The Public Works Department's Road Division is responsible for providing safe and drivable public roadways in the unincorporated areas of the county.
The primary function of the Road Division is the operation, maintenance and improvement of the County's 1,361 miles of roads and 175 bridges.
Supporting activities are administration, financial, planning, engineering, surveying, inspection, and traffic operations. These support activities are performed by personnel working in the Public Works Department's main office located in Yreka.
Maintenance functions are provided through the Central Shop located in Yreka, six regional maintenance districts and two regional sub-districts.
The county road budget receives approximately $9 million (from all sources) per year. This amount provides for resurfacing, rehabilitation, new construction, snow removal, ice control and routine maintenance. Funding available for road purposes is always less than the work that needs to be accomplished; therefore, work is prioritized in order to insure optimum use of available funds.
The Department's highest priority is to provide needed maintenance to protect the investment in existing roads and bridges and to provide for improvements to the safety, capacity and serviceability of the roads.
Routine maintenance includes pothole patching and crack filling of asphalt pavements, grading and limited dust control of unpaved roads, shoulder maintenance, guardrail repair and replacement, snowplowing of mountain roads, traffic sign maintenance and replacement, pavement striping, bridge inspection and repair, cleaning and maintenance of drainage structures, such as culverts, catch basins, ditches, and gutters.
Resurfacing and rehabilitation of asphalt pavements include asphalt overlays and pavement chip seals.
State law dictates that County road funds may not be expended on roads which have not been accepted into the County Maintained Road System.
Of the 1,361 miles of roads in the maintained system, approximately 470 miles of roads are unpaved. Almost all of the unpaved roads were accepted into the road system more than thirty (30) years ago and most were brought into the road system when the system was created by state legislation in 1948.
Most of the unpaved roads in the County Road System carry a low volume of traffic. Limited funding prevents the County from paving these roads.
There are many additional miles of roads in the County which are being used by the public which are not in the maintained road system. As stated above, the County may not expend funds to maintain or improve these roads.