King County paving just 7 miles of road this summer

by: Chris Legeros Updated:


Sammamish, Wash. - There's a section of 244th Avenue NE near Sammamish riddled with ruts, cracks, and patches over potholes.

Diana Isackson lives nearby and would love to see it repaved.

“When trucks come over, you hear boom, boom, boom, boom. The same with people with trailers, it just sounds terrible," she said.

Unfortunately that street will not get an overlay of new pavement. In fact, King County announced that only 7 miles of roadway will be repaved this summer, thanks to money from federal grants.

Historically, the county has repaved more than 40 miles each year, but the local money just isn't there.

“We have a broken tax structure in this county that's preventing us from really caring for the roads," said Roads Director Brenda Bauer.

She said that property tax revenues pay for the bulk of road maintenance. During the last recession, property values dropped by 44 percent and much less cash came into King County. Even though property values are rising now, tax rates can only be boosted by a maximum of 1 percent a year.

Bauer said that doesn't even cover the cost of inflation to pay for road improvements, so the county is falling farther and farther behind. She's hoping lawmakers come up with other sources of revenue because many of King County's roads and bridges are decades old and need to be repaired or replaced.



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