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Water, sewer work under way

A race is on to complete water and sewer infrastructure improvements in the Village before the summer construction moratorium starting after Memorial Day.

The work is continuing on a couple of fronts.

“Two jobs are taking place in the Village,” said Racquel Vasquez, spokeswoman for the city’s Engineering and Capital Projects Department. “One is Water Group Job 541, and the other is Sewer Group Job 715.”

Both projects, which have had sections of Village streets torn up for weeks, are being performed by Basile Construction Inc. of San Diego.

“We’re installing sewer line in multiple areas,” said Jolinda L. Grey, Basile project manager. “We’re trying to have all the sewer pipe in by the end of May.”

If the job isn’t finished before the summer moratorium, Grey added crews will have to wait and return and to do the striping and other finish work after Labor Day when the moratorium ends.

The work is being done with two crews working evenings under a contract with the city, she said.

According to the Basile Web site at www.basile-dig.com, the Water Group 541 project on Silverado that started last fall in September was budgeted at $2,409,413. The budget for Sewer Project 715 was not listed on the company’s Web site, but Steve Moreno, Basile superintendent, estimated the value of the contract at about $3 million.

Moreno said both infrastructure projects are nearing completion.

“We’re about 90 to 95 percent done with the water and about 60 to 70 percent done with the sewer,” he said.

Although some business owners on Herschel Avenue and Silverado Street asked about the projects said construction has been a distraction, most others felt it hadn’t hurt their business and conceded that it was necessary.

Hairdressers at Tina Marie Salon at 7746 Herschel Ave. said noise has been annoying but added their customers have been able to find parking even if they had to walk a block or two.

“People go to extreme measures to look beautiful,” said Kelly Mendoza.

Egon Kafka and Maureen Murphy who operate La Jolla Village Lodge at 1141 Silverado St. said noise from nighttime construction has been somewhat disruptive.

“They’re working at night which, for the vast majority of businesses, is probably preferable,” said Kafka. “If they were doing this work during the day, the streets would be completely shut down. People would not be coming into the businesses at all.”

Kafka said Moreno told him work has been slowed because cars not heeding construction no parking signs have had to be towed.

Susie Greenwald owner of Print-O-Mat at 1116 Silverado St. said her business has been impacted by construction.

“It’s definitely bad,” she said. “People couldn’t park and people couldn’t get here. It was very challenging, hauling things, making deliveries we wouldn’t necessarily have made.”

In the Crosby Center, Cindy Hoye at La Jolla Town Council’s office said she disliked the smell of tar but added work is just for a short time.

“We’ll get through it,” she said, adding, she hasn’t been receiving complaining calls “and I usually get them all.”

“It’s a fact of life: You got to put up with that,” said commercial Realtor Trenton Bonner, who also has an office in the Crosby Center. “This is the first time this street’s (Herschel’s) been closed.”

If all the construction work on both projects is not done by the summer construction moratorium, Grey of Basile said work crews will have to return after Labor Day. “They’ll have to come back and do the street capping and the striping and all of the finish work in September,” she said.