City officials said Monday they are embarking on a study to find out why some recently repaved roads in San Diego are deteriorating quicker than expected.
The study was one of two steps recommended by city auditors in a report presented to the City Council.
Well over 90 percent of the many repaving projects conducted by city contractors over the past few years have gone well, but a handful have not been very durable.
“My constituents come up to me and say, `You know, we had a street repaired and the next couple weeks there are lines or holes and everything in the streets,’ and they’re concerned that something is truly wrong,” City Council President Myrtle Cole said after the presentation. “So I want to try to assure them that we have an idea of how we’re going to definitely improve the life of our streets.”
Road repairs — from repaving to filling potholes — have been the top priority for the City Council and Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who set a goal of fixing 1,000 miles of formerly neglected streets over a five-year period.
“This is a priority issue for all of us,” said Councilman Mark Kersey, who chairs the panel’s Infrastructure Committee.
Councilman David Alvarez said the small amount of failing road repair projects are especially noticeable to bicyclists.
Kris McFadden, director of the city’s Transportation and Storm Water Department, said it appears most of the problems are not the fault of the contractors or composition of the asphalt they use.
Streets are composed of several layers, of which the pavement is just the top layer, and the failures could be occurring in portions below the surface or even from expansive soil, McFadden said. Some problems have cropped up when utility trenches are covered with concrete, he said.
Around 4 percent of the roads repaired in recent years might need to be completely reconstructed, taking them down to the soil, he said.
The audit, released to the public three months ago, called on city officials to analyze roadways repaved in the 2011-15 fiscal years to determine the cause of the failures. The results could also help determine whether an ongoing study of repaving projects would be necessary.
The auditors also recommended that the Public Works and Transportation and Storm Water departments collaborate to provide contractors with a quality control plan to record pertinent information that the city’s resident engineer for the project can verify.
— City News Service