Cabrillo Boulevard Bridge under construction
Léna Garcia

In the second stage of the $26 million Cabrillo Boulevard Bridge rebuild, Santa Barbara officials say the city continues to prioritize surrounding businesses and tourism despite the dust. Since March 2015, builders have been using a vibrational twist-and-turn method for constructing the bridge’s piles, which supervising civil engineer Adam Hendel says is quieter than the customary hammer-driven approach. The new bridge will take the place of the unsustainable and decaying bridge first built in 1913.

At the corner of State Street and Cabrillo Boulevard, the mountainside part of the bridge that is currently under construction sees “6,000 pedestrians and 23,000 vehicles daily,” said city spokesperson Kirsten Ayars. Consequently, Ayars said the goal is to keep both businesses and tourism thriving throughout the project. Santa Barbara’s annual Fiesta Parade will face no disruptions, and work will cease on the day of the parade, she explained.

The area currently under construction used to house a Rusty’s Pizza patio and parking lot before the property was acquired via eminent domain proceedings in November 2014 to free up space for the bridge.

Tony Romasanta, owner of the nearby Harbor View Inn on Cabrillo Blvd., said, “[The construction] has had a negative effect on businesses, there’s no question. But I’m delighted with their progress. I’m looking forward to the transformation of that area that has been long awaited and wanted.”

Due to minor hiccups along the way, the bridge’s projected date of completion has been postponed from October 2016 to January 2017, and builders plan to be completely finished with roadway improvements by February 2017.


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