Nearly a month after a debris flow forced the shutdown of Highway 154 to through traffic in the Santa Ynez Valley, Caltrans announced that the roadway had reopened ahead of schedule on Friday.
A week ago, Caltrans had said the highway would reopen by March 6, but through traffic was allowed again beginning at noon Friday.
The roadway was shut down Feb. 2 after heavy rains spawned a debris flow from the Whittier Fire burn area that clogged a culvert under the highway east of the entrance to the Cachuma Lake Recreation Area.
The agency and its contractors have been working on an emergency project to clear the culvert, repair the embankment and restore the roadway surface.
CalPortland Construction of Santa Maria is the contractor for the $2.2 million project.
”Motorists traveling through this area may encounter one-way reversing traffic control, allowing Caltrans to perform additional work at this location,” said Jim Shivers, a Caltrans District 5 spokesman.
Highway 154 has been shut down at Live Oak Camp on the east and the entrance to Lake Cachuma on the west.