Several improvement jobs affecting La Jolla streets

Wherever one turns in La Jolla, it seems that work crews are tearing up the streets.

That’s because projects to replace and repair sewer, water and streetlight wiring are underway. They’re all due for completion between now and spring 2010.

An $850,000 project being done by HMS Construction Inc. of Vista to convert the circuits for 88 existing streetlights on Prospect Street/La Jolla Boulevard from Torrey Pines Road to Genter Street begun in October 2008 is due to be finished the end of November, said city spokeswoman Perri Storey.

The project is upgrading 39,000 feet of underground wiring including new trench, conduit, cable, pull boxes, street light fixtures and replacement of damaged street light standards.

The existing street lighting circuits on Prospect Street and La Jolla Boulevard are the old “series-style” circuits.

Marnell Gibson, deputy director of the city’s Engineering & Capital Projects Department, said. “This project will increase the reliability of the lighting system. The existing circuits were badly deteriorated and required constant repairs.”

Merchants along Prospect have expressed dismay about the continuing disruption of parking and the orange rubber “tubs” that are covering spots where streetlights used to be as they await replacement.

Meanwhile, a project to replace water mains just got underway with crews working from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., starting on Silverado Street between Ivanhoe and Fay avenues.

“Hopefully we’ll be done by Thanksgiving before the winter (construction) moratorium,” said Steve Moreno, superintendent of Basile Construction, which is doing the work for the city.

It will take about a month to replace that stretch of water line. The winter construction moratorium ends after New Year’s Day.

After that, Moreno’s crew will move to Silverado Street between Ivanhoe and Fay avenues and begin replacing water lines from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. workdays.

“The final paving and slurry sealing will have to wait until after the first of the year,” Moreno said. “But at least La Jolla will have a water system and it will be functioning.”

Moreno added another project to replace sewer line in the same area will commence after the first of the year.

“We’ll be doing that in night and day shifts,” he said. “Most of it is on Ivanhoe and Herschel coming up from Prospect and going all the way down almost to Pearl. That’s going to take a few months. We’ll be using multiple crews to get it done quicker.”