Construction to Begin on Randall Road Debris Basin

Construction to Begin on Randall Road Debris Basin title=
Construction to Begin on Randall Road Debris Basin
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Source: Santa Barbara County Public Works

Government officials, staff, contractors, and community partners broke ground Monday, May 3, 2021, at the future site of the Randall Road Debris Basin. Following the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow, a debris basin project was proposed along Randall Road in Montecito by private interests with the general support of affected property owners in the area. The project received approval by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in August 2020 and a $13.5 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in November 2020. Public Works Deputy Director Tom Fayram thanked the community and the various agencies at all levels of government who worked on the project. “One way of honoring those we lost and those who respond to emergencies is by doing what we can to mitigate future disasters. We look forward to constructing a basin that will improve safety for the residents and the traveling public.”

Speakers at the event included Fayram, Congressman Salud Carbajal, 1st District Supervisor Das Williams, Montecito Fire Protection District Chief Kevin Taylor, and Montecito resident Curtis Skene. Carbajal said, “Climate change has exacerbated extreme weather events, so it’s crucial we invest in projects like this that adapts our infrastructure to mitigate those threats. As we continue to grieve the lives we lost during the 1/9 debris flows, the least we can do is honor their memory by working to protect the community from a similar travesty. I’m so proud to have served as a federal partner to secure the resources needed to turn this project into a reality.” Williams added, “Even before the first shovel is in the ground, it’s a tremendous investment of time, resources and people, and it’s inspirational to be here at this moment.” Skene, the Montecito resident who conceived of the idea of the basin and was the driving force in the effort to develop it with the County and State, also experienced the 1969 Debris Flow. He concluded the event by thanking the community and those who worked on the project. “I’m a very lucky man. I’ve been able to be part of something to heal and protect my community. It’s not easy, but everybody came together, everybody pulled in the same direction at the same time. It’s incredible.”

V Lopez Jr. & Sons will serve as the contractor on the project. The estimated project cost of $15.5 to $17.5 million is funded by FEMA ($13.5 million) and local flood control money. Construction on this project will begin on May 10, 2021 and is expected to finish by the end of the year.

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millimesa May 07, 2021 12:34 PM
Construction to Begin on Randall Road Debris Basin

They can spend millions of dollars buying up land at market price and digging holes but they can't figure out how to add legal parking for trail users at Hot Springs.

Getoffmylawn May 07, 2021 09:09 PM
Construction to Begin on Randall Road Debris Basin

Trail use is not important compared to mudslides that can kill people or property. Trail hiking is actually a burden to police fire and rescue. Constant calls for people who get hurt and need help. All self caused by their will to hike selfishly.

Chip of SB May 07, 2021 12:54 PM
Construction to Begin on Randall Road Debris Basin

I think it’s great that these folks are doing what the county authorities have failed to do. Carpinteria built the Santa Monica debris basin after experiencing mud/debris flows in 1969, and it spared the city from the most recent debris flows. I find it really frustrating that global warming is increasingly being used as an excuse for decades of poor planning and management. Debris flows have happened in this area since essentially the beginning of time. Much more infrastructure is needed to protect the city of Santa Barbara from flooding and debris flows. The debris basins in mission canyon are woefully inadequate. Next time there is a fire in the mission canyon watershed followed by a heavy rain, severe flooding will occur in Santa Barbara along mission creek. When that happens, it will not be a result of global warming, it will be a result of our failure to build an adequate debris basin and our failure to improve mission creek.

Getoffmylawn May 07, 2021 09:12 PM
Construction to Begin on Randall Road Debris Basin

If I wanted to live somewhere and buy a property it sure wouldn't be near any mountains with potential run off. People need to think about it and be self sufficient.

PitMix May 10, 2021 09:10 AM
Construction to Begin on Randall Road Debris Basin

How many years until they decide they don't have enough money to clean the basin, and the others? That is what had been happening until the Thomas Fire showed up.
And no one is pretending these basins have enough capacity to handle what showed up after the Thomas Fire right? But maybe fewer people will be hurt, or maybe these 2 conditions, a severe fire and an intense rain storm, won't happen for another 50 years.

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