In order to safely access electrical infrastructure in the Santa Barbara area, SCE maintains sections of the Mission Canyon access road, including conducting needed road maintenance and vegetation removal to address occasional storm damage.
Storm activity over the last year damaged access roads in Santa Barbara County that are used by SCE to safely reach electrical infrastructure for necessary maintenance and repair. SCE anticipated that fixing access roads in the Mission Canyon area would require both clearing brush and minor road work.
In 2019, SCE crews performed extensive road grading, generating debris that moved down canyon slopes into Mission Creek, causing unintended impacts to the area.
SCE deeply regrets that a breakdown in our processes led to this incident. We are committed to repairing the road, stabilizing the slope where SCE crews conducted grading work and addressing the environmental impacts. SCE has made significant changes to the way we conduct our work to prevent similar issues in the future.
SCE is working with City and County of Santa Barbara, other agencies and representatives of the community to complete all needed restoration work. Though completion is expected by the end of the year, that timeline is dependent on work progress and obtaining all required agency approvals.
During the initial phase of the work in February and March 2020, public access restrictions including trail closures were put in place to ensure the safety of the public. These restrictions were coordinated with the City and County of Santa Barbara. SCE worked with the appropriate agencies and stakeholder groups to make repairs as quickly and safely as possible so that the Tunnel Trail was reopened on March 27.