Crews move into phase 2 of city-wide street improvement project
As the coronavirus lockdown continues into its second month, Santa Barbara is moving into phase 2 of its 2020-A Pavement Maintenance Project.
The project seeks to meet high priority pavement maintenance needs throughout the city. The work involves city crews and contractors replacing failed sections of asphalt pavement followed by crack sealing and slurry sealing.
Currently the city has completed concrete repair and replacement of select access ramps, sidewalks, curbs and gutters on 32 streets around the city, predominantly in the Laguna and Mesa areas.
The second half of the project, applying a slurry seal, is set to begin next week and be completed over the next month.
The seal will be applied to extend the life of existing pavements by protecting the undersurface from the effects of aging and the environment, including water intrusion, and will improve roadway aesthetics with its bright black appearance.
City crews and contractors are currently crack sealing and micro-milling streets in preparation for slurry seal work.
“The slurry contractors are mobilizing basically next week. They’re doing a little test strip on Anacapa (today) on the 1700 block, then they’ll be paving the Harbor and East and West (Cabrillo, later in the day),” said Adam Ziets, acting project engineer for the city’s Engineering Division.
Anacapa Street from Micheltorena Street to Constance Avenue will be paved with a slurry seal all of the week after Memorial Day, and will be finished June 1, according to Mr. Ziets.
From there, crews will move from street to street. The city’s Public Works Department is expected to receive a three-week schedule for the remaining streets today.
“We’ll know more about how these other streets will start to fall into the framework of (crew’s) operations,” said Mr. Ziets.
The project was approved by the City Council in November 2019, and uses Measure C funds for its approximately $6 million budget.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has not thrown the project off schedule.
“In general, it’s helped having less problems on the road. Normally you’d have more delays on these projects, and we’ve had good weather and no traffic,” said Mr. Ziets.
“It has presented some issues because of the parking. I believe people are at home more, so it’s harder to get them to comply with no parking signs. It makes the scheduling more difficult, because if you tell a neighborhood you can’t park here on this week and then the work’s all over town, so it’s hard to know when you’re going to be exactly on which street.”
To efficiently complete the Pavement Delivery Program for 2020, the city split the project into two parts, 2020-A Pavement Maintenance Project and 2020-B.
Although there have been no delays for part A, part B, which involves grinding off deteriorated pavement and overlaying new asphalt on high-priority streets, has been pushed back to July, with work expected to begin in August.
Part B was originally scheduled to begin during part A some time in May.
“We’ve taken a step back and pushed it out a little bit so the two projects aren’t overlapping. Had we gone forward with the schedule, we would have had these two contracts under way at the same time. They’re two different contractors and then we would have had a lot more of the city under construction,” said Mr. Ziets.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Additional work may be added to utilize remaining funding.