By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Caltrans and San Bernardino Associated Governments today celebrated the start of construction on a $324 million project at the Devore Interchange that promises to reduce congestion and significantly improve the flow of goods through the Inland Empire to the High Desert and across the nation.
More than one million vehicles travel through the interchange each week – including 21,000 trucks daily. The interchange is located at the junction of Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 at the bottom of the Cajon Pass.
“This much-anticipated project is going to make driving less stressful for commuters, truckers, and tourists while at the same time providing jobs for the Inland Empire,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.
Caltrans awarded the Devore project to Atkinson Contractors LP one year ahead of schedule and for $40 million less than expected due to an innovative process called design-build that overlaps the design and construction phases, leading to significant time and cost savings. The project is the first design-build project in the Inland Empire.
“Caltrans is taking advantage of innovative solutions like design-build to be more efficient and get the most out of taxpayer’s investments in our transportation system,” said Dougherty.
The project, which is expected to be completed in 2016, will add a lane in each direction on I-15 between Glen Helen Parkway and Kenwood Avenue; eliminate a goods movement chokepoint by adding truck bypass lanes to separate slow trucks from automobiles; improve safety by reducing traffic weaving; and reconnect I-15 to U.S. Route 66.
Caltrans, SANBAG, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the California Transportation Commission are partners in the project, which is partially funded by nearly $54 million from Proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved transportation bond. To date, nearly $16 billion in Proposition 1B funding has been put to work statewide. Additional funding for the project comes from federal dollars and Measure I, San Bernardino County’s halfcent sales tax.