Monday, February 8 , 2016, 7:39 am | Fair 46º

Cut Fiber-Optic Cable Causes $50,000 Price Hike for Anacapa-Carrillo Intersection Project

Santa Barbara City Council expected to approve additional expense for installation of new traffic signals at busy corner

Contractors installing new traffic signals at the intersection of Anacapa and Carrillo streets accidentally severed a fiber-optic cable when they dug a hole for a signal pole. The damage caused an additional $50,000 in expenses for the $750,000 project.
Contractors installing new traffic signals at the intersection of Anacapa and Carrillo streets accidentally severed a fiber-optic cable when they dug a hole for a signal pole. The damage caused an additional $50,000 in expenses for the $750,000 project.  (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @magnoli |

For the past few months, traffic has been bottled up at the intersection of Carrillo and Anacapa streets as crews install new signal lights in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents there. But while the heavily used downtown intersection is known for having the most vehicle-involved crashes in Santa Barbara, one accident in particular has raised the cost of the project by $50,000.

The extra expense is the result of a Jan. 18 incident in which the city’s fiber-optic cable was accidentally severed as work crews were digging for a new signal pole. Because the cable wasn’t laid according to the original plans at the site, it was mismarked by city staff, Public Works Department principal engineer Linda Sumansky wrote in a staff report.

The contractor performed its obligations so the cost to repair the conduit and cables was approved as extra work. The additional $50,000 — which the City Council is expected to approve at its Tuesday meeting — brings the total project cost to $756,446, including construction and design.

Although the damage to the fiber-optic network was repaired within 24 hours, the disruption caused data outages for the Police Department, downtown parking and the Central Library.

After service was restored, city staff designed and the contractor implemented a new layout for the fiber-optic conduits in the area, according to the staff report.

The intersection’s new signal lights are on mast arms out over the streets, and not just mounted on less-visible corner poles. New sidewalk access ramps also are being installed, and drainage improvements are being made.

Construction is expected to finish by the end of March.

The Anacapa-Carrillo streets project was reviewed and eventually approved in 2010. The city received $400,000 in Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program money and added it to the Streets Capital Fund, which it used to pay for most of the project.

Construction has been going since October and lane blockages have been causing congestion, especially for southbound traffic on Anacapa Street and eastbound traffic on Carrillo Street.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

» on 02.25.13 @ 11:18 AM

Should the cost of ancillary damages resulting from the contractor’s actions have been defined as the contractor’s responsibility in its contract with the city? Is this the result of the absence of mandatory competitive bidding under SB’s charter?

» on 02.25.13 @ 12:01 PM

Why doesnt the City Of Santa Barbara Public Works Dept call Dig alert?( a free service funded by companys and people who want to prevent disasters-has been in business for 30-40 years-is in Santa Barbara daily-any competent contractor uses them-suprised the contractor didnt request them ) this could have been a much bigger disaster with PEOPLE being hurt or killed

» on 02.25.13 @ 12:22 PM

Why should US federal tax-payers be paying more than 50% of this city project?

More “free money” that we are continually taxed to provide.

» on 02.25.13 @ 01:08 PM

I question the qualifications of the city employees and their bosses.
I see them digging everywhere - one or 2 people holding shovels, the rest of the crew watching them.
In my neighborhood (Milpas & Ortega) it took them almost 2 months to install crosswalk signals and a small island - I wonder how much that operation cost us taxpayers…......


» on 02.25.13 @ 03:40 PM

I am actually curious why the City has their own fiber line…

How on earth is that a good financial decision?  Oh never mind…

» on 02.25.13 @ 05:53 PM

Given the big cost of this small project, it might have been cheaper to have the
Police Chief, the Public Works Director, and the City Manager, work that corner
on a raised pedestal, with a traffic flag and an orange vest, as they do in Europe and Asia at tricky intersections.

Each one could do one or two shifts a week. Would get them away from their comfy
desks, into the fresh air, and give them a clearer idea of what real world traffic and
intersection issues are really all about.

» on 02.26.13 @ 02:10 PM

Why was the cable not laid according to plan?  Where was the City Inspector?  Why didn’t the City modify the plan to match reality?

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