Project Connect Groundbreaking

Watch Video Recap

Project Connect is officially off and running following a groundbreaking ceremony held on March 18th in Old Town Goleta. The milestone event was held near the intersection of Hollister Avenue and the southbound Highway 217 onramp, a location that will be impacted by the future realignment of Hollister Avenue. The groundbreaking ceremony brought together local leaders, stakeholders and community members for this historic moment. Watch a video recap here. Project Connect is the largest capital improvement project in the history of the City and will enhance pedestrian access and safety, improve road conditions, and build critical linkage throughout Goleta while increasing stormwater flow capacity in San Jose Creek under Hollister Bridge.

The event began with a welcome from City of Goleta City Manager Robert Nisbet who emceed the event and introduced the speakers which included Mayor Paula Perotte, Councilmember James Kyriaco (District 2), Meg Henry Caltrans District 5 Project Manager, Marjie Kirn with Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara County 2nd District Supervisor Laura Capps and 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, and Goleta Assistant Public Works Director Nina Buelna. Each expressed the magnitude and impact this project will have not just for Goleta but for the region. 

Councilmember James Kyriaco said, “This project has something for everyone. A better pedestrian experience, a safer bicycling experience, more parking and another east-west route for vehicles. It finishes flood control efforts many years in the works and includes much needed accessibility improvements to help people get from one side of the street to the other.”

“Today marks a promising achievement for the City of Goleta. This is your commitment to progress and community wellbeing. It’s more than a collaboration, it is a shared vision involving local, state and federal partnerships. We are excited to see the completion of this project and a safer and more accessible transportation network for all,” said Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) Executive Director Marjie Kirn.

U.S. Congressman and Goleta resident Salud Carbajal added, “This is a great example of what can happen when the city, county, state and federal government all work together in true partnership. This is a fantastic project for Goleta residents. It will improve our commutes, protect our pedestrians and improve connectivity in our neighborhoods.”

“Project Connect is about fostering connectivity, enhancing safety and the sense of community. This project is a major investment to help make Old Town what it was meant to be, the heart and soul of Goleta,” said Supervisor Joan Hartmann.

Mayor Paula Perotte said, “There will be a lot going on during construction and it is really important that we all remember to shop local and support the Old Town businesses during this multi-year project.”

Following their comments, the speakers took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking and photo opportunity.

Assistant Goleta Public Works Director Nina Buelna concluded the event by saying, “The contractor will be working along Hollister Avenue, Ekwill Street and Fowler Road for the next few years. The City of Goleta will work to keep our residents, travelers and businesses informed about all of the changes. We recognize this is an impactful project and we appreciate your patience.”

To stay updated on project milestones, construction, traffic impacts, and other important Project Connect information, go to the City’s website at

For additional information or questions, please contact: or 805-690-5116.

About Project Connect:
Construction is underway on the multi-year project that will enhance pedestrian access and safety, improve road conditions, and build critical linkage throughout Goleta while increasing stormwater flow capacity in San Jose Creek under Hollister Bridge.

This comprehensive project includes:

  • Hollister Avenue Bridge & Roundabout Project – Construction of two roundabouts at the Hollister Ave./State Route 217 ramp intersection to improve traffic flow. Additionally, a new bridge will be built over San Jose Creek to achieve 100-year storm flow capacity.
  • Ekwill Street & Fowler Road Extension Projects – Improve east-west circulation north and south of Hollister Avenue, providing direct connections to portions of Old Town Goleta and the Santa Barbara Airport.
  • Hollister Old Town Interim Striping Project – Striping and pavement improvements, timed parking restrictions and traffic signal upgrades that will increase safety, accessibility, and mobility for all users on Hollister Avenue between Kellogg Avenue and Fairview Avenue.

Project Connect is predominantly funded by the Highway Bridge Program, State Transportation Improvement Program and local City funding.

Project Connect Groundbreaking Speakers Pose with Shovels – pictured left-to-right: Meg Henry Caltrans District 5 Project Manager, Councilmember Kyle Richards, Mayor Paula Perotte, Congressman Salud Carbajal, Councilmember James Kyriaco (District 2), Santa Barbara County Supervisors Joan Hartmann (District 3) and Laura Capps (District 2) and Marjie Kirn with Santa Barbara County Association of Governments

Audience at Project Connect Groundbreaking Ceremony

City Manager Robert Nisbet Emceeing the Groundbreaking Ceremony

Nina Buelna, City of Goleta Assistant Public Works Director, Speaking at Groundbreaking

Crowd at Project Connect Groundbreaking Ceremony