Motorists heading into or out of Santa Barbara today may need to rethink their travel times, as sections of Highway 101 will be closed periodically for roadwork both to the north and the south of the area.

The slow lane of southbound Highway 101 will be shut down at Santa Claus Lane near Carpinteria from 9 a.m. to noon so Caltrans workers can make emergency repairs to a culvert that was damaged during the recent storms, weather permitting.

If weather conditions allow, the southbound lane of the freeway will also be closed completely at Gaviota for culvert replacement from 8 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. Friday.

Caltrans has placed detour signs – instructing southbound motorists to use Highway 154 to circumvent the closed section of highway – along Highway 101 in Los Alamos, Buellton and Lompoc.

This will be the second time Caltrans has closed the stretch of southbound Highway 101 at Gaviota as part of its project to repair the damaged culvert, which stretches across the freeway between the rest stops on opposite sides of the road.