SAN FRANCISCO - Brian Gagan has been bothered by a mistake on Valdez Avenue since the day he bought his house back in the 1970s.
“I looked at the concrete in front of the house where the name is inscribed, and I noticed the Z in Valdez is backwards,” said Gagan.
Now Gagan and his neighbors said they’re bothered by a much bigger and noticeable problem on Valdez and the two intersections (Valdez and Mangels avenues and Mangels and Colon avenues) after construction began on San Francisco’s Curb Ramp Program.
Neighbors complain the city messed up installing the wheelchair accessible curbs.
“The corners don’t match the street in any way shape or form. They are wildly off,” said neighbor Mark Cesare. “I can’t imagine someone coming up that slope on a wheelchair.”
The neighbors said they were suspicious from day one watching construction crews put in the forms.
“They were clearly off by a foot or so,” said Cesare. “Low over there, high over here. They just went ahead and poured concrete anyway.”
Construction started on April 6 and was to be completed by April 27. On Sunday, construction equipment was still parked in the neighborhood. Neighbors complain of nails and debris sticking out of the roadway and have noticed cracks and chipping in newly laid concrete. The main problem, they said, the grade of the street does not match the curb.
“You’ve got something like this or the curb is a little higher than normal, so it’s easy to miss a step,” said neighbor Charlie Leach, pointing to a patch of concrete.
There’s also a concern that rainwater will pool outside of some properties.
On Sunday afternoon, Con-Quest Contractors said in an email that the construction work will not be finished anytime soon.
“The curb returns had to be redesigned - should be done in a couple of weeks,” said Paul Loukianoff, president of Con-Quest Contractors
KTVU left email messages for the mayor’s office and the Public Works ADA / Disability Access Coordinator, but did not receive a response back on Sunday.
Gagan said he’s not a superstitious man, but wonders if the city unleashed bad luck breaking the concrete on the blundered Valdez Avenue.
“It’s had a quite unfortunate outcome. It’s quite irregular… like a backward Z.”