Summer paving season is here in Washington, but at least in King County it’s not nearly as busy as it used to be because there’s no money left to spend on upkeep.
This summer, King County was only able to fund repaving projects for 7 miles of road in unincorporated parts of the county.
In normal years they would prefer to repave at least 40 miles of road, or about 3% of the 1,500 total miles of road for which they are responsible.
These projects depend on funding from property taxes, and ever since the recession that revenue has been steadily declining. Nobody in the department can remember ever paving this few miles.
At one point, transportation officials say, the county didn’t think it would be able to do any road upkeep this summer until a federal grant came through last minute.
The county says this preventative work saves money in the long run, and that putting off these projects will just cause worse disrepair and higher costs in the future.
The county has $3.4 million dollars in work planned for this summer, which includes $2 million in grants.