Improvement of US 395 from SR-18 to Chamberlaine Way was completed in 2020. The next segment of US 395 to be improved will be the current two-lane segment between I-15 and SR-18, titled the US 395 Freight Mobility and Safety Project. The project will convert the facility from 2 lanes to 4 lanes with a raised median, turning lanes, and eight-foot shoulders between I-15 and SR-18, a distance of approximately 7 miles. It will be a collaborative effort by SBCTA and Caltrans to close a critical gap in US 395 in the Victor Valley. US 395 is designated as a “Priority Interregional Highway” in the Caltrans 2021 Interregional Transportation Strategic Plan (ITSP) – the same designation as I-15 and SR-58.
As such, US 395 is widely recognized as a critical linkage for goods movement, supporting the economies of multiple inland counties and an important agricultural route to/from the Central Valley. With 30,000 vehicles per day, including approximately 17% trucks, this segment is almost twice the volume as the segment of US 395 immediately south of Kramer Junction (at SR-58) and is four times the volume of the four-lane segments north of SR-14 – yet it remains as two lanes. It is the highest priority project in the entire area for jurisdictions in the Victor Valley, representing 330,000 in population, and improvement is supported by Kern, Inyo, and Mono Counties as well. It is also on the federal list of Critical Urban Freight Corridors (CUFCs). Not only will the project address a critical freight bottleneck on the state’s interregional highway system, but the raised median, bicycle/pedestrian safety features, and improved integration with transit services will give US 395 a better sense of fitting into the community.