The Public Works Department is returning to the Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday to provide an update on the Mission Canyon Bridge and obtain direction from officials as it juggles engineering guidance and historic significance.
The project began in 2012 when the city and county started a community planning project of the Mission Canyon Corridor.
Community members and officials agreed on a plan to build a pedestrian bridge and leave the current bridge as-is, but Public Works staff then learned the bridge did not meet modern standards.
Because the bridge has been ruled obsolete, the city can receive federal funds through the Federal Highway Bridge Program.
The city has spent approximately $825,000 hiring the Wallace Group to study the current bridge’s abilities and options moving forward.
It returned with three bridge options and three roadway options in December 2020. The options favor a similar facade to the current bridge.
The options met HBP and engineering standards, but some community members and the Historic Landmarks Commission were not pleased.
Public Works met with the Historic Landmarks Commission on June 9. The HLC said it would like the bridge maintained and left “as-is.”
It supported a separate pedestrian bridge, the intent of the original 2012 project.
Caltrans would reimburse the City for the studies if it chooses a “no project” option.
If the City Council wants to address the deficiencies of the bridge, Public Works recommends the city keep the existing earth-filled arch and construct a second arch with concrete and use existing and supplementary sandstone as a veneer.
The cost of the construction is an estimated $10.8 million, with HBP grant funds covering $5.8 million of the expense.
For the roadway, Public Works suggests pathways on either side of the road and roadway realignment, meeting current standards. The road would cost $1.2 million, and HBP would cover $700,000.
Public Works’s recommended plan is estimated to cost the City $5.5 million.
Also on the agenda, the City Council is holding a public hearing on the appeal of a project approval. The proposed project is a MarBorg storage facility at 2 S. Quarantina Street.
Guy Dolev made the appeal with concerns the project would violate the Coastal Act or the city’s Local Coastal Plan.
The City Council will be visiting the site at 1:30 p.m. today ahead of Tuesday’s meeting.
The proposed building is located near other industrial properties. No cleaning or maintenance should occur on-site.
Tuesday’s meeting begins at 2 p.m. To stream online and view the full agenda, go to santabarbaraca.gov/gov/cityhall/council/meetings/videos/default.asp.
To join the webinar and make a public comment, go to attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1839759346880589070.