By Tim Watkins, SBCTA, Chief of Legislative and Public Affairs
Maintaining and improving our streets, roads and transportation infrastructure is critical to quality of life in the communities of the High Desert. The amount of time and ease it takes traveling home, to local businesses, school, and commuting to work effect the day-to-day lives of all residents.
The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) is proud to play a vital role in helping bring high quality transportation projects and improvements to our county.
Serving more than 2.1 million residents of San Bernardino County, SBCTA is responsible for cooperative regional planning and furthering an efficient multi-modal transportation system countywide. SBCTA administers Measure I, the half-cent transportation sales tax approved by county voters in 1989, and supports freeway construction projects, regional and local road improvements, train and bus transportation, railroad crossings, call boxes, ridesharing, congestion management efforts, and long-term planning studies.
Through Measure I, SBCTA has contributed to many impactful projects throughout the High Desert over the last year. Partnering with and providing funding to local cities and the County, SBCTA has facilitated projects in every community.
The Yucca Loma Bridge construction and Yucca Loma Road widening in Apple Valley, as well as the widening of Yates Road, were completed in 2017 by the Town of Apple Valley. The projects totaled more than $64 million in improvements with nearly $15 million in Measure I funds.
In addition, Phase 1 of the National Trails Highway (Route 66) resurfacing project was completed last year by San Bernardino County. The project, located on Route 66 between Fort Cody Road and Lavic Road (18.3 miles) and 4 miles west of Amboy Road to 17 miles east of Amboy Road (21 miles), totaled $3.6 million in new pavement with $3.4 million contributed by Measure I funds.
High Desert cities also benefited from more than $14 million Measure I dollars for local street and road projects in 2017. These funds help High Desert cities repave and repair the neighborhood streets and roads residents use every day.
Looking to the future, the High Desert will continue to benefit from transportation improvements funded with Measure I dollars. Those transportation improvement projects include:
- U.S. 395 Widening from State Route 18 (SR1 8) to Chamberlaine Way – City of Adelanto, $56.9 million project / $17.6 million in Measure I funds.
The project will widen sections of U.S. 395 from two to four lanes between SR 18 to Chamberlaine Way in the City of Adelanto. Proposed improvements also include operational improvements such as adding turn lanes and signal improvements at intersections.
- Apple Valley Road and SR 18 Realignment – Town of Apple Valley, $4.9 million project / $2.2 million in Measure I funds.
The project will realign and construct intersection improvements at Apple Valley Road and SR 18 in the Apple Valley area.
- North First Ave. Bridge over BNSF Railroad – City of Barstow, $42.7 million project / $4.3 million in Measure I funds
- Green Tree Boulevard Extension – City of Victorville, $45 million project / $18.1 million in Measure I funds.
This project will extend Green Tree Boulevard from Hesperia Road to Ridgecrest Road/Yates Road, and construct a new four lane road, including a bridge over the BNSF railroad.
- Bear Valley Bridge over Mojave River – Town of Apple Valley, $19 million project / $1.1 million in Measure I funds.
The project will replace an existing two lane low-water crossing with a new two lane bridge.
- Yucca Loma Rd. Widening from Apple Valley Rd. to Rincon Rd. – Town of Apple Valley, $7 million project / $4.9 million in Measure I funds.
The project will widen from two lanes to four lanes Yucca Loma Road from Apple Valley Road to Rincon Road.
- Ranchero Road Corridor Widening $38.8 million project / $17.5 million in Measure I funds.
The project is to widen and reconstruct Ranchero Road from .3 miles east of Mariposa to 7th Street at various locations to go from four lanes to six lanes with a center median. Improvements include widening of the bridge over the California Aqueduct and at-grade railroad crossing improvements.
Additionally, SBCTA contributed more than $4.3 million to the High Desert Corridor (HDC) project for project approval and environmental clearance. The HDC project will create a new 63-mile-long multi-modal transportation facility to improve mobility within the High Desert region between State Route 14 in Los Angeles County and SR 18 in San Bernardino County. The HDC also aims to improve travel safety and reliability, while connecting residential, commercial and industrial areas in the Antelope and Victor Valleys, including the cities of Palmdale, Lancaster, Adelanto, Victorville and the Town of Apple Valley. As a multi-purpose corridor, the project is considering the integration of a new freeway/ expressway, high speed rail connection, a bikeway, and green energy element.
SBCTA looks forward to continuing to partner with the cities, towns and communities of the High Desert. The agency is dedicated to bringing road and infrastructure improvements that not only keep residents and commuters moving but enhance the quality of life for residents and families and help local businesses succeed.