California

Hwy. 101 reopening date still unknown, despite Caltrans working 24 hours a day

Watch crews clean up mud, debris from Highway 101 after Montecito mudslide

Crews are working to clear roads, including Highway 101, and neighborhoods damaged in the Montecito, California, mudslides. This video shows cleanup work on Friday, January 12, 2018.
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Crews are working to clear roads, including Highway 101, and neighborhoods damaged in the Montecito, California, mudslides. This video shows cleanup work on Friday, January 12, 2018.

Update: Monday, Jan. 15

Caltrans announced a projected timetable for reopening Highway 101 on Monday. Read more: Hwy. 101 could reopen as soon as next week.

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Original story:

There is still no projected date for Highway 101 to reopen in Santa Barbara County, but Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers said at a Sunday evening press conference that the agency is making “steady and sure progress.”

Previously, Caltrans said the highway will remain closed indefinitely.

As of Sunday evening, Shivers said Caltrans had removed more than 150 yards of debris in northbound Highway 101 lanes and nearly 80 yards of debris in the southbound lanes after deadly mudslides and floods hit the Montecito area last week. Much of the progress had been made in the past 12 to 18 hours, as water receded on the road, Shivers said.

There are 75 Caltrans employees working on both Highway 101 and Highway 192 in 12-hour shifts, 24 hours a day and every day of the week, Shivers said. Seven Caltrans crews from two neighboring districts are also helping.

caltrans photo
Caltrans crews work to get water off Highway 101 on Sunday, January 14, 2018. Caltrans District 5

The freeway has been closed from Santa Barbara to Ventura since Tuesday, when the mudslides that carved a path of destruction through Montecito left large amounts of mud, water, boulders and debris in the freeway. Until the highway reopens, commuters must detour around the closure, take the Pacific Surfliner train or hop a ferry.

Cottage Health Santa Barbara workers take a boat to work after the mudslide disaster in Montecito, California, on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2017, closed Highway 101.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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