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Citywide street work slowly wrapping up throughout Santa Barbara

Expect traffic back-ups to continue in parts of Santa Barbara as crews make up for lost time on repairs.

“Ideally, we would be repaving our streets every 20 years,” explained City Engineer Brian D’Amour. “Without adequate funding in the past, we didn’t have that luxury and we were just kind of band aiding these streets together with slurry or pothole repairs.”

D’Amour said thanks to funds generated by Measure C, the gas tax and the Utility User’s Tax, crews are hard at work on roads throughout the city of Santa Barbara.

During recent weeks, heavy traffic backed up along De La Vina Street and nearby roads while crews closed off Micheltorena Street Bridge to do deep street repairs, improve underground utilities and extend sidewalks on Castillo and Bath Streets.

Residents in Eastside neighborhoods between Salinas Street and Voluntario Street are also seeing road closures and work crews at various locations, some working bulldozers, other with jackhammers. D’Amour said work is also happening along Cabrillo Blvd. under Hwy 101 between Los Patos and Hot Springs Road as well as upper State Street, west of La Cumbre Road.

D’Amour explained that the majority of work is done in a nine-point stage: deep point repairs, concrete repairs, lowering utilities (waster manholes), conduit work, grinding and removing existing asphalt pavement, laying down and compacting new asphalt pavement, bringing utilities back to surface, traffic signal work, then striping.

Granite Construction Co. is doing the majority of the work and slowly wrapping things up at this point.

“It is disruptive, that is for sure,” D’Amour said. “We’re doing the best we can with our changeable message signs to alert people to closures anticipated. There’s a lot of different phases of work; there may be a closure one day and the next day, nobody even around.”

One new feature includes wider “buffered” bike lanes along Bath Street, matching what’s already in place on Bath Street south of Carrillo.

The cost of the current project is $3.75 million dollars. Work is expected to continue at least several more weeks.

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