Officials expect Highway 101 to open ahead of Monday commute

MONTECITO, Calif. (AP) — Transportation officials say they expect to meet a goal of reopening a key highway along the California coast ahead of Monday's morning commute.

U.S. Highway 101 has been cleared of mud in Santa Barbara County. Workers are now clearing drainage areas, stabilizing embankments and working on guardrail and sign repairs. They will also clean and sweep the highway.

The work will continue 24/7 until just before opening, Tim Gubbins of the California Department of Transportation said.

"We expect to be ready to open US 101 by the Monday morning commute," he said in a news release.

The highway has been closed since a Jan. 9 mudslide that killed at least 21 people and destroyed hundreds of homes in Montecito.

A notice will be given when the highway actually opens, he said.

Various off-ramps will remain temporarily closed, but on-ramps will be open.

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Photo: Getty Images

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