City officials celebrated the completion of the Anapamu Street Bridge over replacement project at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday.
The bridge is located on the Westside of Santa Barbara between San Andres Street and San Pascual Street, adjacent to the Boys and Girls Club. It runs over Old Mission Creek.
In September 2015, the City of Santa Barbara released a report that outlined their plan to replace the historic bridge at a cost of $1.9 million. The federal government has paid 100 percent of that cost through the Federal Highway Administration’s Highway Bridge Program.
Construction began in summer 2018 and the bridge opened to traffic in late January.
The original bridge was constructed in 1926 in a concrete T-beam structure with vertical concrete abutment walls that extended to footings below the creek bed.
“It was old and beautiful and quaint, but too old and needed to be widened,” said Mayor Cathy Murillo.
“The Westside has been my home for so many years, I used to walk my dog through here. The kids play in the creek and learn to appreciate nature.”
City Supervising Engineer Alex Ubaldo said the old bridge was deteriorating so much it wouldn’t be able to hold the weight of traffic, so the entire bridge deck was replaced with a more structurally efficient model
The old bridge was 39 feet long, 36 feet wide, and within the existing 60-foot public right-of-way. The curb-to-curb width was about 24 feet with 5-foot sidewalks and one-foot-wide barrier rails.
Sidewalks extended seven feet from the bridge to the north side of the street and around six feet on the south side.
The new bridge, made of cast concrete with a open arch underneath to allow for water flow.
Its total width is around 43 feet, with two 11-foot-wide travel lanes, two 3-foot-wide shoulders, and two 6-foot-wide sidewalks.
Barrier railing on both sides is 1.5 feet thick , designed to meet current specifications for vehicular bridge railings.
The project will include new pavement, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks adjacent to the replacement bridge.
“Bridges have a life span. And this bridge was replaced at a respectable 92 years old . With modern design and quality control methods this (new) bridge should see its 200th birthday. So it will be a few years before you and I meet again for that ribbon cutting ceremony,” said project engineer Ken Young.
Ms. Murillo said the widened bridge creates more street parking in the area, a convenience for nearby residents.
She also applauded the project’s flood control benefits to the creek below.
“You can see how the land is contoured and they put native plants so that it absorbs the water better,” she said.
City bridge projects on Gutierrez Bridge and Montecito Bridge are expected to be complete in late March to early April.