California Department of Transportation

Olancha - Cartago 4 Lane Project

Olancha-Cartago logo

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) with the support of Inyo County Local Transportation Commission has proposed widening about 12.7 miles of U.S. Highway 395 in Inyo County near the towns of Olancha and Cartago. Learn more about what is being proposed and why it is necessary here. Feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have.

What's new!

Public Hearing Notice

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), as CEQA lead agency, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), as NEPA lead agency, propose to convert approximately 12.6 miles of the existing U.S. Highway from a a two-lane conventional highway into a four-lane expressway or partial conventional four-lane highway from post mile 29.2 to post mile 41.8 in Inyo County. The project proposes six alternatives with varying amounts of construction on new alignments.

An Initial Study with proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration/Environmental Assessment was publically noticed and circulated from comments from September 2, 2010 to October 22,2010. Caltrans and FHWA have subsequently determined that an Environmental Impact Report is warranted for the project. This notice is to inform you that the project's Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment with Section 4(f) Evaluation and technical reports are available for public review at the following locations:

  • Caltrans District Office, District 9, 500 South Main Street, Bishop, CA 93514
  • Lone Pine Public Library, 127 West Bush Street, Lone Pine, CA 93545
  • Olancha Post Office, 100 South Highway 395, Olancha, CA 93549
  • Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center located at the junction of U.S. Highway 395 and State Route 136 (one mile south of Lone Pine).
  • To view online:

The Draft Environmental Document will be in the public circulation phase from August 12, 2015 through October 10, 2015. Public comments will be accepted until October 10, 2015. Please send your comments to Kirsten Helton, Senior Environmental Planner, 855 "M" Street, Suite 200, Fresno, CA 93721, or email to

As part of the circulation process, Caltrans will hold a Public Hearing to obtain public input on the Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment with Section 4(f) Evaluation. Caltrans will present preliminary design plans, environmental study information, discuss concerns, and answer questions. The Public Hearing will be informal and interested parties may arrive at any time.

  • Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2015
  • Time: 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Olancha Fire Station, 896 Shop Street, Olancha, CA 93549.

If you have any questions, please contact Kirsten Helton at (559) 445-6461 or Cedrik Zemitis, Project Manager, at (760) 872-5250.

Links to informational documents:

Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Dec 5, 2014)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Olancha Cartago 10 year Collision History Map


Air Quality Conformity

The public comment period for project level air quality conformity ended March 19, 2014.

Proposed Preferred Alternative

On June 29, 2011, District 9 Director Tom Hallenbeck announced that the preferred alternative for the Olancha/Cartago 4 Lane project is a combination of Alternative 3 and Alternative 4.

2010 Initial Study with Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration/Environmental Assessment

Caltrans prepared the Proposed Negative Declaration and Initial Study/Environmental Assessment for the Olancha/Cartago 4 lane project.

The public comment period for the environmental assessment ended effective October 22, 2010.

A public hearing/open house was held on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at the Olancha School Multipurpose Room, located at 123 School Road in Olancha.

Learn More About the Project

Other Project Related Information