Services Departments Government

From: Ellen Rogalin, Community Relations Specialist, 503-742-4274

03-10-15

Clackamas County

Media and Interested Parties

Clackamas County gets attention on roads funding issue

Clackamas County’s recent efforts to bring attention to the issue of road maintenance funding is paying off. The county recently took the unusual step of posting billboards to try to capture the public’s attention on road conditions and direct them to a website that details the serious issues facing county roads. Visits to the website, TheRoadAhead.us, have increased nearly tenfold since the county began its more aggressive outreach efforts in late February.

“We are trying to avert a crisis,” said Clackamas County Administrator Don Krupp. “And we’re finding the need to bring the public’s attention to this issue.”

There has been significant publicity on the high costs of delayed road maintenance and concerns that delays in preventative maintenance can lead to skyrocketing costs to replace deteriorated roads.

Clackamas County, unlike Multnomah and Washington counties and the City of Portland, has no independent source of revenue dedicated to road maintenance. Oregon law prevents the use of property tax funds for road maintenance. For many years, Clackamas County received millions of dollars from the federal government for timber sales. That money, which was used for road maintenance has dried up.

With 45 percent of Clackamas County roads in only ‘fair’ condition, and 9 percent already in ‘poor’ condition, county officials believe they can’t wait any longer to find a funding solution. County outreach materials highlight that without additional funding for preventive maintenance, these roads will deteriorate to the point of needing reconstruction, and the county will be facing a real financial crisis.

Krupp noted that the billboard space was donated by Clear Channel, but that Clackamas County has been investing some funds into public outreach: “If dedicating some resources now helps us save the cost of replacing 1,400 miles of road later, I think most folks would agree that’s money well spent.”

For more information please contact Tim Heider, Clackamas County Public Affairs Manager, at (503) 742-5911 or theider@co.clackamas.us.

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