Santa Barbara- S County

Carpinteria Bridge Replacements Could Put Freeway Widening in the Fast Lane

Highway 101 project needs other nearby work first in the city before new lanes will be added for commuters

Bridge work scheduled before freeway widening

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - Plans to widen Highway 101 from Carpinteria to Montecito are on the drawing board but not quite in high gear just yet. Three bridges in Carpinteria have to be rebuilt first and the Chamber of Commerce gets an update this evening.

The project will be detailed at 5:30 p.m. in a presentation to the Chambers members. It takes place at the Carpinteria Arts Center, 855 Linden Avenue.

City leaders, CalTrans and the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments have been working for years on the plans.  Longtime residents remember the early discussions in the 1980's.

One change will take place at the Linden Avenue bridge which is aging and too narrow for all of its current uses.   The newly redesigned bridge will be taller, with more lanes along with room for pedestrians and bikes to safely share the space.

A nearby workers sees it now as a danger zone.

"It is just really dangerous around here. People walking through here even with the signs   it is really not that safe, " said Junior Lledo who has an office right near the bridge.  He is especially concerned about children heading to local schools. " You're kind of afraid they are going to get hit."

Casitas Pass Road will also see a new bridge with five lanes and also room for pedestrians and bikes.  With six cars in either direction now, the lane is jammed.  Sometimes the congestion on the bridge delays drivers on the freeway from getting off and the line of cars backs up to the highway. 

 The plan in the next phase of work also calls for a nearby creek bridge to get replaced too.

after seeing years of morning and afternoon congestion on the freeway through Carpinteria, Don Schmohr said the work is,  "long over due.  I mean it is already a bottle neck.  The Carp  "S" needs to get fixed."

At times the freeway back up forces some drivers to use surface streets and they get jammed up which upsets local drivers just trying to get around town.

For more information:

http://www.carpinteriachamber.org/calendar/7043-linden-and-casita-pass-101

For overall details on the multi-phased project go to the SBCAG page at :

http://www.measurea.net/projects/highway101widening/

(more details will be added here with video later today)


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