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Construction Starts on New SD Courthouse

SAN DIEGO (CN) - The start of a huge courthouse construction project in downtown San Diego featured California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, San Diego Presiding Judge David Danielsen and Judge Kenneth So, who headed the building planning committee, lending a brief hand Monday.

The chief justice said the estimated $555 million price tag will be paid for with court fees rather than taxpayer funds. In addition to the judges, a host of politicians showed up for the ceremony, including San Diego's new mayor, Kevin L. Faulconer, and a county supervisor, Greg Cox.

A number of speakers, including the chief justice, emphasized the "safety" issues around the old courthouse that has served durably as the principal courthouse in San Diego since 1961, while sitting on an earthquake fault line.

The the new, 22-story, 704,000 square-foot building which will be attached to the old Hall of Justice by a pedestrian bridge, and will host criminal, family and county courts. The project will employ around 700 on-site construction workers and is expected to be completed by 2016.

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