San Diego will Spend $8.2M to Speed up Utility Undergrounding
Earlier this month, the San Diego City Council approved $8.2 million to bury utility lines in eight neighborhoods to accelerate the city’s efforts to bury utility lines. Last year, the city began accelerating undergrounding by shrinking the size of projects in an effort to boost efficiency and to create more accurate schedules so neighborhoods know when to expect the work being done. The neighborhoods that will get the undergrounding are Clairemont Mesa, Encanto, San Ysidro, Skyline-Paradise Hills, the College Area, Cowles Mountain, Mid-City and Otay Mesa-Nestor. The council also adopted a new policy specifying that utility companies must finalize the boundaries for an undergrounding project within 180 days of when the council approves it.
The approved projects are from a city priority list that was created in the summer of 2016. They include $6.5 million for electrical utility work and $1.7 million for administration, street light replacement, street resurfacing and related work. Projects are now going to closely follow San Diego Gas & Electric’s circuitry, which will be done to avoid having utility poles remain in place years after the undergrounding is complete. One of the downsides for the neighborhoods that will get the underground lines is that some of the work must be performed on private property, including trenching, installing conduits and wiring to the electric meter panel. We will have to wait and see when the actual work will begin in these neighborhoods.