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Utilities Undergrounding Program


Although the City has been undergrounding lines since 1970, approximately 1,000 miles of overhead utility lines remain to be undergrounded. The UUP facilitates this work, but the majority of the construction is executed by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). This work is governed under the City's Franchise Agreement with SDG&E.

The following photos demonstrate the difference between utility lines above ground and lines underground.

  • Before and after photos of a neighborhood on Mission Ave after an undergrounding project
    South Mission Beach
  • Before and After of a neighborhood on Coronado Avenue after an undergrounding project
    Coronado Avenue
  • Before and after photos of a Clairemont Mesa neighborhood after an undergrounding project
    Clairemont Mesa

UUP's Guiding Principle

To enhance the public right of way, clearing the sky of overhead lines and replacing them with new, safe, and reliable underground electric, telephone, and broadband communication lines.

UUP's Main Goal

To convert every residential overhead utility line in San Diego to underground service.

What are the benefits to undergrounding?

Greater Safety - Undergrounding makes the hazards of downed power lines a thing of the past, greatly reduces fire risk, and improves climate change resiliency by protecting power infrastructure from extreme weather events.

Greater Reliability - Buried utility lines are significantly more reliable than overhead lines. Less outages for San Diego citizens!

Long-term Cost Effectiveness - Underground utilities are not subject to exterior disturbances and are not effected by extreme weather events causing a reduction in maintenance costs. This creates a more reliable system that is not exposed to natural elements (weather and other conditions).

Street improvements and beautification (street pavement restoration, installation of new street lights, new ADA curb ramps, and unobstructed views).

Supports the Climate Action Plan by planting street trees and removing overhead lines that limit opportunities for a large street tree canopy.