Carpool lane set to open in June
The 2-mile portion of Highway 101 that goes through Carpinteria is almost finished.
And the carpool lanes are scheduled to open soon.
A progress report about the highway was presented Monday evening to the Carpinteria City Council.
Kristin Ayers of the public relations firm Ayers and Associates provided a presentation on the progress of Highway 101 from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara. This project is a partnership between Caltrans and Santa Barbara Association of Governments.
“The Highway 101 Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project is a significant part of the overall ‘Lane and Train’ solution to traffic congestion, and we are doing that with the project by adding a new carpool lane, peak period carpool lane, in each direction. … They are actually already built out there. We are just finishing up right now, and we also are improving freeway operations and safety,” said Ms. Ayers during the regular meeting of the city council on Monday.
“We are almost finished. That is exciting for the city of Carpinteria,” Ms. Ayers told KEYT-TV. “So over the next month you are going to see a new carpool lane open in Carpinteria on the northbound side, and in the middle of June we will be announcing when the southbound carpool lane will be opening as well. We are going to have a big completion event because we are almost finished in Carpinteria,”
“We have three segments of the project under construction right now from Carpinteria to Summerland. But you can see on the map we have two more segments of the project after that in Montecito and Santa Barbara,” said Ms. Ayers.
“We have really exciting news about applying for funding at a state and federal level this year to finish the Santa Barbara and Montecito segments, and we will get those ready for construction,” Mr. Luna told KEYT.
Ms. Ayers explained the process for how the freeway is rebuilt: “We started in 2021. We take it all the way down and we regrade, and we fix some of those profiles to help with sightlines, so you can see what’s coming up ahead. And then we build the new freeway in a layered system … There’s a base layer of asphalt and then there’s rebar, and concrete because it’s part of what’s called continuously reinforced concrete pavement… We are putting in very thick pavement that has a longer lifespan …The longer lifespan means that we have fewer potholes and repair needs and maintenance needs.”
“If we have a quieter surface. we have a quieter freeway, and that’s what this is aimed to do,” said Ms. Ayers.
“All the new pavement is in. We are in our final steps.
“But in addition to building the new lanes and ramps, we have also put in new sound walls. We have six new sound walls in Carpinteria, and they are all up and looking good,” said Ms. Ayers.
“What we are doing now over the next month is we are finishing the final grind and groove. So you’ll notice it gets a little bit smoother when you drive on it than it was last week. We have the initial grinding done. We are going to be coming back in and doing the final grind and groove. What that does is it also provides a level of noise reduction. and then helps with stability for the cars during rain events, so it’s a nicer surface. That’s what those grooves do,” said Ms. Ayers.
Additionally, work on a bikeway from Carpinteria Avenue to Santa Claus Lane will begin in the fall.
While progress in Carpinteria can be celebrated, the 11-mile stretch from Carpinteria to Santa Barbara will not be complete until late 2027.