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J-59 Bill Voted Down

Sacramento, CA — Tuolumne County will continue to maintain its stretch of J-59.

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen introduced legislation to transfer ownership of J-59 to the state, at the request of the Tuolumne and Stanislaus County Supervisors, but it has been voted down in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Tuolumne County Administrator Craig Pedro stated at this week’s Supervisors meeting that he feels there was misinformation given to the Appropriations Committee regarding the costs to maintain the road.

Caltrans estimated that it will take $180,000 a year to properly maintain J-59 from Highway 132 to the Junction of Highway 108/120. Tuolumne County only spent $40,625 to maintain its portion of J-59 during fiscal year 2009/10, and $30,759 during 2010/11. The state’s estimate equates to $12,000 per mile for yearly maintenance, while Tuolumne County has only been spending $2,885 per mile.

A report to the Appropriations Committee states, “Caltrans asserts that, when maintenance and rehabilitation needs for the state highway system already exceed available funds by billions of dollars, assuming another highway segment into the state highway system is not prudent.”

Pedro stated that Assemblywoman Olsen will try to revive the proposal next year. J-59 is in its best condition in recent years after undergoing a $4 million overlay.