District 5 - San Luis Obispo

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District 5 at a Glance

Caltrans district 5 is the home of over 725 Caltrans employees including 350 field employees. There are 30 freeways and highways located within District 5 that if placed end-to-end would stretch for 1,169 miles. That would be the same as driving from San Diego to Reno and back. These roadways range from scenic two-lane highways to controlled-access freeways. The district is also home to Highway 101, which is one of three major north and south routes connecting northern and southern California. The Pacific Surfliner, funded by Caltrans and operated by Amtrak, travels between San Luis Obispo and San Diego and is currently the second most popular passenger train route in the country. 

District Director's Report

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    There are 33 cities and 7,788,809 acres in the five-county district, with a population of over 1.3 million people. Motorists travel 6.9 billion vehicle miles through the district each year. Building, operating and maintaining the highway system within such a unique environment demands careful consideration in virtually all District projects. The District maintains a careful balance to preserve and protect the sensitive environment while meeting the needs of an ever-increasing population who utilize the state highway system.

    The district is home to one of the most picturesque and diverse landscapes in the nation. President Roosevelt was at the Grand Opening of Highway 1 between Morro Bay and Carmel on June 27, 1938. Originally estimated to cost $1.5 million, the 139-mile section of Highway 1 included 33 bridges and was completed at a cost of $10 million or $71,000 per mile. The project to build the highway was begun in 1919 and completed in 1937. Recently, it was named as one of 22 All-America Highways in the U.S. Historically, Bixby Creek Bridge, on the north end of the highway, is one of the most photographed man-made structures in the nation.

    The district is home to three congressional representatives, three State Senators and four State Assemblymembers. In 1966 Lady Bird Johnson dedicated Highway 1 from the San Luis Obispo County line to the Carmel River, the State's first Scenic Highway.

District Directors Report

District 5 Highlights

Travel Conditions


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You can also call 1-800-427-7623 for current highway conditions.

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A Look at District 5

Statewide Alerts and Other Information

Contact Information

General Information:


  • Monterey Peninsula area:
    (831) 372-0862
  • Salinas area:
    (831) 753-0187
  • San Luis Obispo area:
    (805) 549-3111
  • Santa Barbara area:
    (805) 568-0858
  • Santa Cruz area:
    (831) 423-0396

Public Information Officer

Physical/Mailing Address:

California Department of Transportation
District 5
50 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-5415

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