Cost for projects, hospital repairs balloons by $4 billion

A list of proposed capital projects for The City now comes with a price tag of nearly $20 billion because of escalating construction prices and new projects being added.

When the 10-year plan — the first citywide spending outline in decades — was first submitted to city leaders in the spring of 2006, it projected a total cost of $15.7 billion, according to a city press release. The new cost estimate of $19.7 billion reflects a 25 percent increase.

Brian Strong, The City’s capital planning director, told an audience at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association on Monday that San Francisco has not invested enough money in critical infrastructure and facilities needs. Mayor Gavin Newsom championed the creation of the capital, which was approved through legislation authored by Supervisor Sean Elsbernd.

Of the $19.7 billion, around three-quarters is for enterprise department projects — large infrastructure projects designed to earn incomes once they are up and running, such as a new airport terminal, transit initiatives and pipes to deliver water to homes and businesses, according to the plan.

The rest of the money would be allocated to boost spending on taxpayer-funded projects. In an updated version of the plan, which will be voted on today by the Board of Supervisors, about $4.4 billion worth of projects would be deferred until after 2018, including a $51 million project to reinforce a number of masonry buildings and $116 million in renovations at a city-owned juvenile detention facility in San Mateo County.

Additionally, the cost to rebuild San Francisco General Hospital’s trauma center to meet state seismic safety laws has increased from an $800 million estimate to $887 million, according to the revised plan.

Nearly $2 billion worth of projects, including General Hospital and a proposed$800 million Hall of Justice rebuild, has not been secured and will require voter approval of future bond measures, Strong said.

This year’s updated plan also includes three new projects that would together cost more than

$1.5 billion: a $766 million overhaul of Doyle Drive, a $383 million airport terminal project and $418 million in pier repairs needed by the Port of San Francisco.

jupton@examiner.com

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