Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Wearing construction hats and holding shovels, officials from Chula Vista, the Unified Port of San Diego and a private developer broke ground Wednesday on the H Street Extension Project in Chula Vista.
The $7.2 million-project will run between Bay Boulevard and Marina Parkway and connect the marina to the main streets on the west side of Chula Vista.
The project will expand access to the Chula Vista bayfront and is part of a master plan to revitalize the area. Fifty years ago, access to the bay front was cut off to residents after Interstate 5 was built and Chula Vista decided to focus on industrial development.
Chula Vista is San Diego County's second-largest city with more than 250,000 residents. The bayfront is just a 15-minute drive from the San Diego International Airport and the U.S.-Mexico border.
The development plan for the area was approved last summer by the Port Commissioners. The first step, however, came in February, when the South Bay Power Plant was demolished. The next phase of the $7.2 million-project is extending H Street west from the freeway to the bay.
Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said the extension of H Street will provide beach access that has been blocked for years.
"Probably for the first time in 60 years, H Street will open from the hills to the beach. That sounds nice, doesn't it?" Cox said.
Port Commission chairwoman Ann Moore said the changes will create a more enjoyable experience for visitors to the area.
"That means the Port of San Diego will be able to welcome more people strolling in the port's Bayside Park, sailing from the marinas, casting a line from the fishing pier or enjoying dinner with a bay view," she said.
The plan is also expected to create 7,000 jobs during the project and 2,200 permanent positions. The extension is due to be finished within a year. Hotels, convention facilities, homes and shops will eventually be built in the area.