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Highway 101 pavement project nears completion in time for Spring Break

101 pavement project south of La Conchita nears completion

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – Spring is getting off to a good start for commuters and tourists driving between Santa Barbara and Ventura.

Caltrans District 7 Public Information Officer Jim Medina should know. He has been giving updates since the summer of 2021.

"The U.S. 101 Pavement Rehabilitation Project is nearing completion, we have had delays at times because of severe rainstorms last winter and early this year but we are making good progress," said Medina.

RV drivers on vacation and weekday commuters all like what they see.

Nancy Gonzales drives from Oxnard to Goleta to work and has noticed the smooth roadway.

"I actually am very grateful for the freeway to finally be open um going to work every single day and being stuck in that bumper to bumper was really getting some feelings, but now I am so happy, I'ms toked it is open" said Gonzalez," It is beautiful as a matter of fact and during the rain time there is no gather of puddles, so that is another plus."

Highway 101 south of La Conchita and north of Ventura used to be split by 4.3 miles of concrete "K-Rails" that created temporary bypass lanes.

"This week there are lane closures overnight to remove K-Rails and we will follow that with lane striping," said Medina. "Caltrans has replaced two outer lanes in both directions from Mussel Shoals to Faria Beach for a smoother safer rides."

The $48 million Highway 101 project in Ventura County has already replaced damaged pavement.

Most of that project, funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) also known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act, should be completed by April or May.

Traffic Controller Rosala Rose said drivers can do their part by paying attention to traffic signs.

"Please be aware of all the signs on the road, most drivers are not, they are easily distracted, and slow down a bit," said Rose.

While some projects are near completion, others projects are still underway or are just getting underway.

Drivers going from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara are dealing with a widening project in Montecito.

Even when work has stopped for the day there are traffic jams in those construction zones where fines are often increased.

About 75,000 motorists travel between Ventura and Santa Barbara each day and with Spring Break, that is likely to double.

Caltrans hopes drivers will consider the construction delays as a short-term inconvenience with long term benefits down the road.

Medina said the benefits in his district will extend the life of the pavement for forty years and enhance traffic safety.

Drivers can do their part by driving safely.

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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