Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are some differences between an LID, Co-op and using a private contractor?



  • LID: Everyone who benefits pays for improvements, even if they oppose them.
  • Co-op: Only people who volunteer pay for improvements.
  • Private contractor: Property owners hire and pay for their own private contractor. We need a deposit for the inspection work and a bond guaranteeing the work.


  • LID: A formal process involving the Board, which approves or denies the LID.
  • Co-op: A semi-formal process involving us and some property owners.
  • Private contractor: Contractors perform the work to our requirements and permit conditions.


  • LID: Construction work is done or hired by us.
  • Co-op: Construction work is done by us.
  • Private contractor: Construction work is done by contractors hired by property owners.


Q.  What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of LIDs, Co-ops and private contractors?


LID advantages:

  • All benefiting property owners pay for the LID.
  • Payment can be made over a 10-year period.

LID disadvantages:

  • It's a long process, including five BOC meetings.
  • The process must be completed by December for the work to be completed in spring or summer.
  • Neighbors opposing the improvements still must pay for them.
  • The project may alienate neighbors who oppose the work.

Co-op advantages:

  • It is simpler because it only involves one or more property owners.
  • If agreed on by March, improvements can usually be made the spring or summer of the same year.

Co-op disadvantages:

  • The estimated costs are collected before work begins.
  • The individual costs are usually higher since fewer people are paying for the work.

Private contractor advantages:

  • Property owners decide who performs the work.
  • Property owners control the schedule.

Private contractor disadvantages

  • Property owners manage the project.
  • The project may alienate neighbors who are not in favor of the work.
  • We will not warranty the work.


Q. Does the County campaign for privately funded road improvements?

We do not promote gravel road upgrades or any other privately funded improvements. Our staff attends LID neighborhood meetings to share information if property owners ask.


Q. Why does Washington County not pay for upgrading gravel roads?

We do not have the funds to pave and maintain our more than 250 miles of gravel roads.

Our Transportation Plan prioritizes road maintenance funding. Major roads are the highest priority and local roads are the lowest. Even small improvements to major roads are higher priority than general maintenance of local roads. Our Annual Road Maintenance Program shows our current priorities.


Q. Can any road be upgraded through the LID or Co-op processes?

No. When people ask about road upgrades our staff checks minimum requirements, like road width and geography. Public Dedicated or Local Access Roads are not eligible for the LID or Co-op options.


Q. What are the minimum requirements for a road to be upgraded from gravel to a hard surface?

The finished road will usually be 20 feet wide. There is 18 feet of paved surface, and one-foot-wide gravel shoulders on both sides. The road base will be at least six inches thick and pavement will be at least three inches thick. The rock or asphalt may need to be increased for commercial truck traffic.


Q. What type of hard surface treatment is used on gravel roads?

We use a hot mix asphalt treatment.


Q. If a gravel road is upgraded, will the speeds increase? If so, will speed limit signs be installed?

Speeds may increase once a road is upgraded to a hard surface. These roads are usually subject to Oregon's Basic Speed Rule. You can contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office and file a Traffic Complaint if you believe motorists are violating the Basic Speed Rule.

Q. How can we ask for maintenance?

Property owners can submit road service requests for gravel road maintenance. 

Q. What is dust abatement?

Dust abatement is a fairly low-cost treatment applied by a contractor. You must fill out a Dust Control Agreement annually. Rain and lots of traffic make dust abatement less effective