LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Tens of millions of dollars in under-collections as well as major operational failures and poor reporting have been cited as major factors in a Los Angeles effort to pave and maintain city streets, according to officials.
City Controller Ron Galperin released “L.A. Streets: The Road To The Future”, an audit of the city’s Bureau of Street Services (BSS) highlighting several issues that “undermines the Department’s ability to meet its operational goals.”
KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports that with about 28,000 lane miles of streets – the equivalent of a 10-lane highway from L.A. to New York City – L.A. has the largest municipal street network in the nation.
Despite nearly $112 million spent in 2012-13 to resurface 752 miles of city streets, about 25 percent of streets graded by the BSS received a failing grade as part of the review. The overall current average grade for local streets is a C minus.
In a comment on his Twitter account, Galperin wrote: “The street I live on gets a grade F from @BSSLosAngeles – just like 25% of LA’s streets.”
But according to Galperin, the lack of collection of Street Damage Restoration Fees from companies that cut into city streets as part of their operations has taken hundreds of millions of dollars out of the city’s coffers.
“Our auditors found that over the course of the years, $191 million in opportunity that we had to collect these fees was missed,” he said.
The estimated cost required to rehabilitate 8,200 lane miles of streets with either a D or F grade – including the 500 lane miles of streets that may become D’s and F’s in the time it takes to complete the project – would cost taxpayers roughly $3.86 billion, according to the report.
The release of Galperin’s audit comes two months after CBS2/KCAL9’s David Goldstein uncovered some L.A. pothole workers going to breakfast while on the job, going home early while claiming to be fixing streets, and claiming they repaired potholes that were actually small cracks in the pavement.
L.A. Street Services Director Nazario Sauceda did not want to comment on the audit and declined to say what action, if any, would be taken against the workers exposed during Goldstein’s investigation.
“I cannot share disciplinary actions with you. What I can tell you is that we completed our investigation,” Sauceda said, adding that he could not share the outcome of the investigation.
Galperin’s full report is available online here.