Olive Mill Roundabout Receives Final Approval

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 22, 2022

On Monday, November 14, the Montecito Board of Architectural Review and City of Santa Barbara Architectural Review Board held a joint hearing to consider the Olive Mill Roundabout for final design approval. The meeting was a follow-up to another joint hearing earlier this month, when several details about the project, including size of the olive trees in the roundabout, material of the fencing on Jameson Way, signage, landscape and irrigation plans, and others still needed to be hashed out. 

The two boards, which each sent three representatives to the meeting, voted to approve the project – scheduled to begin construction the week after Thanksgiving – barring an appeal of the final approval (there is a 10-day appeal period). Last week we reported on a formal ribbon-cutting for the project, which has been in the works for years as part of the Highway 101 widening, and will improve traffic flow at the intersection at Olive Mill Road, Coast Village Road, North Jameson Lane, the northbound Highway 101 off-ramp at Olive Mill Road, and the southbound Highway 101 on-ramp at Olive Mill Road. Word on Coast Village Road is that people are eager to have an alternative to the clunky intersection, but are concerned about the construction and traffic and parking impacts on Coast Village Road. 

Residents are reminded that there is expected to be at least 5-10 minutes of delay in the area, which is already occurring as utility work is being finalized before construction begins. While motorists will be able to drive through the intersection throughout the entire construction period – late November 2022 through summer 2023 – the northbound off-ramp at Olive Mill Road will be closed throughout construction as the contractor is staging on the off-ramp. Drivers will be detoured to exit the freeway at San Ysidro Road. 

The southbound on-ramp at Olive Mill will also be closed from the beginning of construction through the end of the year. Drivers traveling south will be detoured on North Jameson Lane to the new on-ramp at Sheffield Drive. The axis between the NB off-ramp and SB on-ramp is where the center of the roundabout will be built, which will be the first section of the project to be completed. 

Flaggers will be on-site controlling traffic, and the majority of the work will take place Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, with some nighttime construction as needed. Reps are currently working with local business owners including the Montecito Inn to schedule those overnight shifts.

Once the roundabout structure is built and usable, crews will work on the “corners” of the project, adding landscaping, improving drainage, and putting the finishing touches on the project, which will include lighting and signage. 

Thereafter, construction will begin on the San Ysidro roundabout in Spring 2023. By the time the construction starts there, the Olive Mill roundabout will be able to be partially utilized and the southbound onramp to Highway 101 will be open, according to reps. 

For updates, visit sbroads.com. 


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