SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Mayor Kevin Faulconer promised to make street repair a top priority of his administration. On Tuesday, he hit the road to check it out for himself during a test drive aboard a high-tech vehicle that will be used to assess the condition of San Diego's streets.
The crew of three from Cartegraph Systems has a giant task ahead of them, so they're taking a crack at it one street at a time. They'll be spending the next six months surveying all 2,800 miles of roadway in San Diego, on the hunt for potholes.
The Colorado-based company works with cities to map infrastructure all over the country, like here in San Diego.
"It is cool to see what we do actually being used in a manner that's going to improve the quality of life for people," field technician Benjamin Paul Culbertson said.
Faulconer announced the partnership and a five-year street repair plan that will rely on what the vehicles find. Before the city can move forward with a plan to pave 1,000 miles of road by 2020, Faulconer says it needs to know where to start.
"It's going to help us make sure we spend our money wisely on the streets that need it, and the streets that need immediate attention now," Faulconer said.
It will cost $550,000 to contract with Cartegraph for the two vehicles. The truck is outfitted with a front profiler that uses lasers to detect street profiles. The distress board inside is for inputting pothole information via GPS. On one vehicle, eight cameras on top provide state-of-the-art mapping similar to Google Maps.
But some San Diegans have been waiting for decades for pothole repairs, and they're still a little skeptical.
"I don't see them being taken care of. I think it's a big issue right now, especially right now with the weather being the way it is," a resident told CBS News 8.
The mayor says his new plan to invest 50 percent of all new major revenue into neighborhood improvements will show results sooner rather than later.
"This is going to help us do it much faster, much more efficient, and give San Diegans the roads they deserve, the roads that they're paying for," Faulconer said.
The city auditor's office has recommended that San Diego's streets should be surveyed at least once every four years.