Goleta’s Old Town Sidewalk Project Wins 2021 Project of the Year

The City of Goleta was announced winner of the American Society of Civil Engineers Santa Barbara-Ventura Branch’s (ASCE SBV) 2021 Project of the Year award for its Old Town Sidewalk Improvements Project. 

James Winslow, Senior Project Manager, said “On behalf of the entire team, we are thrilled to receive the 2021 Project of the Year award from the ASCE Santa Barbara/Ventura Branch. The award really goes, however, to the people in the City of Goleta – especially the residents and community members in Old Town – who participated in the community engagement process, worked through the design details, and bore the brunt of the construction dust, noise, and inconvenience. We are all grateful for our City Council’s leadership in prioritizing the project, supporting staff in applying for a $2.224 million grant to help fund the work, and as numerous residents have expressed, ‘finally giving Old Town some love and attention.’ It feels satisfying to walk the new sidewalks in Old Town and know we had a little part in the improvements.”

“What we loved most was the community involvement this project undertook,” said Stephanie Hassoldt Soldo, current president of the ASCE SBV branch. “The City of Goleta went above and beyond what we see in typical civil engineering projects, with a public outreach that was extensive and demonstrative of a true community partnership.” 

The comprehensive public outreach effort included engaging over 100 residents, property owners, and interested parties to secure Temporary Construction Easements (TCEs) to remove private encroachments within the City right-of-way and construct the improvements without taking any private property. The public outreach (pre-COVID) included door-to-door conversations, establishing a project specific ambassadors program with coffee-hour style meetings and project discussions, multiple community workshops at the community center, design charrettes, community coffee-hours with the local school officials and residents at the neighborhood park, multiple mailings and postcards in both English and Spanish, specific methods to engage the Spanish speaking community, a dedicated project specific webpage, multiple videos, targeted media coverage, and a celebratory, well-attended pre-construction open house in the neighborhood.

The project, which was completed in 2020 on time and under budget, improves the safety and livability for residents in one of the area’s most disadvantaged communities by providing a continuous sidewalk path of travel on 10 residential streets in Old Town Goleta. The work included constructing sidewalks for several residential streets in the neighborhood north of Hollister Avenue between South Fairview Avenue and Mallard Avenue, as well as on Pine Avenue south of Hollister Avenue. Additionally, the project improved drainage, reconstructed driveways, constructed ADA curb ramps, replaced or relocated trees and repaved streets. After a request from the community and direction from City Council, 39 back-in angled parking spots were added on Magnolia Avenue.

Watch our video on the completion of this project here: youtube.com/watch?v=gjQNVeQ3RgM&t

Key personnel involved from the City of Goleta included James Winslow, P.E., Teresa Lopes, P.E. and James Campero, P.E.