On Monday, April 2nd, Mayor Helene Schneider, Supervisor Salud Carbajal, and Caltrans District 5 Deputy Director Tim Gubbins will be joined by community members, business owners, and staff from Caltrans, the City of Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments to officially open the new Cacique Street under-crossing and celebrate the opening of the new Highway 101 third lanes between Milpas Street and Hot Springs Road.
“It is amazing to realize that this huge project was built while maintaining two open lanes in each direction on Highway 101 during daytime hours. Not only are we exceptionally pleased to have three freeway lanes in each direction, we were able to keep access into Santa Barbara open during the project. A lot of hard work has gone into this and as a community we are looking forward to celebrating this new transportation infrastructure. I hope the myriad of people that will benefit from this project will join us on April 2nd to celebrate being able to use these local and regional improvements,” said Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal.
“This is the largest Caltrans project undertaken in Santa Barbara County to date, and I am excited that we will all start experiencing the traffic benefits of opening the new freeway lanes, freeway under-crossing at Cacique Street, and traffic lanes on Milpas Street a couple of months ahead of schedule. I am also very grateful to the local residents and businesses who have patiently lived and worked through this three-plus year construction period,” added City of Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider.
“Overall, this project will improve the flow of traffic on Highway 101 and will ease congestion at what was a longstanding bottleneck at the Milpas St. By adding lanes and improving local streets, there are numerous benefits for commuters, residents, and the many businesses on the south coast,” said Caltrans District 5 Deputy Director Tim Gubbins.
The project included the reconstruction of two major interchanges, six new or improved bridges, freeway widening, a new Montecito roundabout, a new freeway under-crossing at Cacique Street, and other improvements. The $57 million construction and landscaping project is funded by Proposition 1B, $13 million Measure D dollars, and state and federal gas taxes.
Construction began in July 2008 and will wrap up in a couple of months. Following the opening ceremony, construction crews will finish minor project items and then repave the lanes on Hwy 101 later in April or May depending on overnight weather temperatures. Landscaping work will continue through summer 2012.
Main project components include:
* Third southbound Highway 101 lane added between Milpas Street and a half mile past Cabrillo Boulevard
* Third northbound Highway 101 lane added between Cabrillo Boulevard and Milpas Street
* Highway 101 bridge replacement and widening at Milpas Street
* Sycamore Creek Bridge replacement and widening
* Cacique Street connected under Highway 101 between Milpas Street and Alisos Street
* Roundabout added at the intersection of Cabrillo Boulevard, Hot Springs Road, Coast Village Road, and Old Coast Highway for local circulation improvements
* Improved pedestrian and bicycle access under Highway 101 and along Old Coast Highway
The Highway 101: Milpas to Hot Springs project is Phase 1 in SBCAG and Caltrans’ 4-phase strategy to widen Highway 101 between Milpas St. in the City of Santa Barbara and Mussel Shoals in Ventura County. Other phases are at various stages of project development with Phase 2 beginning construction in April 2012. Completion of Phase 1 was a huge success in part due to the fact that public outreach has been ongoing since prior to the start of construction to provide residents and businesses with project planning information in advance of construction.
Additional public information is available by visiting www.SBroads.com or by calling 1-888-SB-ROADS. Media contact: Kirsten Ayars at 805-452-7909.