St. Lucie County maintains approximately 375 miles of paved roads. In order to preserve our roads and reduce future maintenance costs, an annual road resurfacing program is a necessary component of our maintenance program. In order to maintain our road surfaces in good condition and provide safe roadways in the most cost effective manner, roads should be resurfaced with new hot mix asphalt every fifteen to twenty years.
Since the economic downturn, the County has not funded this amount of road resurfacing in ten years. During the last ten years, the County has utilized a pavement preservation technique known as Microsurfacing. This method employs a thinner application of cold mix paving that is approximately one half the cost of a hot mix asphalt overlay. This product looks and drives differently than hot mix asphalt, and has a life expectancy that can be less than half that of hot mix asphalt depending upon the overall use of the roadway. At the current budget of $650,000 per year, St. Lucie County is able to Microsurface five to ten miles of roads per year.
Due to deferred maintenance, our road surfaces are showing signs of increased wear and deterioration. Several roads require substantial repair or reconstruction before they can be resurfaced. These repairs and reconstruction can cause the cost of resurfacing to double or even triple depending upon the severity of the damage to the road. Each year that resurfacing is deferred, the number of roads requiring repair or reconstruction grows. Providing the additional funding each year, reduces the long-term cost of maintaining our roads and provides safer and more comfortable roadways for the residents and visitors of St. Lucie County.
The estimated cost to resurface twenty to twenty five miles of roads annually is $3,250,000.