Almost anywhere one looks in the San Fernando Valley these days, crews are tearing apart and working on city streets. Steel plates, which sit an inch or so above the surface of the street, serve as temporary covers for unfinished projects. When the work is completed, the street is quickly repaved in an uneven patchwork of asphalt.
Because of this repair technique, people are finding that their most prized possessions--their cars--are being damaged. The damage is in the form of wheel misalignment, automobile parts shaking loose and annoying new rattles that never seem to cease. The result is drivers suddenly braking or swerving into other lanes in order to avoid bouncing over a steel plate or rumbling through an unsmooth section of street.
The city of Los Angeles and its contractors need to improve the efficiency and craftsmanship in their system of street repair. The outcome will be safer drivers and streets that are more attractive.