Steve's Thoughts and Campaign News

More on Road Repairs


Many people have rightfully felt upset that their streets are not included on the list for street repairs for 2020 and 2021. There is no question that our roads, including the ones left off that have been listed by many of you on social media, are very bad. However, some of the frustration has been directed at Public Works staff. We have an excellent Public Works department, capably headed by William Tarbox. Ill feelings should not be directed at City staff for just doing their job.


Public Works has supplied additional information about how these funding recommendations are made.


Benicia 2018 Map - PCI Condition smMoney for road repairs comes from a variety of sources (e.g.Federal, State, Gas Tax, Measure C etc.} Federal and some State funds are distributed through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). To access those funds, cities must utilize a Pavement Management Program and assign each street in the city a Pavement Condition Index (PCI). Staff relies on the PCI along with other factors like potential impact to residents and coordination with other road or utility projects in making the recommendations.


One of the reasons I like this approach is that it is apolitical, and should not be subject to requests by Council members for preference to be given to certain streets.


The City also uses StreetSaver, software developed by MTC, to provide a number of analytical measures of street conditions. This software helps assign a PCI number to every street in the City. In 2018, city streets were given an overall PCI of 56 on a scale of 100, down from 63 a decade ago. The City uses a variety of street treatments from total reconstruction of our worst streets to slurry seals and microsurfacing of streets in better condition. If we spent all of our money rebuilding our worst streets, the lack of maintenance on decent or good streets would soon see them deteriorate at a much faster rate. Rebuilding roads is 10 to 40 times more expensive than maintaining them. Taking this approach is the fiscally prudent way to address these problems.


We will be spending about $2 million on micro surfacing “good” streets in summer 2020; in summer 2021 we will be reconstructing bad roads, with a PCI between 8 and 18, at a cost of around $4 million. If you are interested in knowing what your PCI rating is, I have the list. Stay informed on Benicia's Public Works website.  And see the 2018 Pavement Condition Index MAP here.


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