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)
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
Public/agencies identify project components
Environmental review process, preliminary design
Detailed design, construction staging, right of way acquisition, and ongoing permitting