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Highway Projects Boost the Victor Valley, CA’s Reputation a Major Hub

Several major highway improvement projects could elevate the Victor Valley as a major transportation hub in the West.

By Teree Caruthers on May 22, 2015

The Victor Valley region is in the midst of a transformation that could put it on the map as a major transportation hub. With highways like Interstate 15, U.S. Route 395 and State Route 18 passing through the area, companies shipping goods from the Victor Valley are within a day’s drive to key western markets, as well as Canada and Mexico. Rail and air access are also plentiful here.

Two Class I railroads, Union Pacific and BNSF, run through the area, and the location offers easy access to major airports in Southern California. The 5,000-acre Southern California Logistics Airport and Logistics Centre at Victorville’s Global Access development provides world-class air cargo access and commercial and industrial capabilities competitive with any part of the nation, and plans include a rail business park nearby. Several highway improvements are in the works that will enhance the region’s reputation as a transportation and logistics hub.

“We have tremendous advantages geographically,” says Mike Podegracz, city manager of Hesperia. “With many highway improvements under way and planned, it will make our region even more attractive to business and cut commuting time for those coming and going to the High Desert.”

Highway Projects to Improve Flow, Access

Several of these projects focus on improving traffic flow in and out of the region. The Ranchero Road Interchange project in Hesperia will connect major roads to I-15 with a full-service interchange. The road consists of three through lanes in each direction, along with additional turn lanes at the freeway ramp connections. The Yucca Loma Bridge project, one of the most anticipated road improvement efforts, will connect Yucca Loma Road in Apple Valley with Green Tree Boulevard in Victorville. The bridge will span the Mojave River and BNSF Railroad tracks, bringing greater east-west access to the region.

A recently completed interchange on I-15 in Victorville has improved both residential and business access, as well as overall operation of the freeway. The $324 million Devore Interchange along I-15 at the southern entrance to the Victor Valley is expected to greatly reduce congestion and accidents, while also improving freeway operation. Enhancements include added truck lanes for more efficient movement of cargo along this heavily traveled interchange, which is impacted by freight movement, recreational vehicles and commuters. Running through the Cajon Pass, this highway is one of only three routes into and out of Southern California. Along with serving as a primary corridor for moving goods to key markets, it is the route to recreation destinations, such as Las Vegas and the Colorado River.

“These projects will help generate jobs and bring economic expansion to the Victor Valley and Southern California,” says Tim Watkins, chief of legislative and public affairs for San Bernardino Associated Governments. “This is one of the major goods-moving corridors in the nation. We are extremely excited to be putting these kinds of investments into the region.”

Plans for a High Desert Corridor

An exciting future project that will markedly benefit the region is the High Desert Corridor, which will connect Antelope Valley in Los Angeles County with the Victor Valley. The purpose of the HDC is to improve east-west mobility within the High Desert region of Southern California. In addition to the 65-mile corridor highway, a high-speed rail connection and bikeway are also being considered. The cost of the project is estimated to range between $3 billion and $5 billion, and construction is expected to span several years.

“The High Desert Corridor would be a huge, good improvement for the region,” says Brad Miller, engineer for the Town of Apple Valley.

Most goods moving out of Southern California ports must go through I-15, Miller says, and the corridor would create a more efficient east-west route.

“The construction of the HDC has prompted a number of companies to look at the Victor Valley region as a logical staging area for their goods,” says Miller, noting that the region’s industrial parks and available land are readily available to them. In addition to a tremendous job creator, the HDC will provide a more efficient and fast way for commuters to get into and out of the Victor Valley for work.

Check out Victor Valley’s logistics advantages.

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