Street surface problems continue in Torrey Hills

By Karen Billing

The Torrey Hills community is dealing with some street surface problems. As discussed at its June 26 meeting, the Torrey Hills Community Planning Board believes that the problem is that the wrong slurry seal was used on its community streets although the city maintains it just needs time to settle.

“It’s the wrong product,” said Brad Fagan, a member of the planning board. “It should be applied to 40-year-old streets. The seal is crumbling and too soft and any tire move makes a mark.”

Bill Harris, spokesperson for the city of San Diego’s transportation and storm water department, said that the belief that the wrong seal was used is incorrect. He said the complaints he’s heard from Torrey Hills neighbors are typical for this type of material but that the issues will not last long.

“What residents are seeing is a normal process of what happens right after a slurry seal. You’re going to get raveling and divots,” Harris said.

He said that every batch of materials the city uses goes through a testing process and meets all the specifications before applied. He said it’s common for the seal to lose 10 percent of its aggregate, shown in raveling and minor scuffs.

“I don’t think they will have a problem as soon as it settles,” Harris said.

Janie Hoover, District 1 Councilmember Sherri Lightner’s community representative, responded quickly to residents’ complaints about the debris the seal leaves behind and had a street sweeper come out to clean the roadways.

Board member Guy Ravad said that while he appreciated the street sweeping, it did not help the problem because it just swept the “rubble” onto the sidewalk and people’s driveways.

“(Street sweeping) is a waste of time and money, making the streets worse,” Ravad said.

Ravad said a city engineer told him that residents aren’t driving in and out of their driveways correctly, causing the marking and debris.

One area of Torrey Hills where the problem is highly visible is near the construction of Garden Communities’ 384 new housing units on Calle Mar de Mariposa and East Ocean Air Drive. The streets have become stained dirt from the construction grading.

“We are struggling with the streets,” admitted Dee Snow, Garden Communities project manager. “The streets are brown and the street sweeping is not working.”

Snow said they have been trying to work with a hydro-vac company to get a truck out to clean the streets. The project still has about two more months of grading, three to four months until they start working on the underground garage and 10 to 12 months before the building framing will begin.

In addition to the stained streets, the construction is also causing some other issues for neighbors. Fagan requested that Snow have a sweeper come through after the trucks in the mornings because the work is kicking up billows of silt.

“The community east of there is pretty inundated with silt,” Fagan said, who added that he knows not a whole lot can be done to prevent the silt rather than wetting the dirt.

Snow said that they welcome any community concerns and will try to deal with any issues that arise. Snow can be reached at (858) 200-2244.

For any questions or to request street sweeping, contact Janie Hoover at (619) 236-6979.


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