PG&E Work on Highway 92

Crews working for PG&E and Caltrans will be accessing transmission lines under Highway 92 for the next week. The work has caused substantial traffic woes for many. Adam Pardee / Review

PG&E is closing a section of Highway 92 east of Half Moon Bay sporadically until at least Dec. 22 while it works on improving underground utilities.

One-way traffic control began last week and will remain in effect from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at three locations 1.5 miles east of Half Moon

Bay near Lemos Farms, PG&E spokeswoman Mayra Tostado said in an email to the Review. PG&E is upgrading its high-pressure regulators to reduce pressure from transmission lines to distribution lines, Tostado said.

The work and subsequent traffic snarls are creating problems for many on the coast. Lisa Cresson, the owner of Fog Town Toys, said she sat in westbound Highway 92 traffic for an hour coming from Belmont one day last week. She said she is concerned about how the traffic will deter customers coming from over the hill and hurt local businesses, particularly those who rely on a boost from seasonal holiday shopping.

“It would be great if PG&E reconsidered the impact of their maintenance on the surrounding businesses and the city itself,” Cresson said. “This is a time that’s lively for Half Moon Bay, and to have people turning around in traffic is really sad, especially at a time we’re trying to recover from the economic devastation of the pandemic.”

Half Moon Bay City Engineer Maziar Bozorginia said that the city didn’t receive notice of the work from PG&E until it had already begun on Dec. 13. He noted that the city has reached out to PG&E to request that the work, which is happening outside city limits, be shifted to nighttime hours to alleviate daytime traffic.

“We’re still waiting to hear if that’s something that will happen, but we understand the impacts to everyone and ask folks to be patient and calm,” he said. “We're going to work with PG&E and see if they can change those hours.”

The power company said that just wasn’t possible.

Tostado said the work requires crews to simultaneously use the Caltrans’ right of way and access customers’ yards — right up against their houses. They also need to safely activate new equipment periodically, she said. As a result, PG&E cannot shift the project to nighttime hours, Tostado said.

August Howell is a staff writer for the Review covering city government and public safety. Previously, he was the Review’s community, arts and sports reporter. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon.

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