Board Approves Road Work, Receives Road Improvement Report

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved an 11-page list of roadwork at Wednesday’s Board meeting to send to the state to qualify for an expected $39.5 million in funding from California’s 2017 Senate Bill 1 gas tax, the Road Repair and Accountability Act.

In a separate action, the Board also received a report from the County’s Department of Public Works identifying potential cost-effective and environmentally sustainable ways to build and protect county roads.

The list of roads approved by the Board includes 144 miles of resurfacing projects in numerous unincorporated communities, some of which include Alpine, Bonita, Bonsall, Borrego, Boulevard, Campo/Lake Morena, Descanso, Fallbrook, Jamul, Julian, Lakeside, Pala, Pine Valley, Ramona, San Dieguito, Spring Valley and Valley Center.

The projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The County anticipates receiving a total of $538 million in SB 1 funds over 10 years.

The Board also accepted a report, Building Better Roads, that Public Works created with a working group that included representatives from the department, other public agencies and industry associations.

Public Works currently uses a three-pronged strategy to proactively maintain and repair nearly 2,000 miles of roadways in the unincorporated areas—using surface seals for roads in good condition, asphalt overlays for roads that need more than surface seals, and reconstructing roads in poor condition.

The report identified several ways to improve road building and maintenance, including:

  • Increasing the percentage of recycled or reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) allowed in asphalt paving mixes from 15 percent to 25 percent, which will reduce pollution and divert materials from ending up in landfills.
  • Working with other agencies and industry associations to develop standardized asphalt mix designs that could lower costs, be produced with less energy and improve road quality.
  • Developing a number or pilot projects to evaluate other solutions.

Proposed pilot projects could include:

  • Using “warm mix” asphalt, which would use less energy than standard hot mix asphalt to repair roads.
  • Using 100 percent RAP in road seals, which are different than asphalt mixes.
  • Adding synthetic fibers to asphalt to improve crack resistance.

Public Works officials said in its Board letter on the agenda item that the department has already used 58,000 tons of RAP and 104,000 recycled tires over the past three years to save hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing county roads. Department officials said they are looking to do more.

In September 2018, the Board, led by Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, directed Public Works to create a working group and come back to the Board with innovative, cost-effective ways to improve county roads.

At Wednesday’s meeting the Board voted to accept the report and, at Gaspar’s recommendation, to keep the roads working group together.

“Government always works best when taking a proactive role in addressing our long-term issues, especially our infrastructure,” Gaspar said. “In this case we have the additional opportunity to be innovative and help stretch our dollars further.”

To see a complete list of County road projects since 2014, go to the Department of Public Works’ Multi-year Roadway Resurfacing Program webpage.

For more information about County roads, go to the Department of Public Works Roads pages.

Watch the video below to see how Public Works fixes up roads.

Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact