Construction crews have ripped up El Colegio Road on the northern edge of Isla Vista in an effort to reconstruct the roadway between Stadium Road and Camino Corto by next year.
The development is part of Santa Barbara County’s El Colegio Road Improvement Project, which aims to reconstruct the road’s cross slope and widen the street into a four-lane thoroughfare by February 2011. The Santa Barbara Public Works Dept. says motorists can expect traffic delays of up to 20 minutes around the construction site and cautions vehicles and pedestrians to be alert of reduced speed zones and traffic controls throughout the area.
County redevelopment specialist Heather Allen said the project was started to alleviate traffic directed to and from the student housing UCSB installed parallel to El Colegio in 2008.
“From my knowledge, it was based on an agreement to mitigate the San Clemente Graduate Building constructed by UCSB,” Allen said. “It is a continuation of the phase one construction. My impression is they are going to make the road wider.”
According to Walter Rubalcava, a civil engineer at the Public Works Dept., the project’s $2.2 million dollar price tag will be picked up by UC Santa Barbara, the county Redevelopment Agency and the Goleta Transportation Improvement Plan.
“The contract is being managed by the county of Santa Barbara, but UCSB spent $1.3 million into the project,” Rubalcava said. “They are basically helping to finance the project.”
The contract for the project was awarded to Granite Construction Company, which plans to finish development early next year. Construction hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until February next year.