Nighttime construction rattles Torrey View neighbors

Torrey View under construction in Torrey Hills.
(Guy Ravad)

Local residents are experiencing the impacts of nighttime construction of Torrey View, the new life science research campus on El Camino Real in Torrey Hills. Due to traffic conditions on El Camino Real and Carmel Mountain Road and to avoid lane closures, the city permitted Breakthrough Properties to complete work overnight from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. The work began on April 9 and is expected to be wrapped up by May 7.

On Nextdoor, one resident posted that she could hear and feel construction noise at 10:45 p.m. in her home located about a quarter mile away from the project

“I can’t imagine what it’s like for the homes that are closer but it’s keeping my child awake and it’s really loud,” she said.

Another resident said they could hear the late night construction from her house at the far end of the Trilogy community, a good 10-minute walk from the site.

Breakthrough had sent a notice to all addresses within a 500 feet radius of the project in early April, alerting them to the nighttime construction as well as weekend constriction from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We understand that this is not an ideal situation and apologize in advance and will do everything we can to complete the work expeditiously and take advantage of the daylight hours on the weekends,” wrote Sarah Williams, senior director at Breakthrough.

According to Perette Godwin from the city’s communications department, a permit for night and weekend work can be issued when construction work during the day adversely affects high-traffic areas. In this case, the proposed traffic setup could not be implemented during the day. Most traffic control phases require closure of two out of the three lanes, narrowing down the existing street to a single lane, which would result in delays and driver frustration, she said.

“Construction work close to existing residences is challenging,” Godwin said. “There is the challenge of major congestion during the day on heavily traveled roadways versus the challenge of loud noises during the late evening, early morning hours. Considerations include permitting for weekend work and adjusting nighttime work hours to an earlier time when possible.”

Back in 2017, Carmel Valley residents faced similar nighttime work that was permitted for One Paseo. To avoid lane closures on Del Mar Heights Road, the city utilized nighttime working hours from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., but following complaints from neighbors, it was limited to between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Residents have shared their frustrations about Torrey View’s nighttime work San Diego City Councilmember Joe LaCava’s office.

“I immediately reached out to our city departments and Breakthrough Properties to learn that daytime lane closures are not possible as a matter of public safety due to high traffic volume,” LaCava said. “Breakthrough is committed to completing the work as soon as possible to minimize further inconvenience to the surrounding neighbors.”

Breakthrough Properties is aiming for completion of Torrey View by late 2023. The project includes three four-to-five-story buildings, an underground parking garage and a tenant-serving clubhouse.

The project also includes a proposed new traffic signal on El Camino Real, a cut in the existing median that would allow for a left turn for those heading north. The city is continuing its review of the traffic light plans and it has not yet been approved. The Torrey Hills Planning Board, which has been critical of the Torrey View development moving forward without public input as well as its bulk and five-story heights, has opposed the new traffic signal on the busy street, about 565 feet away from the Carmel Mountain Road intersection.