The Funding Timeline
In the mid-1980's, the City ceased General Fund support for road programs in response to budget problems, relying primarily upon available State gas tax and TDA funds. As a result, the road maintenance backlog grew to $2 million by 1993.
In 1994, Council considered Road Maintenance Assessments to raise funds but that effort failed. Council then commissioned a Citizen's Blue Ribbon Committee on Road Maintenance to reassess needs. The Committee validated a $5 million backlog and recommended phased correction with funding provided by property assessments.
In 1996, Council again initiated proceedings for Road Maintenance Assessments but ultimately rejected enactment of the assessments to allow a vote on a Citywide sales tax as an alternative fund source. A sales tax measure was placed on the June 1998 ballot but failed. The City Council again placed a sales tax initiative on the March 2000 ballot to address a backlog that had grown to $9.9 million. In March 2000, Woodland voters overwhelmingly approved a local, six year, 1/2 cent sales tax measure (MeasureH) and several advisory measures on how the money was spent. The top vote getter (80%) was Advisory Measure E which said that $10 million in additional revenues should go towards the road maintenance backlog.
What Happens Now?
Over the six year period, 2000-2006, the City will undertake a major street rehabilitation program. While this will necessarily cause a lot of disrupion as streets are closed for repair, the finished product should give us at least 20 years of use on those road segments with minimal additional impacts. We will be coordinating as much concurrent underground utility work as possible to minimize the need to later dig up a newly paved street to replace a water or sewer line. Our big issue when this is all done will be to ensure our annual maintenance needs are funded so this cycle doesn't repeat itself. Most of the state has imposed local assessments or sales taxes for ongoing maintenance needs. The City of Woodland must deal with this issue in the next several years.
The Value of a Road System
A road system, like any capital investment, must be maintained in a timely manner to minimize the life cycle costs and extract the maximum long-term benefit from the investment. A well-maintained road system is crucial to an effective commercial delivery system and the economic vitality of a community. Poorly maintained streets cause damage to vehicles increasing vehicle maintenance and repair costs. If roads are left too long without proper maintenance and timely overlays, they must be completely reconstructed at a much higher cost. Eventually this can have a negative effect on property values.
Road System Facts
The road system is Woodland's single largest asset with a replacement cost of approximately $74,000,000.
Our road system serves approximately 350,000 vehicle miles of travel per day.
Our 1999 pavement report showed the City has 156 miles of road of which 7 miles needed to be reconstructed and 15 miles needed to be overlaid. The pavement repair backlog was $9.9 million.
What is the Current Road Maintenance Program?
The tracking and evaluation of the condition of our road system is accomplished through a computerized pavement management system (PMS) which is determined by a pavement rating performed by visual inspection. The PMS provides a systematic approach to managing pavements in the most cost-effective manner. The PMS program provides an inventory of roads, pavement condition data, pavement performance history, conceptual designs with life cycle cost evaluation, and prioritization and optimization methodologies.
Coupled with sound engineering judgment and management practices, the PMS will identify what work needs to be done to provide the most cost-effective management of the road system pavements.
The City of Woodland's road maintenance program includes both an in-house function and contract component. Our in-house street maintenance program includes base failure repair, crack sealing, patch paving, and seal coats. Road overlays and reconstruction projects are contracted out through a competitive bidding process.
Preventive maintenance and overlays provide the maximum benefit and therfore will generally have first priority for use of available funds. This type of work will prevent or defer the more extensive and expensive reconstrction, which is neccessary when the pavement and base material have failed due to lack of maintenance. Due to declining funding, the backlog of road maintenance requirements grew to almost $10 million in 10 years.
Pavement Maintenance and Rehabilitation Requirements
The annual Pavement Maintenance Program is designed to maximize the useful life of our roadway system pavements at minimum life-cycle costs. The annual cost of ownership is derived by annualizing the costs of the pavement mantenance program. Currently, the anual cost of ownership for our road system is estimated at approximately $2.1 million.
Historically, there have been three non-City sources that are used for funding of the pavement management program.
State Transportation Development (TDA) Revenues
Federal Transportation Funding (ISTEA/TEA21)
State Treansportation Improvement Program (STIP) funds
The projected annual total funding available from these sources is $0.9 million. (We receive another $900,000 in gas tax revenue, however, it is used for street lights, traffic signals, alley maintenance, and signs and markings.) This revenue is insufficient to cover the annual cost of ownership. Additionally, there are certain requirements placed on the use of state and federal funding programs that restrict its use to overlay and reconstruction projects. In order to protect its investment in the road system, the City must repair the backlog of overlay and reconstruction work that was built up during the 90's and properly fund the annual "cost of ownership" so that another backlog doesn't develop.
If you have questions or comments, please email the City of Woodland Community Development Engineering Division at firstname.lastname@example.org