By Nolan Patrick Smith
High Desert Daily
(Victorville) The theme was evident: from the banners to the printed programs, from the speaker profiles to the music playing in the background, this was definitely a mission impossible, one made possible by partnerships and perseverance. Yes, January 10th, 2012 marked the groundbreaking of the La Mesa/Nisqualli Interchange with a bang, literally.
Officials from across the High Desert, members of San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), Cal-Trans as well as community leaders and citizens alike came together for a truly unique groundbreaking. The La Mesa/ Nisqualli Interchange is something that has been in the works longer than most might think, which is what City of Victorville Mayor Ryan McEachron touched on when he spoke to High Desert Daily at the groundbreaking ceremony.
“This has been a project that has been in the works for the past 20+ years, and we’re finally going to break ground today. In about 17-18 months, we should see this open to the public. As the theme states, it’s mission impossible, but we were able to get it done, so it’s an exciting day for Victorville and the Victor Valley.”
The project will alleviate the congestion of traffic seen on Bear Valley Road and Palmdale Road, realign the frontage roads Mariposa and Amargosa, as well as improve drainage. The project is able to move forward thanks to the hard work and diligence of the partnership between the City of Victorville, SANBAG, Cal-Trans, as well as the constant efforts from individuals like Mayor McEachron, SANBAG’s President Larry McCallon, and First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, who spoke on the new year during his speech during the ceremony. “2012 will be a remarkable year in the history of the Victor Valley. Major progress is being made in our mobility, our quality of life, and our safety; I just want to say it has been a real pleasure to work with the cities in the Victor Valley.”
Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon was present as well, as he spoke on the importance of the project for not only High Desert residents, but on a broader scale as well. “It’s important not just for this area, but for all of Southern California. The traffic that flows through here will benefit all, so it is great to have it as a regional enterprise.”
The ceremony ended in the most untraditional way of any groundbreaking the High Desert has ever seen: atop the mountain of dirt on the corner of Nisqualliand Mariposa sat the words “Mission Impossible”, which were blown up to the words “Mission Possible” by a group of officials from across California with the push of a lever. Colorful smoke enveloped the words as the crowd cheered on this exciting piece of High Desert history.
Victorville Mayor Pro Tem Rudy Cabriales summed up the groundbreaking perfectly as he spoke to High Desert Daily: “Nothing can overshadow this today: we had some ups and downs, but this a great project, and the collaboration between SANBAG, the City of Victorville, the County, Caltrans, everyone involved. I’m happy, and I know the citizens of Victorville are happy.”
Check out the video for the groundbreaking moment on YouTube, brought to you by High Desert Daily.