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Unsung Heroes: Week of June 15
Department of Transportation Pavement Construction Inspection Team
The DOT Pavement Construction Inspection Team is small, but mighty! With only nine team members, they have the great responsibility to ensure that the City's 2,400-mile roadway system is repaved over the next eight years.
In 2019, the City paved 290 miles of roads, nearly three times as many as in 2018, thanks to bond and tax measures approved by voters. The City is planning to pave another 203 miles of roads this year.
When the shelter-in-place order was imposed in mid-March, the inspectors and contractors were working on six projects. DOT Construction Manager Aaron Becker and three of his senior construction inspectors and the contractors mapped out a strategy to keep City employees and contractors safe while continuing to work, while the other team members stayed home. "The inspection team was courageous," Becker said. "They came up with safety practices based on what they were seeing and doing and what the contractors were doing. Our team really didn't skip a beat."
When the City issued its own safety protocols for construction about a month later, it mirrored those the construction inspectors had already put in place. With that vote of confidence, they called the rest of the team back to work. The team already used a virtual project management system. “Because we had already shifted all project records, photos, and communication to the cloud, we were able to transition pretty seamlessly to working remotely," Aaron said. Managers, inspectors, and contractors can see where work was being done, when, and by whom. Team members are able to drive their City vehicles home and straight to the job, avoiding the need to use shared vehicle.
Despite the interruption, the team is on track for meeting its repaving goals for this year. "Our team of inspectors and engineers really kicked butt last year and got a lot of compliments about that," said Becker. "We really continued that attitude. That's what we emphasize. There's not a lot we can control except for our effort and our attitude. I'm extremely proud of what the team has been able to accomplish."
Thanks to the pavement inspection team for a job well done!
Aaron Becker, Richard Look, Jason Pratico, Jose Ortiz, Mike Miranda, Victor Lopez, Gabe Lara, Manual Morales, Rick Scherger