Santa Barbara County facing millions of dollars in road repairs

Months of rain leaves many roads in need of repair

Santa Barbara County facing millions...

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Santa Barbara county estimates our roads have more than six million dollars in damages.

County roads really got pounded by the rain over the past several months - one of those roads that got hit the hardest is Orcutt-Garey road where there's a massive sinkhole.

KCOY 12 Central Coast News spoke with drivers who said they're happy to see these roads being fixed. 

It's a mega, 60 by 90 foot sink hole just east of Santa Maria city limits.

"Yea I actually drive through here every morning, we're building some bathrooms over here at the wineries," drier Hector Griego said. 

Hector Griego says damaged roads with sinkholes, like Orcutt-Garey Road and the roughly 30 other damaged Santa Barbara County roads, have created headaches for commuters and local businesses.

"Well this is a thoroughfare that people drive quite a bit, they have to go around it quite a bit, you see the semi's and delivery trucks having to use a different route," Griego said. 

Walter Rubalcava is a Santa Barbara county engineer.

"And definitely watch where you step there, when you see a line there that means there's nothing underneath there," Santa Barbara County engineer Walter Rubalcava said. 

This sinkhole washed out on Orcutt-Garey Road in February.

"What probably happened is we had a culvert underneath that had a crack or break in it that basically created a displacement of the soil, started to erode away, collapsed the road," Rubalcava said. 

Roads were damaged throughout the county, including roads near Solvang, Lompoc, Santa Ynez and some mountainous areas.

"The worst rains we've had since probably the 2005 storms so we have over 6 million dollars in damages to the roads," Deputy Director for Transportation for Santa Barbara County Chris Sneddon said. 

Chris Sneddon is the Deputy Director for Transportation for Santa Barbara County.

"Fortunately this has been declared a state and federal disaster, the two storms we had in January and February, so we're able to apply for funding through FEMA and through FHWA," Sneddon said. 

The county is in the process of finding a contractor to fix the sinkhole and hopes to have the repairs started in July.

"I think it's great, I'm very appreciative to see them jumping on this fast, a lot of times you see them left for a while before they actually get fixed," Griego said.

The county says they'll get started on the biggest projects first like the one on Orcutt-Garey Road, estimated at about half a million dollars.    

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