City Council Approves $11 Million Renovation of State Street Undercrossing

By the edhat staff

Santa Barbara architect Jeff Shelton, along with Bengal Engineering, will revamp the popular State Street undercrossing with wider sidewalks and enhanced bike lanes using his signature design style.

The Santa Barbara City Council voted Tuesday to unanimously approve the $11 million budget for the redesign.

The area between Gutierrez and Yanonali streets has been identified as one of the highest concentrations of pedestrian and bicycle related collisions, according to the City’s Transportation Department. The improvments would widen sidewalks to 15 feet and change two lanes of traffic in either direction to one lane of traffic. 

The project is part of the “Vision Zero” plan that aims to address areas within the city that have a greater number of collisions between vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists. 

Famous Santa Barbara architect Jeff Shelton, known for vibrant colors and imaginative design, proposed bright tiled columns along the walkway, new lamp posts, and iron railings with flower designs.

The City of Santa Barbara will pony up $6.8 million for the project while a grant from the state will fund the remaining $4.7 million. The list of contractors include C.A. Rasmussen for construction, management by Filippin Engineering with the City and Caltrans, ironwork by David Shelton, and column tilework by Upton Construction.

In a statement to edhat, Jeff Shelton confirmed he was a consultant for the architectural component but Bengal Engineering should get all the credit for this project. 

“The real work was done by Bengal Engineering, specifically Tom Conti and Harrison Smith. These are the professionals that made this happen,” said Shelton. “Without Bengal Engineering and the Public Works Department working together to make a needed change to the unpleasant undercrossing, none of this would happen.”

The project will take about 18 months to complete and could start as early as this Fall.

Rendering of the $11 million redesign for the 300 block of State Street (Rendering courtesy of the City of Santa Barbara)

[Ed note: This article has been updated with a statement by Jeff Shelton]

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. Did they open the bidding to other contractors? $11 million is a lot of money, they should spend it like it’s theirs not our hard earned money. They sure seem to get things done they want to do like the private flamenco dance at the Clark Estate (where was my invite )? Why did the
    retired planners that did that underpass originally , not put some thought and or design into it ?

  2. Nothing wrong with bare concrete under an overpass and much easier to hose down. Many actual needs in the community to be wasting money on decor. If those who benefit from tourists–hotels and such–want to fund a project like this, fine, and they should also have to pay for hosing it down and general upkeep. Subway tiling would be more functional.

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