CARPINTERIA, Calif. – Members of the Carpinteria City Council heard a promising update about the 2-mile portion of the Highway 101 project that goes through their city.
Kirsten Ayars of Ayars and Associates said, "We are almost finished, that is exciting for the city of Carpinteria."
Drivers wanting three lanes can now see all three lanes on both sides of the 101.
"So over the next month you are going to see a new carpool lane open in Carpinteria on the northbound side and in the middle of June we will be announcing when the southbound carpool lane will be opening as well," said Ayers. "We are going to have a big completion event because we are almost finished in Carpinteria."
Drivers will also notice a smoother ride.
"That is one of the last steps we have to do is to grind out the concrete at the end."
The new surface won't be as noisy thanks to a new pavement system.
"We have continuously reinforced concrete pavement which is a layered system that lasts longer and it is quieter, it reduces the amount of maintenance needed because it has a longer lifespan, so we don't have as many potholes and cracks and repairs to do, and all those potholes and cracks make the noise from the freeway louder."
Cyclists will also benefit from the Carpinteria to Santa Clause Lane Bikeway project that will get underway after the summer months.
"You will be able to walk and ride your bike on a new bikeway from Carpinteria Avenue all the way to Santa Clause Lane, we are going to start building that this fall."
But, the Summerland, Montecito and Santa Barbara portion of the 101 project is still a work in progress
The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments is working in partnership with Caltrans on improving the entire stretch of Highway 101.
SBCAG project manager Fred Luna said there are seven miles under construction right now, and another 4 miles in Montecito and Santa Barbara will be next.
"We have really exciting news about applying for funding at a state and federal level this year to finish the Santa Barbara and Montecito segments and we will get those ready for construction," Luna said.
Luna said that based on the funding they could have the entire project done by 2027.
Most of the work is done overnight to keep traffic flowing during the morning and evening rush hours.