Undergrounding Project (UP)
Undergrounding involves the removal of utility poles and replacement of overhead cables for electricity and telecommunications with underground lines. Following significant public interest, the City of Del Mar identified the Undergrounding Project as a top priority. The City is determined to advance the Undergrounding Project as quickly as possible.
The Project includes undergrounding 14.6 miles of power and communications lines serving 2,254 accounts.
Preliminary estimates place the City’s portion of costs at $52 million. City costs include planning, engineering design, third-party construction contracts for trenching and installing conduit in the public right-of-way, work by other utilities (i.e., SDG&E), permitting, and other project management and administrative expenses.
To pay for the Project, in November 2016, the Del Mar voters approved Measure Q, a one-cent increase to the City’s sales tax rate. Today, the project team is evaluating phasing and financing alternatives for the City Council’s consideration.
Undergrounding Project Advisory Committee
The nine-member Undergrounding Project Advisory Committee (UPAC) meets at 7:30 a.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Del Mar Civic Center Town Hall, 1050 Camino del Mar. Visit the UPAC webpage for a committee roster, links to meeting agendas and to subscribe for email notifications. The UPAC includes three subcommittees: Scheduling, Financing and Communications.
The City Council reviews the Undergrounding Project Delivery Plan (PDF) and discusses obtaining more cost information before authorizing a pilot project. Watch the April 15, 2019, City Council discussion.
The City’s consultant, Lee & Ro, Inc., completes its first task order -- to prepare a preliminary project delivery plan. This first assignment included inventorying, assessing, and mapping existing overhead facilities; evaluating the construction readiness of several undergrounding projects (previously initiated by private neighborhoods); and preparing preliminary cost estimates (for planning and budgeting purposes). After several weeks of data gathering and analysis, the consultant delivered the first draft of the Project Delivery Plan (PDF) for the City’s review.
The City Council approves an agreement to Lee & Ro, Inc., to provide professional services including planning, design, engineering, and communication for the undergrounding effort. The City Council also adopted several policy recommendations made by the Undergrounding Project Advisory Committee (UPAC). Click on the links under Reference Information below for the staff reports.
Nine members are appointed to serve on the UPAC.
The City Council forms the UPAC to ensure the project moves forward in a timely manner and that its goals are achieved. The Committee is part of a Utility Undergrounding Project Team that includes City staff, neighborhood representatives, City Council liaisons, utility companies and utility consultants. See the staff report and committee charter establishing the UPAC (PDF).
Measure Q sales tax collections begin. Receipts are estimated to generate approximately $2 million annually.
Del Mar voters approve Measure Q, which adds one cent to general sales tax. Ballot language identifies citywide undergrounding as one of the uses for Measure Q revenue.
A study by Utility Specialists Southwest, Inc. (PDF) provides cost estimates to underground all remaining utility poles within the City of Del Mar.