A Portland audit shows the city's lack of a transpotation plan has put Portland's most valuable asset at risk.
Portland's Bureau of Transportation and the City Council have not adequately protected the condition of street pavement, according to an audit released today by City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade.
The report, Street Pavement: Condition shows need for better stewardship, discusses the long-term financial burden that resulted from making street maintenance a low priority. Streets are the City's most valuable asset group, with a $5 billion replacement cost.
"Well over a third of pavement that PBOT maintains is in poor or worse condition," Auditor Griffin-Valade said. "As street condition deteriorated, City Council chose to invest in competing transportation priorities without an overall strategy, allowing future costs for restoring street pavement to multiply."
Auditors found that PBOT pavement managers use industry-accepted methods to make maintenance decisions. But the audit found that the lack of an overall transportation strategy essentially made street maintenance a low priority in the City’s budget.
The audit makes several recommendations, including that the City Council adopt a transportation strategy that clearly states the City's overall transportation policy goals and objectives. It also recommends City Council require PBOT to provide an annual estimate of expected future costs for street maintenance in its budget.