Hwy. 101 could reopen as soon as next week

Highway 101, which has been closed since mudslides and flooding devastated the Montecito area on Tuesday, is expected to reopen next week.

Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers said the agency announced the projected timetable to elected officials at about 11 a.m. Monday.

“We’ve made tremendous progress in the past 48 hours,” Shivers said. Much of the progress was made possible because water receded from the road, meaning crews could focus on removing solid debris, like mud and rocks.

»» READ MORE: Here’s how to get around the Highway 101 closure in Montecito

Shivers added that the reopening of the highway was dependent on removing all the solid debris from the road. Caltrans crews will also do a full inspection of the highway, including the concrete slabs of the road and the guardrails, and make sure it is in good condition before they reopen the road, Shivers said.

There are 75 Caltrans employees working on both Highway 101 and Highway 192 in 12-hour shifts, 24 hours a day and every day of the week, Shivers said during a press conference on Sunday evening. Seven Caltrans crews from two neighboring districts are also helping.

Until the highway reopens, commuters must detour around the closure, take the Pacific Surfliner train or hop a ferry.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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