Category Archives: Transportation

General Transportation

SBCTA Keeps the High Desert Moving

Published by:

San_Bernardino_County_Transportation_Authority

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.

General Politics Transportation

VVTA Adapts to the Speed of Life

Published by:

VVTA_LOGO

By Fidel Gonzales, Marketing & Civil Rights

Travel plans change at the speed of life. Public transit must be quick to identify and adapt to the emerging needs of its community. Victor Valley Transit Au­thority (VVTA) continues its quest to serve the burgeoning transportation needs of its High Desert community.

A challenging task — considering its op­erational footprint nearly spans a whop­ping 1,000 square miles and claims many niche communities — VVTA is amid a series of systemwide improvements to take a focused aim at overcoming those challenges. From strategic new facility buildouts and transit fleet additions, to the deployment of advanced technolo­gies, bus routing, and bus stop signage, VVTA is on the move.

Just like transit agencies throughout the country, VVTA has experienced a re­cent mild decline in fixed route (big bus) ridership. Overall though, VVTA’s total ridership demonstrates its long-standing growth trajectory. Total ridership jumped from 1.7 million in 2013, to 1.9 million in 2015, and up again to 2.5 million in 2017. VVTA’s operational strength is still embraced by a fixed route transit system that spans 11,873 miles.

Big on the bucket list of connecting ser­vice to the Inland Empire are plans to in­troduce a CSU San Bernardino bus stop in time for the fall 2018 semester start. There is also the possibility for addition­al trips between Victorville and the San Bernardino valley.

Comprehensive Operational Analysis

VVTA commissioned the renowned consulting firm, AECOM, to perform a Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) of its entire system. Completed in February 2017, the study reviewed service performance in relation to com­munity developments within VVTA’s operational area. The effort sought to determine how effective the existing services were and identify what modi­fications were needed to best serve the community in the coming years.

The recommendations were based on 18 months of analysis, consisting of community outreach, public comments, and collaboration with key stakehold­ers within the VVTA service area. The COA addressed the needs for system growth and enhancements required to improve on-time performance and create continuity between Barstow Area Tran­sit (BAT) and VVTA, as these two bus systems merged in September 2015.

Since VVTA is fiscally conservative, the changes outlined within the COA were based on a financially-constrained environment. Growth recommenda­tions were phased and designed with the flexibility of meeting future funding re­alities.

COA Implementation

The VVTA Board approved the find­ings of the COA, and in October 2017 VVTA implemented many of the find­ings. VVTA expanded service hours, worked toward a reduction of wait times, and adjusted routes to match population growth trends and movement throughout the High Desert. The long-awaited fare alignment standardized fares between the Victor Valley and Barstow service areas, simplifying passenger travel. The adjustment reduced fare on some ser­vices and increased others, while many remained the same.

“Although many transit agencies in­crease their fares for riders every two years, VVTA has not raised fares in 10 years, even though the level of service has improved and our population has grown,” said VVTA Executive Director Kevin Kane with regard to the service changes. “VVTA remains a best value for its level of service, featuring some of the lowest fares in Southern Califor­nia.”

Route numbers were relabeled based on the type of service they provide and where they operate. Routes numbers 1-9 primarily now serve Barstow. Route numbers 10-19 and 200-299 are del­egated for inter-city routes. Route num­bers 20-29 are reserved for county areas. Route numbers 30-39 primarily serve Adelanto. Route numbers 40-49 primar­ily serve Apple Valley. Route numbers 50-59 primarily serve Victorville. And route numbers 60-69 primarily serve Hesperia. Commuter routes continued with numbers 100-199.

“Anytime the transit agency makes changes in their system, it is going to benefit the majority of its riders but will still negatively impact some; however, I believe this system upgrade is cer­tainly more intuitive,” said VVTA Ex­ecutive Director Kevin Kane prior to the changes. “Operationally, we will be able to better direct our resources, thereby eliminating redundancies inherent with overlapping route services. By provid­ing more direct connections, we look to improve reliability and on-time perfor­mance, which will benefit our riders.”

Route Changes

VVTA touted 36 routes prior to and fol­lowing the COA, despite the addition of new routes. This was due in part the con­solidation of several routes.

In Barstow, weekday service started an hour earlier in the morning and ended an hour later in the evening. On the week­ends, service hours were also extended. Barstow Routes 1, 2, and 3 were rede­signed to eliminate redundant routing, which revealed on-time performance improvements and a reduction of trav­el times between key locations in the months following the COA implemen­tation.

The new Route 6 now provides service between Walmart and Barstow Community College. Route 4 was renum­bered to county service designation as Route 28, providing service between Barstow, Hinkley, and Helendale every three hours. Route 5 was renumbered to county service designation to Route 29, providing scheduled service between Barstow, Yermo, Daggett, and Newber­ry Springs.

For inter-city routes, Route 15 B-V Link routing was streamlined to improve on-time performance. The route, which serves Barstow, Apple Valley, Vic­torville, San Bernardino, and Fontana, added service to the Victorville Civic Center and Victorville Courthouse and adjusted two Barstow trips to depart two hours earlier, according to passen­ger demand. No changes were made to Route 200 Needles Link, which serves Needles, Barstow, and Victorville.

For Victor Valley routes, the agency’s first express route, the 45X, was renum­bered to 50X. This route was also the first bus in the agency’s history to fea­ture a full vinyl wrap.

Route 33 was rerouted, extending service to Molina Medical Center in Adelanto. Route 21P (Pinon Hills) was rerouted to operate between the Mall of Victor Valley and Pinon Hills every two hours. Route 21W (Wrightwood) was rerouted to operate between Mall of Victor Val­ley and Wrightwood every two hours. Combined, both segments now operate hourly between Mall of Victor Valley and Phelan.

Portions of Routes 44 and 48 were com­bined to create new Route 68. This new route now serves key locations in Hes­peria and Victorville, including the Hes­peria Civic Center, Lime Street Park, Hesperia Library, and the Mall of Victor Valley.

In order to accommodate the needs of VVC students for the fall semester, Route 42 began service August 2017. The route connects VVTA’s major transfer point at Victor Valley College (VVC) to previously unserved locations throughout northern Apple Valley. Fea­tured bus stops include VVC Regional Public Safety Training Center, Walmart Distribution Center, Los Ranchos Mo­bile Home Park, and the High Desert Ju­venile Detention Center, which is avail­able by request only.

New Design For Bus Stop Signs

In concert with the COA changes, VVTA developed a newly designed sign for its bus stops. These more recogniz­able signs began gracing the curbside of the High Desert landscape in late 2017. All 1,018 bus stops signs have been standardized and are being replaced throughout the system. The signs display the hallmark agency colors and provide several passenger-friendly benefits, in­cluding visibility from both sides, route identification, and a unique bus stop ID number which is used in GIS tracking.

Interactive Voice Response

VVTA is slated to debut its on-demand Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Phone System by Summer 2018. The automated phone system delivers real-time bus routing and scheduling information to those in need of answers fast. The automated call flow is engineered to quickly identify rider needs and deliver that information instantaneously.

This will put an end to the annoying el­evator hold music that some customers may experience during peak call hours. The automated call flow is fluid and pro­vides a dynamic travel planning experi­ence that is quick, efficient, and accessi­ble from any landline or mobile phone.

Using the unique bus stop ID numbers, passengers will be able to access real-time bus arrival times for an individual stop via the IVR system.

The systems will automate routine cus­tomer inquiries and enable customer service agents to focus on the customers who really need their help.

WiFi Connectivity and Mobile Apps

Following the launch of the 2017 COA changes, VVTA unveiled its new op­erations and passenger information in­frastructure. Developed by Syncromat­ics, this innovative transit dispatch and tracking solution combines innovative hardware and software to deliver real-time monitoring of key transit systems.

Operationally, supervisors and analysts can now monitor most vehicle systems and performance in real-time. This monitoring includes key data points such as on-time performance, automated passenger counting, vehicle health monitoring, and a myriad of other crucial metrics.

For passengers, both the web-based and dedicated mobile app delivers routing and scheduling assistance, including predicative bus arrival times based on algorithms. Furthermore, the system in­troduces free WiFi connectivity to pas­sengers. The system also interfaces with digital signage, providing passengers with real-time display and annuncia­tion of arrival times right on their smart phones.

The platform integrates with the new bus stop numbering system, allowing passengers to look up stops and request predictive bus arrival time information via text messaging. A passenger sim­ply texts “VVTA” followed by the stop number to 41411 to receive instant bus arrival information.

Fueling Stations

VVTA currently owns and operates two strategically located alternative fuel stations in Barstow and Hesperia. These stations meet the fueling needs of the general public, private trucking companies, government agencies, and VVTA. Because alternative fueling stations are not as abundant as unleaded fueling sta­tions, the two locations provide a significant service to the High Desert alternative fuel consumers, as well as those consumers traveling from out of state. Its list of local clients include Matheson, Burrtec, Advanced Disposal, City of Barstow, and San Bernardino County.

In a move to streamline fleet fueling operations and reduce fuel costs, the VVTA Hesperia Fuel Station was con­structed and began operation in 2009 and now dispenses Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and unleaded gasoline. The loca­tion eventually became home to VVTA Administration and the VVTA Hesperia Yard in 2011.

Following the merger of VVTA with Barstow Area Transit in September 2015, VVTA purchased the City of Bar­stow Fuel Station in July 2016. The site provides quick access to Interstate 15, and will also serve as the future loca­tion of the VVTA Barstow Maintenance Yard.

