Neighbors would like to see the storm-damaged Balboa Park pergola replaced but can't believe the city would pay more than $500,000 to build a new one
It was a place for reflection and calm; an oasis in the busy city. So when a storm ruined the Balboa Park pergola in December, 2004, neighbors hoped the city would rebuild the open-beamed structure with its lattice covering, that overlooks a canyon along Mrytle Way .
Early this month, they got good news and bad news about the project. The city's engineering department said the pergola could be rebuilt. But the cost estimate was a total shock to neighbors. Design and construction could cost taxpayers $550,000. Homeowners couldn't beleive the price. And as word of the project cost spread, one San Diego resident did some research, and now says he might be able to rebuild the structure for as little as $30,000, using a pre-fab pergola. Chase Snead says that even if the replacement project is more expensive, he doubts the price tag could ever hit $550,000.
The City says the project is much more complicated than it seems, and that's why the cost is so hight. Mayoral spokesman Bill Harris also says the project might not be built, given the budget problems facing the city.