City of San Diego seeks public input on underground power lines plan

Posted at 6:54 PM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 22:00:49-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Most above-ground power lines in San Diego may soon be gone.

The City of San Diego has an aggressive plan to move the lines underground, and they want your input at a meeting next week.

People in Ocean Beach aren’t looking forward to the headache during construction, but can’t wait until the power poles are gone.

Wayne Samuel works at Ozzie's Import Auto in Ocean Beach. The process to move utility wires outside his business underground has already begun.

“So far they’ve taken underground connections from building to power grid,” said Samuel.

A map of the plan shows there are 1,000 miles left to transfer underground. The city plans to bury 15 miles a year.

The project will be funded by a surcharge on your SDG&E power bill that you’ve been paying since 2002. The city says you won’t see an increase in your bill, even though the price tag is in the billions.

The reason for going underground? Fire safety and aesthetics.

“I think it’s a good idea getting billboards and power lines out of the visible view of the public,” Samuel said.

Arthur Harral has lived in Ocean Beach for more than 40 years. He’s dealt with the pre-construction and paid for the surcharges, but doesn’t mind.

“It’s a wonderful deal. In some states across the country, in Colorado, they have them underground, and I’m all for it in San Diego,” said Harral.

Construction will last 18 to 36 months. Once the new underground utility lines are in place, the city will install curb ramps, replace street trees, and repair damaged pavement.

A public meeting about the plans will take place downtown next Tuesday at 5:30 in the Auditorium at the San Diego Public Utilities Department located at 9192 Topaz Way.