The City of Goleta announced Friday that the southbound Los Carneros Road on-ramps and off-ramps that were scheduled to open in February will open later, most likely next month, to make sure the bike lane on the bridge is aligned safely.
“We couldn’t do a partial opening for safety reasons, because of the way we’d have to align the bike lane,” said Valerie Kushnerov, public information officer for the city. “There weren’t actual safety concerns about the onramp or the bridge.”
Both the on-ramps and off-ramps on the southbound side of Highway 101 have been closed since February of last year.
Crews have been working to replace the deteriorating Los Carneros Road bridge that crosses over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks on the south side of Highway 101.
The closure has only affected the southbound ramps, and the bridge itself is being replaced one-half at a time.
The section of the bridge that crosses over Highway 101 belongs to Caltrans, while the portion over the railroad belongs to the city.
The bridge was built in the 1960s, and though it is safe to drive on now, its condition is worsening.
In addition to a new Los Carneros Road bridge, traffic flow is expected to improve with a dedicated right-turn lane installed for the southbound ramp.
Bike lanes will be added in both directions, and a sidewalk erected on the west side of the bridge.
A Friday announcement from the city said a number of factors contributed to the delay, but that a partial opening of the southbound on-ramp was evaluated and ultimately rejected for public safety reasons.
The city is anticipating being able to open the ramps by the end of March.