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Santa Barbara- S County

Highway 101 / Carpinteria project appears to be in the fast lane

101 : Carpinteria widening project
Tracy Lehr / KEYT

CARPINTERIA, Calif.

Commuters and locals are noticing new pavement and what crews call underlay work in the middle the 101. It is all part of the long-awaited widening project that will add a third lane in both directions.

The COVID19 pandemic has made it a road less traveled, giving crews the upper hand during the day and night.

Caltrans said the weather is cooperating, too.

Caltrans spokesperson Jim Shivers said, "We've experienced some very good weather lately which has allowed us to make some very good progress on the initial stages of the US101 / Carpinteria HOV project."

HOV stands for high occupancy vehicle or carpool lane.

"The pavement that you see out there, of course we are quite proud of, and it is one of many great things that are sure to come as part of this project.

Kirsten Ayers of Ayers & Associates said this is joint project between the city of Carpinteria, Caltrans, Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) and other local agencies.

"As you have probably seen there is excellent progress in Carpinteria right now. The Highway 101 / Carpinteria project is putting in new bridges at Franklin and Santa Monica Creeks as well as you can see the start of pavement going in in the medium which marks the start of that third lane in each direction of Highway 101," said Ayers.

The final project will have reinforced concrete that will make portion of the roadway a quieter drive.

There are also new sound walls and landscaping along both sides of the highway.

The entire project between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara will cost about $700 million.

The initial Carpinteria portion was slated for completion in 2023. State funding and a local tax measure will pick up the tab.

Ayers hopes drivers will be pleasantly surprised by updates that will be announced on Thursday pertaining to the Highway 101 Linden and Casitas Pass portions of the project.

Local Politics / Money and Business / Traffic / Travel

Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.