SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and Councilman Mark Kersey said Wednesday that an assessment of the condition of sidewalks around San Diego is gearing up -- a major opening step in attempts by city officials to reduce a massive backlog of infrastructure projects.
Employees and college students are training and testing equipment for the study now, and will hit the streets by the end of the month, according to Kersey's office.
"This is the first time the city has ever conducted a comprehensive assessment of its 5,000 miles of public sidewalks," Kersey told City News Service. "It will take about a year to complete. But when it's done, we'll be able to put a price tag on the needed repairs."
Projecting the cost is critical because city officials are uncertain of the ultimate bill for repairing San Diego's sidewalks, roadways, public buildings and other municipal facilities. Educated guesses from Kersey and other city officials range north of $900 million and could top $1 billion.
City officials also want to know where sidewalks are needed but don't currently exist.
"Ultimately, we want to make San Diego a more walkable community, like creating safe routes to schools," Kersey said.
City officials also plan to assess the condition of municipal buildings.
Results from both studies are expected to be made available near the end of this year.
According to a presentation last summer to the City Council's Infrastructure Committee, which is chaired by Kersey, the sidewalk study will be conducted by two civil engineers and two dozen student engineering interns who will walk around the city carrying handheld GPS devices.
In the wake of the Gate Fire, which ignited May 20, the Bureau of Land Management has issued new restrictions for Southern California counties, including San Diego.
Veterans are being honored across San Diego County during Memorial Day weekend and dozens of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were among those spending their Saturday placing American flags at burial sites at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
With thousands of San Diegans expected to celebrate the holiday weekend at the beach, lifeguards are on high alert and a have a few warnings for those headed to the water.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, is scheduled to visit local Navy personnel in San Diego and Coronado next week, her office announced Saturday.
A 30-year-old Vista man was arrested for drunk driving and failure to yield Saturday morning after leading Carlsbad police on a high-speed pursuit that ended with the suspect crashing into a pole, according to authorities.
A man, possibly armed, and holed up inside a home in the Bay Park community for about four hours Saturday surrendered to police without incident.
Vacationing homeowners were hit by thieves in Mira Mesa, but thanks to a smartphone app, the crooks did not get away with it.
Signs warning people to stay out of the water are once again posted in Imperial Beach after a new spill from Mexico dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage into the Tijuana River - polluting the South Bay.
Two defense contractors were sentenced to prison Friday for conspiring to steal more than $3 million worth of medical equipment from Camp Pendleton that the military had planned to ship overseas to treat injured Marines.