In 2017 the Hesperia station dispensed approximately 32,000 Gasoline Gallon Equivalent (GGE) of CNG to the public. The Barstow station dispensed approxi­mately 60,000 GGE of CNG and 1,037 GGE of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to the public.

VVT alone consumed 975,049 gallons of CNG and 152,104 gallons of unlead­ed gasoline in 2017. VVTA dispensed in excess of 1 million gallons of CNG in 2017.

In addition to the operational and cost saving advantages of the owned fuel stations, VVTA has valuable access to additional real-time reporting metrics. These include instantaneous monitoring of fleet, as well as vehicle-specific fuel data, mileage, and engine oil consump­tion. This monitoring capability deliv­ers VVTA a proactive posture in ongo­ing preventive maintenance activities through trending analysis.

Maintenance Advancements

VVTA continues refinement of one of the transit industry’s first paperless Preventive Maintenance Inspection (PMI) programs, which launched in 2015 and is incorporated into the existing fleet management system. Using tablets, the program provides technicians with one-touch access to vehicle- and component-specific shop manuals and historical maintenance data during inspections. The program auto-generates work orders on individual line item inspection failures to ensure that all items are addressed, repaired, and not overlooked due to human error.

Switching to a paperless system has provided mechanics and analysts quick and easy access to real-time data of fleet information, current vehicle repairs, and vehicle history. Such features are saving hundreds of personnel hours, minimiz­ing the time required to review work or­ders, PMI information, parts inventory, and repair history.

Collaborating with its operations contrac­tor, Transdev, VVTA continues making strides in streamlining preventive main­tenance fleet operations by introducing operating procedures commonly seen at consumer car dealerships.

New Barstow Division Facility

VVTA recently began plans to replace its leased and outdated Barstow maintenance yard with a modern facility to be located adjacent to its Barstow Fuel Station.

The future maintenance yard will stand on a spacious 5.5-acre parcel. The build­ing will span approximately 8,500 square feet and feature three maintenance bays, a parts department, convenient stor­age rooms for tools and tires, and 2,400 square feet of office space for transit op­erations. The facility will be constructed with a cost-saving metal structure and will boast an appealing façade and in­ternal walls necessary for office- and maintenance-related space.

VVTA will soon proceed with issuing a request for proposals for two design-build companies. Assuming VVTA Board approval and that the project proceeds as planned, VVTA anticipates breaking ground on the project in late 2018. Completion of construction is an­ticipated in the summer of 2019.

Getting Roomier In Barstow

VVTA recently took delivery of five new 40-foot “Clean Air” CNG transit coaches. These coaches will be deployed in Barstow and are the first full-size buses ever to operate in Barstow and the surrounding service areas.

The coaches feature the advanced, near-zero emissions Cummins L9N engines, which are acclaimed as the lowest cer­tified Ultra Low NOx emission engines in North America, boasting a 90-percent lower emission than the current North American EPA standards.

These buses offer improved comfort and a smoother ride than the current chassis-on-frame cutaway vehicles. The new buses will offer free WiFi connections, real-time vehicle tracking, and farebox­es that align with VVTA’s goal of intro­ducing mobile ticketing to its system in 2018.

Mobile Ticketing

With the planned launch of TouchPass mobile ticketing in summer 2018, the new fare system will deliver improved passenger convenience and on-time performance. No longer will passengers have to fumble around for exact change at the farebox or wait for a driver to view their boarding pass. They simply flash the fare card or mobile app at the fare­box reader while boarding the bus. It’s that simple. This new boarding method has proven to significantly reduce dwell times at stops, helping passengers get to their next destination on time.

The new system offers passengers the ability to pay fares on their phone or any internet-connected device. Such fare products are protected from loss if the passenger registers their TouchPass ac­count through the web portal or mobile app.

Moving Forward

As VVTA continues its quest to “Con­nect Community to Opportunity,” great consideration into passenger-centric service improvements and fiscal-minded efficiency remains at the forefront. Its community partnerships are instrumental in achieving continued success in public transportation.

From the challenges of fielding an all-battery electric fleet, to moving students toward higher education and the communicability, to employment opportunities, it’s not only about dollars and cents. It’s about people. VVTA remains committed to moving its community wisely into the future.

General Transportation

Caltrans Continued Work on High Desert Routes

Published by:

Caltrans

By Tyeisha Prunty – Public Information Officer, Caltrans
By Joy Schneider – Public Information Officer, Caltrans

Caltrans continues work on Interstate 15 (I-15), and state routes SR 58, 138, and 395 through­out the High Des­ert to improve and upgrade the transpor­tation system to accommodate the rapid growth in the region. Projects such as the State Route 138 East Realignment and State Route 58 Kramer Junction, will provide motorists with a smoother driver surface and more enjoyable driv­ing experience.

Devore Interchange Project

The $324 million Interstate 15 (I-15)/In­terstate 215 (I-215) Devore Interchange Project was completed in November 2017. The project added truck by-pass lanes in each direction of I-15, added additional general use lanes in each direction, brought the I-15/I-215 inter­change up to operational standards, and addressed the arterial highways network deficiencies—specifically reconnecting State Route 66 (Cajon Boulevard).

I-15 Cajon Pass Pavement Rehabili­tation Project

The $121 million I-15 Cajon Pass Pave­ment Rehabilitation Project is nearing completion—the contractor is finishing up punch list items (minor tasks to be completed at the end of a project). The project, which is strictly pavement re­habilitation, resurfaced and restored the pavement between Kenwood Avenue and the Hesperia Overhead, which pro­vides approximately a 40-year life to the pavement through the Cajon Pass. Project features include the replace­ment of two outer lanes in both direc­tions of I-15, random slab replacements at various locations, on/off-ramp pave­ment rehabilitation, and future median striping—to be used for high occupancy vehicles or toll lanes.

I-15 Stoddard Wells, D & E Street Inter­change Project

The $80 million I-15 Stoddard Wells, D & E Street Interchange Project will con­struct new interchanges at D and E Street in the City of Victorville. The project also constructs new bridges and ramps on I-15 at Stoddard Wells, D Street, and E Street. In addition, the project will construct a new frontage road and auxil­iary and deceleration lanes.

Currently, crews are working on dirt hauling, surveying, drainage, retain­ing walls, and utility relocation work. Additionally, they are working on the widening of the Mojave River Bridge, the Victorville separation & overhead Bridge, and the Stoddard Wells Bridge widening.

The project was awarded to Ames Con­struction, Inc. and began in March 2016. It is estimated to be completed in Sep­tember 2019.

SR-58 Hinkley Expressway Project

The $120 million State Route 58 (SR- 58) Hinkley Expressway Project was completed in December 2017. The project widened and realigned a portion of SR-58 from a two-lane conventional highway to a four-lane expressway, ex­tending from approximately 2.4 miles west of Hidden River Road to approxi­mately 0.7 mile east of Lenwood Road, near the unincorporated community of Hinkley in San Bernardino County.

The project included construction of two interchanges on the widened and realigned portion of SR-58; one at Hin­kley Road and the other at Lenwood Road. All entrance ramps in both direc­tions now have two lanes at the local road and transition to a single lane prior to merging onto the expressway. All exit ramps now have three-way stops at the exit ramp intersections with the lo­cal road.

SR-58 Kramer Junction

Construction of the $190.8 million Kramer Junction Expressway Project recently began in December 2017. The project is located in the county of San Bernardino near the Kern County line and extends 7.5 miles east of US High­way 395. The project realigns a four-lane divided expressway in order to al­leviate some of the congestion caused by the current lane configuration. The project also constructs a railroad grade separation at the east end of the project and a new SR-58/US-395 interchange. The project is scheduled for completion late 2020.

SR-138 (West) Widening Project

The SR-138 (West) Widening Project is nearing completion. Crews are currently working on punch list items—final sig­nage, pavement smoothness, and plant establishment. The project is approxi­mately 97% complete.

The project widened SR-138 to four lanes, with a 14-foot median buffer from Phelan Road to Interstate 15. The project upgraded roadway shoulders to current standards, extended drainage, and constructed wildlife-crossing struc­tures.

The $52.1 million dollar project was awarded to Flatiron Construction Corp. The project began in February 2015 and is expected to be completed by Novem­ber 2018.

SR-138 (East) Realignment Project

The $23 million SR-138 (East) Realign­ment Project is a 2.1 mile project that will realign SR-138 from 1.9 miles east of I-15 to just west of Summit Post Of­fice Road. It will re-construct a two-lane, paved section of highway with outside shoulders, three wildlife cross­ings and an off-highway-vehicle cross­ing north of the current alignment.

Currently, crews are working on bridge structures, drainage, the last 2,500 feet of new roadway, and abandoning the current SR-138 roadway.

The project is estimated to be complete by late August 2018.

US Highway 395 Median Buffer—North

The $17.3 million US Highway 395 (US-395) Median Buffer—North project is scheduled to begin winter 2018. The project was awarded to Sully-Mill­er Contracting Co. The project will construct a four-foot median buffer and widen the existing shoulder to eight feet (width). The project will also add cen­terline and shoulder rumble strips, and various passing zones will be eliminated. The project limits are 2.5 miles north of Kramer Hills to the SR-58/US-395 Junction. The project is expected to be complete by winter 2019.

