I receive a monthly update from the Washington State Department of Transportation/Eastern Region, and this item of interest was in the November edition:
There continues to be serious challenges in our pavement preservation program. This is the budget category that encompasses our asphalt resurfacing, chip-seal, and concrete pavement rehabilitation activities.
Eastern Region currently has approximately 600 lane miles of due or past due pavements within the seven county region. This equates to a need of an increase in funding from current program projections of about $150 million over the next six-year period. Statewide, we are looking at $1 billion in preservation needs that are not funded over the next ten years.
More traffic, studded tires, and budget shortfalls are changing the way we administer our paving program. We are now making tough decisions on which roadways are resurfaced and the type of surfacing used. We now let asphalt roadways go longer between resurfacing projects. That means more pothole patches and crack-sealing. Last summer we chip-sealed on highways that had been traditionally surfaced with Hot Mix Asphalt. The less-expensive, but less durable process, will hopefully extend the service life of the highway until our pavement preservation program funding can be restored.