A crew from SDG&E helps take down the last utility pole along Camino del Mar on Feb. 28. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

Last utility pole removed along Camino del Mar

DEL MAR — The last utility pole on the east side of Camino del Mar was removed by San Diego Gas and Electric during a brief ceremony Feb. 28, completing a $1.2 million project that began in 2007. Del Mar officials identified undergrounding utility lines along the city’s main thoroughfare as a high priority in 2003. The project was to be paid for with California Public Utilities Commission 20A funds, money that is set aside from a portion of SDG&E revenues received from the city to underground utilities in high traffic or public-use areas.Work started in 2007 at about Cordero Drive just south of Del Mar Heights Road and was to continue for about a half mile to just south of Wesley Way.

Using a remote device, Mayor Carl Hilliard (center) controls an arm to remove the last utility pole along the east side of Camino del Mar. Looking on are Councilmen Terry Sinnott (right), a former San Diego Gas and Electric employee who was instrumental in the project, and Don Mosier. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek
By the following year about two-thirds of the project was complete when funding ran out. Officials estimated it could take about eight more years to finish the job.

But SDG&E was able to combine it with other projects to complete the project much sooner.

The final pole, which was across the street from the Stratford Inn, was the last of 17 to come down in the southern portion of the city. Also removed as part of the project were 3,785 linear feet of power, cable and telephone lines.

Part of the last pole will be used for a plaque that will be presented to the city. All removed poles are recycled.