LOMPOC, Calif. - There's new information tonight about a bridge the Lompoc city council wants to build at Highway 246 for pedestrians and bikers called Santa Ynez River Bridge, and it comes with an $8 million price tag. That money will come from sales tax revenue from Measure A.
But before any of that can happen the city needs to do a feasibility study, according to city council.
The Santa Ynez River Bridge is a single lane bridge that doesn't give much room for error. And the experience of walking across with cars zooming by is summed up nicely by Mayor John Linn.
"It's a life changing experience," says Linn.
The city council will discuss whether to pay for a study to create a pedestrian crossing that is less dangerous. A previous bridge project on Central Avenue was scrapped a while back. Funds from tax initiative Measure A would have been used. Linn says the money from that project would now go towards the Santa Ynez River Bridge.
"So there's actually money set aside in the Santa Barbara County Association of Government's budget to make a study to improve the crossing and we would ask them to use that money to work on a pedestrian, bicycle bridge," says Linn.
Bicyclists and pedestrians coming over to the far eastern part of Lompoc have to cross the bridge and that creates problems when they only have a few feet of space in between cars.
"There was an incident where a baby carriage was hit out there, but happily it was only full of a transient person's property," says Linn.
A man, who only gave us his first name as Jeff says he crosses the bridge often and admits it can be a scary experience.
"With traffic coming either way, yeah, it's a very narrow passage," says Jeff.
Mayor Linn says there is $350 thousand budgeted for the preliminary study of the project. Tomorrow's city council meeting is step one.
The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments handles the Measure A tax funds. Once city council gives approval, Lompoc would go through them to get the study funded.
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