County roads are monitored on a regular basis and assigned a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) number. This rating, along with the average daily traffic, funding availability, and other factors are evaluated to justify new maintenance projects. Some low volume roadways may only receive a minor surface treatment such as a chip seal or slurry seal. Heavily traveled regional or arterial type roadways may receive full asphalt overlay or rehabilitation such as pulverization, milling, or other process. The various strategies are analyzed by the Department’s Pavement Management Division and Transportation Program Management

Written comments can be sent to: Department of Public Works – Transportation 825 E. 3rd Street, Room 143 San Bernardino, CA 92415-0835

The County Department of Public Works researches County documents and records about any particular road. Our research confirms whether the road is in the County Maintained Road System (CMRS). In general, due to lack of funds, the County only paves a limited number of existing dirt roads.

If the road or section of road is not in the CMRS, by law (California Streets and Highway Code, Section 2150), the County is not allowed to do any maintenance or repair work on roads that are not in the system. Often, one of the reasons a land purchase, especially in the mountain or desert areas, appears to be a “good deal” is that the road or roads serving the parcel are not in the CMRS. Purchasers should check to see if the road serving their parcel is maintained by the County. Any maintenance or repair work of non-CMRS roads is the responsibility of the respective property owners along that road.

There are basically two options available to property owners who wish to have a dirt road paved if they do not live on a CMRS roadway:

The first option is for the property owners of parcels adjacent to the road to hire a consultant/contractor to pave the road to County Standards at their own expense. Property owners should contact the Department’s Permits section at (909) 387-8309 to see if a permit is required.

The second option is by special road assessment. In many areas, property owners pay a special road assessment for road paving and maintenance. This program is administered by the County through the County Special Districts Department located at:

157 West Fifth Street,
Second Floor San Bernardino,
CA 92415-0450
(909) 387-5940

Funds for maintenance and construction of county roads are derived from a variety of sources. The majority of the money available on a yearly basis comes from the State Fuel Tax of 18 cents per gallon. The state allocates fuel taxes and fees which may only be used for transportation purposes to cities and counties statewide.  Generally speaking, the County’s share of the fuel tax funds is proportionally allocated on the number of registered vehicles in the county.

Since San Bernardino is a very large county with many sparsely populated and widely separated communities, the revenue in terms of dollars per mile of road is very low. The more densely populated counties such as Orange or Los Angeles receive ten and five times respectively as much State Fuel tax money per mile of road for their county road systems. Over the years the ability of the County to maintain and improve the road system has been severely affected by inflation. Since the fuel tax is on a per gallon basis, the amount paid by the average driver has actually declined over the last several years due to more fuel-efficient vehicles.  

Other sources of funding include Measure I the 1/2 cent sales tax surcharge passed by the voters in 1989, and extended by the voters in 2006. Many significant County transportation projects have been made possible with this funding. Measure I monies may only be used in the geographic area where it is generated. Measure I monies have defined percentages that must be spent on arterial and local roads.Note:    Property taxes are used for many purposes including education, fire and police protection, but are not used to pave or maintain roads