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Highway 101 upgrades approved for SLO County

jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Just over a month after the state said it would delay access to funds for several major local transportation projects, the California Transportation Commission has announced $58 million in improvements for Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo County.

The money will be split between two projects: $55.6 million to rehabilitate 32 miles of roadway between Paso Robles and the Monterey County line and $2.4 million to add contrasting surface treatment to a less than half-mile stretch south of Arroyo Grande.

The Paso Robles project will include reconstructing the roadway to improve ride quality and extend the life of the existing pavement. It will also involve building new bridges and retaining walls and installing new or upgrading guardrails. It is scheduled to begin late this summer or early fall.

The Arroyo Grande project will improve safety for highway workers by distinguishing the roadway from the shoulder, as well as updating area signage.

In total, the CTC adopted 156 projects, valued at $583 million. The projects are aimed at supporting needed upkeep on California’s aging roads and bridges, making upgrades to transit and rail systems and encouraging the use of alternative forms of transportation, including biking and walking, according to a news release.

The funding for the projects comes from the State Highway Operation Protection Program, which funds safety and operational improvements.

This is different from the State Transportation Improvement Program, which has been impacted by decreased gas tax revenues in recent years and was cut significantly in May, according to Caltrans District 5 spokesperson Jim Shivers. That program addresses highway capacity.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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