Widening Projects

In 2006, SBCAG and Caltrans approved 101 in Motion that was developed with local agencies, including the City of Santa Barbara, the County of Santa Barbara, and the City of Carpinteria. 101 in Motion determined that a long-term congestion relief strategy required a "Lane and a Train" solution - new carpool lanes on Highway 101 and a peak-hour commuter train from Oxnard/Ventura to Santa Barbara/Goleta. 101 in Motion included other congestion relief strategies that are part of the Measure A Investment Plan passed by voters in 2008.

Mussel Shoals to Carpinteria

2008: nearly 80% of Santa Barbara County voters approve Measure A (1/2-cent transportation sales tax) to fund improvements.
- Phases I & 2 of the Hwy 101: Santa Barbara to Mussel Shoals project are complete, adding 50% (8 miles) of new freeway lanes and the first carpool lanes in Santa Barbara County.
- Phase 3 in Carpinteria is under construction
- Phase 4 approved to move forward in 5 segments (SBCAG board May 2017) beginning in Carpinteria in 2019/2020
- Governor Brown included the 101 HOV Widening project on California's list of 50 high priority infrastructure projects submitted to President Trump for federal funding.
- Governor Brown included the 101 HOV Widening project on a list of only six highway projects in the state for federal regulatory and environmental streamlining. (Feb 2017)

Project Location

The different Highway 101 congestion relief efforts are combinations of operational improvements and new components that were identified between 1997 and 2016 after the larger community opposed freeway widening in the 1990s.

The following is a brief timeline for the planning, design, and permitting.


Lack of support for Caltrans freeway widening


SBCAG re-allocates state funding for Operational Improvements

1997 to 2007

Public/agencies identify project components

2008 to 2010

Environmental review process, preliminary design

2011 to Today

Detailed design, construction staging, right of way acquisition, and ongoing permitting