LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With Highway 101 back open in Montecito, an influx of drivers who had been getting around the closure using buses, boats and trains are expected to get back on the Ventura (101) Freeway.

The key route between Southern California and coastal Central California reopened a day earlier than expected, after being swamped by devastating flash floods.

Highway 101 had been closed since Jan. 9 in Santa Barbara County, as crews worked day and night to remove millions of square feet of fetid water, mud, abandoned cars and debris that ended up in a low-lying area of the freeway.

Traffic had been noticeably lighter on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley in the past 12 days.

Travelers had been forced to use buses, boats and trains to get through the area since the Jan. 9 mudslide. At least 21 people have been killed in the mud and rock flow, while two more remain missing.

Some ramps and guardrails still need to be repaired, but it’s not known when that work will be completed.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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