State Route 154 remained crowded with heavy traffic before Highway 101 reopened Thursday evening.
The highway was previously closed as a result of the Alisal Fire.
Officials closed the portion of Highway 101 between State Route 1 and Winchester Canyon Road/Cathedral Oaks on Monday evening as the fire made its way toward the coast. During the highway’s closure, officials directed travelers to travel via State Route 154 or Interstate 5.
During the 101 closure, the California Highway Patrol warned motorists to expect “heavier than normal” traffic going both ways on State Route 154. On Thursday, Jonathan Gutierrez, the public information officer for CHP Santa Barbara, said it was taking motorists about 50 minutes to get from Santa Ynez to Santa Barbara and about 40 minutes from Santa Barbara to Santa Ynez.
Mr. Gutierrez told the News-Press that there have been a few traffic incidents on State Route 154 this week, though the increased presence of CHP officers has helped “keep traffic in order.” He added that incidents have “slowed down” on State Route 154 because people are driving at decreased speeds.
When driving on State Route 154, CHP recommends that drivers “use the recycle or recirculate mode to avoid drawing smoky air into the car,” Mr. Gutierrez said. The agency is also recommending that drivers drink plenty of fluids while commuting in smoky areas to keep their respiratory membranes moist.
For updates on the latest evacuations and road closures, visit readysbc.org/alisal-fire.