Nearly every trip begins on a city street or county road. Whether traveling by bicycle, bus, rail, truck or family automobile, Californians need a reliable and well-maintained local street and road system. Every component of California’s transportation system is critical to providing a seamless, interconnected system that supports the traveling public and economic vitality throughout the state. Sustainable communities cannot function without a well-maintained local street and road system that provides access for transit and active modes of transportation like bicycling and walking. The first comprehensive statewide study of California’s local street and road system in 2008 provided critical information and analysis of the local transportation network’s condition and funding needs. Each subsequent report has monitored the changes biennially. This study sought answers to important questions: What are the current pavement conditions of local streets and roads? What will it cost to repair all streets and roads? What measures are necessary for a system to function safely? What is the impact of the additional funding available from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1) on the condition of local streets and roads, bridges, and essential components?

Responsible for over 85 percent of California’s roads, cities and counties find the continuation of this study to be of critical importance for several reasons. Its results continue to educate policymakers at all levels of government and the public about the infrastructure investments needed to provide California with a seamless, multi-modal transportation system. Its findings provide a credible and defensible analysis to support a dedicated, stable funding source for local system maintenance. It also provides the rationale for the most effective and efficient investment of public funds, potentially saving taxpayers from paying significantly more to fix local streets and roads into the future.

Previous editions of this report cautioned that without an influx of new revenues, the vital local street and road system would continue to deteriorate and cost taxpayers increasingly more to repair. After years of careful consideration and study, the Legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1 in 2017. The passage of SB 1 was a significant success for municipal governments statewide and injected a long-awaited substantial infusion of funding to maintain local street and road systems. The bill provides over $5 billion annually for transportation, and of this, approximately $1.5 billion is allocated to the local street and road system owned and maintained by 539 cities and counties. Despite the passage of SB 1 in 2017, there was considerable uncertainty surrounding local transportation funding through 2022 due first to the effort to repeal SB 1 in November 2018, and then to the COVID19 pandemic in early 2020. The former created a climate of uncertainty where cities and counties were reluctant to commit to long-term repair efforts, and the latter resulted in significant revenue reductions and uncertainty through the 2022 construction season. Both of these events impacted local government transportation project delivery between 2018 to 2022. As with previous updates, this 2022 update surveyed all of California’s 539 cities and counties. Almost 70 percent of the agencies that were solicited responded – a level of participation that makes clear the sustained interest in addressing the growing problems of crumbling local streets and roads.


The Pavement Condition Index (PCI) of California’s local streets and roads has decreased by half a point since 2020. On a scale of zero (failed) to 100 (excellent), the average statewide PCI for local streets and roads is 65, or “At Risk”. Fifty-four of 58 counties have either at risk or poor pavements. The maps on the following page illustrate the changes in condition since 2008.

To use taxpayer money wisely, it makes more sense to preserve and maintain roads in good condition than to wait and repair or replace them when they deteriorate or fail. The estimated costs reported in this study are based on improving roadway pavement condition to meet best management practices (BMPs). At BMP conditions, preventive maintenance treatments (i.e., slurry seals, chip seals, thin overlays) are most cost-effective. In addition to costing less, preventive maintenance interferes less with commerce and the public’s mobility and is more environmentally friendly than rehabilitation or reconstruction.

The importance of this approach is significant. As roadway pavement conditions deteriorate, the cost to repair them increases exponentially. For example, it costs as much as 14 times more to reconstruct a pavement than to preserve it when it is in good condition. Even modest resurfacing is 4 times more expensive than maintaining pavement in the BMP condition. To put it another way, 14 miles of roadway can be maintained in a BMP condition for the same cost as reconstructing 1 mile of failed pavement. By bringing the local roadway system to BMP condition, cities and counties will be able to then maintain streets and roads at the most cost-effective level. This outcome is not only optimal, but also necessary.

Technological Cost Savings

This report also includes the impact of using sustainable technologies (e.g., cold-in-place recycling) that result in significant cost savings. Since 2012, the number of agencies that employ some form of recycling has more than doubled. This trend is expected to continue, and cost savings can be as much as 25 percent over conventional treatments, resulting in a reduction of the 10-year pavement funding needs. These cost savings are therefore included in the funding scenarios presented here.

