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Olancha Cartago 4 Lane Project

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The Olancha Cartago 4 Lane project will upgrade approximately 12.6 miles of two-lane highway to four-lane expressway from about 4 miles south of Olancha to 4 miles north of Cartago. The project will close the gap between existing four-lane sections to the south and north and it is consistent with both the Caltrans US 395 Transportation Concept Report and the Inyo County Regional Transportation Plan.

Image of Inyo County with project location highlighted

Why this project is needed

US 395 is a Priority Interregional Highway in the Caltrans Interregional Transportation Strategic Plan, part of the National Network of truck routes, and included in the Caltrans Highway Freight Network. The highway is vital to the economy of the Eastern Sierra region and is one of five major recreational corridors identified for Southern California. The highway has recurrent congestion and the fatal accident rate is higher than the statewide average for a similar facility.

Close up of project location


This project will address roadway safety, provide for continuity of the US 395 corridor, meet present and future vehicular and goods movement traffic demands, and bring the highway up to current design standards. It will include Complete Streets elements, such as, new shoulders, a new non-motorized multi-use undercrossing, Class III Bike Route, bus turnout, and potential intersection improvements that would benefit pedestrian and bicycle mobility.

Funding and Partnership

The project is expected to be jointly funded by Inyo and Mono Counties’ Local Transportation Commissions and Kern Council of Governments and Caltrans with State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funds.

  • Design (PS&E) Support: $5,128,000
  • Right of Way Support: $3,032,000
  • Right of Way Capital: $13,518,000
  • Construction Support: $8,100,000
  • Construction Capital: $80,400,000
Construction Support and Construction Capital have been delayed due to the California Transportation Commission’s amended 2016 STIP Fund Estimate.

Project Schedule

  • Environmental Clearance - May 2017
  • Begin Right of Way Appraisals & Acquisition - June 2017
  • Complete Plans and Specifications - March 2020
  • Certify Right of Way - April 2020
  • Advertise Project - August 2020
  • Begin Construction - December 2020
  • Complete Construction - December 2022

What are the significant concerns for the project?

The preferred alternative, a combination of Alternative 4 in the south and Alternative 3 in the north, was chosen in June 2011. The preferred alternative reduces environmental impacts, residence relocations, and direct impacts to businesses while increasing safety and meeting the purpose and need of the project. The Final Environmental Document is expected in May 2017. The preferred alternative will be an expressway with access control. A Route Adoption will be required for the new route alignment, so Caltrans intends to relinquish a portion of the existing highway to Inyo County.

Informational Video

To learn more about the Olancha~Cartago 4 Lane Project, click on the graphic below to view the informational video.

Olancha - Cartago 4-Lane Project Video


Alternative Layouts

Alternative right of way layout maps (large files)


Environmental Document and Technical Studies:


Links to informational documents:

Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Dec 5, 2014)

Olancha Cartago 10 year Collision History Map


Caltrans Preferred Alternative

On June 29, 2011, District 9 Director Tom Hallenbeck announced that the preferred alternative for the Olancha/Cartago 4 Lane project is a combination of Alternative 3 and Alternative 4.


Project Contacts

Dennee Alcala, Project Manager
500 S. Main Street, Bishop, CA 93514
760) 872-0767
Email: Dennee.Alcala@dot.ca.gov

Angela Calloway, Environmental Manager
500 S. Main Street, Bishop, CA 93514
(760) 872-2424
Email: Angela.Calloway@dot.ca.gov


Statewide Alerts and Other Information


Contact Information

General Information:

Phone: (760) 872-0601
FAX: (760) 872-0678

Physical Address:

California Department of Transportation
District 9
500 S. Main Street
Bishop, CA 93514

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