W. Muirlands resident battling city over driveway repairs

Although the hole in the street, seen here on June 16 from Gina Tapper’s porch, is repaired, her driveway is not.  Kathy Day photo
Although the hole in the street, seen here on June 16 from Gina Tapper’s porch, is repaired, her driveway is not. Kathy Day photo

By Kathy Day

kday@lajollalight.com

West Muirlands Drive reopened last week, but Gina Tapper still can’t get into her driveway because there’s a five-foot-wide hole in it.

But even as she fights a new battle, she reported Monday that the newly covered hole in the street once again has “an ‘impression’ or indentation in the newly poured asphalt which is the rectangular shape of a car. Cars and trucks are flying down the hill and bouncing down and then up.”

She said she left a voicemail reporting it to Gus Brown, deputy director of the storm water division.

Bill Harris, spokesman for the division, said Monday afternoon that crews “are aware of the report” and would get out to inspect it, probably on Tuesday.

In the meantime, a police officer showed up to inspect the spot and called Brown to report what he saw, Tapper said.

Since the repair project wrapped up, Tapper has been in a bit of a battle with the city over who’s going to make her driveway look like it did before crews began repairs on a corroded storm water pipe in front of the house.

“They can’t call the job done,” she said, noting that there’s still a hole where they had to dig and no curb along part of the street. Tapper was the first resident to report the “dip” in the street, which caved in five months later.

She wants the city to restore her brick-paved driveway to the condition it was in before the cave-in on June 2, but city officials have told her they will put in concrete, asphalt or decomposed granite.

Apparently the issue involves just where the property line falls and whether Tapper’s driveway improvements extend into the easement.

Harris said Friday that storm water officials “are doing some analysis regarding the existing structure.”

They have offered to pour concrete and make the driveway functional, but “she is insisting that it is restored to the way it was before.”

Tapper said, and Harris confirmed, that she was told to contact the city’s risk management department and submit a claim accompanied by “two or three estimates.”

A spokesman for Councilwoman Sherri Lightner said they are trying to help Tapper work through the risk management process as the details are sorted out.

Late last week Tapper was waiting for estimates, which she said are likely to include the cost of jack-hammering out additional bricks that were cracked during the repair process as well as weaving in new bricks to match the hold ones.

“I’m not going to cave in,” she said.

Meanwhile, residents along West Muirlands are awaiting word on when their street will become a detour during work on the water main replacement project on Nautilus Street.

Ana Maria Rojas, spokeswoman for the city’s engineering and capital projects department, said via e-mail on Monday that work on Nautilus started on June 24.

“They're currently working close to the intersection of Aranda Avenue and heading east. (which) entails the closure of only the eastbound lanes on Nautilus,” she wrote. “The westbound lanes are currently being used for both directions during the construction working hours.”

At this point, she added, they don’t have a firm date as “to when the full closure of Nautilus will take place, or when the traffic will be detoured to West Muirlands Drive.”

For information on the project go to

http://tinyurl.com/5ssjg9o.

   
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