Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

The time has finally come to begin construction on the San Jose Creek Capacity Improvement and Fish Passage Project. It is an important project for the City and is particularly important to those who live and work in Old Town.

In the past, Old Town has experienced flooding when heavy rains have exceeded the capacity of the creek. The widened creek channel—the first part of the project—will be able to handle a 100- year flood event.  In practical terms, a “100-year” storm event has a one in one hundred or 1% chance of happening in any given year.  The current flood channel was only built to withstand a 25-year flood event.

It is important for you to know what the impacts and effects will be during the project. The City is committed to providing regular impact updates.


What is the San Jose Creek Capacity Improvement Project?

It is a project that will increase the capacity of the San Jose Creek channel to handle a 100-year storm event and will remove a significant portion of Goleta’s Old Town from the flood plain. It will also include a fish passage component to allow endangered steelhead to move upstream.

What exactly will be done?

This project consists of two phases. The first phase is the widening of the existing concrete flood control channel from Hollister Avenue south to the drive-in theater. The second phase will replace the existing Hollister Avenue Bridge over San Jose Creek, widening it to accommodate the channel below. Is it really needed? There is no question as to the necessity of this project for the Old Town area. Living in a flood plain presents a danger and an additional cost for those who live and work within it.

Who is paying for it?

The City of Goleta is footing the majority of the bill with other funds coming from the County of Santa Barbara’s Flood Control. Grants were also received from the Department of Fish and Game, Proposition 84 and the Goleta Valley Land Trust for the fish passage component.

When will the project begin?

Construction will likely begin this fall. Pre-construction meetings are already underway.

How long will it last?

The first phase is expected to take two years. The second phase, the bridge replacement, is expected to take an additional 18-24 months.

What will be different when the project is completed?

The new bridge and channel will be designed to handle a 100-year storm event. With this designation, a significant portion of Goleta’s Old Town will be removed from the flood plain. In addition, steelhead trout will have a means to move up the San Jose Creek.