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San Diego Gas & Electric crews have commenced work on phase 2 of their Del Mar undergrounding project after completing their first phase of work along Via de la Valle, pictured, in November. Photo courtesy of SDG&E
San Diego Gas & Electric crews have commenced work on phase 2 of their Del Mar undergrounding project after completing their first phase of work along Via de la Valle, pictured, in November. Photo courtesy of SDG&E
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SDG&E commences Phase 2 of Del Mar undergrounding project

DEL MAR — San Diego Gas & Electric has commenced the second phase of its ongoing reconfiguration project in Del Mar, continuing its efforts to convert overhead lines along major roads underground.

Phase 2 targets around three-fourths of a mile of overhead distribution lines along San Dieguito Drive, Racetrack View Drive, and power lines along a section of Sorrento Valley Road near Peñasquitos Creek. Crews will move these lines underground and remove five existing wooden poles.

This stage of work is expected to last through May or June, according to SDG&E senior project outreach manager Jennifer Ramp, advancing a project that aims to make the electric system more reliable, improve visual aesthetics in the community, and enhance natural areas like San Dieguito Lagoon, Los Penasquitos Lagoon and Torrey Pines Natural Reserve.

“I think it’s going to have enormous environmental benefits for these communities,” Ramp said.

Crews finished work on the first phase in November, installing a new section of underground power lines and removing around 700 feet of overhead power lines. Two steel poles were also installed at the east end of the Del Mar Horsepark property.

The third phase, set to begin in the fall, will include the removal of six miles of overhead transmission lines and 35 transmission poles.

The lines start at the Del Mar substation on Via de la Valle and extend south on Jimmy Durante Boulevard, across the San Dieguito Lagoon to Racetrack View Drive, then parallel Interstate 5 to the Torrey Pines State National Reserve and the Los Penasquitos Lagoon, ending at Sorrento Valley Road.

This phase is delayed until after the end of the bird nesting season in September and is planned to last through the end of the year, providing that there are no further delays.

Construction during Phase 2 will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and will include trenching, installing underground vaults and cables and distribution poles, and paving, SDG&E said in a recent notice to customers.

Traffic delays and temporary lane closures are anticipated throughout construction.

SDG&E’s reconfiguration project is unrelated to the city of Del Mar’s separate utility undergrounding project, which recently completed its first phase at Tewa and 10th street. It will also include work near Crest Canyon and along South Stratford Court.

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