California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

Date: November 22, 2013
District: 5 – Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa
                     Cruz counties
Contact: Laurie Baima or Jim Shivers
Phone: (805) 549-3237 or (805) 549-3189


SANTA MARIA – Caltrans has completed a new interchange on U.S. Highway 101 at Union Valley Parkway in Santa Maria that will help ease congestion at the nearby Santa Maria Way and East Clark Avenue interchanges and make it easier for motorists to reach businesses and the airport. Close to 40,000 vehicles a day travel on this section of the Central Coast’s key highway.

“We are pleased to present the people of Santa Maria this new interchange. It’s a good investment in our transportation system that will benefit commuters, businesses, and the agricultural industry that rely on Highway 101,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

The $10.8 million project received $4.8 million from Proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved transportation bond. Nearly $17 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been put to work statewide for transportation purposes. The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments provided $4.8 million from Measure A, a local sales tax measure for transportation projects, and the remaining $1.2 million came from the State Transportation Improvement Program.

Caltrans is also close to completing a project that is widening the Santa Maria River Bridges from four lanes to six lanes to reduce traffic congestion along U.S. Highway 101. The $48 million project is supported by nearly $25 million from Proposition 1B and also includes a new bike lane that opened in September. Cyclists are now separated from fast-moving traffic by a concrete median, making their ride safer and less stressful.

In September, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed legislation creating the Active Transportation Program – the nation’s largest state commitment to bicycling, walking, and other active transportation. The $129 million program replaces the current patchwork of small grant programs with one comprehensive program, making it more efficient.

“Californians are increasingly determined to get places on their own power, and Caltrans is determined to help them do that,” said Dougherty. “Having a single program with a single set of rules will make it easier to help communities on the Central Coast and elsewhere in California meet their active transportation goals.”

Each year Caltrans prepares an annual report summarizing programs it has undertaken to improve access to cycling and develop other human-powered transportation projects. For more information see the 2011-12 Caltrans Report.

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