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Utility Underground District No. 47

Utility Underground District No. 47

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 systems and homeowner’s conversion of their services to underground so that the overhead lines and poles can be removed.


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. CPAU and AT&T agree on the boundaries of a UUD and CPAU will work on the process on adoption of the City Ordinance to establish the district.

Ordinance No. 5180 establishing UUD 47 was passed by Council in January 2013. 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.


The project involves excavating and trenching to install conduits and boxes (substructures); installation of underground wires and equipment by involved utilities; conversion by homeowners of their services; connection of customer’s services to the new underground systems, and removal of overhead wire, equipment, and poles.

The work will primarily be in the area bounded by Forest Avenue, Middlefield Road, Lincoln Avenue, and Cowper Street. At times it may be necessary to block portions of the street to facilitate the installation of the underground substructures , wires, and equipment. Impacted customers will be given 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.


Construction Contractor: MPNexlevel,
Project Engineer (City): Gopal Jagannath, (650) 566-4516
Field Inspector (Contract): Juan Colin
After Hours in an Emergency: CPA Communications, (650) 329-2413


Substructure installation: Finished
Electric System Installation: Spring 2017
Homeowner’s service conversion: by June 30, 2018
Communication/CATV System Installation: Summer 2018
Pole Removal by AT&T:  Once all services have been converted to underground and all overhead facilities can be removed.


Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm

Project Status Updates:


Status of the Project

Procurement of Materials (Electric Equipment, Street Lighting Poles and Cables)


Electric System Installation (Transformers/Switches/Cables etc.)


AT&T and CATV Installation (Equipment and Cables on the streets)

December 2017 - April 2018

Homeowner’s Service Conversion Date Extended Until

June 30, 2018

AT&T and CATV Service Laterals (Cables) to the Homes

July – September 2018

Pole Removal (AT&T will remove the poles once all the homes are connected to the new underground electric distribution system)

October – December 2018


December 2017:  The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) energized its new underground electric distribution system. Homeowners can now hire a California State Licensed Electrical Contractor to perform the work on their properties. The work will include trenching and installing conduits for electric, telephone, CATV and fiber optics. Service laterals from utility box to the electric panel shall be installed by home owner’s electrical contractor. However, for telephone and CATV, service lateral cables shall be installed by respective agencies. AT&T and Comcast are in the process of installing their main cables on the streets. Once that is completed, AT&T and Comcast will install the service laterals to the homes. While this is going on, homeowners should be preparing their homes to convert from overhead service to underground. Conversion of individual services will occur as customers are ready. Removal of all overhead wires, equipment, and poles will occur when all utility service conversions are completed.




Procurement of Materials (Electric Equipment, Street Lighting Pole and Cables)

January-February 2017

Electric System Installation (Transformers/Switches/Cables, etc.) & Energizing the Underground Electric Distribution System

March - May 2017

Communication & CATV Installation

June - July 2017

 Homeowner's Service Conversion 

August-October 2017

 Pole Removal (AT&T will remove the poles once all the homes are connected to the new underground electric distribution system)

November 2017 - February 2018 




 Webster between Channing & Addison Avenue

Week of August 5, 2015 

 Channing Avenue between Middlefield Road & Webster Street

Week of September 14, 2015 

 Channing Avenue between Webster & Cowper Street

Week of September 28, 2015  

 Webster Street between Homer & Forest Avenue

Week of October 12, 2015 

 Remaining work on Homer Avenue between Middlefield Road & Webster Street (postponed due to Water Main Replacement Project)

Week of November 5, 2015