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Transportation

Road Services - Our future

What's at risk

King County Road Services manages 1,500 miles of county roads and 180 bridges that carry more than 1 million trips per day. The 250,000 residents of unincorporated areas receive roadway, drainage, shoulder, and right of way maintenance and operations services directly from King County. These systems are aged and deteriorating.

The total assessed property value in unincorporated King County fell by almost 40 percent after the recession from 2010 to 2013, and future growth in revenues is limited by state law.

The current Capital Improvement Program has shrunk significantly, now funding only a very small portion of needed maintenance and preservation of the road system.

Below is a map of bridges and roads listed in King County's Transportation Needs Report.

 

At risk map legend

Roadway reconstruction and bridge needs

The funding gap

The Roads Services Division is supported by local property tax, gas tax and grant funding. Average assessed residence value in unincorporated King County fell by almost 40 percent after the recession from 2010 to 2013, and future growth in revenues is limited by state law.

Estimates show that it would cost $350 million annually over 10 years to fully address the current backlog of needs and bring the system into a state of good repair. Forecasts say the county will generate $90 million annually under the current revenue structure – a structural funding gap of $260 million a year.

Funding shortfall chart

What we've been doing to reduce costs

  • Cut 45 percent of staff positions – including 58 of management staff – resulting in a total payroll reduction of more than $19.4 million.

  • Achieved savings of more than $800,000 per year in equipment and office space consolidation.

  • Shifted focus from capacity improvements to safety needs, preservation, and repair.

  • Developed the Strategic Plan for Road Services and a system to prioritize our work in the communities of unincorporated King County.

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Information from the Road Services Division's website is available to people with disabilities in alternate formats upon request by calling 206-477-3839 or 711 for the TTY relay service.

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