Traffic switch expected on Santa Maria River Bridge for about 6 months

A traffic switch will take place for about six months on Highway 101 across the Santa Maria River Bridge as construction to widen that section of the highway continues. Drivers heading south on Highway 101 will be temporarily detoured onto the newly constructed center median structure so improvements can be made to the existing southbound lanes, according to a news release from Caltrans.

The current concrete surface may be rough, the agency warned, but this is a temporary condition.

Caltrans also warned cyclists that there is limited shoulder space on the bridge during construction. Cyclists traveling southbound can detour along Thompson Avenue to Highway 166 East to Bull Canyon Road to Donovan Road. Those traveling north can detour along Donovan Road to Bull Canyon Road to Highway 166 West to Thompson Avenue.

The project will widen the bridge to six lanes from four with shoulders and includes a bike lane, which will be constructed near the southbound lanes behind a concrete barrier. It is expected to be completed in early 2014.

The $31 million project is intended to improve traffic flow on this section of Highway 101, minimize collisions and provide additional shoulders. The contractor is Flatiron West Inc. of San Marcos.