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Frequently Asked Questions

When will my street have the overhead lines undergrounded and who decides which areas are undergrounded first?

In accordance with City Council Policy 600-08, the City Council approves the master plan for undergrounding. The master plan and the policy are available on our website. A hardcopy of the undergrounding master plan is also available for viewing at all City libraries.

I received a notice that my street will be undergrounded soon. How can I get more information about what will happen?

You can sign up on our website to get monthly e-mail updates about your specific project. Our website also provides detailed information about the process of undergrounding and what you can expect. You can also call or e-mail us anytime during the project with questions or concerns.

Will this cost me anything?

In most cases, no. It is the legal responsibility of the property owner to underground from the street to their house or business beginning at the property line. However, the utility companies will perform this work at no cost to the property owner as long as the property owner signs an agreement to allow utility companies on to their property. Otherwise, property owners are required to perform this work at their own cost.

I have received a notification of a Public Hearing to underground the lines on my street. Do I need to attend?

You have the right to attend and to express your views regarding the project and your responsibility as a property owner within the Underground Utility District. However, you are not required to attend.

Once my street is selected, how long does it take to underground the lines?

From the time you receive notice that the Council has created an Underground Utility District, there will be a period of 12 to 18 months of design. You may see engineers working from time to time on your street. Once construction begins, most projects are completed in 18 to 24 months.

What companies or agencies are involved in the project?

The City of San Diego works in collaboration with SDG&E, SBC, Cox Communications or Time Warner Cable on all projects.

How were the areas that are now being undergrounded selected?

The City Council determines which areas in the city will be undergrounded. A Master Plan is designed and approved no later than June 30 of each year.

What if I want to accelerate when my street will be undergrounded?

A cost share program allows home owners to accelerate the schedule of undergrounding. All cost sharing work is at the sole discretion of each individual Council member. For more information about the cost share program, contact your councilmember's office or call the Utilities Undergrounding Program Information Line at (619) 533-3841.

Are separate trenches required for each utility?

No. All utilities are required to utilize and shore a single trench.

Are streets left with trench marks following the trenching that takes place?

Following the completion of the undergrounding conversion, streets are re-surfaced or slurry sealed.