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Local News

Flood Control Project in the Works Near Train Station in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County is making progress on an expansion that will double the capacity of a Mission Creek culvert

Passengers milling through the Amtrak station in Santa Barbara this summer may have noticed construction crews tackling a project in the creek culvert that runs adjacent to the train tracks.

When their work is done, the creek’s capacity will have doubled, according to Tom Fayram, deputy director of Santa Barbara County’s Water Resources Division.

That leg of improvements is just a portion of the lower Mission Creek Project, which runs from Canon Perdido Street to Cabrillo Boulevard.

“We’re really focusing on below freeway now,” he said, adding that the creek will be widened all the way from the south side of Highway 101 to the ocean. 

The technical details show the creek’s culvert being able to handle about 1,500 cubic feet per second. When it’s completed, 3,400 cubic feet of water per second will be able to flow through.

When the project is complete, the culvert will be capable of handling 3,400 cubic feet of water per second, more than double its current capacity. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)
When the project is complete, the culvert will be capable of handling 3,400 cubic feet of water per second, more than double its current capacity. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

The creek goes under the highway, but planners accounted for the expansion when they built the highway decades ago, so no disruption of traffic will take place.

“This project has been around for a long time,” Fayram said.

That connector for the creek under the highway has already been built and is filled with sand, so all the county crews will have to do to connect the north and south portions of the creek is remove the sand.

Fayram said the county is working with the City of Santa Barbara, which is taking care of widening the bridges, such as the one at State Street and Cabrillo for which construction will start next year.

The county is applying for grants to match local funds as work progresses, and Fayram said the entire portion of improvements to the creek below the highway is expected to be completed by 2016.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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.

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