US Highway 395 Median Buffer—South

The US Highway 395 (US-395) Median Buffer—South project is currently in the Right-of-Way Phase. The project proposes to construct a four-foot median buffer and widen the existing shoulders to eight feet (width). The project also proposes to add centerline and shoulder rumble strips and eliminate various passing zones. The project limits are 1 miles south of Kramer Hills to 2.6 miles north of Kramer Hills. The project is anticipated to go out for bid by summer 2018.

General Politics Transportation

“flyOntario” – Under Local Control and Looking to Grow

Published by:

Ontario_International_Airport_Authority

By Daniel Adamus, MBA Chief Marketing Officer

Ontario, CA – On November 1, 2016, ownership of the Ontario International Airport (ONT) was transferred to the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) from Los Angeles World Air­ports (LAWA, which is also the parent company of LAX). When the transfer of airport was officially commemorated in a formal ceremony the following day, FAA Administrator (and Riverside, CA, native) Michael Huerta challenged the new owners to seize this unique oppor­tunity.

“He compared us to the dog that actu­ally caught the car,” said OIAA CEO Kelly Fredericks. “Lots of dogs chase cars, but I don’t think any actually catch them. What Administrator Huerta was telling us was that the region wanted the airport under local control and now you have it. More importantly, he was ask­ing ‘now, what are you now going to do with it?’” Fredericks said.

Local Control

One of the key elements necessary for the transfer of ownership was to create an organization which could own and operate the airport in the best possible manner. To that end, the Ontario Inter­national Airport Authority was created on August 21, 2012, via a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Ber­nardino. Alan Wapner, President of the OIAA Board of Commissioners, was actively involved in the effort to return the airport to local control and believed an independent Authority would offer the best possible operational structure.

“We created the Ontario International Airport Authority to be an autonomous public entity, separate, apart and inde­pendent from the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino. The OIAA was designed to own and operate all ONT assets when the airport was re­turned to local control,” Wapner said.

“In the development of its mission, the OIAA was tasked to operate and grow the Ontario International Airport as one of the most competitive, efficient, inno­vative and customer-friendly passenger, cargo and business airports in the Unit­ed States,” Wapner said. “We believed this to be the case then, and I believe it to be more true now than ever before – the Ontario International Airport is a key economic asset serving and sup­porting not only the Inland Empire but the entire Southern California region,” he said.

The OIAA Board of Commissioners is comprised of five members. Four are appointed by Ontario City Council to include two sitting Ontario City Council Members (Alan Wapner and Jim Bow­man) and two commissioners selected as members of the business community within the airport’s market service area (Lucy Dunn and Ron Loveridge). The fifth commissioner is Curt Hagman, the sitting San Bernardino County Supervi­sor representing the District in which the airport is located.

Wapner said the board of commission­ers is tasked with developing policy, and they hired Fredericks, a seasoned and nationally acclaimed airport ex­ecutive, to serve as the Authority’s first CEO. “We as a board were very im­pressed with Kelly, his background and his achievements in the industry. We brought him in to lead the Authority in March of last year, and he has already made great strides to build his senior staff and to complete the airport transfer process with LAWA,in compliance with all regulatory requirements and with the approval of the FAA,” he said.

“Some may say that was the easy part,” Wapner added. “Now that we have the airport under local control, we must make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Kelly and his staff under­stand the responsibility before them. They also know they have not only the support of the OIAA Board of Commis­sioners but also the support and well wishes of every municipality and busi­ness entity in the entire region,” he said.

The Work Now Begins

With just over three months under their belts, Fredericks and his team have be­gun the process of assessing the massive 1,861-acre property which comprises the Ontario International Airport foot­print. The goal in these still early days is to understand “the good, the bad and the ugly,” Fredericks noted.

“We know we bought a ‘fixer-upper,’” he said. “We have to look at safety first and ensure that all of our operating sys­tems are in compliance with all federal, state and local regulations. We must take inventory, we must modify or re­write all official processes, procedures and documentation to reflect ownership by the OIAA, and we must prioritize all critical and preventive maintenance in an manner which ensures that we do not disrupt any day-to-day operations,” Fredericks said.

As part of the transfer and for the fore­seeable future, the relatively small OIAA staff is supplemented by nearly 200 former LAWA employees who will serve as a contracted labor force dur­ing the next 18-24 months identified as a “transition period.” During this time, the OIAA will have a chance to see how the airport was previously operated and to begin making changes.

Airplane

Fredericks said the OIAA is evaluating all functional areas aboard the airport, and he said that employees of the for­mer airport owner may have an opportu­nity to join the OIAA in future months. “These are the folks who operated the airport before November 1st and who will continue to do so in the weeks and months following the transfer. They are our front line with our customers, pro­viding their first ‘touch-points’ with the airport and with the OIAA. We are still getting to know each other, but we have a shared focus on providing our custom­ers with the best possible travel experi­ence while they are with us at ONT,” he said. Fredericks noted that as part of the negotiated transfer of the airport, should any LAWA employee not wish to remain at ONT, they are guaranteed a position at LAX or a number of places/departments within the City of Los An­geles.

With all that said, Fredericks and his team believe they have just embarked on an incredible journey. “Ontario In­ternational is truly an amazing airport. We have two of the longest runways on the west coast; one is just shy of 2.5 miles and the other is nearly 2 miles long. With those assets and our capa­bility to operate ‘24/7’ with no restric­tions, we can handle any aircraft flying today,” he said.

ONT currently operates 62 daily flights with seven commercial airlines, private and charter flights managed by two, general aviation fixed-base operators (FBOs) as well as a number of cargo flights by a variety of international car­riers, to include UPS and FedEx. All that activity represents less than half the potential associated with the existing airport infrastructure.

“At its peak (2007-2008), Ontario han­dled more than 7.2 million passengers per year. Today we are handling just over 4.2 million passen­gers per year. Our fa­cility, as it stands, can handle nearly 10 mil­lion passengers, along with sustained cargo growth. Beyond our current two terminals (2 and 4) ,and con­sidering the potential of long-term growth, there are already existing plans for Ter­minals 3 and 5, as well as a strategy to connect all present and future terminals into a single complex,” Fredericks said.

“As we work closely with air carriers from around the world, we have no de­lusions of grandeur,” Fredericks said. We know we must work extremely hard to earn their business by striving to re­duce their operating costs at ONT while creating the best environment possible for passengers,” he said.

Fredericks said he and his staff are work­ing on a plan to “de-stealth” the airport and to re-introduce the airport as a valu­able asset to all of Southern California. “As we work to grow international air service through our development ef­forts, we must also re-introduce ONT to the region,” he said. “According to the 2015 U.S. Census, the Ontario-Riverside-San Bernardino Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) ranks 15th in the United States and is in the nation’s 2nd largest Combined Statistical Area (Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim). We have tremendous numbers in our pri­mary and secondary catchment area, but we have to get the word out about what we are trying to do so people will con­sciously think about flying from Ontario first,” he said.

Fredericks said the “de-stealthing” cam­paign will be about building attention and awareness for the airport and willbe conducted through a comprehensive, targeted marketing and promotional campaign to get the message out to the business and consumer population of the region. He said he and his team will be working to connect with business and municipal leaders, as well as civic and social groups,S to encourage travel­ers to think about flying in and out of Ontario for their next business or leisure trip.

“If we can continue to do our best to improve the customer experience, and if we can be successful with the airlines to bring new and better service to ONT, ev­eryone will win,” Fredericks said. “Pas­sengers will have an easy and stress-free experience, with increased amenities, food and shopping opportunities, just minutes from home. They will reward the investment airlines make in Ontario by filling its flights to new destinations without having to battle hours of traffic to and from other airports in the region,” he added.

Room for Future Development

One of the other amazing statistics Fred­ericks shared was the fact that of those 1,861 acres, 700 are able and available for development on or adjacent to air­side operations. “You could not build an airport of this size, with the resources and capabilities of ONT today, in this, the 2nd largest metropolitan market in the United States,” he said.

Fredericks said the OIAA is now in the final stages of a selection process to hire a firm to develop a master plan for the airport, something never done before for ONT. “The successful can­didate will assist us in creating a map to guide us through the many pathways and options related to future operations and development to ensure we have the information necessary to make the best decisions possible,” Fredericks said. “The master plan process utilizes a variety of certified professionals in a number of disciplines to assist us in determining which structures are valu­able and which should be demolished. It helps us understand where a former industrial complex aboard the airport may require environmental remediation prior to development. Major companies like GE and Lockheed operated facto­ries and facilities at ONT for decades. We must evaluate each legacy property and identify any environmental issues before any development may be consid­ered,” he said.

While Fredericks stresses the impor­tance of the master plan process, he does not see it as any type of hindrance should the right opportunity present it­self. “If the right opportunity is identi­fied with any of our existing airport ten­ants, any new airline or other potential business partner, we are not restricted in any way from taking advantage of it,” he said. Fredericks said he and his team have been fielding inquiries in a number of areas, and they are working diligently to investigate the possibilities associated with each in order to determine the next best steps for the airport.

What Can You Do to Help?

Fredericks said he wishes everyone in the region to be an extension of the OIAA Marketing Team. “I ask that ev­eryone get to know the airport, to see the things we are doing to improve the ex­perience for our customers and to make it easy to fly Ontario,” he said.

