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The redesigned Cota Street Bridge between Bath and De La Vina Streets

Paul Wellman/Santa Barbara Independent

The redesigned Cota Street Bridge between Bath and De La Vina Streets


Cota Street Bridge Reopens

City Marks Completion of Fifth New Bridge in Four Years


Close to one year after construction began in March 2015 at the Cota Street Bridge, Mayor Helene Schneider and local dignitaries marked the project’s completion at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday. The fifth new bridge in the past four years funded in part by the Federal Highway Bridge Program (FHBP), the West Cota Street project cost the city 11 percent ($1.4 million) of its $10.1 million construction cost. An $8.7 million FHBP grant covered 88 percent of the cost, said Schneider.

Paul Wellman/Santa Barbara Independent

Mayor Helene Schneider along with Councilmembers Jason Dominguez, Harwood “Bendy” White, Randy Rowse, Cathy Murillo, and Gregg Hart celebrate the completion of the redesigned Cota Street Bridge, between Bath Street and De La Vina, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. (Feb. 18, 2015)

The replacement project — part of the long-awaited Lower Mission Creek Flood Control Project — entailed expanding the bridge by eight feet, enhancing lighting, and re-doing a section of Cota between De la Vina and Bath streets, the city’s supervising engineer Tim Gaasch told reporters. “We pushed very hard to get this ready for the public today,” said Gaasch. Lack of predicted El Niño rains helped Granite Construction finish building two months ahead of schedule. Still in the works is landscaping along the Mission Creek bed.

Paul Wellman/Santa Barbara Independent

(L to R) Councilmembers Jason Dominguez, Harwood “Bendy” White, Randy Rowse, Mayor Helene Schneider, and Councilmembers Cathy Murillo and Gregg Hart cut the ribbon Thursday at the Cota Street Bridge.

“Lower Mission Creek is becoming a neighborhood asset,” Schneider remarked, referencing the steelhead trout and tidewater goby that make their home in the creek. She thanked creekside neighbors who put up with noise and dust, as well as retired city engineer Pat Kelly, who worked long on the Cota Street replacement project. Kelly’s successor, city engineer Brian D’Amour, expressed similar sentiments. “It’s taken a village to build a bridge.”

Paul Wellman/Santa Barbara Independent

Mayor Helene Schneider along with Councilmembers Jason Dominguez, Harwood “Bendy” White, Randy Rowse, Cathy Murillo, and Gregg Hart celebrate the completion of the redesigned Cota Street Bridge, between Bath Street and De La Vina, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. (Feb. 18, 2015)

City councilmembers Cathy Murillo, Jason Dominguez, Randy Rowse, Gregg Hart, and Mayor Pro Tempore Harwood “Bendy” White assisted Schneider in the ribbon cutting.

Three Cota Street homes bordering the replacement project, now listed for sale by real estate company Goodwin & Thyne, were bought with FHBP money from previous residents. The first, 230 West Cota Street, was purchased for $635,000; it’s now listed for sale at $695,000. The second, 221 West Cota Street, was purchased for $660,000; it’s listed at $675,000. The city bought the third, 536 Bath Street, for $600,000; it’s listed at $650,000. Their purchase prices will go toward financing the bridge.

Paul Wellman/Santa Barbara Independent

The first vehicles to utilize the redesigned Cota Street Bridge, between Bath Street and De La Vina, following the ribbon cutting ceremony. (Feb. 18, 2015)



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