Cappool Lane on U.S. 101 Moving Right Along
Work is proceeding on schedule on the first carpool lane on U.S. 101 in southern California.
(Please click on photos to read captions)
A year ago this April, Caltrans held a groundbreaking ceremony for a $102 million, six-mile HOV (high-occupancy, or carpool) lane project on the Ventura Freeway (U.S. 101) in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
The project was warmly received by elected officials, community members and county government representatives as the first carpool lane on U.S. 101 in both counties as well as in all of southern California. It also has the support of cyclists, who are eagerly awaiting a new bike route that is part of the design.
A lot has changed in a year, as motorists have observed and a recent discussion with Resident Engineer Hector Arroyo and Construction Senior Jim Riley has confirmed.
Stage One of construction has been completed. It involved: building the median retaining wall and barrier; paving the northbound and southbound U.S. 101 carpool median; widening the Bates Road overcrossing; placing temporary median pavement for lane reconfiguration; beginning work on the La Conchita pedestrian undercrossing that will continue into subsequent phases.
The current stage continues constructing median barriers and retaining walls as well as paving the freeway. “The next big thing,” according to Arroyo, “is the final paving in Ventura County, at which point the contractor will shift K-rail to that location.”
Stage Three involves widening the southbound outside shoulder and roadway, constructing the southbound retaining walls and soundwalls and starting construction on the bike path, one of the most exciting features of the project.
“It’s a two-way bike path that’s separated by barriers from the motoring public, so it provides a real sense of security,” said Riley. The new bike route is expected to encourage increased riding, especially by families.
The final stage will widen the outside shoulders and roadway and then – voila! – a shiny, new multi-passenger option will be available to motorists that eventually will link to another 10.9-mile HOV lane extending to Sycamore Creek in the city of Santa Barbara.
Currently in the environmental phase, that project is expected to begin construction in 2016.