When asked how else people interested in supporting the airport can help the ef­forts of the OIAA, Kelly Fredericks of­fered the following:

  • Please use ONT – Even if you may be paying a few dollars more, demon­strating loyalty to the airport is the best way for the OIAA to recruit (and to keep) new routes from existing carriers and to encourage new airlines to begin operations at ONT.
  • Please advertise at ONT – The OIAA will soon have a new media operator to manage new, expanded advertising and merchan­dising opportunities at the airport. If you can’t adver­tise, please support those companies advertising at the airport
  • Please share your travel data–An e-mail address has been estab­lished–iflyont@flyon­tario.com–where you can send your itinerary when you do fly Ontario and as a place where you can share the flight data when you just can’t find the right connection from ONT. This informa­tion is extremely helpful for the air ser­vice development team in preparation for meetings they conduct with the vari­ous airlines.
  • Share insights and advice – If you see something of interest in your travels, share it with the authority. If you have a problem or a bad experience, you are especially asked to share those as well. Fredericks said his staff are continuous­ly working to improve the traveler expe­rience, and they want to know when any situation does not meet the customer’s expectations. He said they take com­plaints seriously and will work with all involved airport personnel, concession­aires and tenants to solve problems as soon as they are identified, so that no customer ever has that same problem again.

For more information and to learn what is happening at the Ontario International Airport, please visit the ONT website at www.flyOntario.com. The site is opti­mized for mobile devices, and Freder­icks said it will be a “work-in-progress” for several months as volumes of data and information are transferred from the old airport site and until such a time as the planned 18-24 transition process is complete.

General Transportation

Caltrans Continues Work in the High Desert

Published by:

Caltrans

By Joy M. Schneider – Public Information Officer, Caltrans

Caltrans contin­ues work in the High Desert to improve and up­grade the trans­portation system to accommodate the rapid growth in the region. The area continues to see heavy goods movement, as well as conges­tion from commuters and recreational adventurers traveling to Las Vegas, the Colorado River and points north.

Projects at the Devore Interchange, in the Cajon Pass and throughout the High Desert will allow for a more enjoyable ride for commuters and travelers.

Devore Interchange Project

Work on the $324 million Interstate 15 (I-15)/Interstate 215 (I-215) Devore Interchange Project is complete. The project added a truck by-pass lane and an additional lane in each direction, brought the interchange up to operation­al standards, as well as addressed the ar­terial highways network deficiencies—specifically, the reconnection of Route 66 (Cajon Boulevard).

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the project was held on May 20, 2016.

I-15 Cajon Pass Pavement Rehabilitation Project

The I-15 Cajon Pass Pavement Rehabil­itation Project is nearing completion—the contractor is finishing up punch list items (minor tasks to be completed at the end of a project). The project, which is strictly pavement rehabilita­tion, will resurface and restore the pave­ment between Kenwood Avenue and the Hesperia Overhead, which will pro­vide approximately a 40-year life to the pavement through the Cajon Pass.

SR-138 Widening (West) Project

Crews continue work on the State Route (SR-138) Widening (West) Project; cur­rently they are working on the pavement on the south side of SR-138, as well as the Sheep Creek Bridge. The project is approximately 62% complete.

The project will widen SR-138 to four lanes, with a 14-foot median buffer from Phelan Road to Interstate 15. The project will also upgrade shoulders to current standards, extend drainage (as necessary) and construct a wildlife-crossing structure.

The $52.1 million project was awarded to Flatiron Construction Corp. and be­gan in February 2015. It is estimated to be completed in August 2017.

SR-138 Widening (East) Project

The SR-138 Widening (East) Project is a 2.1 mile project that will realign SR-138 from 1.9 miles east of I-15 to just west of Summit Post Office Road. It will also construct two-lane, paved sections of highway with outside shoul­ders, three wildlife crossings and an off-highway vehicle crossing.

Currently, crews are working to clear the project limits to prepare for drainage work, the temporary construction detour and new roadway.

The project is needed because the ex­isting configuration has many non-standard, steep horizontal and vertical curves and grade. There are no paved shoulders and narrow or non-existent earth shoulders, as well as few turnouts and no passing opportunities. This proj­ect will improve operational efficiency, traffic safety and will also upgrade and widen the existing lanes and shoulders to current standards.

The project is estimated to be complete in late August 2018.

SR-58 Hinkley Expressway Project

The $120 million State Route 58 (SR-58) Hinkley Expressway Project is ap­proximately 90% complete. Crews are currently paving the new roadbed for the expressway and finalizing the work on the bridges and ramps.

Ultimately, the project will widen and realign a portion of State Route 58 (SR-58) from a two-lane conventional high­way to a four-lane expressway, extend­ing from approximately 2.4 miles west of Hidden River Road to approximately 0.7 mile east of Lenwood Road, near the unincorporated community of Hinkley in San Bernardino County.

The project will include construction of two interchanges on the widened and realigned portion of SR-58: one at Hinkley Road and the other at Lenwood Road. All entrance ramps (westbound and eastbound) will have two lanes at the local road and will transition to a single lane prior to merging onto the expressway. All exit ramps will have three-way stops at the exit ramp inter­sections with the local road. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps will be included.

The project includes access to non-motorized transportation modes (e.g., pedestrian/bikes/equestrian) by provid­ing six-foot wide sidewalks, as well as standard eight-foot shoulders across the two overcrossing bridges at Lenwood and Hinkley Roads. A short length of the existing SR-58 at the east end of the project is proposed to be realigned to tie in to the Lenwood Road west­bound entrance and exit ramps. The widened and realigned ex­pressway is planned to be on a fill section (elevated sections of a roadway). All locations with large vertical surfaces (i.e., re­taining walls and bridge struc­tures) will include aesthetic/ar­chitectural treatment to prevent graffiti.

Substantial completion is esti­mated for summer 2017.

I-15 Stoddard Wells, D & E Street Interchange Project

The $74 million I-15 Stoddard Wells, D & E Street Interchange Project will construct new interchanges, bridges and ramps on I-15 at Stoddard Wells, D Street and E Street.

The project was awarded to Ames Con­struction, Inc. and began in summer 2015. It is estimated to be complete in early 2019.

Currently, crews are performing dirt hauling, surveying and utility work. Additionally, the widening of the Mo­jave River Bridge is underway.

Kramer Junction (SR-58 & US-395)

The $101 million Kramer Junction Ex­pressway Project is currently in the plan­ning phase. The project will construct a four-lane divided expressway in order to alleviate some of the congestion caused by the current lane configuration.

The project is scheduled to begin con­struction in late 2017 or early 2018.

Caltrans is committed to delivering quality projects that will enhance the transportation infrastructure in the High Desert. Providing a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability is Caltrans’ top priority.

General Transportation

The New San Bernardino County Transportation Authority Continues Its Decades-Long Commitment to Serving the High Desert

Published by:

San_Bernardino_County_Transportation_Authority

By Tim Watkins, SBCTA, Chief of Legislative and Public Affairs

The San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) has been a steady influence on the develop­ment of transportation improvements for decades. However, the commut­ers, residents and business owners of the High Desert may not realize that projects like the I-15/I-215 Devore Interchange, the La Mesa/Nisqualli and Ranchero Road interchanges, the Yucca Loma Corridor, and the Len­wood Road Grade Separation would not be possible without the efforts of this county-wide agency that serves as the Transportation Commission, the Transportation Authority, the Conges­tion Management Agency, the Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies, and a Council of Governments.

On January 1, 2017, this agency, re­sponsible for the delivery of so many quality-of-life aspects for its residents, began operating under a new name: The San Bernardino County Transpor­tation Authority or SBCTA.

Essentially, the legislative change to the agency is fairly simple in that functionally, it will still operate as it always has to meet its commitments to the voters of San Bernardino County. Senate Bill 1305 (Morrell) consolidat­ed its previous four transportation en­tities into the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, clarifying the distinction between the transpor­tation-related efforts of the agency and its Council of Governments role. Simply put, the agency is a dual entity made up of the SBCTA and the San Bernardino Associated Governments, which now operates under the name San Bernardino Council of Govern­ments (SBCOG).

The re-naming development process began with a county-wide survey gauging the community’s perceptions, recognition, and project knowledge as it relates to the San Bernardino Asso­ciated Governments and “SANBAG.” Research showed that only about one-third of the 800 registered voters who were surveyed were familiar with the agency.

However, when those voters were shown the transportation projects the agency was responsible for, fa­vorability of the agency dramatically increased to 75% through connecting the dots to the improvements to the system. The insights gathered through the county-wide survey supported the need to successfully brand the SBCTA and rebrand the San Bernardino Asso­ciated Governments as the SBCOG, providing both entities the opportuni­ty to build a recognizable and positive brand identity that will resonate with residents and workers in the county for years to come.

The next step in the process was an exploration of branding the SBCTA. The hope was to develop a singular name that would help to clearly iden­tify the agency. Unfortunately, after the review of more than a dozen pos­sible names and naming conventions, a natural-flowing option that accu­rately covered the role of the SBCTA did not present itself. As a result, the effort moved forward with brand­ing the SBCTA acronym. Great de­tail went into the new brand concept, considering all aspects of our county (i.e. mountains, desert, lakes, valley, roads, etc.). The goal was to develop a brand that was fresh, modern, artistic, and innovative and evoked the feel­ings of development, movement, and evolution–all exceptional characteris­tics that the agency represents within San Bernardino County–and reflects the goals shared by those who live and work in the region.

