Those who drive around Turlock on a regular basis already know that the condition of the city’s roadways has got worse over the past several years — but now the numbers prove it. Turlock’s Development Services Director/City Engineer Nathan Bray gave the Turlock City Council a brief update on road conditions during their last meeting on Tuesday, including the city’s newest Pavement Condition Index average.
The measurement system used to gauge the condition of the city's roadways, the Pavement Condition Index, ranges between 0 (very poor) and 100 (excellent). When the City of Turlock first surveyed the streets in 2013, the average PCI was 67. The newest survey has the city at an average of 56 PCI.
“That is due basically to the amount of funding we have invested in our infrastructure,” said Bray.
Bray also presented the Council a map of the city with each street highlighted in either green, indicating good condition with a PCI between 100 and 70; yellow with fair condition and 69-50 PCI; or red, poor condition 49-0 PCI.
“One thing to note, a lot of the older roads, those are a lot of your red and yellow streets. A lot of the newer roads are the green streets, coincidentally they align with assessment districts for the most part. The assessment districts maintain funding to help resurface their streets roughly every seven years — that shows the pavement condition being elevated,” said Bray.
The Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972 and the Benefit Assessment Act of 1982 allow for the formation of special district areas so that developments can pay for their own ongoing maintenance. The City of Turlock currently has approximately 220 assessment districts.
The Development Director said he is working on analysis to bring back to the Council that would show how different scenarios would affect the city’s overall PCI.
“It’s all up for discussion, based on what the Council’s priorities are,” said Bray. “You can choose to embark on different treatments that maybe address roads that are a lower PCI or maybe choose to embark on preserving what we already have — doing more slurry seals and stuff and maintaining a lot of the green and yellow streets,” said Bray.
Vice Mayor Gil Esquer asked Bray about the city’s Measure L funds and how they are being used to bring up the city’s overall PCI number.
In 2016, voters approved Measure L — Local Roads First Transportation Funding, a county-wide 25-year, half-cent sales tax. The road tax will bring in $960 million over the course of 25 years, or approximately $38 million annually, to be divided between the county and nine cities. For Turlock, a lifetime total of $138 million will be provided by the road tax.
Bray said that right now, the current Measure L projects over the next five years will hit a lot of the larger, arterial streets — West Main, East Avenue, Golden State, Geer Road — and most of those are a in the areas that are red.
“In a future conversation, I’d like to bring back the topic of road maintenance, all inclusive. Let’s look at all of our funding sources, look at what is the best, most efficient use of those limited dollars that we have,” said Bray.