A plugged culvert closed State Route 154 on Sunday, but it's open to the west and east.

courtesy Caltrans

A plugged culvert closed State Route 154 on Sunday, but it's open to the west and east.

SR 154 Blocked at Central Spot but Open to East and West

State highway 154 is open in part but remains closed in the central area between Lake Cachuma and Paradise Road. Caltrans crews are digging down to a blocked culvert now believed to be 40 feet below the surface, hoping to examine the damage with cameras once the water is pumped out. The heavy weekend storms sent water, mud, rocks, and plant matter cascading through the culvert, which lies in the area scorched by 2017’s Whittier Fire. After the culvert jammed up, the debris swamped the road, closing it on Sunday.

Businesses along the 154 remain open and can be reached from the south by going around on the 101 to the 246 at Buellton. Lake Cachuma’s recreation center is also open, with a full RV campground for the three-day weekend, a Parks employee said, and snow visible on the mountain peaks.

Caltrans currently has no date for when the 154 culvert repairs will be completed.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Greka Found Operating Open Waste Pit Without Permit

Asphalt operation in Santa Maria ordered by EPA to sample for possible toxic migration into nearby fields ...

Regional Control in Crosshairs in State Housing Crisis

Key reform would require "objective design review" standards.

Behrens Denied Access to Memo That Helped Demote Him

Judge says district still must provide more complete accounting of job-performance issues.

Are We Out of the Drought?

With the recent rains, Lake Cachuma is now almost 60 percent full.

Supervisor Peter Adam Not Running for Third Term

He instead announced his support of early candidate Bob Nelson.