Two Roundabouts Planned for the Montecito Area
MONTECITO, Calif.– As construction continues on Highway 101 from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara, two roundabouts are planned to be constructed in the Montecito area.
On Thursday, people got an update from various government agencies working on the San Ysidro Roundabout and the Olive Mill Road roundabout.
Construction on the Olive Mill Road roundabout is underway and expected to conclude this summer. The hope is that this roundabout will improve traffic flow at the intersection of Olive Mill Road, Coast Village Road, North Jameson Lane, the northbound Highway 1010 off-ramp at Olive Mill Road, and the southbound Highway 101 on-ramp at Olive mill Road. The southbound on-ramp opened on Wednesday for drivers.
According to the project's website the new roundabout will feature olive trees, a sandstone retaining wall and improved lighting around the roundabout. The speed limit around the roundabout will be 20 mph.
While construction continues on the Olive Mill Road Roundabout, construction on the San Ysidro Road Roundabout is gearing up and is expected to conclude by the end of the year. Construction of these two roundabouts will overlap during this spring.
"The community asked to have the roundabouts as far into construction as possible before the freeway starts, and that's how we're doing it," said Kirsten Ayars, community liaison for the highway 101 project. "There is some overlap, but that also means that we're all working together to make it as efficient as we possibly can, but please do expect delays."
The hope is the San Ysidro Road Roundabout will improve traffic flow at the intersection at San Ysidro Road, North Jameson Lane, and the northbound Highway 101 on and off-ramps at San Ysidro Road.
According to the project website, this will be a single-lane roundabout with a oval-shaped median. The median will feature native and drought-tolerant landscaping.
Clearing of trees in the area has started in preparation for construction, including a very tall cypress tree. One attendee at Thursday meeting expressed concern when she noticed the tree was removed this week. Ayars says the hope was to keep the tree but due to the recent drought, arborists said the tree was dying and needed to be taken out.
Another big concern from those in attendance was traffic congestion and detours due to the construction of the San Ysidro Road roundabout. An information sheet at the meeting says drivers will have access through the intersection during construction with the exception of June and July when the over-crossing over Highway 101 will be closed to enable roundabout, bridge rail, and on and off-ramp construction simultaneously.
Ayars said that all the agencies involved in this project including the County of Santa Barbara and CalTrans are working together to try to have a smooth construction project.
"We all just have to work together," said Ayars, "it requires change on everyone's part while we are building the roundabout."
Ayars says community members can sign up for project updates for the Highway 101 improvement project come out every two weeks.
A Caltrans representative at the meeting says community members who are concerned about traffic delays due to construction can visit the Quickmap website to see current road conditions.