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The remaining 560 miles of roads in the county network — 41 percent of the total — are in the most rural areas and would be addressed only when funding becomes available or when emergency repairs are needed, according to the plan.

Rabbitt defended the approach.

"Within a reasonable amount of time, to have 60 percent of our roads repaired is phenomenal," he said. "It's going to take commitment. We're on the verge of that."

The Board of Supervisors will hold a study session on the roads plan within the next few weeks, Rabbitt said. Among the issues to iron out is a strategy to fund the plan.

Consulting firm Harris and Associates, which helped compile the roads document, studied the possibility of quarter- and half-cent sales taxes to fund road repairs. A quarter-cent sales tax would provide the county with $8 million annually for roads while a half-cent sales tax would add $16 million, according to the plan. The current annual county spending on road upkeep is about $16 million.

Voters would have to approve a sales tax measure. The deadline to put a measure on the November ballot is Aug. 8.

Sonoma County residents already have two quarter-cent sales taxes that pay for transportation infrastructure projects, including highway widening, commuter rail and local road improvements.

Road funding advocates, who have been vocal in calling for the county to improve pavement conditions, welcomed the long-term plan. They withheld comment on funding measures, including the proposed sales tax, saying they awaited further details.

"We're glad that it's seen the light of day," said Craig Harrison, co-founder of the group Save Our Sonoma Roads. "There's some work to be done on this. We may not end up with a perfect road system but it will be a lot better than what we have."

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Brown at 521-5206 or matt.brown@pressdemocrat.com.