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Traffic gridlock continues as snow impacts Central Coast travel

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Posted at 8:19 PM, Feb 25, 2023

Weather-related highway closures are causing traffic gridlock on the Central Coast.

Traffic was slow going on Highway 101 in both directions all day Saturday and many avoided the freeway altogether.

Countless drivers were stuck in stop-and-go traffic on Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo County on Saturday.

Traffic came to a complete standstill at times on Southbound 101 from Paso Robles all the way through Santa Margarita.

The 101 is seeing a much higher traffic volume than usual as Interstate 5 closed Saturday on the Grapevine.

Snow also led to an hours-long closure of Highway 41 between Cholame and Kettleman City as drivers pulled over to enjoy the unusual sight.

“It’s so beautiful, it’s amazing,” said Inez Ramirez who was taking the 46 back to Bakersfield late Saturday morning.

“I came down to Pismo Beach yesterday. It was raining. It was kind of scary driving out here but I come back home today and there’s this beautiful scenery of snow,” said Ramirez, who stopped on side of the highway at the Cholame Y to take pictures.

“It’s very rare that you see this, so I had to get out and take a picture,” she said.

Further east on the 46, drivers pulled over on the side of the highway at the San Luis Obispo/ Kern County line.

“It wasn’t too bad actually. I know the 5 over the grapevine was backed up, but coming up the 46 has been pretty normal,” said Chris Martinez, who was driving to the Central Coast from Bakersfield on Saturday.

Traffic backed up on westbound Highway 46, but the big story of the day was the snow from overnight

“We used to live in Virginia, so we’re used to the snow out there,” said Martinez. “My son’s never seen it up close, so we decided to pull over and he got his first taste today. So, it’s pretty cool.”

Highway 166 remains closed east of Santa Maria due to landslides and flooding.