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SBCAG Looks for Firm to Handle Highway 101 Widening Project Design Work

A design contract for the Highway 101 widening project most likely will be awarded in August, as the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments puts out its request for proposals to plan the northern end of the corridor.

The SBCAG board authorized Executive Director Jim Kemp to send out a request for proposals for design and support work last week, and will be receiving the bids in June.

Corridor adviser Tony Harris, brought on by SBCAG to coordinate the project, has suggested getting all of the corridor designed to the 35-percent mark, instead of permitting the project piece by piece. Finishing basic engineering design work for the entire 10-mile corridor could make the project more attractive for state and federal funding, Harris has said.

This extensive project includes adding a third lane in each direction of Highway 101 between Santa Barbara and Carpinteria and reworking some interchanges. It still needs another $150 million in funding.

With the decision to ask for design proposals, SBCAG also entered a “corridor charter” with Caltrans that defines the roles and responsibilities of each agency for the project design phase.​ Caltrans will design the southern end of the 10-mile corridor, from Padaro Lane to Carpinteria, and the SBCAG consultant will design the northern end, from Santa Barbara to Padaro Lane.

Meanwhile, SBCAG is looking for separate consultants to do support work such as floodplain analysis, coastal permitting planning and public outreach.

All of the contracts, for corridor design and support engineering work, are expected to be approved in August.

The county is still pursuing plans and funding options for the parallel projects at the Olive Mill interchange, San Ysidro interchange and Cabrillo Boulevard/Union Pacific Railroad bridge.

Caltrans proposes rehabilitating portions of Highway 101 between Carpinteria's Casitas Pass overcrossing and Santa Barbara’s Cabrillo Boulevard undercrossing at the same time as construction for the South Coast 101 HOV Lanes Project. That way, traffic control and construction time in those areas aren't duplicated.

This project will widen the freeway’s shoulders, replace some guard rails, replace some sections of freeway ramps, do drainage work and adjust the grade of some areas, according to Caltrans.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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