INYO COUNTY — Caltrans is in the final stages of design and right-of-way acquisition for the Olancha-Cartago 4-Lane project. The project will upgrade 12.6 miles of the current two-lane highway to a four-lane access-controlled expressway. The new alignment will begin four miles south of Olancha to four miles north of Cartago and will close the gap between the existing four-lane sections to the north and the south.

This project will increase roadway safety, accommodate present and future traffic demands for goods movement and motorists and bring the highway up to current design standards. The new expressway will feature wider shoulders, a class-III bike route, a non-motorized multi-use undercrossing, and intersection improvements that will benefit pedestrian and bicycle mobility.

Some preconstruction activities beginning soon include utility verification and relocation, vegetation removal and/or relocation, staking the new alignment, installing desert tortoise exclusion fence, and other various preliminary items.

This $83 million-dollar project is jointly funded by Inyo and Mono Counties’ Local Transportation Commissions, Kern Council of Governments, and Caltrans with State Transportation Improvement Program funds. Project completion is tentatively scheduled for late 2023.


For the most up-to-date information on road closures, chain controls, CHP incidents and more, please visit the Caltrans QuickMap site at quickmap.dot.ca.gov or call the Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).

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  1. Debbie Chapman August 2, 2020 at 2:39 pm #

    Hopefully they start it soon

  2. Patty Olin April 3, 2020 at 7:47 am #

    Being a Olancha resident, we definitely need a 4 lane. Hopefully it is going to be through Olancha where 395 is now.

  3. Bob Olin April 3, 2020 at 7:12 am #

    Let us be fiscally responsible and put it through town, especially in these economic troubled times. Don’t tear up virgin country and spend money we don’t need to. This will finish off our little town. We live here and our thoughts should count.

    • Steve Reese April 3, 2020 at 1:33 pm #

      Bob, after going to lots of Cal Trans meetings over 18 years of living in Olancha. The main point of the bypass is for the safety of the travelling public, we have an average death rate on the 12.6 miles at 1.8 people per year. Also Cal Trans want’s to raise the speed limit to 65mph, because the projected use of 395 will have double the amount of trucks and cars in the future, making it even deadlier. We had 5 fatality’s last year alone.
      Also the plan to 4 lane the current route will require the removal of the old cottonwoods and the charm of the 2 lane road, Olancha would never be the same. Think about why we love this little town and what will be lost with 4 lanes running at 70 plus mph.

  4. Art La Cues April 2, 2020 at 2:58 pm #

    Good work, Caltrans.

  5. Steve Reese April 2, 2020 at 8:00 am #

    This can not happen fast enough. It has been way to long in getting started but glad to see it is still moving forward.


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