Ultimately, three concepts were eval­uated for how well they provided an opportunity for flexibility with color scheme, graphical design, and the ability to give a brand identity to oth­er functions of our agency, all while committing to a consistent, recogniz­able logo. Considerations of integra­tion with our sister agencies in the re­gion (LA Metro, OCTA, and RCTC) and what that might look like on a partnership document were also strong factors to the final brand concept. The agency wanted something that would stand out from the other agencies but would not overwhelm. After a number of revisions and adjustments, a brand concept was presented to the SAN­BAG Board of Directors for final ap­proval, which was granted on Novem­ber 2, 2016.

Moving forward as the SBCTA, the agency remains committed to provid­ing the quality-of-life improvements it has been dedicated to since its incep­tion in 1973. Transportation improve­ments are a major part of the way our residents navigate the largest county in the United States. Expect that SBC­TA will continue to play a role in how commuters and travelers effectively move to and through the region, mak­ing the High Desert a great place to live, work, and play.

General Transportation

Victor Valley Transit Authority

Published by:

VVTA_LOGO

By Fidel Gonzales, Marketing & Civil Rights

Victor Valley Transit Author­ity (VVTA) con­tinues serving the growing High Desert transpor­tation needs. The agency has made great strides in its partnerships that support educa­tion, employment, veterans, and other life services opportunities.

Established as a Joint Powers Author­ity in 1991, VVTA offered Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratran­sit service and fixed-route bus service for Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hespe­ria, Victorville and county areas of Helendale, Lucerne Valley, Piñon Hills and Wrightwood. Since then, following its merger with Barstow Area Transit in 2015, VVTA service area grew from 425 square miles to nearly 1,000 square miles. VVTA’s operational area currently spans from the Los Angeles County, Kern Coun­ty, and Inyo County lines on the west and north to the Colorado River on the east. Communities now include Barstow, Daggett, Hinkley, National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Len­wood, Ludlow, Mountain Pass, New­berry Springs, Trona, Big River, and Yermo.

In addition to its VVTA Direct Access, a curb-to-curb transportation service to individuals who are certified and meet ADA requirements, VVTA pro­vides traditional bus service through its 36 fixed routes. In the last decade, fixed route ridership has grown from 1 million riders in 2006 to 2.7 million riders in 2016.

Recent routes added to the system include the 45X Express in 2015, which delivers non-stop service from Victor Valley College to the Victor­ville Transfer Point at Costco. VVTA Route 24 Oak Hills, added in October 2016, now provides service to Oak Hills High School and San Joaquin Valley College.

VVTA Route 200 Lifeline service to Needles, which operates one day per week, began in June 2016, connect­ing the cities of Needles, Barstow, and Victorville. The route is in response to a request from the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair, Robert Lovingood, who saw the need for Needles residents to have access to the courts and Medi-Cal healthcare not available in that city.

VVTA Needles Car Share program, which was nationally recognized with an innovation award, features hourly car rental-type of service starting at just $5 an hour. While Needles does have transit service within its city limits, many of the nearest supermar­kets and other retail shopping are only found across the Colorado River in Arizona. Public transportation does not meet this need.

VVTA

The VVTA Route 15 B-V Link connects Barstow to the Victor Valley and provides Monday-through-Saturday service to the Inland Empire, including San Bernardino and Fontana Metrolink. The route began in 2011, offering service just three days a week between Barstow and Victorville. The following year, service was extended to San Bernardino, and in 2013 service was extended to Monday through Friday. Saturday service was added in July 2016 when ridership blossomed to nearly 6,000 monthly riders.

VVTA continues its partnership with Victor Valley College with its Ram Pass program. Funded through a stu­dent transportation fee, students with valid VVC student IDs board fixed-route buses for free. The program be­gan as a pilot program funded through the Mojave Desert Air Quality Man­agement District.

“The Ram Pass program has reduced traffic congestion on Bear Valley Road, reduced stress on VVC’s over­crowded parking lots, and improved air quality through this collaborative Mo­jave Desert Air Quality Management District effort,” said VVTA Mobility Manager Aaron Moore. “Though the greatest impact we have seen emerge from this program is the life opportu­nities that were once more challenging to attain due to the high cost of trans­portation inherent with our sparsely populated region.”

Through the Ram Pass, 288,181 trips were pro­vided to VVC students during the extended pilot that concluded in 2014, accounting for 12% of system-wide rider trips. Students ridership from all High Desert schools remains strong and cur­rently accounts for 48% of rider trips, according to a recent AECOM sur­vey. Approximately 50% of all student ridership use the Ram Pass.

VVTA remains sensitive to its use of local roads. Between 2010 and 2016 VVTA has turned over more than $30 million in unused transit funds to local jurisdictions for street and road main­tenance and improvements.

Realizing the health and environmen­tal benefits of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), VVTA began switching from its all-diesel fleet to an all-CNG fleet in 1998. To reduce costs associated with outsourcing fuel requirements to outside vendors, VVTA now operates two strategically located CNG fuel­ing stations in Hesperia and Barstow. These fueling stations are open to the public. In addition, these new fueling stations shorten refueling times and improve operational efficiencies.

With an eye on the future, the agency continues testing of renewable energy fuel technologies. VVTA began test­ing Zero-Emission Bus (ZEB) hydro­gen fuel and electric-powered tech­nologies in 2016 and deployed its first electric support vehicles in 2017.

Vanpool

Serving the needs of the High Desert’s workforce, VVTA launched its com­muter vanpool program in 2012. The program enables individuals in groups of seven or more to commute for as low as $30 a week. The vanpool fleet has since blossomed to 212 vehicles, serving 1,500 commuters daily and logging over 400,000 miles monthly. By eliminating what would be 1,290 single-occupancy vehicles from High Desert roadways, the shared ride pro­gram dramatically reduces traffic con­gestion. With the environment, the economy, and quality of life in mind, VVTA Vanpool saves the High Desert 1.6 million single-occupancy vehicle miles monthly.

CTSA

VVTA was designated a Consolidat­ed Transportation Services Agency (CTSA) by the San Bernardino Coun­ty Transportation Authority (SBCTA) in 2015, enabling that division of the agency to operate with fewer restric­tions in its mission to improve mobil­ity options for residents who are most in need and often the most difficult to reach through conventional fixed- route transportation. This designation of the CTSA was made in recognition of efforts VVTA had made through its Mobility Management Department to enhance regional transportation for se­niors, disabled individuals, and High Desert residents who do not otherwise have transportation options.

The agency has also been essential in expanding transit services, providing oversight and financial management to local nonprofits. Residents of Trona in the northwest county and Big Riv­er along the Colorado River are now served through volunteer-driver pro­grams.

VVTA 2

For seniors and those with disabili­ties, living in sparsely populated areas proved challenging for those in need of transportation, especially for medical and social services appointments. Pri­or to the CTSA, public transportation was simply not available, and the con­sequences adversely impacted medi­cal conditions and public resources. To meet this need, the CTSA launched the Transportation Reimbursement for Individuals Program (TRIP), which provides an incentive for volunteer drivers (usually friends or neighbors) to assist eligible individuals who are unable to drive or access public trans­portation by providing necessary, es­corted transportation. Participants re­ceive funds to reimburse the volunteer driver and to offset the cost associated with providing transportation.

Realizing the success nonprofits have made in serving the community but also the transportation challenges these organizations face, the CTSA initiated the Mobility Vehicle Dona­tion Program to serve these needs. The program donates retired vehicles to regional nonprofits to help reach their clientele–including the elderly and those with disabilities–who are living in the greater VVTA service area. While VVTA is restricted from providing assisted medical transpor­tation, by working through qualified nonprofits, the CTSA realized that, through such transportation partner­ships, the nonprofits provide medical transportation for a fraction of the cost and without further burdening emer­gency medical response systems. This new approach to transit saved families from skyrocket­ing transportation costs. To ensure the long-term success of these programs, the CTSA developed a Driver Training Program and a Vehicle Mainte­nance Program.

Working with the Veterans Admin­istration Loma Linda Health­care System, the CTSA helped develop the free Vet­erans Express Transportation System (VETS) for those veterans who have medical appointments at the VA Loma Linda. Previously, transportation op­tions were not only costly but were limited to certain times of the day and veterans could not receive the care they needed.

General Politics Transportation

It’s Time for Action on Failing Roadways

Published by:

Scott Wilk

By Senator Scott Wilk

Responding to a call on Cajon Pass last month, a San Bernardino County Fire crew watched as their beloved Engine plummeted about 20 feet to its demise as Interstate 15 collapsed underneath it.

Thankfully, the firefighters remained on what solid ground was left on the dilapi­dated thoroughfare. But this incident highlighted, in dramatic fashion, the ramshackle shape of our region’s net­work of roads.

We once led the world in transportation ingenuity in this state. During the mid­dle part of the last century, California — under the direction of Jerry Brown’s father, Governor Pat Brown — built a system of highways unrivaled by any other in the nation.

They built long roads over tough terrain and huge bridges up and down our rug­ged coastline. And they found new and innovative ways to fund and complete these massive undertakings, partnering with the federal government to raise funds for the unprecedented projects.

In the years since, though, we’ve let those advancements that made Califor­nia a beacon of progress fall by the way­side. Our roads and highways, once the model for transportation excellence, are now a paragon of dilapidation and mis­management. The highway system, one of the most ambitious projects our state took on back then, is now in shambles.

The collapse of Interstate 15 a was shocking display of our incompetence in the area of road maintenance. Just last year another instance was on prime display in the Victor Valley when High­way 18, a major commuter route be­tween the Victor and Antelope Valleys, remained closed for a year and a half as mismanagement of the repair project led to delay after delay, increasing cost and detouring over 5,000 commuters headed to work.

