Placer County planning road improvements
Placer County is planning on resurfacing more than 130 miles of roads by next summer, with the help of an additional $7.3 million in funding from Senate Bill 1 which raised the gas tax.
Last fiscal year, the county used $2.6 million in its first share of SB1 funding to resurface roads in North Lake Tahoe, Granite Bay and Penryn. This year the money will be used to resurface more than 130 roads throughout the county, including 10 to 20 miles of overlay, 30 to 50 miles of slurry seal, and 40 to 80 miles using chip seal.
Currently over 217 miles of Placer County’s roads in the Tahoe area are rated at an average Pavement Condition Index of 45 out of 100. A road in good condition would have a PCI of at least 70 with 45 rated as a poor condition, according to Placer County Roads Manager Kevin Taber.
“The upper elevation roads as you can imagine weather is the main factor on the deterioration,” said Taber.
According to a 2017 report by Nichols Consulting Engineers the average PCI of the entire county is in the middle of the fair category.
“A good way to look at maintaining roads is kind of thinking of it as maintaining your car,” he said. “If you let those roads slide further down the degradation curve you might be looking at a major tune up.”
According to a presentation Taber gave to the Placer County Board of Supervisors, without the help of SB1 the county would only be able to complete 10 to 20 miles of resurfacing a year. With the additional funding they can resurface 80 to 120 miles of road per year.
“These new projects will significantly improve road conditions for Placer County residents and visitors, while ensuring the safety of our drivers,” said Taber.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.