Highway Widening Moves Forward
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Caltrans has announced that the first phase of the highway widening from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara will begin the evening of Sunday, April 5. This phase of the project is called Highway 101: Carpinteria, and it will add a peak-period carpool lane to the freeway in each direction within the City of Carpinteria between Bailard Avenue and the southbound Highway 101 on-ramp at Santa Claus Lane. The new lanes will tie into recently added third lanes to the south and upcoming projects to the north.
“We are very pleased to be starting the Highway 101: Carpinteria project on the heels of the Highway 101: Linden and Casitas Pass project. Highway 101: Linden and Casitas Pass is finishing up new local road connections, bridges, bike lanes, and sidewalks on the local streets in Carpinteria. The widening of the new Linden Avenue and Casitas Pass Road Overcrossings will easily allow for carpool lanes to be built on U.S. 101 below these bridges,” said California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 5 Director Tim Gubbins.
The project includes new bridges to be built over Franklin and Santa Monica Creeks. There will be freeway on- and off-ramp improvements at Santa Monica Road, Carpinteria Avenue, and Reynolds Avenue. Six new sound walls will be constructed to reduce freeway noise for neighbors. On local streets, there will be improvements to the intersections at Santa Monica Road and Via Real, Reynolds and Carpinteria Avenues, and Bailard Avenue and the freeway ramps.
Highway 101: Carpinteria is one of the five segments that make up the Highway 101: Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project undertaken by Caltrans and SBCAG in cooperation with local agencies to add a new carpool lane in each direction between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara. The project will improve bridges, interchanges, on- and off-ramps, and add sound walls.
The Highway 101: Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project is forecasted to cost $700 million and funding has been awarded for the first three segments from SB1, state funds, and Measure A. Highway 101: Carpinteria is a $96 million construction and landscaping project.
“This project is a significant step in addressing freeway traffic congestion that has increased over the last 30 years,” said Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) Executive Director Marjie Kirn.
Drivers can expect to see initial safety fencing, safety barriers to shift lanes, and work to build up outside shoulders. Then lanes will be shifted and the first year of work will focus on the southbound side of U.S. 101.
Construction of public works projects is an essential government service even during current health measures; work crews are working to ensure that these needed improvements are built while accommodating safe working conditions.
For more information, visit www.SBROADS.com.