San Pasqual Undergrounding Project

Escondido, Calif.

Award of Merit

Submitted by: Sukut Construction

Owners: City of Escondido, Calif.; Vista Irrigation District; San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians

Lead Design Firm: Michael Baker International

General Contractor: Sukut Construction LLC

Structural Engineer: Brown and Caldwell

Construction Manager: Arcadis US Inc.

Boring Contractor: Golden State Boring

Soil Nail Contractor: Drill-Tech Drilling and Shoring

As part of the effort to remove, relocate and replace approximately 2.5 miles of the Escondido Canal that crosses through the San Pasqual Indian Reservation, the project team had to accomplish three major tasks. First was constructing a desilting basin, followed by demolishing and replacing the existing canal, then installing a 60-in. pipeline, all of which was completed in May 2023.

The 110-ft-long by 32-ft-wide desilting basin is a hydraulic structure within the 100-ft city right-of-way that required large retaining walls and an all-weather access road. The first half-mile of the open canal was replaced with 60-in.-wide by 48-in.-high precast concrete box culvert.

Meanwhile, a 60-in.-dia. pipeline in a new 1.5-mile-long alignment across portions of the San Pasqual Indian Reservation included a 350-ft-long tunnel to minimize environmental impacts. Across the 2.5-mile alignment, the contractor encountered rock in two of the most critical locations, the first during tunneling. Alignment adjustments enabled the team to avoid granite boulders. The second was a cut-and-cover access road. Since exposure to areas with cultural significance was high, changing construction means and methods helped the team avoid sensitive areas.