Gaviota Tunnel | Credit: DillyLynn/WikiCommons

[Update: April 3, 3:40 p.m.] The lanes switcheroo planned for Tuesday was cancelled on Monday afternoon, due to equipment malfunction, said Caltrans spokesperson Alexa Bertoli. A new date to clean Gaviota Tunnel will be announced.

[Original Story] Come Tuesday, the Gaviota Tunnel will close in Santa Barbara County while Caltrans workers scrub the soot from the tunnel walls. The maintenance work requires the re-routing of northbound Highway 101 over to the southbound side, where signs, traffic cones, and roving Highway Patrol cruisers will highlight the fact that oncoming traffic will be coming from the opposite direction.

The detour goes for about a mile and a half on Tuesday, April 4, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The southbound side of the Highway 101 can be dangerous, as the steep downward incline combines with several deep S-curves in a row. Last Wednesday, after a vehicle rolled near on the downhill base of the Nojoqui Grade, a second vehicle lost control and ran into first responders in the rainy conditions; eight people in all went to the hospital, including two firefighters.

Updates can be found at Caltrans District 5’s Twitter (@CaltransD5), Facebook (Caltrans Central Coast), and Instagram (Caltrans_D5) social media sites.

Correction: The highway lane changes take place during daylight hours, not overnight.


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