The Tallant Road Bridge is located at the upstream end of Oak Park, and provides a critical link between the Samarkand neighborhood and downtown Santa Barbara. Prior to project construction in 2010, there was a large concrete grade control structure that extended downstream of the bridge approximately 80 feet.
The grade control structure protected a sewer line that ran below the creek bed. At the bottom of the grade control structure was a large pool. Due to the height and length of the grade control structure, fish passage upstream was considered almost impossible.
The fish passage design selected for the Tallant Road Bridge replaced the grade control structure with a series of large riffles and pools. The sewer line was relocated in order to protect the creek from potential sewage spills, and low flow channel was constructed under the bridge to concentrate water into a channel with higher depth and lower velocity to allow steelhead to swim upstream.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in March 2011 to celebrate completion of the project, and interpretive signage was installed near the bridge to educate the public about the project goals. City TV also produced an "Inside Santa Barbara" segment about the project.
Staff and volunteer efforts at the site have been ongoing since project completion. Students from Peabody Elementary School, participants in the City's Parks and Recreation Department Nature Camp, Horny Toad Clothing employees, and the Watershed Stewards Project have helped to remove invasive ivy and install native plants in the restoration area.
This project was funded in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Open Rivers Initiative; the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Restoration Grant Program; the City of Santa Barbara Public Works Department; and by hotel visitors through Measure B.