Sonoma County supervisors are scheduled to vote Tuesday, on $8.6 million in road construction projects for this summer, including three projects in Sonoma Valley.
In addition, the agenda item contains $1.2 million in safety and corrective maintenance, including $500,000 for striping, a $200,000 paving machine and $500,000 for a culvert maintenance crew that includes staff, materials and equipment.
The projects being slated for Sonoma Valley include a nine-tenths of a mile stretch of Arnold Drive from the Sonoma Creek Bridge in Glen Ellen to Highway 12 ($600,00); a 2.54-mile portion of Bennett Valley Road from Old Bennett Valley Road to Warm Springs Road ($450,000) and a three-quarter-mile stretch of Napa Road from Eighth Street East to the Sonoma City limits ($500,00).
A memo to county supervisors from both the County Administrator’s office and the Department of Transportation and Public Works pointed out the challenges of properly funding and maintaining the county’s 1,370 miles of roads.
According to the memo, “Unfavorable formulas and declining State and Federal gas-tax revenues, which are the primary revenue stream for Revision No. 20131002-1 road repair and maintenance, coupled with significant local budget reductions due to the “Great Recession” (overall County General Fund revenue from property tax declined approximately $40 million between FY 08/09 and FY 12/13), along with increased costs of raw materials necessary for pavement preservation, have exacerbated the difficulty in maintaining such an extensive road network.”
The supervisors have dedicated $8 million a year for the past two fiscal years for road repairs.
Countywide, Public Works will treat 40 miles of road as part of the $8.6 million project. Of the $8.6 million, $6.8 million will come from the county’s General Fund, while $1.8 million will be from General Fund Franchise Fees.
The memo also says, “the Long-Term Road Ad Hoc Committee will also continue to work toward a combination of long range, community-based funding solutions, and work with State and Federal legislators to not only sustain the primary roads, but to begin to systematically fix potholes and improve maintenance on local roads, which comprise almost 65 percent of the county system but have no identified funding source for pavement preservation activities.”