Underground utilities to be installed as Elk Grove's Old Town transitions into Gaslamp Quarter-like tourist attraction

As part of Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen's desire to transform Old Town-Historic Downtown into a tourist destination like San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, the city council approved plans for moving overhead utility lines underground. They decided to form an underground utility district during the December 13 city council meeting.

According to a staff presentation, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) will fund $1.6 for the installation. The mayor and city council were told moving the overhead wires underground would be aesthetically pleasing and prevent service interruptions.

The project's total cost is $15.3 million, of which $8 million is from federal grants. Property owners in the district, which is along Elk Grove Boulevard between School Street and Waterman Road, will not have to pay for hookups. 

During public comment, Elk Grove resident Randy Bekker suggested traffic mitigation considerations during construction. Among his requests were speed reductions, rerouting truck traffic, and motorist advisory signs. 

"There is a lot of traffic on the east side that doesn't need to come through Old Town just to get to Highway 99," he said. "We need to alleviate as much traffic for the safety of the construction crews through this area."

The modernization of utilities and other new pedestrian amenities in the special planning area fit Singh-Allen's aspirational goal of transitioning Old Town-Historic Downtown Elk Grove into a tourist destination. At previous meetings, the mayor said with all the activity happening in the district, such as the new market-rate apartment complex and the Dust Bowl bar, it has the potential to be akin to San Diego's renowned Gaslamp Quarter.  

The city council approved the proposal without discussion. A construction start date was not provided. 

See Mayor Singh-Allen's aspiration goals for the special planning area in these videos.   

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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Pretty good deal! The City kicks in $5.7 million and while you are stopped in traffic, your passengers can get out and walk the new sidewalks and meet you at the other end! 

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