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Capital Projects

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The Department of Public Works (DPW) has an aggressive program to improve infrastructure within the unincorporated areas of the County of San Diego. The Capital Improvement Program consists of improvements to roads and bridges; eight county-owned and operated airports and airstrips; flood control facilities in unincorporated developed areas; and wastewater facilities owned and operated by the County. These services keep our roads and related infrastructure up to date to promote safe, viable and livable communities and make it easier for residents to lead healthy lives.

The Capital Improvement Program Project Development Section consists of a project management team, team leaders, design engineers and a contracts group.  The project management team is responsible for overall management and coordination of planning, budget, design, environmental clearance and permitting, right-of-way acquisition and utility coordination for capital projects. Funds are approved by the Board of Supervisors via a yearly Operational Plan in the Department of Public Works Detailed Work Program. In a typical fiscal year, approximately 25 projects are in construction with about 70 other projects in the development stages. The Detailed Work Program budget for fiscal year 2014-15 is over $56 million.

Funding for the Capital Improvement Program comes from a variety of sources including:

• Statewide Highway Users Tax Account ( HUTA) – “Gas Tax” is the primary source of funds for the overall county road maintenance and safety improvement program. The State of California collects a few cents for every gallon of gasoline sold. The State distributes money back to California counties based on the number of registered vehicles. This money becomes a special revenue fund called the Road Fund which must be used for road and transportation purposes.

• TransNet – A local, ½ cent gasoline sales tax was approved by San Diego County voters in 2004 and became effective in 2008.  It provides over $500 million for projects in the unincorporated County of San Diego over the next 40 years and will end in 2048.  TransNet is dedicated to specific road improvement projects approved by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) which is designated as the regional planning authority.

• Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) – The TIF program provides funding for construction of transportation facilities needed to support traffic generated by new development and to meet state law requirements. Per Board of Supervisors ordinance, effective December 31, 2012, the County will collect TIF at or before building permit issuance for projects that generate new trips.

• State Proposition 1B Funds – In November 2006, voters approved Proposition 1B, which provided $2 billion for California’s local streets and roads.  The County of San Diego was entitled to over $69 million for local streets and roads.  These funds were first made available to the County in FY 2007-08 and ended in June 2014.

• Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – FHWA provides funding for specific roads and bridges.  FHWA funding is administered through Caltrans and includes several grant programs. Highway Bridge Program (HBBR and HBP) that is used to replace or rehabilitate county bridges.

• Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – FAA provides funding for a variety of airport improvements.

• Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) – Federal funds to small cities and counties for community development and economic development activities.

• Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) – Grants are used to make needed repairs after damage by storms or disasters.

• Special Districts – The Department of Public Works administers the operation of 85 districts, which provide street lighting, landscape, and road maintenance services, and manages one Countywide Lighting Maintenance District. Districts are created when residents of an area desire a level of service beyond what the County normally provides. Property owners define the desired level of service, and then assess themselves to pay for the services. DPW has a Special Districts section that manages these districts and administers their budgets. Local flood control district drainage fees provide funds for improvements to new and existing drainage structures affecting the County road infrastructure.

• Developer Fees – Funds provided to the County directly by private land developers to mitigate impacts within the County.

• Other Grants – Several other state and federal grants are used to partially fund road improvement projects.  

• Indian Gaming Special Distribution Funds (IGSDF) – Created for local government agencies impacted by tribal gaming these funds are used to supplement road improvement projects to mitigate traffic impacts in the vicinity of Native American casinos and gaming establishments.

• San Diego County Sanitation District – The Sanitation District funds various projects related to its wastewater facility infrastructure.  Many projects are condition-based; meaning pipes, lift stations or other facilities have structural defects or failures that warrant repair.  Other projects are capacity-based; meaning pipes or other facilities need to be increased in size in order to provide sufficient capacity to meet growing demands.

Design Standards
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If you have questions or need additional information, please direct your requests to the following address:

Terrence Rayback
Public Works Manager, CIP Project Development
Department of Public Works
5500 Overland Avenue, Suite 320
San Diego, CA 92123  

Top Capital Improvement Projects | CIP Five Year Plan