The budget for 2023-2024 is being developed in the coming months, and this is a good opportunity to reflect on how much the county’s roads have improved. In 2012 the Board of Supervisors began increasing its contributions to pavement preservation and in 2014 it developed a long-term strategy for roads.
Sonoma County contributes more of its general funds to pavement preservation than any other county in California. It also receives substantial gas tax funding from SB1, which statewide voters approved in 2017, as well as the Go Sonoma sales tax that county voters approved in 2020. All Supervisors have supported
improving our roads, and Public Infrastructure (formerly Transportation and Public Works) is professional and supportive. About 446 miles of county roads will have been refurbished between 2012 and the construction season in 2023.
This is an excellent time to thank your Supervisor for improving our county roads. We anticipate that the supervisors will continue to invest a similar amount of general funds for pavement preservation projects as it has done for about a decade. Spending recently has been about $20 million each year, and we hope that the supervisors will increase the general fund contribution to account for the inflation we have experienced during the past year. Fortunately, SB1 requires counties and cities to maintain their prior levels of road repair efforts.
Inflation may make this a difficult budget period. The county road system has suffered additional damages from flooding this winter. We hope that the supervisors maintain the focus on pavement preservation and do not divert resources to non-pavement infrastructure. As the pavement condition index illustrates, we still have a long way to go.
We anticipate Public Infrastructure will soon propose a list of county roads to be improved during the 2024-2025 construction season. We will alert you about the details of its proposal as soon as it becomes available.
Sonoma County’s roads have improved since SOSroads began supporting county road repairs in 2011. We plan to continue to do so.