Update: Sunday, Jan. 21
Highway 101 has reopened through Montecito.
The portion of Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County that has been closed for more than a week, inundated by mud and debris, is expected to reopen on Monday, Caltrans said Friday.
“We’re still holding to that target date,” said Jim Shivers, a Caltrans spokesman.
Highway 101 has been closed since Jan. 9 at Milpas Street on the southbound side and Highway 150 on the northbound side. Water, mud and debris covered road after heavy rain swept through the area scarred by the Thomas Fire, which scorched the area in December.
The mudslides caused by the rain also killed at least 20 people in the Santa Barbara County community of Montecito.
Drivers heading south this weekend should continue taking Highway 166 in the South County or Highway 46 in the North County to reach Interstate 5.
Shivers said Caltrans crews have been working almost constantly to reopen Highway 101 on Monday as planned. Workers continue to clean the highway and shore up roadside embankments, he said.
“We’ve kind of been sculpting that in preparation for the mesh and hydroseeding,” Shivers said.
Crews will plant vegetation along the roadway using a blend of seed and mulch. Together with the mesh covering, the plants will help control erosion along the road.
Workers will also add striping to the road and tackle any drainage issues, Shivers said.
“The work continues around the clock,” he said.