FINALLY: Caltrans Says Highway 101 Now Open — One Day Earlier Than Expected

Caltrans finally opened Highway 101 Sunday afternoon.

Caltrans said as of 12:15p.m. Jan. 21 Highway 101 had opened after the Jan. 9 Montecito mudslide killed as many as 23 people and smashed hundreds of homes. 

Caltrans crews have removed the mud from the roadway, but guard rails, striping and inspections had be completed over the weekend to open the highway. However, as of Jan. 22 most Montecito offramps remained closed.

Because of search operations and slow-moving creek flows, Caltrans had to change the highway opening date three times since Jan.9. 

Meanwhile, Amtrak had to wait to add an additional train because when one passes by, workers had to stop what they were doing until it was gone. 

“Since train tracks reopened on Jan. 11, the Pacific Surfliner has served as the only viable ground transportation option between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, as drive time on alternate routes between the two counties can take nearly five hours,” Amtrak said. “The Pacific Surfliner travels between Ventura and Santa Barbara and the trip takes approximately 45 minutes.”

Amtrak officials said they have never seen rail service surge like it has in the past week on the Surfliner.

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