San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria on Wednesday broke ground on a $1.7 million street renovation project in Golden Hill, calling it a model for the type of project that Faulconer plans to include in the budget he will submit to the City Council next week.
The 25th Street Renaissance Project, centered in a small commercial section of 25th Street a few blocks north of state Route 94, includes replacing the neighborhood's water main, widening sidewalks, repairing and restriping the roadway, reconfiguring parking and establishing a bike lane.
The goal is to carry out all of the projects at the same time — with completion targeted for September — instead of working on it piecemeal with one task following another, said Marnell Gibson, interim associate director of the city's Public Works Department.
"It is going to be dusty and dirty for a while, but eventually it will make a huge difference," Gibson said.
Faulconer said he hopes to ensure that there is similar coordination on future infrastructure projects.
"It can be very frustrating to have the pavement torn up for improving roads or sidewalks and then torn up again for laying pipes or doing other work," he said. "Why not do it all at once? It just requires thinking ahead, to make sure we’re doing all the changes that we need."
Tri-Group Construction and Development Inc. is the main contractor on the project, with funding from the regional transportation initiative TransNet and the city's Water Enterprise Fund, supported by fees and charges to local water customers.
In his budget proposal next week, Faulconer intends to use $300 million of the city's $3 billion budget on infrastructure projects, including nearly $25 million out of the $35 million in new revenues in the city's general fund. In his recent mayoral campaign, Faulconer pledged to dedicate at least half of new general fund revenues to infrastructure and road repairs.
"This money is going toward street and sidewalk repairs, parks improvements, streetlights, fire stations and the maintenance of storm drains and facilities in every corner of the city," Faulconer said. "There is complete agreement between the City Council and myself on making (infrastructure) a top priority."
Gloria, whose district includes Golden Hill, said that the improvements along 25th Street should encourage more foot traffic and bicycling in the area, which would help support local businesses and spur investments.
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Sept. 23, 2014 -- George Chamberlin speaks with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer about the importance of the military on San Diego's economy at a presentation of the San Diego Military Advisory Council’s sixth annual Military Economic Impact Study.