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L.A. Isn't Doing A Great Job Repairing Its Streets, Audit Says

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Construction in DTLA (Photo by Robert Vega via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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According to a recent audit, the L.A. Bureau of Street Services is not doing a great job when it comes to doing the one thing it's charged with: repairing and maintaining our streets. The report is based on 2010-2013, shortly before Mayor Eric Garcetti took office. City Controller Ron Galperin explained his report, "L.A. Streets: The Road to the Future" on Thursday. The basic problems involve not collecting or properly spending money, poor record keeping, and not fixing the most damaged roads first, Daily News reports.

For instance, Streets Services miscalculated and then failed to collect fees from utility companies that cut into streets to make line replacements. They've been doing this since 1998, resulting in a lost $190 million that may never be recovered. The audit also found $21 million that was meant to be used on street repairs between 2010 and 2013, but instead, was returned to funding sources without being used, L.A. Times reports.

Street Services has also been making its own asphalt instead of getting it from private vendors, but old equipment at the City's facility is driving up the price. The result is that the City is paying $66 per ton, as compared to the less than $40 per ton other companies are charging.

The Bureau also has very poor record keeping skills, and was unable to provide documentation for the 953,000 potholes it says it has filled. It has previously been suggested that perhaps some of those potholes were cracks.

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Also, some of the roads with the most traffic are in the worst shape, due to a too-slow system for figuring out street conditions. The report suggests using common sense to figure out which roads are the most important to repair.

The Bureau's director, Nazario Sauceda, said that the department has already started making changes and will take the findings in the report seriously. Last year, a study by the National Transportation Research Group concluded that L.A. had the worst roads in the country.

Last month, we reported that another audit concluded that the L.A. Sheriff's Department was not doing a great job policing the Metro.