Public Works Roads Projects
Your Tax Dollars At Work
Humboldt County Road Projects
In an effort to help Humboldt County Residents understand more about how the Roads Maintenance Division operates and uses your tax dollars, we have crated the Public Works Roads Project page. Here we will show you projects that have started or were recently completed and explain why and how it was funded. We will provide you with educational information and helpful links to learn more about taxes such as Measure Z and SB1, grants, and special interest projects that impact the community. We will describe how the County is laid out and how our crews work to maintain your roads. Road Maintenance is an ongoing project so check back often for new additions and updates to our list.
Our Roads and Crews
Humboldt County encompasses 4,052 square miles. Within that area, Humboldt County Public Works is responsible for over 1,200 miles of roads, 300 of which are gravel. These do not include state, city or privately owned roads.
The County is divided into 6 maintenance areas: Rohnerville, Garberville, Freshwater, Ferndale, McKinleyville and Hoopa and the crews are comprised of 5-8 crew members and one area supervisor. The crews are responsible for inspecting and maintaining the roadways in their area. They are also responsible for roadside maintenance, such a brush cutting and tree trimming, and since they do not use chemicals, pesticides or herbicides, ditches have to be maintained by hand or machine. They assess, repair or replace drainage systems such as ditches and culverts, as these are an integral component of road maintenance.
We also have a Sign Crew, who are responsible for all roadway striping and signage; a Bridge Crew, who maintain and repair barriers, guardrails and over 165 bridges; a Crusher Crew, who work the quarries to provide our crews with rock and material; and a Transportation Crew, who move all our heavy equipment from site to site. All of our crews respond to winter storm clearing and damage repairs.
Measure Z - The Public Safety Tax
In May 2014, citizens in the unincorporated areas of Humboldt County brought before the Board of Supervisors, their concerns relating to law enforcement and public safety throughout the county. The citizen group presented Measure Z to the Board. After analysis, the Board decided to bring a ballot measure to the citizens for a half cent increase in sales tax to help fund vacant Sheriff Deputy positions and address other public safety issues. The voters passed the measure with an almost 56% margin.
To read the Measure Z resolution brought before the Board, go to:Humboldt County Measure Z Ballot Resolution
For additional information on Measure Z funds and how they are used, visit Humboldt County Measure Z History
SB1 - The California Gas Tax
The tax to help rebuild California's roadways
On April 28, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1, SB1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act. This law allocates $54 billion dollars over the next 10 years to "Rebuild California's" roadways. This tax is specifically allocated for road and infrastructure repairs throughout California, to include city and county jurisdictions. The funds are protected and cannot be diverted into other government projects. Funds are allocated to local jurisdictions based on certain formulas such as population and number of registered vehicles. Once funds are distributed they must be used for the projects specified and submitted by the local jurisdictions to the California Transportation Commission (CTC).
As of May 2018, a proposal has garnered enough support to put a repeal on the November 2018 ballot. Proposition 6, a repeal of SB1 could jeopardize the proposed improvement projects submitted and pending in Humboldt County.
For more information on SB1 and Proposition 6, visit the following web sites
Grants, Special Interests and Roads General Funds
Additional funding sources
Humboldt County Public Works staffs a skilled group of Engineers who assess, design and facilitate larger projects to keep our roads safe and functioning. Due to the scale and/or nature of these projects, our staff searches for funding outside of our Roads General Tax Funds.
Some of the funding sources are:
FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency, grants and funding for repairs due to declared natural disasters.
HBP/BPM Project - Local Highway Bridge/Bridge Preventative Maintenance Program - Funding through Cal Trans to repair or replace bridges throughout California.
HSIP Grants - Highway Safety Improvement Program - Funding from the Federal Government managed through Cal Trans to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on public roadways.
FLAP Grants - Federal Lands Access Program - Funding from the USDOT, Federal Highway Administration to improve roadways that provide access to, are adjacent to, or are located within Federal lands.
Department of Fish and Wildlife - Fish Barrier Removal Project - Funding for conservation and restoration of natural fish and wildlife habitats.
These are just an example of some of the funding sources used. For everyday maintenance and repairs, funding comes from your tax dollars. The General Fund just does not have enough money to keep up with the repairs and improvements needed within the County hence the reason all of the funding sources mentioned are so important.
Jacoby Creek Road P.M. 1.41 to 1.91
Road conditions on Jacoby Creek Road between Roberts Heights Lane and Garden Lane were to the point that the safety of residents in the area were of concern. Would conditions delay emergency response in the area? August 7, 2018, those needs were addressed and the road was repaved, funded by Measure Z funds. #Measure Z
For more pictures and details, click to see our photo album.
Dinner Creek Culvert Replacement - Briceland-Thorn Road
Humboldt County received funding through the Department of Fish and Wildlife Fish Barrier Removal Project to restore Dinner Creek to an open drainage to help return Coho Salmon and Steel Head Trout to the watershed. This large scale project not only will help and protect the environment but also stabilizes the roadway crossing the creek. The culvert that had been under the roadway failed due to age and was causing erosion to the roadway above. This project is a win/win for the people and the environment.
Humboldt Loop at Ridge View Drive Culvert Replacement, Shelter Cove
The culverts on Humboldt Loop and Ridge View Drive were identified as a project qualified for funding through SB1. Failing culverts and poor drainage were causing the roadway to deteriorate and were costly and time consuming to continually repair. Without funding through SB1 our crews would have to keep on trying to mitigate problems with the existing culverts. Once finished, the culverts will have approximately a 25 year lifespan and will help to keep this busy Shelter Cove road intact.
Photo album coming soon.