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Sewer project along Harbor Drive to impact downtown traffic

An empty Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego on March 14, 2020, as residents shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bennett Lacy
An empty Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego on March 14, 2020.

San Diego officials advised visitors to downtown and the Barrio Logan neighborhood Wednesday that an underground sewer project along Harbor Drive would be impacting traffic for the foreseeable future.

Those heading to the Embarcadero or harbor areas — including Petco Park, the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park and the Convention Center — are encouraged to plan ahead and allow extra time, find alternate routes or use public transportation.

When completed, the $42.2 million project will replace and upsize over 4,000 linear feet of trunk sewer main, a large-diameter sewer pipeline along Harbor Drive from Park Boulevard to Beardsley Street.


The renewed infrastructure will support additional projected sewage flows, officials said, adding the original sewer main was installed in 1941 and then rehabilitated in 1979.

The Harbor Drive Trunk Sewer project includes four phases:

— Phase 1, which involves geotechnical and subsurface investigations of the project alignment along Harbor Drive;

— Phase 2, installing new sewer mains along Park Boulevard from Harbor Drive to Imperial Avenue, and Imperial Avenue from Park Boulevard to 12th Avenue;

— Phase 3, installing new sewer mains and steel carrier pipes under the railway crossings on Park Boulevard, between Tony Gwynn Drive and Harbor Drive; and


— Phase 4, installing new sewer mains and steel carrier pipes along Harbor Drive, between Park Boulevard and Beardsley Street.

The first three phrases are underway, while the fourth phase will start in a few months, officials said. Completion of the entire project is expected in early 2025.

Traffic in both directions on Harbor Drive from Park Boulevard to Beardsley Street has been reduced to one lane, and the south sidewalk is closed, according to the city.

All southbound vehicle and bicycle lanes will be closed for tunneling operations as part of the fourth phase. Traffic will be routed to the two northbound lanes, with one lane of shared-vehicle and bicycle traffic in each direction.

Officials said area businesses and residential access will be maintained.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System has options close to the project area, including the 12th & Imperial Trolley Station — with access to all three trolley lines — and the Green Line Trolley's Gaslamp Quarter Station.

Several bus routes are also options, and more information can be found at The city advised drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to follow all posted signage and detours.

Officers will help direct the flow of traffic during events in the area and emergency vehicle access will be maintained at all times, the city said.

Project information is available online.