Washington County manages over 19 million square feet of gravel roads, equating to just over 217 miles. These roads include Rural Collectors, Urban Locals and Rural Locals. The gravel road network in the county provides connections for agriculture, tourism, recreation and homeowners.
Gravel road maintenance
For gravel roads designated as County Roads, residents can request road maintenance (such as grading) or report road conditions by calling 503-846-ROAD (503-846-7623),e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or submitting an online Request Road Service form.
Gravel roads designated as Public Dedicated Roads (sometimes called Local Access Roads) are not maintained by Washington County. Adjacent property owners are responsible for their maintenance. A County Right-of-Way Permit is required for road improvements.
Another option to address the condition of a gravel road is to apply a dust abatement product. This is a relatively low-cost treatment that is applied by a contractor, after obtaining a County Dust Control Permit. The life expectancy of the product can be affected by rain after it is applied and the amount of traffic. Under ideal conditions, dust abatement may last an entire season.
Privately funded road improvement projects
Privately funded road improvement projects generally involve converting gravel roads to hard-surface roads. Other improvements, such as drainage projects, may also be eligible. Property owners have three options to privately fund these projects on Washington County roads:
- Local Improvement District (LID)
- Cooperative Agreement (Co-Op)
- Right-of-Way Permit
Property owners are required to fund any of these options. However, the structure, process and financial obligations vary significantly.
For properties on Public Dedicated Roads, or Local Access Roads, only the Right-of-Way Permit option is possible. Property owners need to obtain a Right-of-Way Permit before beginning work. For road classification information, call Operations and Maintenance Division at 503-846-ROAD (7623). Contact Steve Franks, Senior Program Coordinator, at 503-846-7653 to learn more.
- Privately Funded Road Improvements
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Options for Maintaining and Improving Gravel Roads in Washington County
Gravel Road Upgrade Program (inactive)
Over 20 years ago, Washington County, through the efforts of the Rural Roads Operations and Maintenance Advisory Committee (RROMAC), developed a program to fund the upgrade of some roads from gravel to a hard chip seal surface. RROMAC used a prioritization method to rank roads, based on crop frontage, number of houses, traffic levels and other factors. The funding for that program ended in 2013. The County no longer recommends chip seals to upgrade gravel roads to hard surface. Instead, hot mix asphalt is used.