Learn how Victor Valley's infrastructure projects are growing with the community.
Moving products in and out of the Victor Valley is convenient, and plans are proceeding to make transportation in the region even more robust. Operating out of the Victor Valley allows businesses to reach most Western markets within a day’s drive. Trucking firms have direct access to major highways such as I-15, U.S. 395 and State Route 18, along with nearby connectors like Interstates 10, 40 and 215, as well as Highway 58. Several road projects have recently been completed to enhance the safety and flow of highways in the region, and other projects are moving forward.
“Residents want a good transportation network in the Valley, as evidenced by voters passing and re-passing Measure I, which is a half-cent sales tax through 2040 where money goes toward transportation upgrades, such as freeway interchanges, grade-separation projects and bridges,” says Ryan McEachron, president of San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG).
An interesting future project calls for constructing express lane toll roads on busy stretches of both I-10 and I-15 in San Bernardino County, McEachron says.
“Drivers would have the option of paying to drive along the toll road lanes or riding for free in the lanes that currently exist,” McEachron says. “It’s a $1.8 billion future initiative, but there are several other projects that have most of our attention right now.”
One of the largest is a $324 million endeavor known as the I-15/I-215 Devore Interchange Project, which will be completed in 2016 to improve traffic flow in Devore, where freight trucks, recreational vehicles and commuters frequently travel.
“Completion of the Devore project now allows trucks to better traverse up I-15 from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, plus motorists have an easier drive to Las Vegas for the weekend,” McEachron says.
Projects in Progress
A significant project completed in mid-2015 was the Lenwood Road Grade Separation in Barstow. Lenwood Road is a major truck traffic connector route between I-15 and State Route 58 to the north of the Mojave River, and the project included bridge construction to safely cross over existing BNSF Railway tracks.
Another current undertaking is construction of the Yucca Loma Bridge over the Mojave River to connect Apple Valley on the east side of the river to Victorville on the west side and alleviate traffic congestion along east-west roadways. The bridge is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.
Another project completed in 2015 was the opening of a six-lane bridge over I-15 at the Ranchero Road Interchange in Hesperia. The city, along with San Bernardino County, will now embark upon an effort to widen a 5-mile stretch of Ranchero Road from two to four lanes.
“The transportation utility of this vital corridor is necessary to ensure the economic sustainability of the High Desert area and the Southern California region as a whole,” says Steven Lantsberger, former Hesperia economic development director.
Other Victor Valley road projects include expanding U.S. Highway 395 into a four-lane expressway, with the $483 million construction slated to start in late 2016. There are also plans to eventually construct a High Desert Corridor to ultimately connect the Victor Valley with the Los Angeles area via a 63-mile expressway.
Moving People and Freight
For air travel, the region offers quick access to major airports in Southern California, including the Ontario International Airport. It also has general aviation airports in Apple Valley and Hesperia, and world-class air cargo service available through the 2,500-acre Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) in Victorville.
Rail is plentiful in the area, with freight services provided by BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad. The city of Hesperia owns a 1-mile track surrounded by 200 acres of affordable industrial-zoned property connected to BNSF. In Victorville, the Foxborough Industrial Park also has mainline rail access to BNSF.
For future rail commuters, plans are in the early stages for XpressWest and partner China Railway International USA to eventually build a 230-mile high-speed rail route that would connect Las Vegas to Los Angeles and run directly through the Victor Valley.
“Nothing has been decided yet because current plans have the railway going from Victorville to Las Vegas, but the Peoples Republic of China wants the line to go to Los Angeles before they make the ultimate investment of $6-$7 billion for the project,” McEachron says. “This project has been discussed often before, but it now seems to be gaining momentum.”