SAN FRANCISCO—Because of funding and budget constraints, the new courthouse project for downtown San Diego will proceed without simultaneous construction of a tunnel connecting it to the Central Jail, the Judicial Council’s Court Facilities Working Group announced today.
Specifications for the tunnel would have driven up the tunnel cost to an estimated $25 million, and the working group decided it was too costly. “Circumstances are such that we simply can no longer afford it, and we don’t have the cash upfront required to move forward with this aspect of the project,” said Justice Brad R. Hill, chair of the Court Facilities Working Group and Administrative Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District.
The San Diego courthouse, the largest project to be funded under the Senate Bill 1407 court construction program, will provide the Superior Court of San Diego County with a full-service, consolidated facility for criminal, probate, family court, and small claims. The current downtown courthouse is on an active earthquake fault, is overcrowded, and has numerous deficiencies in security and physical condition. The new courthouse will contain 71 courtrooms in 22 stories. It will be located on 1.4 acres in downtown San Diego bounded by West C Street, Union Street, West B Street, and State Street.
“Given our current program funding limits, we appreciate the court’s willingness to scale back this project’s costs,” said Justice Jeffrey Johnson, chair of the working group’s cost-reduction subcommittee and Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, in Los Angeles.
The project is currently in working drawings. The construction manager at risk, Rudolph and Sletten, Inc. is scheduled to begin subcontractor bidding in July 2013. The bond sale for construction is expected in fall 2013, and construction is scheduled to begin before the end of 2013. Completion is scheduled for 2016.