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.
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.