CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening title=
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening
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Highway 101 reopened in Montecito following the 1/9 Debris Flow (Photo: Patti Gutshall)

Source: Santa Barbara County Association of Governments

The California Transportation Commission approved $226 million in SB 1 state gas tax funding for the U.S. 101 HOV Widening Project in south Santa Barbara County at its meeting last Wednesday in Orange County.

Marjie Kirn, SBCAG Executive Director, said “Thanks to new transportation money from the SB1 state gas tax signed into law by Governor Brown last year, the California Transportation Commission now has funding available to accelerate construction of the 101 HOV Widening Project. We are very excited to be able continue the forward momentum from the bridge construction work currently underway in Carpinteria. In addition to the CTC funding allocation this week, we are very hopeful the Commission will also look favorably on our pending $183 million state grant funding request. If successful, we will have the funding necessary to complete the next three segments of the 101 widening from Carpinteria north through the Sheffield interchange in Montecito.”

Santa Barbara County voters approved Measure A in 2008 to raise the local sales tax to fund regional transportation projects. Local Measure A funds are combined with additional state and federal funding to fully fund highway projects like the 101 HOV Widening in south Santa Barbara County. Measure A provides $140 million in locally controlled transportation funding that, combined with additional state or federal funding, will fund the remaining ten mile segment of the 101 between Santa Barbara and Carpinteria.

Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara County Supervisor and SBCAG Board Chair, said “ Santa Barbara County taxpayers voted to use local Measure A transportation sales tax funds to attract additional state funding for SBCAG’s highest regional transportation priority – constructing new peak hour carpool lanes on the 101 freeway. With the passage ofthe SB1 new state gas tax, the California Transportation Commission can now bring critically needed state transportation funding to partner with SBCAG & Caltrans to keep the 101 HOV project on track.”

The California Transportation Commission is expected to make an allocation decision on SBCAG’s additional $183million SB 1 funded transportation grant application at its May 2018 meeting. If this grant application is successful, the next three segments of the 101 HOV Project, from Bailard Avenue in Carpinteria to past the Sheffield Interchange in Montecito, can begin construction in late 2019.

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Yeti Mar 26, 2018 05:20 PM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

Hooray! Lets keep the progress rolling along. Of course, the bottle neck will be making progress in Montecito. Maybe now that the community has given them so much money, and genuine concern and help after the slides, then maybe just maybe they will stop holding this project hostage and let the progress happen there too. This has become more than just a NIMBY issue since the current effective third land of the freeway IS the surface streets of Montecito. IF they don't permit this to move along, then the congestion and smog will only get much much worse, degrading the quality of life for everyone that either lives or drives through Montecito.

a-1522111079 Mar 26, 2018 05:37 PM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

Great news for everyone...it's about time! I like to go to dinner in Carp a couple times a week, but it takes waaaay too much time to get there late affternoon / early evening. Sometimes I take surface streets, but since the recent mudslides many of those streets are choked with unbearale non-sustainable traffic...not to mention wasted fuel as cars go through intersections one by one...a snail is faster!!! (But you cannot drive a snail...LOL!!!)

Channelfog Mar 27, 2018 03:55 AM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

So we should narrow the 101 to one lane to reduce traffic? The old lanes could be made into meditation space where people could meditate on all things including just about all stupid studies. Our local government f#(<ed up big time by not widening this back in the 80's, when we voters recognozed the problem and voted to saddle ourselves with a transportation tax called measure D (now A). That money became a pork barrel that paid for bloated salaries and did not widen the 101 at a time when it could have been done with less impact on drivers and when more Federal funds were available. Better late than never. 'bout time!

bradleybennett Mar 27, 2018 07:55 AM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

About time. The idea that adding lanes will add traffic is silly. 101 doesn’t provide an alternate route to LA or SF that will attract drivers. The alternative is to trap drivers idling in traffic increasing pollution when we could be getting those cars out of SB and to their destination. Further, we have a large workforce commuting into SB that are wasting time sitting in cars in the morning and evening. It is selfish for us not to get this done for them. I am yet to hear one good argument as to why we shouldn’t fast track this project. Montecito is going to need to get comfortable with change to their on/off-ramps.

horsegirl Mar 27, 2018 12:02 PM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

seems counter-intuitive, but according to almost every article i read this is a phenomenon that occurs all over the world. i do think we should widen to three, but definitely not more than that. i will be very interested to see if we can get three lanes and if it does fix anything or if traffic rises to meet the new capacity. of course it will take many many years to see anything happen...
next i think we really need to address what the 217 and ucsb traffic does to the 101 south where the highways merge. that is a mess!

Factotum Mar 27, 2018 04:49 PM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

Through traffic on the 101 need to be tunneled under the Los Padres Forest - plenty of examples now exist demonstrating long distance tunnels are feasible. Earthquake-proof is the only concern.

Channelfog Mar 27, 2018 11:18 AM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

"The community" was a select few in Montecito and a certain politician with a county building named after her. They did not want their "sylvan entrance to Montecito" disturbed by the projects' required cutting of trees. It was by no means the community at large who opposed the project, and most of those who did oppose have since agreed that they were in the wrong.

Howard Roark Mar 27, 2018 09:30 AM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

It took 10 years to complete the quarter mile off ramp and bike path at Summerland's Ortega Hill. Yes, 10 years of start and stop delays, redesigns, filing for new permits with each change, and cost overruns in the millions! Now that spot is the biggest bottleneck heading north on the 101, not to mention the weekly accidents there that add to hours of delays. It took nearly 30 years for an additional lane of less than 20 miles in Orange Co at over a $1.5 billion.
Unless we can import one of the Chinese companies that can build a 100 miles of freeway in 6 months, don't expect to see less congestion in the next 20 years.

Roger Mar 27, 2018 09:39 AM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

Yea will the construction goes on all all night hammering hammering hammering for months and months go ahead and down vote me maybe I'll get a jack hammer come into your neighborHOODS at night and go at it won't that be fun?

Shasta Guy Mar 27, 2018 10:44 AM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

Hopefully the HOV lanes will be Northern California style which are HOV only during rush hours and free during midday, evenings, and weekends rather than LA style which are HOV 100% of the time.

Channelfog Mar 27, 2018 12:30 PM
CTC Approves $226 Million for Highway 101 Widening

Realistically, there will never be a solution to traffic congestion as long as building continues. In terms of traffic and water infrastructure, I would say that the South Coast was completely built out by the year 2000 at the latest, and I might argue 1990! Affordable housing is a pipe dream, and as such is no justification for more projects. This is a main reason that many long time residents have left or are leaving, myself included.

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