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About CIP

What is the CIP?

The Capital Improvements Program (CIP) is the long-range plan for all individual capital improvement projects and funding sources.

CIP Projects are unique construction projects that provide improvements or additions such as land, buildings, and infrastructure. The Citizens Guide to the Capital Improvement Program (PDF) produced by the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst, provides a foundation of knowledge about the City’s CIP.

Why is the CIP Important?

The City of San Diego CIP is designed to enhance our overall quality of life. These planned capital improvement projects improve our infrastructure including the streets we drive on, water we drink, libraries we visit, and parks we take our kids to play.

The CIP is a multiple year forecast of the capital needs of the City. A capital need includes various project types such as:

  • Airports
  • Bikeways
  • Bridges
  • Drainage and flood control facilities
  • Libraries
  • Park and recreation centers
  • Police, fire and lifeguard stations
  • Street improvements, lights and traffic signals
  • Utilities undergrounding
  • Water and sewer facilities and pipelines

CIP - Is it a simple process?

No. Executing the CIP portfolio is complex in nature due to the size, volume, various funding sources, project types and delivery methods. There are many competing priorities. Implementation of CIP is based on the City's adopted General Plan and applicable community plans.

Is every project a CIP?

Every project is not a CIP. The CIP descriptions clearly establish that a project is capital in nature. What makes it capital in nature is the construction, purchase, or major renovation of buildings, utility systems, and other facilities; in addition to land acquisition and roadway projects.

All capital projects are clearly represented by a City department and categorized by project type and improvement type.

  • Project types provide a categorized breakdown of the type of facility being constructed or improved
  • Improvement types may be identified as providing "e;betterment, expansion, replacement or widening of an existing City asset or the project may result in a new asset to the City."e; For example: replacement of a pipeline, street expansion, or construction of a new park

How are projects selected and prioritized?

Historically, the City's CIP needs have exceeded the availability of funding. Therefore, there is a need to prioritize CIP projects. The City has a prioritization process that establishes clear and concise guidelines for project selection. It also has an objective process for ranking projects. This allows decision-makers to make the best use of available funding resources. City Council Policy 800-14 (PDF) explains the purpose, process and implementation of the City's prioritization process.

Who prioritizes the CIP projects?

The Capital Improvements Program Review and Advisory Committee (CIPRAC) prioritizes the CIP projects.

Who manages the CIP projects?

Approximately 90 percent of the City's CIP projects are managed by the Public Works Department. The remaining projects are managed by the asset owners such as Public Utilities, Transportation and Storm Water, etc.

How are CIP projects implemented?

CIP projects start out as infrastructure and capital improvement needs and are different in size and scope. Regardless if it is a street resurfacing job, a pipeline replacement, or construction of a police station, all CIP projects go through various engineering phases before becoming a fully functioning asset. This process is used by engineers and project managers to methodically plan, budget, design and finally construct each project. See page 29 of The Citizens Guide to the Capital Improvement Program for a description of these phases.