Via Capri is headed for more digging and traffic congestion

More construction work is planned for Via Capri in La Jolla.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The city of San Diego plans a 12- to 15-month water main replacement on the street beginning next spring, following SDG&E’s work to place power lines underground. The street is to be completely repaved after the city project is completed.


Via Capri, a La Jolla street that has been in a state of disrepair for years, isn’t going to get a new look anytime soon.

The city of San Diego is planning to trench Via Capri for a water main replacement project beginning next spring. That will follow San Diego Gas & Electric’s work there to place power lines underground.

The street will not be repaved until the city project is completed, 12 to 15 months later.

The undergrounding project already has caused heavy roadwork and traffic snarling since 2021, to go along with potholes and loose concrete portions that have upset users of Via Capri.

The city’s water main replacement likely will continue that well into 2025.

City civil engineer Jody Cheung described the project, called “La Jolla Improvement 3,” to the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board during its June 20 meeting, saying it’s necessary “to improve aging [public] utilities.”

The work will replace about 2,200 feet of water piping along much of Via Capri, Cheung said, including 8-, 10- and 12-inch mains.

Once the project is finished, the entire length of the street will be resurfaced with concrete or asphalt to match the existing surface.

“Via Capri was torn up pretty good for several months,” said Traffic & Transportation Vice Chairman Dave Abrams. “So we can anticipate 12 to 15 months of considerable traffic disruption, similar to what happened with the SDG&E project?”

Daniel Nutter of Dokken Engineering, a consultant on the water main project, confirmed that but added, “It will be lovely once all the construction is done.”

Daniel Nutter and Jody Cheung discuss the city of San Diego's water main replacement project planned for Via Capri.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The existing water mains were installed in 1958, Cheung said. The replacement will “avoid pipe failure and allow easier maintenance in the future.”

Fire hydrants will be installed at intersections without them, Cheung said, and crews will replace some hydrants.

The project also will install a pressure reduction station on Via Capri just south of Rue Michael and a new curb ramp at Via Capri and La Jolla Scenic Drive South.

The project is estimated to cost $4 million, Cheung said. Construction will take place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, except city holidays.

SDG&E is responsible for resurfacing the portions of the road where it dug trenches for the undergrounding work.

“Via Capri is almost going to be a completely brand-new street after our project and SDG&E comes through,” Nutter said. “We definitely appreciate the community being out there and waiting for this to get done.”

“This is a really aggressive project,” T&T Chairman Brian Earley said. “It is one of the biggest ones I’ve seen in quite some time. We’ll ask everybody to be patient.”

Other T&T news

Concerts by the Sea: The T&T Board unanimously supported the closure of six parking spaces along the north side of Coast Boulevard in front of Scripps Park for the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla’s free Concerts by the Sea series.

The concerts will begin at 3:30 p.m. on four consecutive Sundays: July 16, 23 and 30 and Aug. 6.

Earley said the spaces are needed as they were last year for bands to load and unload equipment for the shows.

The spaces will be blocked to the public from 1 to 7 p.m. each concert day, Earley said.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board next meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, at the La Jolla/Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave. Email ◆