Caltrans: Highways Are Healthiest in 10 Years

Every dollar spent toward preventative maintenance now, saves taxpayers about $11 down the road, Caltrans said

Caltrans has put out its annual report on the condition of the pavement of the state's highways and they're in much better shape than you might think.

Thirty-five million vehicles drive on California highways every year. Not counting the miserable traffic jams, how would you rate the condition of the pavement?

“Well the ones I travel on are pretty good, in fact, I don't have any complaints at all,” Mission Hills resident Laurie Frye said.

“I'm lucky, I get to use Fastrak every day, and it's fantastic. Fast and smooth in those areas, not a problem,” said Poway resident Scott Strommer.

That's a pretty accurate assessment.

In fact, Caltrans says the condition of the state's highway pavement is at its healthiest level in more than a decade - all 49-thousand, 718 miles of it.

That's not to say there's room for improvement.

In Caltrans' District 11, which covers San Diego and Imperial Counties, six-percent of the freeways are considered “distressed”. Still that’s a six-percent improvement from two years ago.

And do you drive near any freeway construction?

“You get the areas that kind of shake your car up a little bit, and it's kind of confusing because you see the cracks where the lanes use to be, now it’s different,” said University Heights resident Maricella Gutierrez.

Caltrans say problems caused by lane re-configuration are temporary.

But they have identified local areas that could be troublesome in the future.

“We know that the concrete pavement is aging along I-8 in the urban areas and also on Interstate 5 primarily on the north coast, so those are areas that will be challenging to address in the coming decade,” said Caltrans spokesperson Cathryne Bruce-Johnson.

Caltrans expects less money for pavement improvements in the coming years and will focus on preventative maintenance, hoping to stop any problems before they start.

Caltrans attributes the good condition of San Diego's freeways to our great weather.

The agency said every dollar spent toward preventative maintenance now, saves taxpayers about $11 down the road.

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