Black Road Ahjacent to U.S. Highway 1

City or County Responsible for Project: 

County of Santa Barbara

Award Category: 

Narrative Description Of Your Entry: 

Black Road Bridge Replacement. Project Sustainability The Black Road Bridge is located on Black Road north of State Highway 1 near Orcutt, Santa Barbara County, California. Public Works replaced the previous reinforced concrete bridge that measured 78-foot long, 30-foot wide that was built in 1943 due to structural deficiencies. The project was funded through the Federal Highway Administration and Highway Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement Program. The new bridge is a 94-foot, 38-foot wide superstructure, with two 12-foot lanes, two 5-foot shoulders, and two 2-foot guardrail elements on the deck. The bridge type is a cast-in-place, pre-stressed concrete-box girder bridge that clears the span of the creek. The bridge is supported five piles per each abutment located outside of the creek. R. Burke Corporation from San Luis Obispo California was the prime contractor. Mandate to Protect Environmental Resources Before construction of the project begins environmental sensitive area, fencing was installed to protect habitats and biological resources. Specialized bypasses were designed and installed for the safe passage of the endangered tiger salamander and red legged frogs that frequents the area. Specifically, low-lying walls are arranged as a funnel to encourage salamanders and frogs to migrate to a central pipeline to convey them beneath the road. Specialized metal grates cover the opening to the pipe to keep other varmints from eating salamanders in the pipe. Unprecedented Environmental Costs Black Road Bridge challenged Public Works on an unprecedented scale. The environmental-loaded costs are unusually high ($355,000) due to the sensitive environmental location of the bridge. There are numerous sensitive species that frequent this area where the stream flows all year around. Environmental planning costs included: biological, archaeological, negative declaration, and permits $70,000. Construction monitoring costs are $105,000, post construction monitoring and re-vegetation costs $180,000. Silt fencing was specifically located around the project perimeter to repel frogs and salamanders. A total of 150 mammal burrows were numbered, mapped and flagged, 14 frogs were captured and re-located. In the end there were no frog or salamander fatalities during this bridge project. Costs to Replace Outdated Bridges Santa Barbara County’s financial need to replace outdated bridges is sobering. The County fits the average costs for similar counties with the same number of lane miles (3,000-4,000) as reported by Save California Streets. The anticipated costs to replace outdated bridges are $54,000,000 during the next 10 years.

Submitted by: 

Bill Tracy


Project Manager


Department of Public Works


4415 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara Ca 93110