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U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $75 Million Loan for High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes on US 101 in Santa Barbara County, California

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Investment Will Help Connect People to Jobs

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that its Build America Bureau has provided a low-interest loan totaling $75 million to the Santa Barbara County Local Transportation Authority to construct a 7.5-mile extension of the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on US 101 in Santa Barbara County, California. The Bureau helps communities across the country reduce the costs of infrastructure projects by providing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans, and other types of financing.

The $456 million project also includes rebuilding interchanges at Sheffield Drive and Cabrillo Boulevard, sound wall installation and creek crossing improvements. The interchange improvements will enhance safety for automobile drivers, freight carriers, bicyclists and pedestrians. The addition of the HOV lanes provide better collision response times for first responders and prevent secondary collisions. Already under construction, the project is expected to be complete in 2025. 

“USDOT’s investment in the expansion of US 101’s HOV lane will reduce barriers to opportunity for low-income workers who rely heavily on this corridor to commute from homes in Ventura County to employment centers in South Santa Barbara County,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “In addition to better connecting this community to existing employment opportunities, this investment will also generate 5,000-6,000 new good jobs in the region.”

“The Bureau partnered with the Santa Barbara team to finance this project that will benefit tens of thousands of commuters,” said Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “This multi-modal approach relieves congestion while encouraging more efficient, higher occupancy trips, including express bus services. The project creates $1.3 billion in savings to the public, commuters, and the freight industry.”

The Bureau was established as a “one-stop-shop” during the Obama Administration to help states and other project sponsors carry out infrastructure projects. The Bureau offers low-interest, long-term credit programs, technical assistance, and best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and operation. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden in November 2021, expands project eligibility for the Bureau’s TIFIA credit program and extends maturity of the loans, giving borrowers additional flexibility. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation has closed $38.4 billion in TIFIA financings, supporting more than $132 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.