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State Money Crisis Creates Major Bumps in the Road

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Potholes. If you hit one, it'll more than just jostle you around in the driver's seat. On the average L.A. residents for example spend about $746 dollars a year on their cars because of damage done by potholes.  You get the picture. California motorists are all in the same predicament.

    A recent statewide study concluded that California faces a $71.4 billion shortfall over the next 10 years to eliminate potholes and smooth out the roughest roads. And that means the future looks bleak because the state's budget woes aren't going to be fixed any time soon. Cities will have to look for other ways to make road repairs.

    The same report said 35 percent of California's roads are in poor condition, which is the second worst in the nation. 

    So back, to L.A. -- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa plans to scale back funding for such street work in the upcoming fiscal year because it needs the money.
     
    Because L.A.'s in such dire financial straights,  potholes will not only take longer to fill  that means there will be more of them on the road. Ouch.
     
    And what's made it worse of course is all that rain this year. The more water on the roadway to loosen the asphalt, the more craters will form.
     
    A hundred miles south, San Diego. Rain's been brutal to the pavement too, but they've managed to find a way to fund and fix its potholes.
     
     Mayor Jerry Sanders just announced the beginning of a massive project to perform a complete makeover of 134 miles of the city's most damaged streets. It's a project city officials say is of unprecedented scope in the city's history.
     
    "Keeping the streets in good condition is one of the most fundamental jobs of city government," Mayor Sanders says.
     
    San Diego, unlike L.A. which uses money from the general fund will be using money from a $103 million bond approved by the San Diego City Council. The bond is  reserved for capital-improvement projects such as storm-drain and building repairs.

    San Francisco's potholes will be filled as usual but other services like street and sidewalk cleaning will suffer says Christine Falvey , spokesperson for the Public Works Department of San Francisco.

    "Potholes are a symptom of poorly maintained streets," she says and that the city of San Francisco is looking at more sustainable funding for street maintenance since they know they can't depend on the state for any help.