Caltrans on Friday completed a $47 million project to improve the Santa Maria River Bridges on Highway 101 near the Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo County line and reduce travel times for 60,000 daily drivers.

“These wider bridges will help ease traffic congestion and improve bicycle safety on the Central Coast,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said.

The project added a third lane in each direction on the bridges, a new bicycle lane and upgraded the on- and off-ramps.

The project was primarily funded ($24.5 million) by Proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved transportation bond. In total, more than $17 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been put to work statewide for transportation purposes.

In addition, the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments contributed $7.8 million and the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments provided $2.5 million.

Caltrans has more than 600 ongoing contracts in construction statewide, valued at more than $11.3 billion. Caltrans recently highlighted 13 major transportation infrastructure projects completed in 2013 that will help improve mobility, safety and sustainability throughout California’s transportation system.

For traffic updates on other state highways in San Luis Obispo County, call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805.549.3318 or click here.

— Jim Shivers is a public information officer for Caltrans District 5.