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December 25, 2012 > Bay Area pavement conditions fair to middling

Bay Area pavement conditions fair to middling

Submitted By MTC

"One of the Commission's top priorities is to restore the Bay Area's transportation system to a state of good repair," commented MTC Chair and San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier. "For local streets and roads, that target has been frustratingly elusive; the main issue, not surprisingly, is money."

One way in which Bay Area cities and counties are maximizing the returns on their pavement maintenance investments is by embracing new technologies. In 2010, MTC awarded a $2M grant through its Climate Initiatives Program to Sonoma County and the city of Napa to help finance a demonstration of cold-in-place recycling (CIR) a repaving process in which specialized machinery shaves existing pavement to a depth of two to eight inches, pulverizes the removed asphalt, mixes it with additives, and then replaces and smooths the mix back onto the roadway. While not appropriate for all roadways, this technique has been shown to cut asphalt rehabilitation costs by 20 percent to 40 percent and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the need to produce new paving material or transport it to the worksite.

Following the 2011 completion of the pilot project in Sonoma County and Napa, several other Bay Area jurisdictions, including Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties and the cities of San Jose, Oakland, Foster City, Mill Valley, Orinda and South San Francisco, have used CIR for asphalt replacement projects.

"There are many streets and roads around the Bay Area with PCI scores below 60," noted Tissier. "That's the point when the deterioration of pavement really accelerates. MTC is working with cities and counties to make it possible for them to invest in both preventive maintenance and in rehabilitation."

In addition to Larkspur and St. Helena, other jurisdictions with three-year average PCI scores below 60 include Albany, Berkeley, Napa, Oakland, Orinda, Petaluma, San Leandro, Vallejo and unincorporated Marin and Sonoma counties.

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