Marin roads still below state average, report says

12/01/2016

In Marin, one of the most affluent counties in the nation, the streets are far from being cemented in gold. Pavement conditions of roads in unincorporated Marin fell below the state’s average score and were reported to be at a “higher risk” of deterioration in a recent state assessment. The California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment, a biennial report released in October, gave roads in unincorporated Marin an average pavement condition index of 60 on a scale of zero (fail) to 100 (excellent). It was an increase from the county’s 2008 score of 48, but it still tumbled short of the statewide average score of 65. The report analyzed the current pavement conditions of all streets and roads in the state and calculated how much it would cost to repair them. In Marin, the county would need to spend an estimated $48 million over the next 10 years just to maintain current road conditions, the report said. Yet the county has made road repair a priority in recent years: in 2014, the Marin County Board of Supervisors initiated a six-year Road and Bridge Rehabilitation Project worth $48 million, and has continued to boost that budget. The county’s most recent budget, totaling $540.7 million, allocated about $19 million for road maintenance, including a one-time $2 million stimulus and plans to add $1 million per year to the budget for roads. Supervisor Steve Kinsey said the board committed to investing half of each year’s remaining general fund balance into a roads program to help improve the index status of county roads. “Marin is fortunate that local voters approved a half-cent sales tax in 2004 that generates over $6 million for roads annually,” he said. “However, many counties, including Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara and San Francisco, have all approved more than one measure to help fund their roads.” Supervisor Kinsey said the Transportation Authority of Marin is considering whether to seek voter approval in 2018 for additional funding for road and other mobility improvements. In West Marin, the Department of Public Works has worked on a bevy of resurfacing projects over the last two years. Sir Francis Drake Boulevard through Samuel P. Taylor State Park and a couple of segments of Point Reyes-Petaluma Road were resurfaced, and 12 miles of Sir Francis Drake through the seashore are in the design phase.