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Highway 101 freeway work heads north through Montecito towards Santa Barbara this month

MONTECITO, Calif. – The Highway 101 freeway project commuters have been diving through for several years is going into a new phase this month as work begins throughout Montecito and Santa Barbara.

That will mean a new lane configuration for the construction. It will first take place in the northbound direction.

Residents were given a briefing Thursday afternoon at the Montecito Union School auditorium.

At the end of the month traffic, northbound will be split with the two lanes separated by a divider known as a channelizer, to protect an area where workers will be located. There will also be work on ramps at San Ysidro Rd., Olive Mill Rd. and Hermosillo. No two ramps will be closed at the same time, so drivers will have options to get around closures. That will in just a one mile stretch of the highway. When it is completed the work shifts southbound in the same type of configuration.

There will also be some medium sized pilings going in. That will be noisy and the work will only be done in the daytime hours.

Kirsten Ayers with Ayers and Associates said she is in touch with business owners and the community on a regular basis with outreach materials, emails, a hotline number and an updated website full of information.

There are many agencies and contractors involved include Caltrans and the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments.

The work so far on the freeway widening project has been finished entirely in the Carpinteria section. That included the Carpinteria bikeway connecting Santa Claus Lane to the city where it had been cut off before. Going north, substantial work is done in Summerland, with landscaping work now underway.

The Olive Mill and San Ysidro roundabouts are done and in use.

Every phase will have a new lane in each direction, specifically for car pool use in designated hours.

A Blue Star Memorial pattern of leaves will be on the safety barrier in the Padaro segment commemorating veterans. New oak trees will be planted to replace some of those that were taken out for the project.

There is also an effort to have more train service and the Metrolink to get more people out of their cars and into alternative transportation.

More funding requests are still awaiting approvals, but the timeline is to finish the project by 2028.

For more information go to:

The roadway will be concrete with a quieter and stronger surface than asphalt.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Santa Barbara

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John Palminteri

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