Those traveling through the UC Santa Barbara campus over Winter and Spring quarters are likely to run into a bit of roadwork and other construction, as crews took advantage of the 2016 year-end slowdown to get a jump on the ongoing campus infrastructure renewal project. The project aims to replace aging and outdated utilities infrastructure to provide a more robust and reliable system of water, natural gas and electricity supply.
The multi-year project has already been underway, evidenced by the green fences periodically erected on campus as workers dig up and replace critical underground pipes, often followed by above-ground improvements such as better paving and resurfacing. A goal for the infrastructure renewal has been to time construction in such a way that would minimize interruptions to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers; the relative emptiness of the campus over Winter Break was prime time to get started on the bigger, more intrusive earth-moving projects on major thoroughfares.
Major construction, according to UCSB acting director of Design and Construction Services Ray Aronson, has begun at the east end of campus along Channel Islands Road — the road south of the residence halls near Campus Point — with the installation of a large storm drain that will direct stormwater runoff from the east bluff to the campus lagoon. The construction, Aronson said, will continue up Lagoon Road along the east edge of campus to a tie in point just south of the roundabout at Henley Gate.
“The extent of the work could not be completed during the break,” he said, “and, thus, lane closures along Lagoon Road with the total reconstruction of the road will continue through May.”