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Historic Santa Barbara bridge gets new supports

A bridge in Santa Barbara’s Mission Canyon dating back decades is showing signs of its age. Now work is beginning to replace fragile secondary supports.

The city has been inspecting the bridge on a regular basis.

Earlier this year, a special sign was posted to limit the number of people who can cross the walkway at once. That limits is three.

The bridge, located next to Rocky Nook Park, was originally built in 1891 with a pedestrian walkway added in 1929.

Historians say this is the oldest known Masonry bridge in Southern California.

There is a master plan being worked out to improve the bridge for cars, bikes and pedestrians. Work on the support beams, however, is a top priority

Santa Barbara Transportation Manager Rob Dayton says, “It’s lasted a good, long time but the secondary supports have rusted out”

During the project, cars and pedestrians will still be able to come and go but there will be a slow down for safety.

“During the construction the pedestrians will be on the bridge with cones. There will be a flagman here during the day to assist so that no one gets hurt and stays out of traffic,” Dayton said.

The bridge has an emotional connection for many who live in the canyon.

“It’s a place where people are highly engaged. It’s a beloved place. We are taking a high-level approach to studying the bridge and the area to see what we are working with first,” said Dayton. “We should be returning to the public after a lot of the studies are complete next spring to share what the studies are finding out about the area and the historic nature and to get some feedback from the public.”

KEYT 2019

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