SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California roads have taken a beating this winter. From rock and mudslides to sinkholes and erosion, the strong have been relentless. And now the state is paying for it.
The emergency budget for State Department of Transportation to handle issues like we’ve seen the last 75 days is roughly $250 million.
However, DOT is currently looking at roughly $600 million of emergency repairs to damaged roads because of storms.
“The storms are certainly stressing the infrastructure,” said Vanessa Wiseman, a CalTrans Spokesperson.
She says the enormous cost of the emergency projects continues to rise.
“We foresee that growing even more as storms continue and we continue damage assessments as well,” said Wiseman.
Focusing on a local perspective, District 3 covers 11 counties in the CBS13 viewing area. As of Friday, there are 64 locations with storm-related damage, with an estimated cost of $55 million in repairs.
From slight erosion to major slip outs and mudslides; the problems are vast and expensive.
To clean up and fix one rock slide on I-80 in Baxter costs $4.7 million and counting.
“[The] first priority is keeping the roads safe and open,” said Wiseman.
Time, effort and money are spent on the state’s emergency projects including slides on Highway 50 and I-80, fixing issues on State Route 49 and Flooding on I-5 in Colusa.
“It may come back and we’ll have to defer maintenance for spring projects, but that remains to be seen,” said Wiseman.
Wiseman says scheduled projects to the state’s aging infrastructure may have to take a back seat.
These emergency problems take precedence over the $59 billion worth of deferred state maintenance over the next 10 years.. that number is just for state highways and doesn’t include needs of locals, which Wiseman says costs even more.