SAN DIEGO — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilwoman Vivian Moreno marked the completion Monday of a road reconstruction project in San Ysidro that city officials say will make it safer for children to walk to school.

The city invested $16 million into the Old Otay Mesa Road reconstruction project to replace a half-mile dirt path primarily used by San Ysidro students walking to school. Residents had called on the city to fix the road's dangerous conditions since 2002; work began in December 2015.

The project realigned the road, added bike lanes and a sidewalk and installed safety features along the road like retaining walls, guardrails and lighting to protect the residents who traverse Old Otay Mesa Road. The improvements took until now to complete due to the road's rough terrain, according to city officials.

"The community has been advocating for this road completion for many years and we are very pleased to finally have a safe pathway for students," Moreno said. "Students walking to school will no longer have to decide between a dirt path along a steep canyon or risk the possibility of being struck by a vehicle by walking on the street."

Faulconer spurred the project with more than 60 other neighborhood improvement projects by boosting the city's infrastructure spending and reforming its infrastructure program. The city's infrastructure spending has risen from $179 million in fiscal year 2014 to $716 million in Faulconer's proposed budget for fiscal year 2020.

"The reconstruction of Old Otay Mesa Road has been a long time coming, and parents will now have peace of mind that their children have a safe path as they walk to and from school," Faulconer said. "We implemented infrastructure reforms to get projects like this done faster and we're seeing the results in neighborhoods across the city."