Unfortunately, these are not rare ex­amples; they only a few in a long line of troublesome extremes we’ve experi­enced after decades of neglectful trans­portation policies.

This winter Highway 50 in Northern California was almost completely inop­erable due to half of its lanes falling off the hillside in the Sierra Nevada moun­tains. Likewise, Interstate 80 and high­ways 49, 101, 20, 1 and 299 have all left Californians stranded in remote areas of the state as one after another they’ve seen massive failures over the past few months.

Not only have we let our roads fall into horrible disrepair, but we long ago stopped pursuing new projects as well. Our transportation network was a mas­sive undertaking for our predecessors. They saw the need to connect our state and the driving economic force that convenient transportation could be; and they took action.

Our highways made trade and travel throughout the state easy and accessible for all Californians. But our transporta­tion infrastructure hasn’t been upgraded in nearly 60 years, and it wasn’t built for today’s California. Interstate 5, and most of our state’s highways, were built in the 1950s when our population was just over 10 million; by the end of this decade it will hit 40 million.

California leaders way back then, includ­ing the first Governor Brown, couldn’t have anticipated the massive population growth we’ve experienced or that their successors, and children, would give up entirely on maintaining and expanding our transportation network. Unfortu­nately, the old adage about apples and the tree apparently doesn’t hold true when it comes to prioritizing our trans­portation needs.

Our governor and the legislature have not prioritized these needs in the least. We have over $57 billion in deferred maintenance for our roads. That means $57 billion worth of things they could and should have taken care of but didn’t. That means $57 billion worth of repairs just to keep the roads we already have in working order, much less expand or build new ones.

While political elites in Sacramento will tell you there’s no money for these ser­vices and that raising taxes, again and again, is the only answer, this is simply not the case. Californians already pay the highest transportation taxes in the nation. In fact, Californians are already taxed enough each year to cover every squareinch of every highway in the state with dollar bills.

But our politicians, in their infinite wis­dom, have “redirected” those funds to cover their reckless spending in other areas. So while we’re already being taxed to pay for highway repair, and taxed again for highway maintenance, and taxed again for highway construc­tion, we continue to see the deferred maintenance figures rise and road driv­ability fall.

Adding more taxes is not going to solve the problems we face.

California Republicans have introduced a plan to address those maintenance needs without raising taxes. Instead, we’ve proposed spending tax revenue meant for infrastructure repairs on – in­frastructure repairs.

The legislature knows the money is there. To fix our roads, to build free­ways and expand those we have. To build a highway system suited to handle the huge number of people traversing this state each day. To end traffic con­gestion. To reduce deadly accidents. To solve our state’s infrastructure problems once and for all. But they’d rather not.

They’d rather “redirect,” “repurpose” and “redistribute” our money to pork-barrel projects and gubernatorial pipedreams. They’d rather do any and everything but take action to fix one of the most glaring problems impacting Californians today.

So, as we drive on the nation’s most di­lapidated roads and highways, we do it as our government spends $64 billion on a bullet train to nowhere rather than directing that money to the $57 billion in maintenance our roads desperately need.

It is time for action on our failing road­ways. We can no longer afford to stand by as the asphalt crumbles beneath us. The fire engine that fell off a collapsing Interstate 15 last month was empty; no one was hurt.

But next time it could be a school bus full of our children, or a family headed to Sunday service or any other night­mare scenario where our government’s negligence on fixing our roads leads to the loss of human lives.

Scott Wilk represents the 21st Senate District which includes the Antelope, Santa Clarita, and Victor valleys.

General Transportation

Caltrans Achieves Major Milestones in the High Desert

Published by:

By Joy M. Schneider – Public Information Officer, Caltrans

For approximately four years, Caltrans has been actively working in the High Desert to improve and upgrade the transportation system. Rap­id growth in the region and the resulting congestion have made improvements a priority. As one of three routes in and out of Southern California, the Inter­state 15 (I-15) and Interstate 215 (I-215) interchange is a heavy goods movement corridor and recreational gateway to places like Las Vegas and the Colorado River, in addition to being a commuting route.

Two of the major projects that will ad­dress congestion and wear-and-tear on the facility are nearing the finish line, while several others continue to work to bring relief to the High Desert.

Devore Interchange Project

The $325 million I-15/I-215 Devore In­terchange Project, which began in No­vember 2012, will add a truck by-pass lane, add an additional lane in each di­rection and bring the interchange up to operational standards, as well as address the arterial highways network deficien­cies—specifically the reconnection of Route 66 (Cajon Boulevard).

Devore Interchange

The project is currently 95% complete. The major items of work left to be per­formed are completion of Cajon Boulevard and final striping of various areas of the project.

The project team joint ribbon cutting cer­emony (partnering with the I-15 Cajon Pass Pavement Rehabilitation Project) was held May 20, 2016. The ceremony included a walk, run, bike event geared toward community involvement.

I-15 Cajon Pass Pavement Rehabilitation Project

The I-15 Cajon Pass Pavement Reha­bilitation Project began in Spring 2013. As a strictly pavement rehabilitation project, it will resurface and restore the pavement between Kenwood Avenue and the Hesperia overhead, which will provide approximately a 40-year life to the pavement through the Cajon Pass.

Coffman Parsons Joint Venture, the project contractor, is currently complet­ing the last few concrete replacement areas. They expect the striping to be back to the existing configuration by the end of April 2016. Once the striping is finished, workers will install a rumble strip.

The Cajon Pass Project team working in coordination with the Devore Inter­change Project team held a joint ribbon cutting ceremony on May 20, 2016.

SR-138 Widening (West) Project

The SR-138 Widening (West) Project consists of widening State Route 138 (SR-138) to four lanes with a 14-foot medi­an buffer from Phelan Road to Interstate 15. The project will also upgrade shoulders to current standards, ex­tend drainage (as nec­essary) and construct a wildlife-crossing structure. The $52.1 million dollar project was awarded to Flatiron Construction Corp. The project began in February 2015, and is currently 45% complete. It is estimat­ed to be completed in December 2016.

SR-138 Widening (East) Project

The SR-138 Widening (East) Project is a 2.1 mile project that will realign SR-138 from 1.9 miles east of I-15 to just west of Summit Post Office Road. It will also construct two-lane paved sec­tions of highway with outside shoulders, three wildlife crossings and an off high­way vehicle crossing.

The project is needed because the ex­isting configuration has many non-standard, steep horizontal and vertical curves and grade. There are no paved shoulders and narrow or non-existent earth shoulders, as well as few turnouts and no passing opportunities. This proj­ect will improve operational efficiency, traffic safety and will also upgrade and widen the existing lanes and shoulders to current standards.

Work began in late April 2016.

SR-58 Hinkley Expressway Project

SR-58 Hinkley Expressway Project

The State Route 58 (SR-58) project will widen and realign a portion of State Route 58 (SR-58) from a two-lane conventional highway to a four-lane expressway, extending from approxi­mately 2.4 miles west of Hidden River Road to approximately 0.7 miles east of Lenwood Road, near the unincorporated community of Hinkley in San Bernardi­no County.

The project will include construction of two interchanges on the widened and realigned portion of SR-58; one at Hinkley Road and the other at Lenwood Road. All entrance ramps (westbound and eastbound) will have two lanes at the local road and will transition to a single lane prior to merging onto the expressway. All exit ramps will have three-way stops at the exit ramp inter­sections with the local road. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps will be included.

The project includes access to non-motorized transportation modes (e.g., pedestrian, bikes, and equestrian) by providing six-foot-wide sidewalks, as well as standard eight-foot shoulders across the two overcrossing bridges at Lenwood and Hinkley Roads. A short length of the existing SR-58 at the east end of the project is proposed to be realigned to tie in to the Lenwood Road westbound entrance and exit ramps. The widened and realigned expressway is planned to be on a fill section (elevated sections of a roadway). All locations with large verti­cal surfaces (i.e., retaining walls and bridge structures) will include aesthetic archi­tectural treatment to prevent graffiti.

The project was awarded to Skanska and broke ground in April 2015. To date, drainage features have beeninstalled in anticipation of a 100-year storm event. The major earthwork will be finished by mid-April 2016, at which time concrete paving will commence. The Hinkley Road/Bridge is open. The project is expected to be complete in February 2017.

The project team takes the needs and concerns of the Hinkley community members very seriously. Community meetings are held every two months so that the community can find out about the status of the construction, as well as report any concerns they may have about the project and/or construction activities.

US-395 Widening Project

With traffic expected to increase by as much as 90% by the year 2038, Phase One of the US-395 Widening Project aims to improve the operational efficien­cy of the highway by providing one ad­ditional lane in each direction, installing a 14-foot median and rumble strips, and modifying signals at various intersec­tions from SR-18 to Chamberlaine Way in the cities of Victorville and Adelanto. Caltrans District 8 is currently partner­ing with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to work on the right-of-way and final design for the widening of US-395. It is estimated that the project will go to construction in Summer 2018 and will be completed in Winter 2020.

Caltrans is pleased with the achieve­ments of the projects mentioned above. Each project will aid in the enhancement of the transportation infrastructure of the High Desert. Caltrans will continue to deliver quality projects that will provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and effi­cient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability.

