Citywide, there are many streets throughout our neighborhoods that are in need of repair. Photo by Breezy Gledhill
by City staff
The City of Ventura is making significant improvements to Ventura Avenue, from Santa Clara Street to Dakota Drive. By the end of the summer, the work will be completed and Ventura Avenue will have two miles of new street pavement surface, paint striping and repairs to the sidewalk, curb and gutters. The restriping of the roadway will also include bike “sharrows” to improve bike safety, as well as green bike lanes and bike box treatments. In addition to the street re-paving, 95 access ramps will be replaced and/or retrofitted bringing them up to ADA compliance.
The much-needed Ventura Avenue paving project is already drawing praise from residents, businesses and commuters by providing safety improvements that help move traffic along the Avenue with greater ease. Maintenance for this core infrastructure that helps us carry out our daily routines comes with a hefty price tag, to the tune of $1.9M for this project.
Why does it cost so much to maintain our streets? The cost of pavement repairs has substantially increased over the years due to increased cost of materials and labor to perform the work. In the past, the City relied on a combination of state, and Federal gas tax funding to pay for road maintenance. However, statewide funding through bond measures and Federal gas tax that has been available in the past for maintaining the City’s sidewalks and roads has been reduced over time.
The City now only receives its local share of State gas tax funds at about $2.3M per year. In addition to gas tax funds, the City provides $1.2M for street maintenance out of the General Fund (the same fund that pays for police, fire, parks, programs for seniors and youth, and other critical services) for a total of $3.5M in annual funding. However, the City needs $10.4M per year to maintain its roads at their current level.
Citywide, there are many streets throughout our neighborhoods that are in need of repair. The cost of fixing a road is determined by its condition, and the longer we wait to fix them the more they cost. Our Pavement Condition Index, which is used to indicate the condition of a specific section of road pavement, is currently 69 and is expected to drop to 61 by the year 2021.
Well-maintained streets are among the most important public assets and maintenance must be done regularly. The City utilizes available funding for street maintenance in the most cost effective manner for the greatest long term value. Continuing to take good care of our local roads enhances economic development competitiveness, provides safe mobility and improves quality of life for Ventura residents and visitors.