Lake Los Carneros Footbridge Update

Replacement and Design Process Underway: Cost to Replace Bridge Estimated at Over $2 Million

The City of Goleta is looking at options for the removal of the treasured Lake Los Carneros Footbridge. This popular, scenic bridge has been closed for more than a year due to significant rot of the wooden structure. The 30 plus year old bridge has provided countless visitors an up-close and personal look at the wetland habitats and wildlife at Lake Los Carneros. The City knows the community is eager to see a functioning bridge at this important recreation spot.

Goleta’s Public Works Department is putting together an independent team to design and seek regulatory agency permits for removal of the footbridge. Various conceptual designs for a replacement bridge will also be developed for the community’s feedback. Removal of the existing bridge is anticipated to cost over $500,000. The cost to replace the bridge is currently unfunded and is estimated to be well over $2 million.

City of Goleta Parks and Open Space Manager George Thomson said “Lake Los Carneros is one of the City’s premier open spaces and the footbridge provided generations of Goletans inspiring opportunities to observe wildlife in their natural habitat. The City is balancing a variety of high-priority programs and projects in our parks and open space system. Removing the rotted bridge, while protecting the sensitive wetland habitats, is the initial phase of this project. As bridge replacement designs are developed in 2023, we look forward to collaborating with the community to ensure the new bridge is compatible with our limited funding, can be easily maintained, and will provide the next generation a window into the wonders of Lake Los Carneros.”

Once a team is put into place it will create designs for the bridge, develop bridge removal and replacement costs, and coordinate state and federal regulatory permits. The community will play an integral role in providing design input and ensuring the project is financially and ecologically sustainable. 

The footbridge was closed in 2020 when it came to the City’s attention that it may not be structurally sound and a structural assessment was conducted. An independent, licensed structural engineer determined the bridge should remain closed for all operational and service usage and that it should be demolished and removed due to the significant level of decay. The report found that the level of deterioration was beyond repair considering American with Disabilities Act requirements for accessibility and updated building code requirements.

For questions or concerns, please contact George Thomson, Parks and Open Space Manager at or (805) 961-7578.

Significant levels of rot in the wooden footbridge supports require demolition of the existing structure.