Our county can make real progress on the challenges we face and capitalize on the opportunities before us if we focus on what matters and make data-driven decisions.
When it comes to having good roads that don’t destroy our cars and trucks, we must do the same. Our roads received a Pavement Condition Index score of 49 out of 100 in 2020 (the last year for which I can find this data). Only 6 counties of the 58 in California scored worse than us.
To make matters worse, the condition of our roads is deteriorating and we don’t currently have the money set aside to resurface them. In 2008, we scored a 64, 15 points higher than our 2020 score. In a presentation before the Board of Supervisors a few weeks ago, we learned that we only have about half of the money we need to resurface our roads. (I discuss these challenges in this video.)
So what do we do? We need to do an updated analysis of the Pavement Condition Index for all county roads and publish this to the county website so every resident can see how every road scores.
Then we need to prioritize investing in the roads with the lowest scores that are close to requiring a full rebuild. Resurfacing a road costs one-fifth of the cost of rebuilding a road, so it’s critical that we resurface roads before we need to rebuild them.
We also need to proactively seek out state and federal funding for road repair. The City of Shasta Lake – which has resurfaced 60% of its roads in the last 20 years – used $4M of grant money to improve its roads over the past 6 years.
A big part of what makes Shasta County special is the vast expanses of diverse terrain and recreational opportunities. To take advantage of our surroundings, we need excellent roads. Let’s lead on road conditions!
If you have any information or insights on our roads that you think I should know, please share!