The La Canada Flintridge City Council proposed Tuesday to bury unsightly utility lines that currently cover a commercial stretch of Foothill Boulevard. It set a public hearing for Oct. 6.
If approved by the council, the bulk of the project would be funded by $1.2 million supplied by the Southern California Edison Co. In compliance with a 1968 ruling by the state Public Utilities Commission, Edison sets aside annual allotments for cities that wish to convert overhead utilities to underground.
The move is part of a long-range plan to improve Foothill Boulevard and revitalize the city’s commercial district.
Work probably would not begin until 1988 because Edison requires an 18-month lead time, said Eileen M. Tschernenko, area manager for the company.
About 22 businesses in the affected area would remain open during construction and the project would tie up at least one lane of the city’s main thoroughfare between Commonwealth Avenue and Hampton Road for about two months, Tschernenko said.
City merchants said they welcomed the proposal that, when completed, would leave only a third of Foothill’s utility lines above ground.
“We feel that the undergrounding needs to be done. It’s an unsightly mess,” said Nila Barkley, president of the La Canada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce.
The proposal calls for Edison to bury about 15 utility lines and run wires up to property lines of Foothill businesses. Tschernenko estimated that connecting the businesses to the underground service would cost an additional $1,000 to $1,500. City officials have not yet determined whether to pay part or all of this cost or to pass it along to merchants.