To solve access and safety problems in the historically and environmentally sensitive Mission Canyon corridor, the city hired the Wallace Group of San Luis Obispo to study the Mission Canyon bridge from various aspects.
Over the course of two years, the group’s engineers, planners, environmental specialists, and historians, examined structural aspects of the historic Mission Canyon bridge. The consultants compared the bridge’s structure to today’s flood, earthquake and access standards.
Accordingly, they developed several possible ways to address deficiencies while retaining the area’s historic integrity and aesthetic sense and while also improving vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian safety.
The city and the group presented these findings during a webinar in December. The study showed unequivocally that the bridge requires reconstruction because of structural issues.
MHTA applauds the creativity and sensitivity of the options presented, which may be seen on the website: www.missioncanyonbridge.com.
After due consideration, MHTA enthusiastically endorses Bridge plan 3 and roadway plan A, for these options would: Retain the single-arch bridge design; eliminate the unsightly view of the sewer line; solve potential flood problems with little effect on the creek; provide walking pathways on both sides of road, which, with additional architectural elements would allow safe pedestrian movement through the corridor; eliminate the unsightly and hazardous above ground utility lines and poles; and qualify for federal funding.
It is important to understand that this is neither a frivolous effort nor one of vanity. Rather, it is essential to make this corridor safe and to preserve the historic bridge insofar as possible before Caltrans ceases to certify it.
In addition to traffic danger, nature’s force can also be deadly, as we have recently and tragically experienced in Montecito.
Fred L. Sweeney
American Institute of Architects member