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Q: What is the US 101 improvement project?

A: The project will add a carpool in the median in both the south and northbound directions.

Q: What does HOV stand for?

A: HOV stands for High Occupancy Vehicle lane, more commonly called a carpool lane. The goal is to encourage ridesharing and reduce traffic congestion. The minimum number of passengers required for a vehicle to qualify to travel in a HOV lane is posted at the entrance sign.

Q: What are the main improvements?

A: Along with constructing the carpool lanes, improvements include a pedestrian undercrossing at La Conchita, concrete barriers, a southbound class I bike path lane, median landscaping, reconstructing existing drainage, closing existing median openings, installing Intelligent Transportation System elements such as underground vehicle detectors and Close Circuit TV cameras.

Q: What is the purpose of the construction?

A: The addition of carpool lanes will relieve congestion, improving air quality, eliminate an existing bottleneck, reducing vehicle weaving, enhance goods movement, reduce travel times for interregional travelers, promote ridesharing and increase capacity through the regional highway system. The pedestrian undercrossing will provide direct pedestrian access to the beach and the new bikeway provides a dedicated pathway for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Q: Where is the funding coming from for the construction of the project?

A: Construction is funded from the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA) under the Proposition 1B Bonds approved by California voters in 2006.

Q: How long will the construction last?

A: The construction is expected to be performed in four stages and will last for about three years. Planting within the median in the Santa Barbara limits of the project will follow after construction.

Q: How will the construction impact traffic during construction?

A: Two lanes in each direction, as existing, are expected to remain open during construction. The existing bike path on the shoulder in both directions is also expected to remain operational during construction. Closures, as required, will be performed during off-peak hours, minimizing traffic impacts.

Q: When will the existing openings in the median be closed?

A: The opening at La Conchita will be closed in the beginning of stage 1 followed by the closure of the Tank Farm opening in stage two.

Q: Will there be any work at night?

A: A majority of the construction work is expected to occur during the daytime. However, work such as installation of temporary railing, traffic delineation and detours will be performed during night, minimizing traffic impacts.

Q: Will the construction affect the railroad passenger traffic?

A: No. All work within the railroad right-of-way will be coordinated with Union Pacific Railroad.

Q: Will I be able to park on the southbound shoulder during construction?

A: No. Existing parking at Mobil Pier and Rincon State Park will be used. As the project progresses, it is proposed to develop open area near Punta Gorda into temporary parking.

Q: What is Caltrans doing to keep the public informed about these projects?

A: Caltrans has implemented a multi-tier public outreach program to keep the community informed of all improvement projects. Notice of community meetings and updated construction advisories are available online at Please submit your email address to be added to the notification list.

In addition, residents may call toll-free (855) 454-6335 for assistance in English or Spanish.

Q: Who can I call for more information in Spanish?

A: Please call toll-free (855) 454-6335 to speak to someone in Spanish or request collateral materials.