Back In the Business of Rebuilding

$103M B of A bond issue to jump-start construction

San Diego's streets, sidewalks, storm drains and dozens of public buildings are on the fast track for major makeovers.

Mayor Jerry Sanders' office announced Thursday that it's arranged a cut-rate, $103 million private bond placement with the Bank of America to expedite efforts to catch up with many years' worth of deferred maintenance.

City officials say public bond offerings would have taken much more time to put together,-- and that the mayor wanted to take advantage of the lower construction costs now available, and create job opportunities sooner.

Upgrades to streets -- over 78 miles worth -- sidewalks and storm drains will get nearly $78 million from the funding; the rest of the bond financing will cover overhauls and new construction of municipal facilities.

The biggest-ticket projects among those facilities are three lifeguard stations in La Jolla -- one of which, at Children's Pool, will replace the existing structure which was 'red-tagged' last year as unfit for occupancy.

The lifeguards there operate out of a mobile structure and a highrise scaffold platform.

The replacement station is priced at $2.2 million.

A state-of-the-art lifeguard station at La Jolla Shores is expected to cost $3.4 million.

Lifeguards who operate out of a wooden tower at La Jolla Cove will be housed in a new, $1.7 million facility.

Nearly $2 million will go to upgrades of the Casa del Prado in Balboa Parks, which houses several cultural institutions and museums.

Sanders told reporters that his office plans to refinance the private bond issue future with future bond packages.

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