Central Coast mountain road could be closed for more than a year due to storm damage
Gibraltar Road, East Camino Cielo and other local mountain roads remain closed due to extensive damage from the storms that have walloped Santa Barbara County over the past few months.
According to the Santa Barbara County hydrology page, Santa Barbara has received more than 26 inches of rain since January. Only 1.92 inches of rain fell during the same period the previous year.
In January, sections of Gibraltar Road collapsed, washed out by debris and mudslides. A massive boulder fell during last week’s heavy rain, further damaging the road.
Gibraltar Road could be closed for more than a year because of the damage, said Lael Wageneck, spokesperson for the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department.
Wageneck told Noozhawk that an estimated $42 million would be needed to repair more than 150 damaged sections of roads countywide, with 20 such locations on Gibraltar Road alone.
Earlier this month, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors approved an increase in allocations for the county roads operations fund.
“The public should expect (Gibraltar Road and East Camino Cielo) to be closed for an extended period of time,” Wageneck said.
He added that travelers should never drive around a safety barrier or road closure sign.
The latest storm also exacerbated damage on a section of Jalama Road at the six-mile marker.
Wageneck said steel plates have been installed on one side of Jalama Road to allow for emergency access only.
Jalama Beach County Park and its campground are currently closed since the road is washed out.
The roadway and park were closed for about a week after the Jan. 9 storm due to a large sinkhole.
For a full list of county, state and city road closures, go to countyofsb.org/3675/Storm-Related-Road-Closures.
Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at email@example.com .