Can You Dig It? Undergrounding comes to La Jolla Shores in November

The undergrounding project will move power lines below surface streets, and contain utilities to short pedestals and boxy transformers.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Work is set to begin next month on a multi-year, multi-phase undergrounding project in La Jolla Shores. As the undergrounding project gets underway, powerlines will be brought underground and utilities will be contained to short pedestals and boxy transformers. As part of the project, new street lights will be installed and existing street lights will be replaced.

The work will continue until — the City projects — late summer 2020 on streets west of La Jolla Shores Drive between Avenida de la Playa and Kennel Way, an area labeled Block 1J Phase I.

According to the City, approximately four miles of overhead lines will be brought down across 515 properties, 10 new street lights will be installed and 28 new ADA curb ramps will be installed. The estimated cost is $17.7 million, including the undergrounding and subsequent street resurfacing.

Block 1J Phase II of the project includes a broader swath of streets, and is scheduled to begin this winter. However, it is currently in the “design” phase, during which an estimated timeline for design completion and for construction work is produced. This next phase includes streets east of La Jolla Shores Drive to Cliffridge Avenue all the way south to Nautilus Street in The Village.

The stages of construction include trenching, at which the conduits will be placed underground; cabling, which places utility lines into the new conduits, lines are energized and brought into service, and utility boxes are installed above ground; cut-overs, during which overhead lines are switched to new underground systems; and pole removal, at which time the street will be resurfaced, pedestrian curb ramps are installed and poles removed.

The La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) has sporadically received updates about when work would begin, the most recent of which was in June. A presentation on undergrounding is expected at the November LJSA meeting.

Got project questions?

  • Those who would like more information about the undergrounding work — both underway and imminent — can attend the 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13 La Jolla Shores Association meeting on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus, Martin Johnson House, 8840 Biological Grade.
  • The City has also created a dedicated information line for undergrounding at (619) 533-3841. Inquiries can also be sent to
  • More information can be found at — with The Shores area known as Block 1J. Details have also been posted at