City audit finds problems with San Diego road repair plan

Some repairs deteriorate sooner than expected
Posted at 5:13 AM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 11:36:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A City Auditor's report presented to the City Council this week says there are major problems with some of the work being done to repair roads in San Diego.

Councilman Chris Cate called for the audit after residents complained that recently repaired streets were crumbling.

"When you're seeing the level of investment that's being made to our streets, we want to make sure that they're going to last," Cate said.

In 2015, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced a plan to repave 1000 miles of roads in San Diego. To do so, he more than doubled the budget for road work. The move came after a study showed more than half of San Diego's 3,000 miles of roads were in "Fair" or "Poor" condition in 2012.

"Our number one infrastructure priority is street repair, street repair, street repair," the mayor said when he announced the program.

The report looked at three streets across the city that were repaired in 2013. It found that most of the work has held up. But there are several roads that went from "Good" condition to "Fair" much sooner than expected.

The report found problems with quality control and record keeping. It lists the following findings:

- Public Works employs qualified Engineers who have met the qualifications

- The City Laboratory has a process to perform materials testing prior to repaving and consistently conducts and records compaction tests after repaving

- The quality management process does not require the contractors to have a well-defined quality control plan to document that activities meet City specifications

- The contractor and City Engineers are not required to record key activities related to the quality of work

- Without a requirement to record key quality activities, the City cannot ensure that street repaving meets specifications

- City Engineers' inspections are limited to observations when they are onsite

- The lack of recorded information precludes evaluation of the City's quality control process.

The Auditor recommended that city departments do a better job of working together and start adding quality control and record keeping requirements for contractors hired to repair roads.

Mayor Faulconer says he wants to see all of it happen.

"We need to hold people accountable, hold contractors accountable, hold city crews accountable," he said. "People want to see great work, they want to see great results, they want to see it done efficiently and for the lowest cost possible."

The Auditor will present the report to the full City Council Monday and they will decide where to go from there.