Two years of roadwork on Highway 101 north of the Grade is set to start

A two-year roadwork project to repave and improve 40 miles of Highway 101 from Santa Margarita to Atascadero is about to begin, Caltrans announced today.

“Some very minor things are already under way,” Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers said. “Within the next few weeks, things will begin to pick up.”

Work on the $41.8 million project is expected to conclude in spring 2012, according to Caltrans, as weather permits. The project will improve about 40 miles of road – 20 miles each direction – from base of the Cuesta Grade to the Traffic Way exit in Atascadero.

The project is being paid for with federal and state funds. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is providing $37.2 million, and the state Highway Operation and Protection Program is providing an additional $4.6 million. The state-funded portion comes from the California’s 18 cents per gallon gas tax and from truck weight fees, according to the state legislative analyst's office.

Caltrans will have a ceremony with Atascadero city officials at 1 p.m. May 19 along East Front Road where it meets the east of Highway 101’s Santa Rosa Road exit in Atascadero.

Approximately 40 miles of Highway 101’s north and southbound lanes will be repaved, from north of the Cuesta Grade to Traffic Way in Atascadero.

Bridges will be widened — including Santa Margarita Creek Bridge, Atascadero Creek Bridge and the Traffic Way under-crossing — and on- and off-ramps will be fixed up.

The ramps include Highway 58, San Diego Road, Santa Rosa Road, Curbaril Avenue, Highway 41 and Traffic Way.

The contractor is Papich Construction of Pismo Beach.