Utah County’s 540-Mile Annual Road Budget is Just $3 Million–Agh!!

I was curious so today I called Richard Nelson the Director of Utah County Public Works and asked a few questions. Here are my notes.

Utah County has about 540 miles of roads with an annual maintenance budget of $3 million. Of that 540 miles, 375-380 miles are paved.

Richard wishes his annual budget was $9 million. Comparatively, other counties have about $6 million for the same amount of road and they too are short on funds.

Public Works get their materials from Staker Parson (West Mountain and Point of the Mountain), Kilgore (West Mountain and Point of the Mountain), and Geneva Rock (Point of Mountain, Lake Mtn and their yard in Orem).

Public Works requests bids and they are usually within a dollar per ton of each other. The pit closest to where the work needs to be done is usually chosen.

There is usually no road maintenance for the first seven years and then they do a slurry seal. Usually, they are in and out within a day.

After 28-30 years they do an asphalt overlay with 2-3″ of new asphalt.

Gravel roads require more maintenance.

Public Works has no budget for new roads, not even for the expected population growth, and must compete with the cities for money from Mtn Lands Association of Government or the gas tax.

Cities with more traffic on their roads usually win the money for new roads.

Ideally, new cities will form and other cities will expand but even if they did expand to West Mountain and Utah Lake, Public Works would still have hundreds of miles of county roads to maintain.


My Thoughts–I was shocked to hear of their small $3 million-dollar annual budget to maintain 540 miles of road.

In comparison, my new 3/4-mile road alone will cost about $400k.

Utah County needs competing earth extraction pits just to save money on hauling. Materials and quality differ from each location.

Like hinges on a swinging door, price increases in materials and hauling will have large consequences for Utah County, developers and private citizens.

–Robert John Stevens, January 18, 2018