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Posted on: March 26, 2019

Record-Breaking Paving in 2019

Nearly 300 miles of San José streets will get a renewed lease on life in 2019. This year’s pavement maintenance program will be almost three times bigger than our current record, set in 2017. Most of the miles to be paved consist of residential neighborhood streets, which have only received emergency maintenance since 2012. Since then, budget shortfalls have forced the Department of Transportation to focus our paving on major streets, which carry 85% of the city’s traffic. 

Crews smoothing pavement

Now, thanks to new voter-approved tax and bond measures, we project an average of over $87 million for paving, each year, for the next decade. That means we can begin a nine-year program to repave or add a topcoat of asphalt to all of our 1,490 miles of residential streets. That’s like paving a two-lane road from San José to Dallas! 

Meanwhile, we will also continue to maintain our major streets at a rapid pace—almost 90 miles of them will be paved and maintained in 2019. See which streets are scheduled for maintenance this year.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are streets selected?
For at least nine years, beginning in 2019, over 200 miles of streets will be paved each year. To successfully deliver such a large program, we carefully analyze and schedule candidate streets to make sure each year’s list can be completed.  For major streets—those that carry most of the people and goods traveling through the city—we build a list each year using the following criteria:
  • Current condition of street, measured as Pavement Condition Index (PCI) score
  • Time since street was last maintained
  • Funding availability and funding use restrictions
  • Streets not affected by current or future street-related projects
  • Streets associated with planned safety, bikeway, or other “complete streets” projects
  • Community and City Council feedback regarding roadway conditions and priority street segments
  • Relative location of street segments to create multiple, continuous segments, consistency within neighborhoods, and project efficiency
  • Multi-year geographic equity across the City and street network
For residential neighborhood streets—those on which most San Joseans live—we divide the city into 135 zones. Streets in those zones may have varying PCI scores, and will require different treatments. But by paving zone-by-zone, we can efficiently deploy crews and material, and eventually reach every residential street in the city. 

A residential paving zone

The order in which to pave local street zones depends on many factors. Similar to the major streets, we will prioritize zones by considering the overall condition of the pavement as well as the efficient use of taxpayer dollars, multi-year geographic equity, overlapping projects, and community input.

What are the types of pavement maintenance?

The treatment method for a particular street is determined by the condition and maintenance history of the street. There are two general types of treatment used:

Surface Sealing: This is a preventive maintenance treatment that extends the life of a street by up to eight years and prevents the need for more expensive resurfacing treatment. First, any failed areas of pavement are removed and replaced with new asphalt concrete. Then, a new surface seal is applied over the entire street, followed by striping and markings. Depending on the type of sealing, we may install or retrofit curb ramps.

Resurfacing: When we resurface a street we grind down the old surface and apply a new layer of asphalt, install new roadway striping and markings, and install or retrofit curb ramps where needed. Resurfacing can take a street to “like new” condition and lasts from 10 to 20 years if properly maintained.

What about potholes?

Potholes—depressions or cavities in the roadway—get repaired throughout the year in response to requests from the public. DOT repairs over 11,000 potholes annually, 95% of which are fixed within 48 hours of the initial request. The public can report a pothole using the My San José app, available at www.sanjoseca.gov/mysanjose, or by calling DOT dispatch at (408) 794-1900.


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