California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

Date: May 21, 2014
District: 5 – Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa
                    Cruz counties
Contact:  Jim Shivers or Colin Jones
Phone: (805) 549-3237 or (805) 549-3189


SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY – Caltrans today announced that it has finished construction of the new Estrella River Bridges on State Route 46 East near Paso Robles. The bridges are part of a major, multi-phase $265 million Caltrans project that is upgrading 15 miles of SR-46 East from a two-lane highway to a four-lane expressway between Paso Robles and Shandon.

“The widening of this important transportation corridor linking the Central Valley and the Central Coast will reduce congestion and improve safety for thousands of commuters, tourists and the agricultural industry who rely on this highway,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

The new 1,000 feet-long and 100 feet-high bridges replace the original bridge built around 1955.

Here’s a breakdown of each phase of the SR-46 East Project:

Phase One: Widened SR-46 East between Airport Road and Geneseo Road. Work was completed in 2010.

Phase Two: Caltrans is widening SR-46 East between Geneseo Road and Almond Drive. Work will be finished this fall. The $80 million project received $50 million from Proposition 1B, a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. To date, more than $17 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been put to work statewide for transportation purposes.

Phase Three: Consists of widening SR-46 East from Almond Drive to McMillan Canyon Road. This work is now underway and will be finished by May 2015. In January 2016, Caltrans is scheduled to begin widening the final section of the highway from McMillan Canyon Road to the Shandon Roadside Rest Area. Construction is scheduled to be completed by October 2018.

# # # #