Kristen Crane | Assistant City Manager
On August 5th, City Council reaffirmed commitment to undergrounding all utility poles and associated overhead cable and to a number of recommendations from Undergrounding Project Advisory Committee (UPAC).
City Council authorized proceeding with UPAC recommendations to design Area 1A and Block X1A based on further review of total project cost and prioritization of geographic areas based on fire risk exposure.
Block X1A includes portions of San Dieguito Drive, Oribia Road, Crest Drive and Avenida Primavera. Block X1A reflects a revised boundary map developed in coordination with the Fire Chief. It prioritizes undergrounding a portion of the Fire Hazard Severity Zones Map for Del Mar based on topography, exposure to Santa Ana conditions, brush/fuel load, access for fire-fighting, and potential exposure to travelling embers.
Area 1A, located west of Camino del Mar between 4th and 12th Streets, includes a mix of single-family and multi-family residential, commercial, public properties, and two areas that have already been designed, and funded by private residents. As a pilot, Area 1A would test assumptions on costs, timelines, communications, property owner coordination, and eventually, construction management.
The authorized next steps for design only are to be completed by SDG&E in approximately 12-18 months followed by the construction bid process to determine construction cost. Using construction bid information, the City Council would extrapolate citywide costs and decide how to proceed.
City Council also approved a ranked citywide boundary map. Block X1A is the highest priority based on fire risk exposure. The rest of the City is prioritized based on density of customer meters to poles within that Block.
The staff report included a discussion of UPAC’s estimated citywide cost for the project with variances attributed to some unknown project soft costs e.g., management and other specialized services and other construction costs.
Completing design for the two areas is estimated to cost $935,361 for X1A and $556,591 for 1A. Construction costs for the two areas are estimated at $5.3 million and $3.1 million, respectively. Combined with other costs for project management, legal services, technical services, and construction management, the total cost for both areas is estimated at about $12 million.
The City Council authorized allocating about $2.2 million of Measure Q funds (voter approved one-cent sales tax) for the next two fiscal years for design, project management, technical services, and public communications.
The next steps will be to communicate how the project is moving forward and to officially designate Block X1A and Area 1A as undergrounding districts. UPAC will work on other policy topics following design completion and the construction bid process, such as long-range financing options and potential tools to help private property owners with the costs for undergrounding private laterals.
For more information, visit www.delmar.ca.us/up or contact email@example.com.