Torrey Pines road work suspended in face of complaints

City officials have temporarily halted work on street light repairs on Torrey Pines Road at Prospect Place because they received so many complaints about traffic backup, the executive director of Promote La Jolla said Wednesday morning.

“They are trying to figure out the best time of day to do the work,” Tiffany Sherer said, noting that crews are continuing work on Prospect Street - just not in the intersecton.

The work, which on Monday and Tuesday caused delays of up to an hour for some motorists coming into the Village was caused by complications a construction crew encountered while replacing aging wire for street lights.

Sherer alerted PLJ members through an e-mail on Tuesday and suggested they “make alternate plans for the next few days.” On Wednesday, she had to send another note with an update.

In an interview, she explained that HMS Contracting, which is doing the work to replace wiring to Village street lights, “found 100-year-old pipe they could not pull their wiring through while they were working at Torrey Pines and Prospect.”

“It is necessary to connect the lights with the source of electricity,” she added. “Without connecting to the main power source, the street lighting won’t work. So it’s something of an emergency.”

Sherer added the complication was unanticipated.

“It’s a change to the contract,” she added.

The problem surfaced Monday morning while crews were continuing to upgrade the 82-year-old wiring and circuits for street lights on Prospect Street. The project, expected to be done by summer, and involves “providing new white lights,” Sherer wrote.

The area has had recurrent problems over the last few years with entire blocks dark for weeks at a time.

Alternate routes include taking I-5 southbound to the Balboa/Garnet exit into Pacific Beach. Turn right at Soledad Mountain Road. Stay on that until it hits La Jolla Scenic Drive South. Turn left and then right on Nautilus (at All Hallows Church). Follow it to La Jolla Boulevard. Turn right to get to the Village or left to Bird Rock.

Be aware: It could be busy during school hours.

Another route would be to take Garnet to Mission Boulevard and turn right. Make the jog to the left where Turquoise St. hits it. Then follow La Jolla Boulevard through Bird Rock.