Funding Scenarios (in constant 2022 dollars)

Three funding scenarios were analyzed.

    • Existing Funding with SB 1 ($3.36 billion/year) – This is the current funding amount and includes SB 1 together with cost savings from paving technologies. The PCI is expected to drop slightly to 63 by 2032, however, the percent of good pavements will increase to over 60 percent (see Table).
      Note that this scenario does not consider the impact of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), which are estimated to reduce gas revenues by up to $1.5 billion annually by 2035 (see Section 4.3).
    • Maintain PCI at 65 ($3.76 billion/year) – To maintain the PCI at 65, additional funding ($3.76 billion/year) is needed. In this scenario, the pavement would be rated ‘good’ in two-thirds of the network.
    • Funding required to reach BMP ($8.54 billion/year) – The optimal scenario is to bring all pavements into a state of good repair so that BMPs can prevail. To reach BMP levels (PCI in 80s), $85.4 billion would be needed over the next 10 years. After that, it would only require $3.28 billion each year to maintain the pavements in that condition. This is essentially the same as the existing level of funding.

The following table summarizes the results of each scenario.

Scenarios Annual Budget ($B) PCI in 2032 Condition Category % Pavements in Poor/Failed
% Pavements in Good Condition
Current Condition (2022) 65 At Risk 23.0% 55.1%
1. Existing Funding $3.36 63 At Risk 21.0% 60.6%
2. Maintain PCI at 65 $3.76 65 At Risk 21.1% 66.0%
3. Best Management Practices $8.54 87 Excellent 0.0% 100.0%

Essential Components

The transportation network also includes essential safety and traffic components such as curb ramps, sidewalks, storm drains, streetlights, and signals. Maintenance of these components will require $39 billion in total over the next 10 years, and there is an estimated funding shortfall of $22.6 billion.


Local bridges are an integral part of local street and road infrastructure. They make up approximately 48 percent of all the bridges in California, and there are 12,339 local bridges. Their average age is over 50 years, 10 years older than the national average, and more than half (52.1 percent by deck area) are in fair or poor condition.

The bridge safety, strengthening, and widening improvements necessary to keep pace with California’s modern mobility needs will require $7.2 billion. To simply maintain their current condition will require $800 million annually, but only $290 million is available. There is an estimated shortfall of $4.3 billion to maintain the safety and integrity of bridge infrastructure.

Total Funding Shortfall

The table on the next page shows the total funding shortfall of $74.3 billion (2022 dollars) over the next 10 years. For comparison, the funding needs from the previous updates are also included. Note that the pavement and essential component needs have markedly increased due to higher construction costs. Finally, for the first time, Active Transportation costs have been separated from Essential Components.

Transportation Asset Needs ($B) 2022 ($B)
2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 Needs Funding Shortfall
Pavement $67.6 $70.5 $72.4 $72.7 $70.0 $61.7 $76.0 $81.0 $33.6 $(47.4)
Essential Components $32.1 $29.0 $30.5 $31.0 $32.1 $34.1 $35.5 $27.8 $16.4 $(22.6)
Active Transportation $11.2
Bridges* $3.3 $4.3 $4.3 $4.6 $5.5 $7.2 $7.3 $2.9 $(4.3)
Totals $99.7 $102.8 $107.2 $108.0 $106.7 $101.3 $118.7 $127.2 $52.9 $(74.3)

*Bridge needs are from 2020 report.


SB 1 is a critical funding source that has resulted in cities and counties stabilizing the average statewide local pavement condition at 65. However, it is too soon to conclude that SB 1 will succeed in its goal of stabilizing the deterioration observed since 2008. Efforts to rescind the new revenues from SB 1 in the first 2 years after its passage resulted in industry-wide hesitation to expand construction capacity. This was coupled with agencies’ concerns about over-committing on future project delivery. The limited construction capacity had an unintended consequence; bid prices for street and bridge maintenance and repairs were as much as 30 percent higher in 2022 than 2020. In addition, the needs of other infrastructure components continue to grow, reducing the funding available for pavements. The impacts of COVID-19 also led to reductions in pavement revenues and expenditures in 2020–2022.


California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment April 2023

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