Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many miles of roads are in San Mateo?
A: 210
. If you are measuring according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s standards, we have 418 centerline miles of road.

Q: How much does it cost to repair the roads?
A: It costs approximately $1.2 million to reconstruct one mile of pavement. Our annual road repair budget averages $4.5 million. Our priority is maintenance, rather than reconstruction, and we are able to repair 20-25 lane-miles of road each year.

Q: Who paves our roads?
A: Typically, for larger jobs, we hire independent contractors who put in a bid through a public bidding process. The contracts are awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. The lowest responsible bidder is the bidder who offers to perform the work involved according to the plans and specifications for the least amount of money, provided the bidder has the ability, capacity, the required licenses and insurance, including bond insurance. The public is invited to attend a bid opening meeting. Public Works crews pave the smaller roadways with less intense repairs.

Q: How do you decide which roads to pave?
A: Through the implementation of our Pavement Management Program (PMP). We take surveys of road quality every 2 to 3 years to determine the condition of the roads. The road is then assigned a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) score. We balance the severity and scope of need with available funding and use cost-effective improvement methods to extend the life of the road base to delay costly reconstruction projects. Maintenance work typically has priority over reconstruction. Priorities can shift as we coordinate with a utility or a land-use development project or when trying to meet specific grant funding requirements.

Q: How long does a road last?
A: The average lifespan of an asphalt road surface is 12-20 years. With crack filling, slurry seals and overlays, we can extend the life of a road another 20 years or more.

Q: Is my road going to be paved soon?
A: Check MyStreet for information about paving in your area.