Rep. Carbajal Announces $8,000,000 from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for Gaviota Pass Collision Reduction Project

CalTrans is receiving $8 million from the landmark infrastructure law to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions and connect animal habitats between protected State Park lands on either side of US 101

  • 8,000,000 from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for Gaviota Pass Collision Reduction Project
  • The culvert that will be expanded by CalTrans on U.S. Highway 101 by Gaviota Beach Road

Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal announced a $8,000,000 grant funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to reduce vehicle collisions with Central Coast wildlife by connecting the habitat on either side of U.S. Highway 101 through the Gaviota Pass.

“I championed creating the Wildlife Crossing program when we were writing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and I’m proud to see our region as one of the first recipients of its funding to protect Central Coast travelers and our region’s wildlife,” said Rep. Carbajal. “As the only grant announced for California, I look forward to seeing this Gaviota project be the model for future uses of these funds to reduce traffic collisions and save the lives of both drivers and the threatened wildlife that call the Central Coast home.”

The funds were awarded through the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program, which was created by Rep. Carbajal and his colleagues through the landmark infrastructure law in November 2021. More information on the grants announced today can be found here.

The federal grant will support increasing the size of an existing culvert which helps species like deer and mountain lions to cross the highway safely and move in and out of the adjacent Los Padres National Forest.

The award will also fund the installation of additional miles of fencing to better prevent collisions with highway traffic on the 101.

“This allocation by the Federal Highway Administration will allow our team to help improve wildlife connectivity on the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County.  This is an important effort and we appreciate the funding contribution.” said CalTrans District 5 Director Scott Eades.

"Gaviota Coast Conservancy and our supporters celebrate the $8M award to Caltrans for the Gaviota Pass Wildlife Connectivity Project,” remarked Doug Kern, Executive Director of the Gaviota Coast Conservancy. “This funding, championed by Congressman Salud Carbajal through the bipartisan infrastructure bill, marks a significant milestone in safeguarding our coast's ecosystem. Years of dedicated efforts by GCC and Coastal Ranches Conservancy have culminated in this pivotal achievement. We express profound gratitude to Congressman Carbajal for his steadfast commitment to conservation and applaud his instrumental role in preserving our natural heritage."

“Commuters who drive from Lompoc and the Santa Ynez valley on Highway 101 are all aware of the large amount of wildlife killed crossing the highway in the Gaviota Pass, and all the way along the 101 from the Nojoqui Summit to Refugio. This funding will mean fewer wildlife die crossing the road and will also lower the risk for the people who might collide with that wildlife. Every year, deer, black bear, and mountain lions are killed crossing the highway here. We estimate that 2-300 individual mammals of all sizes are killed here every year and that Highway 101 is likely one of the major factors for declining wildlife populations along the Gaviota Coast,” said Doug Campbell, Executive Director, Coastal Ranches Conservancy.

“Our tribe is proud to support these efforts to protect local wildlife and reduce highway collisions by providing a safe passageway for animals that navigate the US 101 corridor in Gaviota,” said Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

To date, the Central Coast has received over $550 million for more than 100 projects, including:

A map of some of the investments funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can be found at

Since its passage in 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has already delivered nearly $400 billion in federal funding for more than 40,000 projects across the country. The law has awarded $22.5 billion to more than 1,000 projects in California.

Through his role as a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Carbajal helped write and pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law over the course of 2021.

Below: The culvert that will be expanded by CalTrans on U.S. Highway 101 by Gaviota Beach Road thanks to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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