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 about 418 lane miles of road.

Q: How much does it cost to repair the roads?
A: It costs approximately $2 million to reconstruct one mile of pavement. Our annual road repair budget averages $4.5 million. By prioritizing maintenance over reconstruction, we are able to repair 20-25 lane-miles of road each year.

Q: Who paves our roads?
A: For larger jobs, we hire independent contractors who submit bids through a public bidding process. The contracts are awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, who is the contractor that offers to perform the work 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 capacity. The public is invited to attend a bid opening meeting. 

Q: How do you decide which roads to pave?
A: The preservation of our streets is a perpetual priority for the Public Works Department. 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 is typically prioritized 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. If your a street segment near you has been identified for repair, you will receive a notice of construction before the work begins.
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 for another 20 years or more.