New San Ysidro Creek Bridge Nears Completion

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

On January 12, a few days after the third anniversary of the 1/9 Debris Flow, the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department took another step in the rebuilding process when it replaced the East Mountain Drive Bridge over San Ysidro Creek. The 75-foot long structure will primarily be used as a bicycle and pedestrian access bridge between The San Ysidro Ranch and the San Ysidro Trailhead. The bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic except during emergencies when first responders will have access. The $285,000 bridge was paid for with SCE settlement funds and constructed by Peter Lapidus Construction, a local vendor. Approach roads are expected to be built in the upcoming weeks, and the bridge is scheduled to open this February.

This marks the latest in a series of projects that County Public Works has completed in the past year in Montecito. In February 2020, the $1.8 million Ashley Road Bridge that connects East Mountain Road to Sycamore Canyon Road was opened to the public. The new bridge is a structural improvement and maintains the aesthetic beauty of the previous bridge. It includes a higher arch and longer span to allow a 100-year storm event to pass under the bridge. Last summer, the County also finished a $5.7 million project to repair 28 lane miles and microsurface 17 lane miles of road damaged during the fire and debris flow.

In 2021, County Public Works will proceed with additional projects as part of the Thomas Fire – 1/9 Debris Flow recovery. Work will begin this month on the Hot Springs Shoulder Improvement project. The County will create improved walking shoulders from the Santa Barbara City Limits to Middle Road that will increase connectivity and enhance recent work by the Bucket Brigade and Montecito Trails Foundation. This project is tentatively scheduled to finish by mid-February. The County will also repair segments of North Jameson Lane that sustained damage to the bridge approach guardrail, crash cushions and drainage facilities. County Public Works installed temporary concrete barriers and crash cushions that have remained in place for the last two and a half years while the project was designed, permitted and authorized for construction. Construction began in December and will finish by the end of January. Other projects scheduled for 2021 include the Hot Springs Triangle, and the Sheffield Drive Bridge at Ortega Hill Road and North Jameson Lane.

Santa Barbara County Public Works continues to thank the public for their patience and assistance as we proceed through the rebuilding process. For more information on Transportation Division projects, visit

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