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Local News

Repair Project Planned To Stop Flooding On Road to Guadalupe Beach

Santa Barbara County to undertake project in spring or summer 2018 after heavy rains forced closure earlier this year

The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department plans to improve the road to Guadalupe Beach after flooding led to closures earlier this year. Click to view larger
The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department plans to improve the road to Guadalupe Beach after flooding led to closures earlier this year. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A fix is planned for the road to Guadalupe Beach which floods frequently after heavy rain, forcing its closure and cutting off coastal access for the Santa Maria Valley.

Chris Sneddon, Santa Barbara County deputy director of transportation, provided an update to the Guadalupe City Council on Tuesday night.

Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve, or Guadalupe Beach to locals, is accessed at the end of West Main Street, west of the city. 

Sneddon said that due to a low spot on the road, water no longer drains properly.

“We’re trying to reduce the amount of time the road is closed,” Sneddon said.

The project calls for raising the road about 2 feet with permeable material and cutting better ditches on the shoulders to get the water off the road faster so the road can reopen quicker.

The segment needing a fix is approximately 700 feet long, he added.

“You can see the impacts on the road, it’s kind of starting to fall apart. That much water sitting on a road is not good the road either,” Sneddon said. “It’s kind of a constant maintenance battle.”

In early 2017, the road to the beach was closed approximately 75 days due to flooding, Sneddon said, adding that the situation is worsening each year.

A low spot on the road to Guadalupe Beach, officially known as Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve, is set to be repaired by Santa Barbara County. Click to view larger
A low spot on the road to Guadalupe Beach, officially known as Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve, is set to be repaired by Santa Barbara County. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, who represents Guadalupe, set aside funding so the problem could be treated holistically, rather than requiring regular maintenance.

The project is expected to cost approximately $150,000, Sneddon said.

Plans call for designing the project this fall and starting the work next spring or summer, once the road has dried out, Sneddon said.

“I think the repairs will mean a lot to get it back into use,” Councilman Ariston Julian said.

Guadalupe Beach provides pristine coastal access and is known for its miles of sand dunes and solitude.

Many local residents enjoy fishing from shore, walking and surfing. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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.

Fishing is a popular activity at Guadalupe Beach, west of Guadalupe. Click to view larger
Fishing is a popular activity at Guadalupe Beach, west of Guadalupe. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
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