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Our friends at KPBS had me on their Midday Edition radio show and Evening Edition television program Tuesday to discuss our special report on San Diego’s troubled roads and infrastructure repairs. City Councilman Todd Gloria joined me on the radio to talk repairs.

I’ve tried to hammer home three points from my story:

History. It’s taken a long time for San Diego roads and other infrastructure to get so bad. It will take a long time — and a lot more money — for them to get much better. For instance, city officials estimate it will take years and $500 million more in loans to maintain 45 percent of San Diego’s roads in good condition and keep storm drains and buildings at a similar level.

Scope. We don’t know how many repairs the city needs to do because it doesn’t have a thorough accounting of all its infrastructure. Though the city estimates it has an $840 million backlog of streets, storm drains and building repairs, unexamined infrastructure could need billions of dollars more in fixes.

Candor. Mayor Jerry Sanders’ administration hasn’t been straightforward about the problems it has encountered with spending. In one instance, the city promised to repave more than 100 miles of roads by this summer. But when this summer came around, the mayor issued a press release lauding the repaving of about 50 miles. People would be more forgiving of the delays if they knew they were happening.

Here’s a link to the radio appearance. The TV segment begins at around the 2 minute, 40 second mark.

Liam Dillon is a news reporter for He covers San Diego City Hall, the 2012 mayor’s race and big building projects. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5663.

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Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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