By Mark Sayre

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – San Jose is getting ready to go on a road repair blitz.

The plan is to fix 89 miles of city streets starting this summer.

San Jose has more than 2,400 miles of roads, enough pavement to stretch from San Jose to Cleveland.

But it won’t surprise anyone who drives in the city that many of those roads are not very good.

You don’t have to go far to find big potholes on San Jose’s streets.

In fact, the city says more than 500 miles of its roads are in “poor to failed” condition and another 1,000 miles are only in “fair to good” condition.

San Jose resident Michele Mecir says, “they are pretty poor” and she knows it all too well.

“Potholes, mostly potholes. I’ve got to dodge the potholes so I don’t cause more damage to my car,” Mecir said.

But now, thanks to an increase in the gas tax at the state level, as well local tax measures passed both in San Jose and Santa Clara County, things should be getting noticeably better soon.

The city is earmarking about $75 million a year — starting this year — to get the roads fixed up.

David Vossbrink, with the City of San Jose said, “So we are starting that now. We have contracts already approved for the summer paving season. That is already starting.”

One of the first projects: resurfacing Hedding Street in the city’s Rose Garden neighborhood from Coleman Avenue to Winchester and adding bike lanes and better crosswalks.

And it’s not just the major thoroughfares, which have already been a higher priority in recent years.

Vossbrink said, “Unfortunately, that means that we have put less resources into maintaining our neighborhood streets where people live and where they can see it every day when they leave their house to go to work.”

Mecir said, “Yes, it is absolutely good news.”

The overall estimated backlog of road maintenance in San Jose is about a half a billion dollars.

So, despite all the money being put into the roads, there is still a long way to go.


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