I-Team

uFixIt: Potholes pester Pinole drivers

Thursday, September 30, 2010
, Chief Investigative Reporter
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Over the past several weeks, you've probably seen the spots running on ABC7 News, asking you to send us video of things that need to be fixed in your neighborhood. It's for a new segment we're calling uFixIt, part of our collaboration with YouTube. We want to take a problem you identify and get to the bottom of it.

Potholes are a problem you expect on old streets, not a brand new road.

The city of Pinole paid a contractor nearly $250,000 to repave a stretch of Simas Avenue last year.

"We were all very happy, because it was going to be beautiful and it was beautiful for about two or three days," said Andrea Garcia of Pinole.

But Garcia says just days after the job was finished last November, potholes appeared at the intersection with Pinole's main drag, Pinole Valley Road.

"Everybody has to go, very slow," said Garcia

So Garcia took video with her iPhone and e-mailed it to uReport.

"I guess, your anti-locking brakes take effect, and then you slide, there you go," said Garcia.

She says drivers are swerving into the oncoming lane to avoid the potholes, creating a dangerous situation for children and others who cross the busy intersection every day to get to the nearby swimming pool.

"I'm worried that somebody will be avoiding the potholes and not see a person crossing the street, they're so busy avoiding the potholes," said Garcia.

She called public works to complain, but she says nothing has been done since the potholes first appeared about 10 months ago.

"I'd like them to tell us, what are their plans? What happened? Why did this occur? What's going on? Why is this taking so long to fix these potholes?" said Garcia.

"Shortly after we finished, the roadway started to kind of, unravel," said Pinole Public Works Director Dean Allison.

Allison says the city has filed a lawsuit against the contractor, Bruce Carone Paving and Grading.

In the complaint, the city alleges that the Simas Avenue project has "serious defects" including "potholing," that are expected to "continually get worse."

It also demands that the contractor re-do the entire job.

"We paid for a brand new roadway and by golly we're going to get a brand new roadway from this contractor and what we have right now is certainly not that," said Allison.

One of the city's attorneys tells us the contractor has not been served with the lawsuit yet and Carone did not return calls for comment.

But on the same day ABC7 started asking questions, the council voted to pay a different contractor to repave Simas Avenue while the lawsuit moves ahead. Construction is scheduled to start in September. Andrea says the sooner the better.

"I'd like them to be fixed as soon as possible because the rainy season is going to start and it's going to get worse," said Garcia.

uReport: Powered by YouTube
Do you have a problem in your neighborhood that needs fixing or a government service that isn't working? Send your videos and photos to uReport@kgo-tv.com, or visit uReport.abc7news.com and we may feature them on-air or online. Don't forget to include a phone number and e-mail address where we can contact you.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
uFixIt, pinole, uReport, i-team, dan noyes
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