The project consists of construction of a joint trench to underground the existing overhead utility lines that serve SMUD, SBC (Pacific Bell), Comcast, Surewest, ELI (Electric Light Wave, formerly Sacramento Cable) and Teleport (AT&T Local Services). Construction of the joint trench will entail trenching through parking lots and planters to install conduits in which to place the new conductors. After the County's contractor installs the joint trench, the various utility companies will then be responsible to rewiring their systems through the new underground conduit. Once the final overhead lines are removed, the abandoned utility poles will be removed by SMUD and SBC. The joint trench will be placed in a 12.5-foot wide public utility easement (PUE) adjacent to the eastern right of way line for Fulton Avenue and will extend from approximately 150 feet south of Arden Way to Marconi Avenue along the existing back of the sidewalk. In some locations a slightly wider PUE may be required to accommodate above ground transformers and junction boxes. The PUE will be acquired from a total of 58 properties as part of this project. The joint trench alignment on the east side of Fulton Avenue will cross two existing streams: the Strong Ranch Slough (just north of Arden Way) and the Chicken Ranch Slough (approximately 1,300 feet south of Marconi Avenue). Dry season, open trench construction is proposed for both of these crossings. The trench area will be dewatered and any flow in the streams will be pumped downstream of the proposed joint trench crossing. After the joint trench crossing is complete, the streambed will be returned to its original condition. Minor amounts of herbaceous plant material may be disturbed adjacent to the streams. No special status species are found in these locations. No permanent fill or streambed alterations are required for this project.
In addition to the contiuous joint trench along the east side of Fulton Avenue, there will also be 17 locations where the joint trench will run across Fulton Avenue in order to maintain service to existing overhead lines west of Fulton Avenue that will remain in place. These underground crossings vary in length by typically extend 25 to 40 feet west of the right-of-way line for Fulton Avenue.
The project consists of placing existing overhead lines underground involving no expansion of capacity. The project would not require the acquisition of additional roadway or change the arterial status of Fulton Avenue. The project is not located in an environmentally sensitive area and is consistent with section 15302; therefore, the project is exempt from the further provisions of CEQA.