More Pine Forest Steps Fail

In case you needed any more evidence of the slipshod way the “exercise stairs” at Hillcrest Park were built, I offer in evidence some images taken by the FFFF Construction Field Documentation Team (CFDT) that has been awfully busy lately examining the many failures at the “Pine Forest Stairs” to nowhere.

Here is what the foundations are supposed to look like:

Here is what happened at one location. The top of the caisson was too high and had to be broken out to accommodate a post or cross beam supporting the stair stringer. Unfortunately the rebar in the caisson has been exposed to rust away and eventually spall the concrete.

Here’s a location where a large chunk of the caisson has mysteriously broken off. Here there is no reinforcing steel in sight.

And finally, here’s an example of what can happen when you decide to sink a big 6″x 6″ wood post into concrete:

Apparently many of the caissons are already cracking just like this one. Are these structures even safe? Will our common seismic events cause serious problems? I’m not privy to those answers, but I can tell you that there’s no way I’m getting on those things.

And just for fun, note that the contractor reworked the top the caisson to get water to run off. This sloppy effort is going to flake off – exposing the post to a permanent puddle.

It’s hard to believe that “professionals” inside and outside of City Hall were extremely well paid to oversee this hodgepodge of construction horrors, but there you have it. $1.6 million dollars and this is the best Fullerton can do.


24 Replies to “More Pine Forest Steps Fail”

  1. I would like to know how much griffin Structures was paid to oversee this disaster and how much found its way back into Fitzgerald’s campaign account.

  2. Profoundly and utterly shocking. How on earth did this ever pass inspection? I’d like to hear what the city council members have to say about this, especially Fitzgerald. How could anyone possibly defend this kind of work? Heads should roll!

  3. Josh presented this at the council meeting and was ignored by all five of them. All of them need to be recalled.

    1. Maybe if you all focused on the technical aspects and engineering instead of politically charged slogans like “stairs to nowhere.” At some point you become so wrong and obnoxious in general that you get placed into the category of “problem” instead of concerned citizen.

      Everything in a park is “nowhere.” But we make them, and we enjoy them.

      I’m fine with forcing a focus on engineering issues, but the politics is self-defeating.

      1. “We make them, and we enjoy them”

        Um, nobody in the public asked for these stairs. They are not going to be used by the general public. They a re a complete waste of $1.6 million. A criminal waste. You want to associate yourself with that? Good luck!

        And then there is the criminal waste of the construction failures, overseen by one of fitzgerald’s major campaign donors. Ready to talk about politics yet, or is that still self-defeating.

        1. Atta boy Greg!

          Fitzgerald expects her audience to fawn over her and whenever they don’t, she scowls and scolds them like errant schoolchildren.

          It’s strictly designed to publicly shame humiliate and embarrass those that don’t comply with her agenda.

      1. Not one of the council members offered up anything of the sort. Greg was speaking in gest. You were completely ignored.

    2. Anyone who voted for these steps should be recalled,,,but first they should be forced to walk the steps 3 times each week

  4. I predict a repeat of Laguna Lake: wait ten years and one month from the opening, after the statute of limitations for defective design and/ or construction has lapsed, before announcing the stairs are no longer safe for public use and need to be replaced.

    1. That sounds very familiar. it’s the culture of hiding mistakes and circling the wagons.

  5. For every homeowner who has had to run the gamut of requirements of city hall to get plans approved, who has had to diligently follow the plans, submit changes, wait for inspections, get further required documentation, and the rest of this rather long construction process, all they have to do is point to this “debacle on the hill.” Why do we pay our fees, and go along with the process no matter how onerous it is, only to have such blatant disregard of standards by the very people who oversee much needed home renovations?
    This is an example of CORRUPTION, not mere oversight. Several hands here knew the work being performed was substandard and shoddy.
    And I don’t agree that one should only go after the engineers. If any council member took a donation from any construction company which worked on this, they too are responsible for opening the gates for these slipshod, under-skilled, uneducated, and willfully negligent contractors.

    1. Fitzgerald has taken $1000s from griffin Structures and its owner Torriero.

      The rotting corpse is really starting to smell.


      1. Looking at the photos of the debacle on the hill, one can’t help but think that the writing is on the wall for all council members. A recall would be the reasonable response of an electorate seeking justice and to rid itself of the arrogant mindset that led to this corruption. An investigation would be prudent to see how far the money trail goes. Is it only the council, or were city planners and inspectors paid off as well? What other projects have been supported by greasing palms? And if that’s the case, why should anyone bother to get anything approved by the city?
        It would reasonable for them to resign this week. The electorate expects it.

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