Electric Underground District No. 46

Utility Underground District No. 46

This City of Palo Alto Utilities Department (CPAU) project will convert the utility lines from overhead to underground. It involves the installation of new underground electric, communication, and cable television utility infrastructure, as well as utility customers' conversion of their services to underground so that the overhead lines and poles can be removed.


From West Charleston at the corner of Wilkie Way, crossing El Camino Real towards Arastradero Road, up to the corner of Alta Mesa Avenue. View a map of the work area.

 Type of Work

Trenching, digging, excavation along road, sidewalk and public utility easements. Installation of underground conduits, pull boxes, and customer service boxes. Final hardscape restoration and resurfacing in affected areas.

Construction Schedule

Underground Substructure Installation: Completed by K.J. Woods Construction, Inc.

Electric System Installation: Schedule to be determined

Fiber/Communication Cable Installation: On-going

Homeowner’s service conversion:On-going

Telephone/Cable TV Installation:On-going

Pole Removal by AT&T: Once all services have been converted to underground and all overhead facilities removed

City Staff Contacts

Project Manager - Joe Gonzales
(650) 566-4553
Project Inspector - Peter Ruano
(650) 444-5054

Project Overview

 This is part of the Utility Underground District 46 Conversion Project which requires installing substructure conduits, underground vaults and pull boxes along designated roads to convert overhead utilities to underground. Some lanes of traffic will be closed to accommodate the work. Bike routes will be maintained and identified for cyclists and motorists travelling in this area, although cyclists are encouraged to use alternative bike routes when possible. Residents will be notified if access to their driveway will need to be blocked for any period of time during construction. Three days before any work begins, “no parking” signs will be posted on the street in work areas. Construction noise is to be expected but will fall within the limits set in the City of Palo Alto Noise Ordinance. 


This project includes excavation and trenching to install conduits and boxes (substructures), installation of underground wires and equipment by involved utilities, homeowner conversion of utility services, connection of customer services to the new underground systems, and removal of overhead wire, equipment, and poles. 

The work will primarily be in the area at the intersection of West Charleston Road/Arastradero Road and El Camino Real. At times it may be necessary to block portions of the street to facilitate the installation of the underground substructures, wires, and equipment. Customers in the area will be provided with advance notification of scheduled power outages when new equipment must be connected to the electrical system. 

Our goal is to continue to provide dependable electric service to our customers. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and patience during the construction period, and are looking forward to the improvements this project will provide. 

Project Notification Letter


A majority of the utility poles in the City of Palo Alto are jointly owned by the City and AT&T. The establishment of Utility Underground Districts (“UUD) is governed by City of Palo Alto Utilities Rule and Regulation 17, Conversion of Electric and Communication Facilities to Underground. AT&T is also regulated by CPUC Rule 32. When CPAU and AT&T agree on the boundaries of a UUD, CPAU then goes through the process of adopting the UUD into City Ordinance.

Ordinance No. 5276 establishing UUD 46 was approved by the Palo Alto City Council in October 2014. The ordinance amended Section 12.16.020 of the Palo Alto Municipal Code which requires that poles, overhead lines, and associated overhead structures in districts be removed.