State properties: Caltrans-owned homes get costly new roofs - latimes.com
The roof on the three-bedroom Pasadena rental where Don Jones used to live seems unremarkable until he hands over the invoice showing what it cost: $103,443.
Fortunately for Jones, he didn't have to pay that. His landlords, California taxpayers, footed the bill.
The state Department of Transportation, which bought the houses on Jones' block decades ago to bulldoze for an extension of the 710 Freeway, also spent $103,472 to replace a roof across the street and $80,606 to install the one next-door, agency records show. On a nearby avenue, a once-grand house, now dilapidated, sports a $171,508 roof that was put on in 2006 even though nobody lived there.
Document: Caltrans' bill for new roofs (Click on link to view)
The prices are four to five times what most homeowners could expect to pay for a new roof on a similar house in the area, said Kim Smith, a contractor at J.N. Davis Roofing who said he has been fixing roofs in Pasadena for nearly 30 years.
"This is such a waste," Smith said.