Groundbreaking Of The Ranchero Road Interchange Shines Despite Frosty Weather

By Nolan P. Smith

High Desert Daily

(Hesperia) January 11th marked the groundbreaking ceremony for the long awaited Ranchero Road Interchange in Hesperia. With community members, leaders, and media of all sorts in attendance, the High Desert initiated yet another step in progress for the blossoming community.

The Interchange will connect Mariposa Road and Caliente Road to Interstate 15 with a full service interchange with three lanes in both directions. Made into a reality by a partnership between by the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), the City of Hesperia and Caltrans, the project will cost approximately $59 million, with an expected completion date of Spring 2015. This funding comes from a combination of local, state and federal resources, including the San Bernardino County ½ cent sale tax for transportation improvements, Measure l.

The morning of the event was chilly, something that just about every speaker made light of with jest. Speakers ranged from City of Hesperia Mayor Bill Holland, Hesperia Mayor-Pro Tem Thurston “Smitty” Smith, County Supervisor 2nd District and SANBAG President Janice Rutherford, County Supervisor 1st District Robert Lovingood and Caltrans District 8 Director Basem Muallem. The crisp chill in the air did not dampen anyone’s spirits, as laughs were heard, jokes were made, and ultimately, a milestone for the desert had occurred with the groundbreaking.

“This is success, this is what the desert does,” stated Senator Steve Knight as he addressed the crowd, “We see this area growing for 100 years.”

To add to an already historic occasion, former County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt was honored by SANBAG with the highly sought after SANBAG plaque, which had an actual sandbag on the plaque. SANBAG President Janice Rutherford presented the plaque to Mitzelfelt on stage. “He did an outstanding job of representing this District,” said Rutherford, “and was highly respected for his leadership and character.”

This was a victory for the High Desert, especially the City of Hesperia, who has been planning the interchange for some time. City of Hesperia Mayor Bill Holland addressed the crowd about the road to this day, “We all feel we are truly blessed and lucky to have the start we have. It’s been a long road to get here.”

The interchange will not only improve the traffic for Hesperia and Oak Hills, but for the entire High Desert as well. With such an interchange being constructed, one can only see why the traffic on Bear Valley Road and Palmdale Road will be alleviated from this as well. The project will also include utility relocations, flood control improvements, traffic signal and ramp metering, grading, drainage modifications, signing and striping, traffic handling and replacement planting.

For more information, please contact the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) at (909)-884-8276 or by visiting sanbag.ca.gov/projects.

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