The state Assembly Thursday passed and sent to the Senate a bill to begin restoration of the 168-year-old dam in Mission Trails Regional Park that historians say was the first water-control project on the West Coast.
The City of San Diego has been under increasing pressure to restore Padre Dam, which the federal government gave to the city in 1964.
Although the grant was made on condition that the dam be maintained and used for recreational purposes, city parks officials acknowledge that the stone and adobe structure is falling apart and rapidly settling onto the San Diego River banks.
The dam, near the Spring Canyon bend in the San Diego River, is listed as a national historic monument. Historians say it was begun near the start of the 19th Century, after a severe drought, and completed around 1817.
Assemblyman Larry Stirling (R-San Diego) said he expects “no substantial problems” getting the Senate to approve the $200,000 appropriation.