Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stimulus projects to put pedal to the metal


July 28, 2009 7:10 AM

About a million dollars in federal stimulus funds were put to work yesterday when two transportation projects kicked off in Santa Barbara County.

The first of these projects is a countywide concrete repair project that will repair and replace various locations throughout the county, according to Santa Barbara County's recovery website.

The project's estimated cost is $660,000, and according to County Director Scott McGolpin, it will wrap up during the first week of September.

The contract for this project, which will target unincorporated areas of Goleta, Vandenberg Village and Orcutt, was given to D-Kal Engineering out of San Luis Obispo, who will put 21 employees to work on the project's plans.

These plans include the installation of 3,825 feet of new sidewalk and the reparation of 1,830 feet of existing sidewalk.

The project will also repair 810 feet of curb and gutter, 211 square yards of cross gutter and spandrel and 431 square yards of driveway.

Lastly, it will install 21 new curb ramps, which will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The second project that began construction yesterday was a countywide bridge rehabilitation project.

According to the county's recovery website, the project's total cost is $330,000, and, according to Mr. McGolpin, it will wrap up near the end of August.

Granite Construction was awarded the contract for the project, and it bears an employment impact of four.

The project will allow for construction in Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez and Santa Maria on San Marcos Road, Paradise Road, Happy Canyon Road, Foxen Canyon Road, Tepusquet Road, Fernald Point Lane and Turnpike Road.

While two projects are now underway, another project will begin Monday.

The upcoming project, which will also be undertaken by Granite Construction, is a countywide road rehabilitation project, estimated to cost $1,725,000.

Target areas of this project include Barker Pass Road between Highway 192 and the city limits and a portion of Calle Real.

Both projects that began yesterday are estimated to cost more than the amount provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but according to Mr. McGolpin, there are ways to make it work.

"If there are overruns or underruns," he said, "we will adjust the scope of the next wave of projects."

This "next wave of projects" includes an Old Town Orcutt street project, more road rehabilitation, a Santa Ynez shoulder widening project at Refugio Road and Roblar Avenue, a Summerland circulation improvement project and a Bradley Intersection improvement.

Santa Barbara County has received nearly $150 million in stimulus dollars, and the amount awarded to transportation and natural resource projects totals more than $10 million.

According to Long-Range Planning Deputy Director Dave Matson, $16.5 million in awarded stimulus money will go directly to county programs.

For more information, visit recoverysbc.org.

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