Tuesday morning found Santa Barbara Street impassable between Canon Perdido and Figueroa streets as the city’s giant asphalt-slicing-and-dicing machine readied the surface for new pavement. The cross streets — downtown Santa Barbara’s main Carrillo Street, for one — remain open as similar work had repaved the intersections previously.
Knifing up the asphalt overlay like butter, the asphalt-milling creature is removing pavement from gutter to gutter along entire blocks, crushing it, and conveyor-belting the crumbs into an orchestrated flow of dump trucks. Workers from Granite Construction are waving down unwary pedestrians and helping them across the street as backhoes scoop up leftover crust and other workers ready the road base for repaving.
From the look of it, Carrillo Street had a steady stream of dump trucks heading to Santa Barbara Street this morning. That will be followed by a series of trucks bringing fresh asphalt. This is old news to those who live, work, and drive down by Gutierrez Street, as the city has been working its way up one-way Santa Barbara Street since last week.
The goal is to complete each ground-up block within the day, said Adam Ziets, project engineer for city construction. As many as three blocks have been finished on a good day, he said.
The Santa Barbara Street portion of the project goes as far as Victoria Street and should be completed this week, if the weather stays dry. The city already repaved Bath and Castillo streets in this phase of annual street maintenance, and the stretch from Constance at State to Garden at Junipero is scheduled for next week, Ziets said.
Increasing disability access at the street corners preceded the paving work, and finish work and striping will follow up through mid-April. The total project cost is about $6 million.
Every day, the staff of the Santa Barbara Independent works hard to sort out truth from rumor and keep you informed of what’s happening across the entire Santa Barbara community. Now there’s a way to directly enable these efforts. Support the Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.