The Power of 10: Making Trips Smoother, Safer Through SB1-funded Road Improvement Projects

The County of San Mateo has announced the first 10 road safety and improvement projects that will be funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

The 10 projects are now on the fast track and will be completed far earlier than originally anticipated. The County has posted information about each on a website where residents can track the differences being made in the community.

“Maintaining and repairing our roads has posed a challenge due to the limited funds dedicated to these projects,” said Dave Pine, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. “Now with an infusion of funds from SB 1, residents will benefit from improvements in the state of our streets whether they are driving, taking transit, cycling or walking. Our roads will be much smoother and safer thanks to SB 1.”

The 10 projects range from road reconstruction in North Fair Oaks to pothole repairs and maintenance work in La Honda, El Granada and Montara.  Roads in Emerald Lake Hills, the San Mateo Highlands, Burlingame Hills and West Menlo Park will also see repairs and maintenance work completed.

“Our SB 1 funding nearly doubles the amount of money that we have for roadway maintenance and repairs,” said County Public Works Director Jim Porter. “What we’re going to do with those funds is to really step up our street resurfacing and pothole repair program.”

SB 1 raised gas taxes and vehicle registration fees to provide more than $5 billion annually statewide to repair roads, ease traffic congestion, improve transit and make safety improvements. The state Legislature passed SB 1 and Gov. Jerry Brown signed it in 2017  in the face of an estimated $130 billion backlog of needed road repair and maintenance projects statewide.

The County will receive approximately $3.3 million in new revenue for the 2017-18 fiscal year and approximately $9.6 million in the 2018-19 fiscal year (the first full fiscal year new gas taxes will be in effect). The California Department of Transportation estimates the County will receive approximately $100 million in new revenue over the next 10 years (through fiscal year 2026-27).

The average California driver pays an additional $739 annually for car repairs due to driving on poor roads, according to a 2016 TRIP Report from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The County is responsible for 316 miles of streets and roads in unincorporated areas – that is they are not within local cities. The state or federal governments are responsible for most major thoroughfares, such as U.S. Highway 101, Interstate 280 and El Camino Real.

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