After concerns from the community about the northbound Highway 101 onramp at Patterson Avenue in Goleta, Caltrans engineers moved the barriers to create more room for drivers merging onto the freeway.
Previously, the onramp merged abruptly into the right-hand lane in the same area where the highway narrows from three lanes to two to accommodate the San Jose Creek bridge reconstruction.
“Our engineers have stated that additional modifications can be made, if necessary,” Jim Shivers, public-legislative affairs manager for Caltrans District 5, told Noozhawk. “The construction team has been very responsive to this matter.”
Catrans was working at the Patterson onramp Thursday night to further improve conditions for merging onto the highway.
The California Highway Patrol will be on site during the day for the next few days to ensure safe travel, Shivers said.
The existing San Jose Creek bridge, built in 1946 and widened in 1989, is being demolished and rebuilt to meet current design and safety criteria. Demolition work this week has involved the northbound highway lanes.
The $2o million project is being done by M.C.M. Construction Inc. of North Highlands, California and is expected to be completed in June 2026.
There will not be any ramp closures during this construction. Anyone traveling through the area will be rerouted to the southbound bridge, which includes two lanes in each direction.
Work also is continuing on the reconstruction of the Highway 217/Ward Memorial Boulevard bridge over San Jose Creek.
Preparation for demolition of the northbound bridge is expected to begin next the week. One lane will remain open in both directions during this work.
Contractors will be installing sheet piles on the bridge on Friday and Saturday, but this is not expected to cause lane closures or affect traffic.
There will not be any highway or lane closures in the area that will impact UCSB move-in this weekend, Shivers said.
The existing four-lane bridge on Highway 217 was built in 1963, and the new span is being designed to fit current standards and flood elevations.
The northbound Highway 217 onramp at Sandpit Road will remain closed during the rest of construction, which is expected to last two years.
Anyone leaving the Santa Barbara Airport can use Fairview and Hollister avenues to get to Highway 101. Electronic message boards have been added to help direct airport visitors.
This is a $26 million project also being done by M.C.M. Construction Inc. of North Highlands.
Construction is expected to be done in summer 2025, with a follow-up landscaping project to finish in fall 2027.