High Desert Commuters Finally Get Some Hope on the Horizon

Devore Interchange Agreement between County, Caltrans Approved

SAN BERNARDINO – The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors today approved an agreement with Caltrans that moves the Interstate 15/Interstate 215 reconstruction project one step closer to construction.

“The Devore Interchange is the largest and one of the most important regional projects in the pipeline. It will eliminate a critical bottleneck and improve travel for goods movement, recreational traffic and thousands of High Desert commuters,” said First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. “If you’ve ever been on the northbound I-15 at 5 p.m., especially on a Friday, you know how necessary this project is.”

The interchange was named the highest short-term priority in the Interstate 15 Comprehensive Corridor Study prepared for San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), Caltrans and the Southern California Association of Governments in 2005 and is by far the worst bottleneck on I-15 in San Bernardino County, with backups that can stretch for five miles.

The interchange handles 169,000 vehicles per day or more than 1 million per week and that volume is expected to more than double to nearly 380,000 vehicles per day by 2040.

The project will add a lane on the I-15 in each direction between Glen Helen Parkway and the junction with I-215. The addition of the new lanes will provide a continuous set of four lanes in each direction between State Route 60 and US Highway 395. Truck bypass lanes will also be constructed to help improve traffic flow along this major freight movement route.

The interchange will be reconfigured so I-15 is the primary route of travel and traffic from northbound I-215 will merge from the right. Cajon Boulevard will be reconnected between Devore Road and Kenwood Avenue, restoring that stretch of historic Route 66 and providing an alternative local route through the Devore area.

The freeway agreement approved today spells out realignments, improvements or closures for local County roads that are necessary for the project to move forward.

The $324 million project is funded with local Measure I sales tax, plus a mix of state and federal funds. The project is scheduled to be under construction by spring 2013 and take about three years to complete.

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