Significant progress is being made in addressing one of the High Desert’s biggest transportation priorities — the widening of US Highway 395 from Victorville to Adelanto.
Later this year, work will begin on nearly $60 million in improvements to the busy stretch of highway — a major freight traffic route and passenger corridor that connects economic centers, recreation areas, cities and rural communities.
The start of construction is the culmination of years of planning and securing the funds needed to make it happen, including nearly $18 million in voter-approved Measure I funds, the half-cent sales tax measure for San Bernardino County. The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) is partnering with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to see this and subsequent phases of the 395 improvement project through completion.
Caltrans owns and operates the mostly two-lane roadway as part of the State Highway System. Our role as the local transportation agency is to oversee and guide local and regional improvements that help move people and goods throughout our county.
It’s an important distinction and speaks to the complexity of getting a project such as this underway. Not only are there multiple jurisdictions to try to navigate, but making sure the money is available to pay for it all. In fact, the Victorville-to-Adelanto leg is just one of three phases of an overall Highway 395 plan for which state and federal funds have been secured. Those future phases — from Interstate 15 to State Route 18 and from Chamberlaine Way to Desert Flower Road — have received environmental clearance and should begin once those additional funds are obtained.
In the meantime, Phase One of the project should result in significant improvements by the time it is completed in 2021. In addition to widening the stretch of highway from two lanes to four lanes, the project will add turn pockets and signals at key intersections.
We appreciate the support of voters, whose approval of Measure I helped ensure that this project could be done. Funding much-needed transportation improvements such as this is a critical issue at the local, state and national level — one we’re likely to have to revisit in San Bernardino County at some point.
For more information on the Highway 395 improvement project, please visit our page
See article on vvdailypress.com.