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Local News

Crews Work Double-Time to Reopen Los Carneros Freeway Ramps by Mid-February

Caltrans hopes to reopen the southbound Highway 101 ramps at Los Carneros Road in Goleta by February 2015, but the cost of the $8.8 million project will rise to meet the deadline.

The southbound on-ramp and off-ramp have been closed since February as part of the construction on the Los Carneros Overhead Bridge Replacement Project over the adjacent railroad tracks. 

The Goleta City Council on Tuesday listened to an update on the project.

"It will certainly reduce the Hollister impact and people trying to get home," Councilman Roger Aceves said. "Let's get that on-ramp opened up."

The Los Carneros bridge, which has been reduced to one lane in each direction, is expected to reopen with a designated right-hand turn lane toward southbound Highway 101 by fall of 2015.

The existing bridge over the railroad tracks is not seismically safe, according to Caltrans.

The project has been plagued with change orders, including a change in the method of demolition of the bridge, since construction began.

Five change orders have added an additional $100,000 to the project, and two more change orders are pending. 

Goleta officials at the meeting said that Union Pacific Railroad's "lengthy review" of contractor submittals led to construction delays early on in the project.

Those delays are forcing the contractor, Granite Construction, into an "accelerated schedule" to open the ramps by mid-February.

Officials are still waiting to learn the price tag for the delays.

We don't know what the cost will be," Goleta Public Works Director Rosemarie Gaglione said.

Gaglione said "internal procedures and staff-workload combinations" probably led to the UPRR delays. 

"UPRR owns the tracks and they get to direct how work is done on and adjacent to the tracks," Gaglione said. "In this instance, UPRR obviously felt that the method they directed was the most protective of the tracks."

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina 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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