Clackamas County Road Funding by the Numbers

Road Maintenance Outlook

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Miles of Road

Clackamas County is responsible for maintaining more miles of paved roads than any other Oregon county.

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Yearly Vehicle Cost

The average U.S. driver spends more than $330 a year in vehicle operating costs due to rough roads.

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Annual Funding Shortfall

$5M is needed to continue current service levels. The remaining $12M is needed for road paving & preservation projects.

Funding Challenges

Road maintenance funding is limited and insufficient

Current Annual Funding Gap

$17 Million

There is currently a $17 million annual gap between funding available to the County, and what is needed to fix, protect, and preserve Clackamas County roads.

$5M

Needed just continue current service levels

Currently service levels are already greatly reduced from previous years

Clackamas County is currently unable to perform needed maintenance on local roads

$12M

Needed for road paving & preservation projects


How Did We Get Here?

Road maintenance has long been heavily funded by gas taxes. As cars have become more fuel efficient, gas tax revenues haven’t kept up with rising costs. In addition, Clackamas County has lost a key federal source of road maintenance funding – revenues for formerly timber-dependent communities.

1) To accommodate for the decreasing revenue and increasing costs, Clackamas County has:

Stretched the number of years in-between services

Focused on critical, pressing issues

Deferred maintenance on most roads

All but eliminated paving on local roads

2) Voters in neighboring metropolitan counties have approved several local sources of revenue that Clackamas County doesn’t have:

3) Voters in Clackamas County have not approved ballot measures aimed at increasing revenue (1997, 2003).

Current Status

Roads and Road Funding

Clackamas County roads are funded by three primary sources:

Gas Taxes

30 cents per gallon

Registration, Title and Road Use Fees

$43 per year/vehicle

Heavy Weight Mile Tax

5-23 cents per mile

These funding sources are declining or remaining steady, while costs rise and road conditions deteriorate.


What condition are Clackamas County roads in?

6

Excellent

Smooth roadway; slurry seal

40

Good

Minor to medium cracks in top layer of roadway (asphalt); 1" overlay

45

Fair

Major cracking in asphalt and aggregate base; 2"-3" overlay

9

Poor

Major damage to asphalt and subgrade; road reconstruction


Projected road conditions 10 years from now, with no new funding

2

Excellent

Smooth roadway; slurry seal

20

Good

Minor to medium cracks in top layer of roadway (asphalt); 1" overlay

58

Fair

Major cracking in asphalt and aggregate base; 2"-3" overlay

20

Poor

Major damage to asphalt and subgrade; road reconstruction


Maintenance Projects

County staff have limited resources to repair paved roads. Below are examples of recently completed jobs that the County would like to do more of.

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Wildcat Mountain Drive

New chip seal coating improves safety and smooth traveling

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Otty Road

Recently paved road to improve safety
(and ensure safe traveling)

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South Dillman Road

Recently did patch work on this stretch of road

What can be done?

We'd like to do more

Clackamas County commissioners see this as a critical issue and are working to identify a sustainable solution, with support from Clackamas County residents.

John Ludlow, Chair of Board of Commissioners

“By ORS statutes, property taxes cannot be used to pay for roads. Over 94% of the county’s income comes from property taxes, but the county simply does not have the funds to do all that has to be done for road maintenance.”

Jim Bernard, Clackamas County Commissioner

“There are many more roads and intersections in the county we would like to improve, but the county simply does not have the funds to do all that is needed to maintain roads. Be street smart, and learn about your roads.”

Paul Savas, Clackamas County Commissioner

“Clackamas County and its partners will be looking at ways to fund road maintenance projects througout the county. Working together we can find stable ways to fund the road maintenance and projects in Clackamas County.”

Martha Schrader, Clackamas County Commissioner

“Working together we can find stable methods to fund road maintenance projects in Clackamas County while spending public dollars very carefully.”

Tootie Smith, Clackamas County Commissioner

“The condition of our roads is important to all of us who live, work, and play in Clackamas County. Help us choose the road ahead and tell your commissioners what is on your mind.”


What are the County’s options for raising revenue?

In the future, this website will be updated to include detailed information about each of these options.

Get Involved

Contact Information

If you have a question about Clackamas County Roads and/or road funding, we’re here to help. Send us a note and we’ll do our best to answer specific questions.

We can also let you know about outreach events in your area, so you can discuss questions/issues directly with community members and County staff.

 

Ellen Rogalin, Community Relations Specialist


(503) 742-4274

The Road Ahead is a conversation about Clackamas County road funding, hosted by the Clackamas County Department of Transportation.