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Maintenance Trucks at the Garage

Gravel Roads Maintenance Program

Matt Pietrusiewicz, P.E.
Matt.Pietrusiewicz@co.yakima.wa.us
Road Maintenance Manager

Yakima County maintains 1,655 miles of road, 555 miles of which are gravel surfaced.  Gravel road maintenance activities include periodic grading and processing, addition of gravel when needed and selected application of magnesium chloride.  Other traditional maintenance activities such as snow plowing, drainage maintenance and vegetation control are also performed on the gravel road system.

PAVING GRAVEL ROADS

The prioritization and scheduling of paving gravel roads is under the direction of the County Road Engineer. Based on selected criteria (such as daily traffic counts, surrounding development and zoning, safety concerns, and available funding; among others) gravel roads are included on the County's Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). The TIP assists the county in planning and prioritizing county road projects within a financially constrained budget.

The public can also petition for their road to be paved. Road Improvement Districts (RIDs) are a voluntarily-imposed (locally voted) taxing authority on selected properties to generate revenue for a specific transportation project. In coordination with the County Road Engineer, a RID is placed on a special ballot for affected property owners to approve an assessment on their property taxes dedicated to funding the road project. Inquiries on creating a RID can be directed to the County Road Engineer at (509) 574-2300.

Every November, the County's Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is brought before the Board of County Commissioners and the general public in a public hearing to ratify the county's plan for road projects for the upcoming six years. The public is welcome to participate in this process in seeking their road(s) inclusion in the gravel road paving priority list.

GRADING GRAVEL ROADS

Yakima County maintenance crews grade gravel roads year-round on a “as-needed” basis. While most gravel roads are graded in preparation for the annual surface stabiloization program (which begins around March/April), or as a result of snow plowing, other non-dust abated roads will be graded as needed or upon request and inspection. Please call Public Services Road Maintenance Division for more information at (509) 574-2396.

SURFACE STABILIZATION

In an effort to maintain ride quality and control dust through the dry summer months, Yakima County applies magnesium chloride on selected gravel roads.  The selection process is based on a list of objective criteria such as traffic volume, number of adjacent residences and the type and amount of adjacent crops.  The number of roads to be treated is primarily a budgetary decision.