General Transportation

High Desert Corridor Final EIS/R To Be Released Late April

Published by:

By Laurie Hunter

The High Desert Corridor, in the High Desert of both San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties, an east-west highway between Palmdale and north Victorville and private sector-supported rail line connecting Anaheim to Vegas, is close to being environmentally cleared for land ac­quisition and development. The final Caltrans-produced EIS (environ­mental impact statement), followed by a month-long review period, was due to be released in late April, 2016. After the Federal Government issues a Record of Decision, usually within a few months of EIS release, land acquisition of the right of way can legally begin.

High Desert Corridor Interactive Map

You can get the latest information, see where the on and off ramps are likely to be located, and see land use and public comments relating to spe­cific points by doing a web search for the HIGH DESERT CORRI­DOR INTERACTIVE MAP. The final alignment, and cost estimates will be announced when the EIS is released, and you can follow prog­ress on the Interactive Map (devel­oped by Arellano and Associates under contract from Metro for HDC EIS Outreach).

High Desert Corridor JPA

The High Desert Corridor (HDC) is a prototype for how to intelligently plan, without “sprawl”, to join two major population centers—and like the olden days—using transporta­tion infrastructure built first—to pro­vide the backbone for planning the best land use for the region. In the High Desert there is an abundance of housing, but residents need to com­mute for hours to jobs far away. To reduce commute times and provide jobs, the HDC affords the opportu­nity for land use planning and in­vestment/development that creates jobs: the goal is increased mobility, a safer alternative that saves half the time and removes trucks from SR 138, and improves the quality of life by spurring jobs along the alignment that enable residents to spend more time at home instead of commuting.

The HDC is locally supported by a two-county coalition of local gov­ernments who govern a Joint Powers Authority to stimulate its develop­ment in order to advance economic development and investment in the Victor and Antelope Valleys. The HDCJPA is chaired by Robert Lovingood, with Vice Chair Michael D. Antonovich and local board representation by Ryan McEachron, Vic­torville; Scott Nassif, Apple Valley; Richard Kerr, Adelanto; and Jim Ledford, Palm­dale.

Financing: The HDC will be developed as a public-private partner­ship (P3), with private investment providing the majority of fund­ing. Because govern­ment funding is also needed, there will need to be a future Oversight Board or JPA (Joint Powers Authority) of some type that will be responsible for contracting out for engineering, land acquisition, and construction/development.

DESCRIPTION: The HDC has four components in one right-of-way (ROW):

  • Highway/expressway between the SR 14 in Palmdale and the I-15 at Falchion Road in Victorville
  • High speed rail tracks to connect rail stations: XpressWest’s station, on the east side of the I-15 where Dale Evans Parkway enters/exits— traveling to the west in the HDC Right of Way to Palmdale’s future California High Speed Rail (CAH­SRA)/Metrolink Station
  • Green corridor to use space not occupied by the highway and rail tracks for solar energy generation to power the trains and an underground transmission line for solar rooftop and solar farm connection to the grid, and;
  • Bikeway between Adelanto and Palmdale

The EIS will environmentally clear 63 miles of highway/expressway, but realistically, the eastern seven miles in Apple Valley will not be included in an initial P3. Private sec­tor financing, combined with public transportation funding, will require the project to be developed in mul­tiple phases, leaving the eastern sev­en miles through Apple Valley for the future. In the Victor Valley, the HDC P3 will travel from US 395 in Adelanto, approximately along Air Expressway through SCLA in Vic­torville to an I-15 interchange at Fal­chion Road, then roughly six miles into Apple Valley, ending near the North Apple Valley Industrial Park.

Financing

Construction costs can be initially reduced by working with the pri­vate sector on plans to build the HDC in phases as funding strategies are devised. For example, develop only two or four lanes of highway-expressway initially-reserving right of way for future widening for lanes needed at a later date.

Yet another possibility for phasing is separating the timelines and con­struction of the highway and rail components to build the rail tracks first if there is private sector fund­ing interest to begin before highway funding is available. Then the right of way (ROW) for the highway can be preserved. The green corridor can be planned and developed even later when the latest technology of the day can be used for operations of trains, lighting, maintenance, thus increas­ing revenue.

Strategies to phase highway or rail development will be determined in the coming year. Full buildout of an eight-lane highway and HSR tracks, and the last non-P3 seven miles is around $8 Billion. Strategies to re­duce costs and to attract private sector funding can make this sum manageable and reduce initial costs by billions. Phasing will be decided by the timing of available public and private financing.

Possible sources of funding are:

  • Tolling the middle section of the highwayn Adelanto
  • Applying a “toll” on passenger ticket sales between Palmdale and Las Vegas, regardless of whether the operator is XpressWest, CAHSRA, Metrolink, or private operators not in existence today
  • TIFIA (highway) or RRIF (rail­road) federal loans and PABS (Pri­vate Activity Bonds) are debt in­struments issued by state or local agencies to construct projects with significant private involvement.
  • EIFDs (Enhanced Infrastruc­ture Development Districts), one surrounding the Palmdale HSR/ Metrolink Station and one surround­ing the XW Station. Modeled some­what after Redevelopment Agencies, state legislation provides new author­ity for lesser tax increment financing of real estate development
  • Cap and Trade Financing: The HSR Tracks are eligible for Cap and Trade funding in their own right and for CAHSR “Connector” expendi­tures in Palmdale
  • Costs will be shared to develop the CAHSR connector ROW and tracks
  • Local 1/2 cent sales taxes. 1) The HDC is named in Measure I as eli­gible for the 1/2 cent sales tax in San Bernardino County, but more likely a new Measure would be considered. 2) In Los Angeles County, the Metro Board is close to placing a Measure R2 for the November 2016 ballot that specifies the Antelope Valley Metrolink Line will have priority for new Metrolink R2 funding, and $170 Million for ROW purchase in the first five years, with authority for ac­celeration through a P3 and funding available in 45 years without a P3. Polling in North Los Angeles County showed 71% public support for using a new 1/2 sales tax to fund the HDC
  • FAST and Freight: New Fed­eral Transportation funding legislated by Congress contains provisions for infrastructure that relieves freight congestion which might be ap­plied to improvements to Metrolink to bring passengers to Palmdale to transfer to High Speed Rail transport by XW to Las Vegas
  • Revenue to be determined from the green corridor energy generation and transmission, electric and natu­ral gas fueling stations, fibre optic and broadband lines, and more.

P3 Revenue Studies Underway

To provide preliminary information to the private sector to gauge their interest, two studies are currently underway:

Highway: Metro has just selected a contractor to perform a study to de­termine the revenue that can be ex­pected from tolling the middle sec­tion of the highway between 100th St. E in Palmdale and US 395 in Adelanto. A previous study by In­fraConsult estimated tolling would provide $4.7 Billion in 2012 dol­lars over 45 years (low forecast); $5.8 Billion (high forecast). Tolls in the mid-section will be adjustable for cars and trucks and attract new business from new trucks traveling from Chicago/Vegas, and Northern/ Central California, and the Ports of Hueneme, LA, and Long Beach to new intermodal facilities at SCLA, and logistics facilities at the Apple Valley Industrial Center, Barstow, and Hesperia.

High Desert Multipurpose Corridor Project

Rail: The High Desert Corridor JPA selected a contractor to perform an investment grade study to assess the volume of rail passengers between Anaheim and Las Vegas and their willingness to pay for HSR to Las Vegas instead of car or plane, as well as interim use (until CAHSR) of Metrolink to get to Palmdale to board an XW car to Las Vegas. The study, which will provide a revenue estimate, will show if the rail com­ponent of the HDC will need any public funding and if so, how much. The study is slated for completion June 30, 2016.

High Desert Corridor Interactive Map: don’t forget to search the web for “High Desert Corridor Inter­active Map” to get specific informa­tion about various locations along the alignment and progress of the EIS.

General Transportation

Transportation Improvements Continue in the High Desert

Published by:

Ranchero Road Interchange

By Joy Sepulveda
Public Information Officer
Caltrans

Since 2012, Caltrans has been actively working to improve the transportation infrastructure in the High Desert. The growth of the region, as well as the result­ing congestion has made improvements a priority for the department. Commut­ers and tourists are using the routes and arterials more and more in their travels. In fact, more than one million vehicles travel through the Devore Interchange each week, which makes it the most significant chokepoint on Interstate 15 (I-15) in San Bernardino County with traffic queues extending south for five miles during the late afternoon/evening rush hour.

While no major projects were complet­ed in 2014, two projects continued full steam to deliver significant changes to the transportation system. In addition, two projects are planned for State Route 58 (SR-58) west of Barstow to provide enhanced connectivity from the High Desert to the Kern County line.

Devore Interchange Project

The I-15/I-215 Devore Interchange Proj­ect, which began in November 2012, will add a truck by-pass lane, add an ad­ditional lane in each direction, bring the interchange up to operational standards, as well as address the arterial highways network deficiencies—specifically the reconnection of Route 66 (Cajon Bou­levard).

To date, the project has achieved several major milestones and is 50% complete. The milestones include:

  • Opening of the new southbound I-15 Kenwood Avenue on and off-ramps
  • Opening of the new Devore Road Bridge
  • Opening of the new I-15 inside lanes south of the I-15/I-215 interchange
  • Completion of 10 of 30 walls
  • Completion/under construction 10 of 17 bridges

With so much work happening at once, the Devore Interchange Project team is committed to providing superior com­munication. To that end, communica­tion and collaboration with emergency responders continues and is considered a high priority. Additionally, construc­tion zone staging is designed to provide access to emergency responders (par­ticularly fire services and CHP). The project team is also committed to pro­viding safe access to motorists traveling through the project area.

