San Diego Launches Street Repair Program
The steamroller hit the road Monday as San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer marked the launch of his plan to pave 1,000 miles of streets over the next five years.
Faulconer designated a stretch of Rio San Diego Drive in Mission Valley as the first mile in the effort. City officials are spending $74 million during this fiscal year in hopes of repairing 300 miles of streets between now and next June 30.
"Every journey begins with a first step, and this first mile on the road to fixing 1,000 is the latest step we're taking to make sure City Hall is putting our neighborhoods first," Faulconer said.
The mayor said needed road repairs are one of the top complaints from San Diegans.
“Every community — I don’t care where you live — needs better streets,” he said over the roar of the construction crew behind him. “And my goal is to make sure you get ‘em."
The repairs will be financed with a combination of sources, including the Transnet sales tax increase, the gas tax and bond financing.
"Mission Valley is one of the most heavily traveled communities in San Diego where thousands of residents and tourists come to live, work and play," said Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents the area. "It is important to our local economy and to Mission Valley residents that our roads and infrastructure are maintained at the highest levels."
But San Diego needs more than just its streets fixed. The city is suffering from $1.7 billion in needed infrastructure repairs, and just last week, a city council committee discussed asking voters to raise the sales tax to pay for it.
Faulconer wouldn’t directly say whether he supports the idea.
“As I’ve said very strongly, it’s not about sending a bunch of money to City Hall unless City Hall can demonstrate that it can actually spend that money wisely," he said.
He says his focus this year is to streamline the city’s repair process.
According to data provided by the city, around 175 miles of roads were repaved or slurry- sealed in five of the previous seven fiscal years.
An assessment of road conditions in the city is currently underway. A 2011 report found that 25 percent of city streets were in poor condition. Results of the new study are due in December.