Underground Utility District No. 19 - Santa Ana Heights

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The boundary for Underground Utility District No. 19 is defined as those properties located on the northern portion of Mesa Drive, Orchard Drive, and Cypress Street in the Santa Ana Heights community - see boundary map [PDF].  

Schedule for UUD No. 19

Start of construction Summer 2009
Estimated completion of distribution construction phase Spring 2010
Estimated completion of underground transmission facilities Summer 2011

Construction Information:

The first part of the project is the distribution phase of undergrounding and requires trenching into the public right-of-way to lay the underground conduits, pull boxes, vaults, and vault vents.  The project will start on the easterly end of Mesa Drive and progress down Mesa Drive to Birch Street, then on Cypress Street, and finally Orchard Drive.  Since this is a moving project, notices will be distributed to affected residents 48-hours in advance of construction activities. 

Some important things to know about the project are:

  • working hours are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • access to driveways within the work area may be temporarily restricted during working hours and it is recommended that residents remove any vehicles from garages prior to 7 a.m.
  • temporary no parking signs will be posted on streets under construction and vehicles should be parked in a location that is not posted
  • traffic lanes may be closed to allow for construction activities, please observe all traffic control in place for the safety of the construction workers and motorists
  • horse trails in the community will remain open, although any portion of a trail in the work zone will be temporarily closed 

Private Conversion

Southern California Edison requests that property owners do not hire electricians to start any private service conversion work until after the distribution construction completed the underground infrastructure.  Property owners will be notified in writing by the City when permits can be obtained from the City's Building Department for the private underground conversion.

Background Information:

The Santa Ana Heights (SAH) community, acting through the Santa Ana Heights Projects Advisory Committee (SAHPAC), first requested the County of Orange to form an Underground Utilities District (UUD) in 1995. On July 31, 2002, The Orange County Board of Supervisors directed the County's Public Facilities and Resources Department to prepare a report on the formation of an UUD in eastern SAH using the area's redevelopment (RDA) funds. In June 2003, homeowners in SAH were sent information on this preliminary report. In July 2003, the City of Newport Beach officially annexed this area, and in doing so, became the more appropriate authority for forming the UUD for the area.

In April 2008, the County of Orange, through Supervisor John Moorlach's Chief of Staff Mario Mainero, informed the SAHPAC that upon request, State law will not support using RDA funds for private utility connections. Therefore, no RDA money was to be used to fund private property utility hook-ups or for the undergrounding efforts on the properties south of Mesa Drive. The RDA funds were only to be used for the undergrounding of utilities within the public right-of-way. Therefore, each property owner will now be responsible for private connection to the underground facilities and any undergrounding on private properties.

Due to this change, an informational ballot will be mailed to each property owner in late January to assess the community support for the project. A public hearing on the project is scheduled for March 10, 2009.

UUD No. 19 Contact Information

Tom Sandefur, P.E.
Associate Civil Engineer
  Michael Sinacori, P.E.
Assistant City Engineer
Gary Harrison
City Project Inspector

Chris Toburen
Foreman, Arizona Pipeline

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