Local road conditions trend downward

Local road conditions trend downward
Photo credit: MTC

The overall condition of roads in West Contra Costa County communities are on the decline, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s latest pavement condition data.

Last year, the Bay Area’s 44,000 lane-miles of local streets and roads were found on average to be in the “fair” category, with a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) of 67 out of 100, as computed on a three-year moving average basis. This is the seventh straight year the Bay Area has scored a PCI of 67, according to the MTC.

The “fair” category indicates that a typical stretch of roadway is showing serious wear and likely will require rehabilitation soon to prevent rapid deterioration, according to the MTC. With major repairs costing five to 10 times more than routine maintenance, “these streets are at an especially critical stage,” the agency said.

Aside from roadways in El Cerrito and in unincorported Contra Costa County communities, which scored in the category of “good,” nearly all West Contra Costa cities fell within the “fair” category for their average overall PCI score. Pinole is the only community falling below “fair” as it is in the “at risk” category.

El Cerrito, with 137 total lane miles, boasted the best roads of jurisdictions in West County. However, conditions are on the decline, as El Cerrito scored a PCI of 80 in 2020 to 76 in 2021 and 70 last year.

Richmond, with 583.4 total lane miles, is also seeing a decline in road conditions. Its PCI was 64 in 2020, 63 in 2021, and 60 last year.

San Pablo’s 104.2 total lane miles scored a 72 PCI in 2020, falling to 71 in 2021 and 69 last year. Hercules’ 124.6 total lane miles scored 67 in both 2020 and 2021 but reduced to 65 last year, while Pinole’s 118.6 total lane miles declined from 62 in 2020 to 59 in 2021 and then 56 last year.

Which Bay Area cities scored best for road conditions? The Contra Costa County city of Orinda (190.7 total lane miles) came out on top, scoring a 75 PCI in 2020, increasing to an 81 in 2021 and then to 84 last year.

The Santa Clara County cities of Cupertino and Palo Alto each followed with an 83 PCI last year. 

MTC Chair and Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza called the Bay Area pavement data for 2022 an overall “mixed bag,” saying the lack of progress is “frustrating.” He cited the approval of local taxes for street rehabilitation as contributing to improving conditions in some cities. For more information, go here.