Pre-Project Construction Starts Next Week

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 27, 2022
Messaging boards are already on Coast Village Road, suggesting that drivers use alternate routes beginning next week

Starting next Monday, September 26, and for the following three weeks, drivers in Montecito will experience significant delay at the Olive Mill/Coast Village/N. Jameson intersection, as Montecito Sanitary District (MSD) works to relocate 90 feet of sewer main in preparation of the upcoming roundabout at the area. The project also includes manhole installations, manhole modifications, grade adjustments, and abandonment and/or removal of sewer mains, manholes, and vaults. “This is not part of the 101 project, this is pre-project utility work in preparation for the roundabout,” said MSD General Manager Bradley Rahrer

Rahrer and MSD Engineering Manager Bryce Swetek tell us Tierra Contracting won the bid on the project, and will begin work next Monday. This week, messaging boards will be put in place at each arm of the intersection, warning drivers of the upcoming construction. “Drivers should expect significant delays, and we encourage them to find alternate routes,” Swetek said. 

New lighted messaging boards are at the Olive Mill and Coast Village Road intersection, noting the pre-project construction that is taking place beginning next week. The project is to relocate 90 feet of Montecito Sanitary District sewer main.

Work will occur Monday through Thursday, from 9 am to 3 pm, and no lane closures will occur. Four flaggers will coordinate traffic through partial lane closures during working hours; all lanes will be open by 3 pm each working day, Swetek said. The first phase of the project will impact the northern portion of Olive Mill, while the second phase will impact N. Jameson. 

This pre-project work is slated to be completed October 14. There will be a short break for a few weeks and then the pre-project construction will begin on the San Ysidro Road intersection, in preparation for the roundabout construction to begin next spring. That pre-project construction will also include relocating the sewer main. “We want to get this pre-project construction done now, even though the roundabout construction at San Ysidro doesn’t begin until the spring,” Rahrer said. 

The cost for relocating both sewer mains is $368,000, paid for by MSD reserves. “We’re replacing aged assets with new assets, which will have a new useful life. We’ve put thought into what is in the best interest of the District in the long run,” Rahrer said. The new sewer facility locations will minimize traffic impacts during routine maintenance and costs associated with future District repairs to the roundabouts’ infrastructure.

For questions about the pre-project utility work, contact Bryce Swetek at (805) 883-6872. 

The two roundabouts are parallel projects to the 101 widening through Montecito. The Olive Mill roundabout will begin construction in November, and consists of reconfiguring the current six-legged intersection at Olive Mill Road, Coast Village Road, North Jameson Lane, Highway 101 northbound off-ramp, and Highway 101 southbound on-ramp to a single-lane roundabout. The project will include pedestrian refuge islands, sidewalks, street lighting, signage, crosswalks, landscaping, and drainage facilities. All improvements are slated to be accommodated within existing Caltrans, City, and County right-of-way. The roundabout will be completed late next spring or early summer. 

Construction will begin on the San Ysidro roundabout in Spring 2023. By the time the construction starts on the San Ysidro roundabout, the Olive Mill roundabout will be able to be partially utilized and the southbound onramp to Highway 101 will be open, in order to lessen traffic impacts to the community. The San Ysidro roundabout project includes replacing the current intersection at San Ysidro, North Jameson, and the Highway 101 northbound entrance and exit with an oblong roundabout, and adding a four-way stop on the other side of the freeway bridge, at San Ysidro and South Jameson Lane (near the Miramar Resort). The single-lane roundabout will include pedestrian access on every leg of the intersection, including crosswalks that connect with paved walkways through the medians or refuge areas. The area will be heavily landscaped and signage is limited to coastal access and safety signs. 

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