San Jose street pavement sees “dramatic improvement”

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California Construction News staff writer

After five years of increased investment in roadwork, San José’s streets are in their best condition in decades, officials say. For the second year in a row, the city streets rank “Good” using the region’s Pavement Condition Index (PCI). The overall score for the street network rose from a 71 in 2022 to a 73 at the end of 2023, on a scale of 0 (Failed) to 100 (Excellent). The score is the highest rating ever given to San José streets.

In a presentation to the transportation and environment committee of city council, DOT officials shared that they paved 233 of 239 planned miles in the 2023 construction season. The remaining six miles will be completed this year. Since 2019, the Department has paved an average of 226 miles per year. The city maintains a 2,519-mile street network.

In 2018, the street network received a PCI score of 66. The following year, voter-supported legislation including VTA’s Measure B, State Senate Bill 1, and San José Measure T began to fund a significantly expanded pavement maintenance program.

“An increase of two PCI points in a year, and seven points since 2018, across a such a massive street network, is a huge success,” said John Ristow, Director of Transportation. “It’s a testament to the thoughtful strategy and hard work put in by DOT staff and contractors.”

The DOT is halfway through a 10-year plan to maintain the pavement on all its local and neighborhood streets while also keeping major streets in good condition. The original goal of attaining a PCI of 70 by 2028 has been surpassed years ahead of time, saving future budgets. A projected backlog of deferred pavement maintenance will decrease to $165.3 million in 2027. In 2017, City officials estimated the 2027 backlog would reach $1.1 billion. But timely and aggressive investment has decreased that projection by nearly $935 million.

Learn more about pavement maintenance in San José at https://sanjoseca.gov/paving.

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