Cost to span oft-flooded crossing put at $2
By Jesse Phelps
After many years of planning
and grant seeking, Supervisor Steve Bennett's office has announced
that work has commenced on design of a new bridge to replace
the fair-weather crossing on Old Creek Road, which is impassable
in moderate or larger storms.
This project will provide year-round access to the approximately
20 homes along Old Creek Road and allow residents to reach their
homes without either risking a crossing of the creek or being
stranded in their homes during storms. The Tres Conados Girl
Scout Camp, the only outlet for many years, will no longer need
to be used as emergency access.
"There were serious conflicts between the residents and
the girl scouts because the only exit was through the Girl Scout
property," said Bennett. "The Girl Scouts were very
unhappy with having residents cut across. And the residents had
to pay to use the property, or the gate would be locked, creating
Additionally, the crossing of San Antonio Creek has been identified
as an impediment to passage of the endangered steelhead trout,
and its removal will contribute to efforts to restore steelhead
populations in the Ventura River watershed and restore natural
"There are a number of places in the creek, particularly
when you build these crossings for automobiles, that are not
a steelhead-friendly passages," Bennett explained. "By
creating the bridge, you no longer have to have this concrete
roadway in the middle of the creek."
The project cost is estimated at approximately $2 million, as
the bridge will need to be built to federal design standards,
which provide for safe crossing during a 100-year storm. 80 percent
of project funding has been secured through the United States
and California Departments of Transportation. Matching funds
have been secured through the state fisheries restoration program
to complete the design phase, and an application is pending for
the remaining funds needed to complete construction.
Bennett said that taxpayers will not have to foot any part of
the bill. "It will all be paid for by the federal and state
grants. It's a great win-win. The residents win, the Girl Scouts
win and the county budget wins."
Bennett said that county government has studied the replacement
of this creek crossing for many years: "I'm very pleased
to have this project begin, and not only will Old Creek residents
and the Girl Scouts benefit, but it will play a significant role
in our habitat restoration efforts along the Ventura River and
San Antonio Creek."
The Ojai Valley News
to the news
Bennett announced that a bridge will finally be built on Old
Creek Road off Highway 33 near Rancho Arnaz.