About District 5

District 5 is made up of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. The district is the home of over 725 Caltrans employees including 350 field employees.

There are 30 freeways and highways located within District 5 that if placed end-to-end would stretch for 1,169 miles. That would be the same as driving from San Diego to Reno and back. These roadways range from scenic two-lane highways to controlled-access freeways. The district is also home to Highway 101, which is one of three major north and south routes connecting northern and southern California. The Pacific Surfliner, funded by Caltrans and operated by Amtrak, travels between San Luis Obispo and San Diego and is currently the second most popular passenger train route in the country.

There are 33 cities and 7,788,809 acres in the five-county district, with a population of over 1.3 million people. Motorists travel 6.9 billion vehicle miles through the district each year. Building, operating and maintaining the highway system within such a unique environment demands careful consideration in virtually all District projects. The District maintains a careful balance to preserve and protect the sensitive environment while meeting the needs of an ever-increasing population who utilize the state highway system.

The district is home to one of the most picturesque and diverse landscapes in the nation. President Roosevelt was at the Grand Opening of Highway 1 between Morro Bay and Carmel on June 27, 1938. Originally estimated to cost $1.5 million, the 139-mile section of Highway 1 included 33 bridges and was completed at a cost of $10 million or $71,000 per mile. The project to build the highway was begun in 1919 and completed in 1937. Recently, it was named as one of 22 All-America Highways in the U.S. Historically, Bixby Creek Bridge, on the north end of the highway, is one of the most photographed man-made structures in the nation.

  • The district is home to three congressional representatives, three State Senators and four State Assembly members.
  • In 1966 Lady Bird Johnson dedicated Highway 1 from the San Luis Obispo County line to the Carmel River, the State's first Scenic Highway.

To reach the District 5 reception desk by phone from the:

  • Monterey Penninsula area: (831) 372-0862
  • Salinas area: (831) 753-0187
  • San Luis Obispo area: (805) 549-3111
  • Santa Barbara area: (805) 568-0858
  • Santa Cruz area: (831) 423-0396

Questions, comments, or suggestions pertaining to construction activities or travel throughout District 5 can be directed to the Public Information Office

County Highway Centerline Miles Population
Santa Cruz 123 249,666
Monterey 288 412,104
San Benito 90 55,936
San Luis Obispo 366 255,478
Santa Barbara 302 400,762
Total 1,169 1,373,946