Final cost for Tewa Court undergrounding segment in Del Mar 31% higher than original estimate

Del Mar City Council meets at the Del Mar Civic Center.
Del Mar City Council meets at the Del Mar Civic Center.

(Karen Billing)

The total cost of the Tewa Court/10th Street utility undergrounding project in Del Mar was $832,000, according to the city’s public works director.

The final cost is 31% greater than the original estimate of $635,000 for the Tewa project, which was a pilot project that the council wanted to use to estimate the costs of undergrounding the rest of the city. But the total expense for Tewa came in lower than the revised estimate of about $960,000 that the City Council received about a year ago. City officials said at the time that the small scale of the project contributed to higher costs, and that they are projecting lower costs for larger segments of the citywide undergrounding.

According to Public Works director Joe McBride, the city paid about $50,000 less than anticipated on consultants and $35,000 less on SDG&E payments for design and inspection. There was also $40,000 in a change order contingency, which is used when contractors need to complete additional work, that wasn’t spent.

The Tewa project included the removal of 1,000 feet of overhead wires and 10 poles. It was the first section of a citywide utility undergrounding project, which will take several years to work through each section of the city.

The next phases of the utility undergrounding project are area X1A, located by Crest Canyon, and area 1A, which runs along Stratford Court South. Areas X1A and 1A were going to be the first segments of the project before the council voted to add Tewa as a pilot project.

Utility undergrounding is funded by Measure Q, a 1% sales tax that Del Mar voters approved in 2016.