Construction begins on replacement for Calif. bridge damaged by debris flow

Ashley Road bridge damaged by heavy debris flows. Photo courtesy Santa Barbara County.Ashley Road bridge damaged by heavy debris flows. Photo courtesy Santa Barbara County.

Santa Barbara County Public Works announced that construction on the Ashley Road replacement bridge in Montecito, California, began in July and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, Noozhawk reports.

The bridge was badly damaged by heavy debris flows in January 2018. The stone railings washed downstream, sections of the abutments broke off, and a wall on the right side of the arch was damaged. In June, the bridge was completely demolished and replaced with a temporary bridge for emergency vehicles.

Public Works spokesman Lael Wageneck told the news agency that the $1.7 million project will build a new 64-foot by 22-foot bridge designed to fit in with the natural environment of the neighborhood and reflect the historical significance of the original 1918 bridge.

According to the news outlet, Project Manager Charlie Elbert issued a statement saying that crews are “trying to provide Montecito residents and visitors with a bridge that has the same look and feel as before the debris flow.”

The County Board of Supervisors awarded the contracts to Granite Construction. Funding for the project comes from three sources — $1.3 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $340,000 from the California Office of Emergency Services, and $113,000 in county maintenance money.