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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 9:25 am | Fair 57º


Santa Barbara Council Hears Update on Capital Improvement Projects

The city of Santa Barbara finished six construction projects in the final quarter of the last fiscal year, but 18 more capital improvement projects are under construction, and 41 more are waiting in the wings.

Some of those developments were highlighted this week at the Santa Barbara City Council meeting, when officials heard an update on capital improvements and traffic constraints that could cause headaches for drivers — especially those navigating near the waterfront.

City engineer Pat Kelly said crews completed $27 million in construction projects between April and the end of June, with the 18 ongoing jobs valued at more than $45.5 million.

Those completed included the resealing of roadways mostly on the city’s Eastside and Lower Riviera ($1 million), relocation of the Alameda Park well ($1.3 million), widening of the Lower Sycamore Creek Channel and replacing the Punta Gorda Street Bridge ($3.8 million).

“This is an important first step to reduce the possibility of flooding in the neighborhood,” said Kelly, who announced Tuesday was his last council meeting because he’s retiring.

Of 18 projects still underway, Kelly highlighted the Cabrillo Boulevard Bridge replacement at Mission Creek, a $13.9 million effort that began its second phase this summer.

Most construction should be complete in 2016, but a portion could last into early 2017, according to city planners.

“I want to express the appreciation for people’s patience,” Kelly said.

The $5-million Cota Street Bridge replacement — also designed to alleviate flooding and improve water flow issues in Mission Creek — should be finished in January, he said.

A $1.2-million project to replace two existing city-owned parking lots with permeable pavers near Laguna Street was also under construction.

The 41 projects currently in design have an estimated total project cost of $112,166,405 — not including the city plans to reactive its desalination facility.

Kelly said the construction projects rely on guaranteed or anticipated funding and grants.

Four projects waiting for a 2017 start date consist of more bridge replacements at Gutierrez, Anapamu, De la Guerra and Quinientos streets, with a total value of $24 million.

Council members accepted the Public Works Department report and thanked Kelly for his 22 years of service to the city.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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