Next phase of SDG&E undergrounding project begins in Del Mar

SDG&E continues to work on the Del Mar reconfiguration project.

The second phase of SDG&E’s Del Mar Reconfiguration project kicked off this month, after more than a decade of planning and coordination with various agencies. The goal of the project is to improve the safety and reliability of the electric system with the additional environmental benefit of removing 35 transmission poles from the San Dieguito Lagoon, Los Penasquitos Lagoon and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. As part of the project, about six miles of existing overhead transmission lines will also be removed between Via de la Valle and Sorrento Valley Road.

The first phase along Via de la Valle began last year and was completed in November. SDG&E will now begin Phase 2, which includes undergrounding a distribution line along San Dieguito Drive and Racetrack View Drive in Del Mar.

The Del Mar Reconfiguration Project was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in June 2019 and the California Coastal Commission in October 2022. SDG&E is working with federal, state and local agencies including U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the Water Resources Control Board, and the cities of San Diego and Del Mar on the appropriate permits to construct the project.

According to Jennifer Ramp, SDG&E senior project outreach manager, more than 700 feet of overhead power line was removed on Via de la Valle in last year’s phase one. SDG&E installed a new one-mile section of 69kV power underground along the street and two new steel poles on the east end inside the Del Mar Horsepark property.

In this next phase, SDG&E will convert approximately ¾ of a mile of overhead power lines to underground and remove five existing wood poles along San Dieguito Drive and Racetrack View Drive in Del Mar. Along the pedestrian path near the Penasquitos Lagoon in Sorrento Valley, SDG&E will convert approximately 630 feet of existing overhead distribution line to underground and remove two existing wood poles.

Phase 3, anticipated to begin in September, will involve the removal of a six-mile transmission line and transmission poles. The line begins at the Del Mar Substation on Via de la Valle and extends south on Jimmy Durante Boulevard, across the southeast section of the San Dieguito Lagoon to Racetrack View Drive. It then parallels I-5 and residential neighborhoods near Mango Drive to the Torrey Pines State National Reserve and the Los Penasquitos Lagoon, ending at Sorrento Valley Road.

As part of this phase of the project, the 35 existing transmission poles and power lines will be permanently removed from the lagoon areas and the reserve.

In a notice to homeowners, SDG&E apologized in advance for construction activity inconveniences. Work days are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for about nine months. Traffic delays and temporary lane closures are expected and helicopters may be utilized for the project which may temporarily increase noise levels, dust and other disturbances. To reduce possible disturbance during potential aerial operations, SDG&E advises residents to close all doors and windows.

For questions or concerns call (844) 765-6388. Additional project information can be found on the California Public Utilities Commission web page at