The pavement on Sonoma County’s nearly 2,737 lane-miles of streets and roads remains in “poor” condition, with the typical stretch of asphalt requiring major rehabilitation or reconstruction.

Data released today by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission puts the county’s 2012 pavement condition index score at 44 out of a maximum possible 100 points, one point lower than last year. The only two Bay Area locations with worse roads are Larkspur and St. Helena, both with scores of 42.

Sonoma and Windsor are the only two Sonoma County cities with roads in “good” condition, although their condition also has deteriorated over the past three years. Here’s how they rate, with pavement condition score and lane miles of paved road:

Sonoma — Good, 71 (68.2 miles)

Windsor — Good, 70 (173.1 miles)

Rohnert Park — Fair, 68 (207 miles)

Santa Rosa — Fair, 64 (1,093.8 miles)

Sebastopol — Fair, 64 (47.2 miles)

Healdsburg — Fair, 61 (93.2 miles)

Cotati — At-risk, 59 (46.3 miles)

Petaluma — Poor, 49 (389.7 miles)

Sonoma County — Poor, 44 (2,737.2 miles)

Napa County — At-risk, 59 (833.9 miles)

Marin County — At-risk, 55 (845.7 miles)

PCI scores of 90 or higher are considered “excellent.” These are newly built or resurfaced streets that show little or no distress. Pavement with a PCI score in the 80 to 89 range is considered “very good,” and shows only slight or moderate distress, requiring primarily preventive maintenance.

The “good” category ranges from 70 to 79, while streets with PCI scores in the “fair” (60-69) range are becoming worn to the point where rehabilitation may be needed to prevent rapid deterioration. Because major repairs cost five to 10 times more than routine maintenance, these streets are at an especially critical stage.

Roadways with PCI scores of 50 to 59 are deemed “at-risk,” while those with PCI scores of 25 to 49 are considered “poor.” These roads require major rehabilitation or reconstruction. Pavement with a PCI score below 25 is considered “failed.” These roads are difficult to drive on and need reconstruction.

Read Matt Brown’s story about the report and responses from Sonoma County officials here.


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  1. Eric

    If the roads get repaired by the method shown above in the picture for this article, then they will forever need continuing work! Before you patch a pothole = Remove the standing water, square the edges, get the depth the same in all 4 corners, get it dry as possible, a little tack oil will help, then comes the hot asphalt! Followed by compaction. Should take 15 minutes +/-

    October 23rd, 2013 1:21 pm

  2. Jay

    Eric- I was thinking the same thing regarding the standing water. In addition to that, how it the new asphalt supposed to adhere with all that old loose asphalt around the pothole’s edges? I agree with squaring the edges and using tack oil, after clearing it of all standing water.

    October 23rd, 2013 2:28 pm

  3. Bob D.

    Wow. Instead giving the details maybe the PD should just run a small statement, “SoCo roads still bad, still worst in Bay Area” this year”

    My work has taken me on roads all over the county for decades and I’ve watched the degradation of one after another. Some aren’t even 2 lanes anymore. The striping is nearly invisible and vegetation is encroaching on the sides. Curvy sections are not safe on more and more heavily used roads. Especially those favored by cyclists.

    October 23rd, 2013 2:54 pm

  4. vic .d

    the crews on the ground know that’s not proper procedure for repairing potholes…they are told to do it anyway…

    October 23rd, 2013 4:21 pm

  5. Selena

    I’ve noticed that the less prosperous areas of Santa Rosa are even worse than other sections. The strip of Stony Point between Hearn Avenue and Sebastopol Road is so bad that it feels as though I’m four-wheeling while driving it (below the speed limit!). It’s terrible! I read that Kaiser is considering putting a medical building in on Northpoint Parkway, and if they do that, I can only HOPE that the city will delegate some of the road repair funds to that stretch of road. It truly is terrible. They paid to repave my fairly new neighborhood off of Stony Point, but the road at the time was in perfect condition (and I applaud them keeping it that way), but Stony Point was in much greater need!

    October 23rd, 2013 4:45 pm

  6. Beth

    I’m not even talking county roads here! I’m talking City of Santa Rosa roads. In the 12 years I’ve lived in my 1950′s neighborhood, never has any road maintenance been done. They only do patches in a method similar to that shown above. It is only areas like Fountaingrove and Skyhawk that get any preventative maintenance, while my neighborhood falls into total disrepair – its feels like you are on an amusement park ride as you drive down my street, around the pot holes, and up and down the abysmal road patches – pathetic!

    October 23rd, 2013 5:17 pm

  7. Road.Warrior

    The city is in the process of widening and repaving Stony Point between Sebastopol Road and Hearn, which is why they haven’t done repairs. The last building that needed to be demolished has come down, so watch for the work to begin soon. The recent slurry sealing of Fountaingrove and Oakmont streets is part of a citywide program to (inexpensively) maintain the newest roads so they don’t fall apart like the old ones did. Read about them in this post: http://roadwarrior.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/17167/fountaingrove-street-repairs-begin-and-other-road-reports/

    October 23rd, 2013 5:25 pm

  8. Wire

    The good roads in Napa lead you to the wineries. I don’t understand that. Could it be diesel fuel tax or the tourist dollars.

    The patching of Calistoga Road from highway 12 north is a joke.

    Question for the Road Warrior? Why is Farmers Lane resealing wearing out so fast from Montgomery Drive north? I know it was laid so thin, Dowd.

    October 23rd, 2013 7:53 pm

  9. Joanne Muldoon

    If you want to do something about this go to SOSroads.org!

    October 24th, 2013 10:47 am

  10. Richard

    Petaluma is a disgrace. roads are rated as “poor”. It will cost $100 million to bring roads up to the standard of “lowest annual repair cost per mile”. Meanwhile, current annual road destruction due to lack of repair is growing at the rate of about $5 million per year. Roads are as essential as water so this is the proverbial economic ‘death spiral’. Distrust in government is so pervasive that an increase in taxes is impossible because only a small minority believes government would allow the money to go into simple road repair.

    October 25th, 2013 10:12 am

  11. Grant

    The roads are terrible-not just in Sonoma Co but all over CA. I love driving in NV or AZ for example because their roads are so smooth!!! I would suggest that you do what I did- buy a four wheel drive and drive slower. Then at least your having fun whilst driving on our bad roads….

    October 25th, 2013 11:31 am

  12. northcoaster

    Our entire infrastructure really sucks. In Sonoma county the roads I travel back and forth to SR and Petaluma are Bayhill(to avoid the mess in Bodega) and Walker( we’re going to loose an oil pan one day…even going slow). Pepper is not great. And last but not least is Mt Sonoma Rd. We have friend who lives on that road (cows wouldn’t even use it): He meets use in town. We won’t drive on it.
    Let’s face it. Some how the infrastructure has been put on the back burner for a long time. If you want good reliable roads, you have to pay for them.

    October 27th, 2013 11:04 pm

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