Broken Roads: City of Cleveland admits there were crucial problems with $600,000 roads analysis

Posted at 5:49 AM, Dec 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-19 16:26:12-05

On Your Side Investigators have uncovered major problems with a crucial study that rates the very roads you drive on every day. The City of Cleveland now admits there were major problems with the report.

For nearly a year our investigation "Broken Roads, Broken System" has revealed fundamental problems with the way the city maintains and repairs your streets. Now, the city commissioned a new, complete analysis of its roads costing $600,000.

The city told us that initial report was filled with flaws and because of that, the study from Michael Baker International is months behind. All of this is happening just as we head into a harsh winter where our roads take the most beating.

INTERACTIVE MAP | See what grade the City of Cleveland gave your street

Cleveland’s Chief Operating Officer Darnell Brown told me he's frustrated with the delay. He said Baker used the wrong evaluations software. "My last conversation with them was you need to get a lot of urgency about getting this product completed,” said Brown.

The city’s Director of Capital Projects Matt Spronz told us the engineering firm should have used the local program for evaluating streets instead of the flexible program. “The Local Program has another four to five items, what we call distresses in the pavement that you have to get in order to get the right pavement rating score,” explained Spronz. “So when they did their first assessment, they weren't picking up those last four to five distresses in the pavement model because they were using the wrong app. They downloaded the wrong app onto their iPads.”

The city showed us an email from Baker that a recent report labeled final was "inaccurate" as well and that the city has to accept it before it's truly final.

GRADE YOUR STREET | Compare the City of Cleveland's grade to the grade you would give your street

Baker has denied us interviews in the past about this report and this time around did not return our calls.

The new deadline for the road evaluation report is late January. This comes after the city originally told On Your Side Investigators that the report would be ready last May.