Update: Sunday, Jan. 21
Highway 101 has reopened through Montecito.
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Commuters who have been impacted by the closure of Highway 101 in southern Santa Barbara County will be able to return to their normal traveling routines next week, now that Caltrans District 5 has announced the freeway will officially be reopened by Monday morning.
Highway 101 has been closed since the deadly mudslides rolled through the Montecito community on Jan. 9. Water, mud and debris covered the roadway after heavy rain swept through the area scarred by the massive Thomas Fire in December.
“We are very proud of our dedicated Caltrans staff along with our partner agencies who have responded to this major natural disaster,” Tim Gubbins, Caltrans District 5 district director, said in a news release on Saturday. “We will continue to work 24/7 until immediately before opening the highway. We expect to be ready to open U.S. 101 by the Monday morning commute.”
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said during a Friday afternoon press conference that reopening Highway 101 is a critical step in allowing evacuated residents to return to their homes.