Infrastructure upgrade aims at repaving San Diego

Citizens will have a chance to weigh in on the mayor’s budget priorities beginning next Monday, the first of several public hearings to get a budget approved by June 30th. The city’s revenues are starting to grow again and the mayor has promised to take half of that new revenue and put it into infrastructure, streets, sidewalks, street lighting.

“As mayor, I promised to keep my focus squarely on infrastructure until every neighborhood has smooth streets and bright street lights. The projects are spread across the city so every neighborhood will benefit from the spending increase and higher level of services.”

With a pothole crew as a backdrop at 30th and Date Streets, the mayor said the scatter-shot approach the city had been using to fill potholes – fill one here, then move on to the next one on the list.

“Even if it was sometimes half way across the city, we’re not doing that any more. We will still collect all of the complaints, but we will dispatch a crew to a specific neighborhood for the entire day.”

This approach will reduce the complaint-to-patch time from 8 days to 5 days and, with additional crews hired, the repairs will come a lot quicker.

“We’re adding 16 fulltime positions to our pothole repair program to tackle potholes big and small. The staffing increase is projected to double the amount of asphalt repair citywide.”

14 of the new workers will fill large potholes; the remaining two will be part of 9 citywide crews filling smaller ones. 95 miles of streets will be repaved and 125 miles of streets will be slurry sealed. The council approved the mayor’s request for $120 million infrastructure bond issue for three fire stations, more street work and storm drain upgrades.That’s on hold, pending a lawsuit claiming the bond issue has to be approved by the voters.

“It’s a frivolous lawsuit and it’s brought by a serial litigant who I think, at last count through his history, (has filed) over 20 lawsuits against the city,” said San Diego council member Scott Sherman.

“Every day that goes by without this investment means that we are further reducing emergency response time, further from repaving a street in your neighborhood, like South Park right here,” explained another council member Mark Kersey, chair of the infrastructure committee.

With a maintenance backlog beyond $1 billion, it will take time just to catch up.

“It’s unfortunate that as we wait, we have further deterioration of all our assets and we continue to grow our billion dollar backlog of projects.”

The mayor is also increasing funding for sidewalks, street lighting, water and sewer upgrades and storm drains.

Categories: KUSI