The City of Goleta is looking to build new highway overpasses in an effort to create safe and convenient crossing points for cars and pedestrians.
The bridges would connect three roads to Hollister Avenue, which local officials believe will ease traffic and improve safety. Construction has been estimated to cost anywhere from $22 to $41 million.
County Supervisor Doreen Farr said parts of Hollister Avenue will be closed during construction.
“This project is not only doing good to protect lives, it is also going to solve some traffic problems Goleta is having,” Farr said. “We are very fortunate to be able to do this. The city needs this and we are very hopeful that we will have the budget to be able to complete this very important project.”
Farr said Shasta Construction was hired to complete the project after agreeing to a $6.7 million contract.
Funding for the project will come from federal and local grants as well as money from Measure A, a 2008 local traffic improvement measure.
Though the project is set to begin within the next several weeks, Goleta City Councilwoman Margaret Connell said potential decreases in city revenue may hinder construction.
“I just don’t think the money will be there for this project,” Connell said. “People aren’t spending as much right now, so there isn’t as much sales tax. We will probably need to find the funds somewhere else.”
In addition to installing traffic lanes, city officials plan to include sidewalks and bike lanes along the overpasses.
First-year David Badal said he is excited the city is working on accommodating bicycle traffic.
“I have to ride my bike everywhere,” Badal said. “Sure, I haven’t needed to go somewhere where I would have to cross a highway yet, but the need could be there in the future, and I’m glad the city is recognizing the plight of the carless.”
The new traffic lanes will connect Brandon Drive, San Rossano Drive and Baker Lane to Hollister Avenue.