SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - After nearly two decades of delays and setbacks, San Ysidro community members celebrated the completion of a $16 million major road reconstruction project Monday.
For years the half-mile stretch of Old Otay Mesa Road in between San Ysidro High and San Ysidro Middle Schools lacked many safety features to protect the students who walk to and from school.
An unfinished dirt path was used as a sidewalk with no fence to keep students away from oncoming vehicle traffic, no street lights or proper signage and no barriers to keep pedestrians from slipping down a steep canyon.
After three years, the stretch of road now includes the safety features the community had been asking for for years. The roadway was widened and realigned, sidewalks and bike lanes were added, there's now a retaining wall, signage and lighting.
The City of San Diego says the project took so long to complete after the initial groundbreaking because of the rough terrain crews had to work through.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced reforms to overhaul the City’s infrastructure program back in 2015. He says that increased funding each year and helped speed up high priority projects, like the one on Old Otay Mesa Road.
This project was one of more than 60 neighborhood projects that were fully funded after Faulconer’s reforms went into effect.
"Parents have a peace of mind knowing that their kids have a safe path to and from school," said Faulconer at a news conference Monday.
The half-mile stretch of Old Otay Mesa Road, which was closed off to traffic for several years, officially reopened on Monday.