ‘wide-spread,” encompassing both urban and rural roadways.

“Each city is dealing with its own challenges of crumbling pavement costs, deferred maintenance and annual shortfalls in funding,” Hale said. “Unfortunately, without a dedicated source of local funds these infrastructure repairs are unlikely. That is why we created the Measure X transportation safety and investment plan, to improve our quality of life and the economic vitality of the community.”

Measure X would establish a 30-year, 3/8-cent sales tax estimated to raise $20 million per year for local transportation projects, including 60 percent or $360 million dedicated to local roads repair and upgrades in the unincorporated county and its 12 cities.

To read the full report written by Jim Johnson, click onto: