The Highway 101 bottleneck at Gaviota may soon be over, as work crews are preparing to shift traffic back to the normal configuration.
Traffic has been restricted to one lane in each direction since July 10, when the northbound lanes were completely shut down to allow reconstruction of a failing drainage culvert under the roadway.
Northbound traffic has been moved over to the southbound lanes, from just north of the Gaviota Curve until near the Highway 1 turnoff.
The bottleneck has caused daily traffic jams, especially during the morning and evening commuter hours.
Caltrans announced that traffic heading north will be brought back to the northbound lanes at 9 p.m. Saturday.
“However, one lane in each direction will remains closed 24/7 until the end of next week, while transition work to restore the original traffic condition continues,” Caltrans said in a statement. “Motorists should still expect moderate delays.”
Southbound traffic is still reduced down to one lane beginning at the Nojoqui Grade, and both Gaviota Roadside Rest Areas also remain closed indefinitely, Caltrans said.
The northbound left-turn pocket into Gaviota State Park will remain closed, with motorists detoured north to the Highway 101/1 interchange before returning to the park. Also, motorists exiting the state park must turn right onto southbound Highway 101 to the Mariposa/Reina interchange, where they can turn around to go northbound.
The contractor for the $1.5 million emergency repair project is Granite Construction of Santa Barbara.
For traffic updates on other state highway projects in Santa Barbara County, motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805.549.3318 or visit the District 5 website.