Currently, the project is estimated to be complete in late 2016.

I-15 Cajon Pass Pavement Rehabili­tation Project

The I-15 Cajon Pass Pavement Rehabil­itation Project began last spring. As a strictly pavement rehabilitation project, it will resurface and restore the pave­ment between Kenwood Avenue and the Hesperia Overhead, which will pro­vide approximately a 40 year life to the pavement through the Cajon Pass.

So far the project has replaced the pave­ment in 13 lane miles on I-15, as well as reconstructed 33 miles of shoulders. Most significant is the completion of the northbound and southbound lanes from SR-138 to Oak Hill.

The project currently has another 28 lane miles to replace and 15 miles of shoulder to reconstruct. It is estimated to be complete in late 2015.

As with the Devore Interchange Proj­ect, communication is key for the Cajon Pass Project team. In addition to com­municating with emergency respond­ers, information is also shared utilizing many formats.

SR-58 Hinkley Expressway Project

Caltrans plans to widen and realign a portion of State Route 58 (SR-58) from a two-lane conventional highway to a four-lane expressway extending from approximately 2.4 miles west of Hidden River Road to approximately 0.7 mile east of Lenwood Road, near the unin­corporated community of Hinkley in San Bernardino County.

The project will include construction of two interchanges on the widened and realigned portion of SR-58; one at Hinkley Road and the other at Lenwood Road. All entrance ramps (westbound and eastbound) will have two lanes at the local road and will transition to a single lane prior to merging onto the expressway. All exit ramps will have three-way stops at the exit ramp inter­sections with the local road. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps will be included.

The project includes access to non-motorized transportation modes (e.g., pedestrian/bikes/equestrian) by provid­ing six foot wide sidewalks, as well as standard eight foot shoulders across the two overcrossing bridges at Lenwood and Hinkley Roads. A short length of the existing SR-58 at the east end of the project is proposed to be realigned to tie in to the Lenwood Road westbound en­trance and exit ramps. The widened and realigned expressway is planned to be on a fill section (elevated sections of a roadway). All locations with large ver­tical surfaces (i.e., retaining walls and bridge structures) will include aesthetic/architectural treatment to prevent graf­fiti.

The project was awarded to Skanska and is expected to begin construction in June 2015.

SR-58 Kramer Junction Project

This project proposes to widen the road­way to accommodate four lanes of ex­pressway on SR-58 in the County of San Bernardino near the Kern County line to miles east of US Highway 395. This project involves the realignment of the roadway and will provide for a grade separation for the railroad crossing. The project will construct new pavement and widen the median, as well as improve geometrics to accommodate the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) trucks.

The purpose of the project is to accom­modate increased volumes of oversized vehicles. The project will reduce traffic congestion, improve traffic safety, re­duce accident rates, improve operation­al efficiency by separating slow-moving vehicles, improve reliability of goods movement, reduce people/goods move­ment conflicts and extend the life of the pavement.

The project is currently in the environ­mental document phase and is estimated to be advertised for bid in December 2016.

The four projects mentioned above will greatly transform the transportation in­frastructure of the High Desert. Caltrans is proud to be able to deliver quality projects that will enhance the lives of the traveling public.

General Transportation

Keeping the High Desert Moving in the Right Direction

Published by:

Ranchero Road Interchange

By Tim Watkins
Chief of Legislative and Public Affairs
San Bernardino Associated Governments

The San Bernardino Associated Govern­ments’ (SANBAG) commitment to the High Desert re­mains strong, as evident by four major transportation improvements that are currently underway. Navigated by the SANBAG Mountain/Desert Commit­tee, a sub-group of the SANBAG Board of Directors, made up of representatives from the municipalities in the Mountain and Desert areas, as well as two County Supervisors, these four projects repre­sent improved mobility, increased ac­cess to the region, better goods move­ment for the economy, and enhanced connectivity of the High Desert.

I-15/Ranchero Road Interchange, Hesperia

After two years of construction, and recovery from a construction-related fire in May of 2014, the Interstate 15 Ranchero Road Interchange, located in Hesperia, has opened to traffic.

Ranchero Road Interchange

Ranchero Road Interchange Concrete Pour

This interchange is part of a series of projects for the Hesperia area. The Ranchero Road Underpass (grade sepa­ration) to the east, combined with future improvements to Ranchero Road, and this new interchange will offer a much-needed alternative for area residents, saving commuters time and money from their daily travels.

The afternoon of May 5, 2014, offered the project team a seemingly devastating blow to progress when a construction-related fire engulfed the falsework that was preparing for the concrete pour of the new bridge. Swift response by San Bernardino County Fire, the contractor, and agencies like Caltrans and SAN­BAG, enabled the team to get traffic flowing on Interstate 15 again in about 24 hours. Good planning and coordina­tion moving forward allowed the team to get back on track to rebuilding the damaged area and, ultimately, deliver­ing this highly anticipated interchange in February, just four months from the original target date of completion.

This $59 million project adds a new bridge over I-15, provides congestion relief for the interstate and Main Street, improves drainage, and enhances safe­ty.

I-15/I-215 Devore Interchange Project, Cajon Pass

One of the more significant projects for the future of commuters through the Cajon Pass is the $324 million Devore Interchange Project that began in June 2013. SANBAG and Caltrans have partnered to deliver this innovative De­sign-Build Project that will reconfigure the relationship between Interstate 15 and Interstate 215, add additional lanes between the junction and State Route 138, introduce truck by-pass lanes, and reconnect old Route 66.

Devore Interchange

I 15-215 Devore Interchange Project

The Devore Interchange is one of the worst grade-related bottlenecks in the nation. Severe delays, with up to five mile traffic queues, are common for the more than one million vehicles travel­ing through the corridor each week. The Devore Interchange Project has been developed to reduce congestion, reduce accidents and improve freeway opera­tion.

For regular updates on the project, please visit the project site at www.de­voreinterchangeproject.com; or call the helpline at 855.415.4215.

Lenwood Road Grade Separation, Barstow

Lenwood Road is a major truck traffic connector route between I-15 and State Route 58 to the north of the Mojave River. SR 58 carries significant levels of truck traffic from central California through to I-15. This project is con­structing a grade separated crossing along Lenwood Road over the existing BNSF tracks. These improvements in­clude the widening of Lenwood Road from two lanes to four lanes between Main Street and Jasper Road.

Lenwood Road Grad Separation

Lenwood Road Grad Separation

Lenwood Road currently carries approximately 4,200 vehicles per day, including a high percentage of heavy trucks serv­ing commercial, light industrial and residential develop­ments. The prima­ry objective of this project is to improve operation and safety by ensuring prompt emergency response time to businesses and residents while eliminating the haz­ards and inefficiencies of trains passing through the flow of vehicular traffic. As a result, impacts to air quality are re­duced by eliminating the volume of idling vehicles.

Work is expected to be complete in the summer of 2015.

Yucca Loma Bridge over the Mojave River, Apple Valley

Construction of the Yucca Loma Bridge over the Mojave River, which also in­cludes improvements on Yates Road, started in January 2014. The bridge will connect Apple Valley on the east side of the river to Victor­ville on the west side. Ultimately, this corridor will provide easier access to the I-15/LaMesa-Nisqualli Interchange in Victorville that was opened to traffic in 2013.

The project team will build the Yucca Loma Bridge, widen Yates Road from two lanes to four lanes, install a new traffic signal at Park Road, and con­struct new soundwalls on the south side of Yates Road. The new bridge will also feature facilities such as Class II bike lanes, barrier protected sidewalk on the north side, and a barrier protected Class I path on the south side.

The total construction cost is estimated at $37.3 million. The project received funding from Measure I (the San Ber­nardino County ½ cent sales tax for transportation improvements), Town of Apple Valley funds, State Local Trans­portation Partnership Funds and Propo­sition 1B funds.

General Transportation

Bear Valley Road Bike Path to the Victor Valley College

Published by:

By Kathie Martin
Marketing & Public Affairs Officer
Town of Apple Valley

At their February 11, 2014 Board meeting, the Victor Valley College (VVC) Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding between VVC and the Town of Apple Valley for the construction of a new Class 1 Bike Path that will connect the Town to the upper campus.

The Town of Apple Valley will be the lead agency for the bike path project, which starts in Apple Valley and continues east to VVC along the north side of Bear Valley Road. The San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) Board allocated to the Town of Apple Valley $386,370 from Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds for the construction. The Town is providing matching funds of 20%.

The project has three segments: 1. From Reata Road to Jess Ranch Parkway, 2. From the Bear Valley Road Bridge to Mojave Fish Hatchery Road, and, 3. From Mojave Fish Hatchery Road to the Campus. The Town is working with Hall and Foreman, Inc., the design engineering company, to finalize the construction drawings. It is anticipated that construction will start later this year.

The new bike lane will provide a continuous route of access from Apple Valley Road to Victor Valley College, providing better bicycle access to students living in Apple Valley. It also improves travel conditions for bike riders coming from Victorville to visit the many shops and restaurants located at the Apple Valley/Bear Valley Road intersection. Coupled with the construction of the Yucca Loma Bridge 3 miles to the north, which also includes a Class 1 bike lane, citizens on both sides of the Mojave River will find travel options greatly expanded over the next two years.