Intersection improvements completed
CARPINTERIA — The intersection at Via Real and Santa Monica Road now has a fully enhanced and signalized intersection, which is complete and open to the public.
The intersection has been updated to ease the daily traffic backups that often go on for half a mile during the morning commute. New pedestrian and bicycle connections improve safety and access within crosswalks, pedestrian crossing signals and ADA accessible ramps, sidewalks and bike lanes, according to the California Department of Transportation.
“It has been amazing to see the cooperation between the crews and companies undertaking this Herculean task,” Don Risdon, owner of Risdon’s 76 gas station in Carpinteria, said in a Caltrans news release.
“This intersection has needed to be addressed for many years, and it has been incredible to see it transformed,” Mr. Risdon said. “I appreciate that the Highway 101 team was able to build the freeway ramps at the same time as the intersection. Helping people get on the freeway faster should help the daily backups and make it easier to access the businesses in the area.
“We also appreciate that pedestrians have an easier and safer crossing and that utilities in the area have been undergrounded. It really is nicer all around,” he said.
The nearly $1.5 million project, funded by Senate Bill 1, was completed under budget and ahead of schedule. The intersection work officially wrapped up Friday and was built in conjunction with the updated freeway on- and off-ramps at Santa Monica Road as part of the Highway 101: Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project.
“We see the combination of local and regional improvements to walking, biking, carpooling, driving, or taking a bus as the tangible benefits of Senate Bill 1. This is one of the many examples of new infrastructure that people between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara will use daily thanks to their investment in SB1,” said state Sen. Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara.
Local community improvements or parallel projects like the Santa Monica intersection are being built in conjunction with the Highway 101: Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project as part of a strategy to reduce regional traffic congestion, according to Caltrans.
— Katherine Zehnder