By Janice Eck
Pictures Provided by City of Hesperia
(Hesperia)– On Saturday, June 29, the City of Hesperia opened the highly-anticipated Ranchero Road Underpass with a 5K Fun-Run and a Classic Car Parade. More than 900 people registered for the run which started under the bridge and ran east on Ranchero Road through the Antelope Valley Wash to Danbury Avenue. The Classic Car Parade was led by City of Hesperia’s Mayor Bill Holland and members of the City Council. According to Mayor Holland, “The Ranchero Road Underpass Project has remained a top priority of the City Council over the years. What better way to mark this milestone in Hesperia’s history than to have the community help us officially open the Underpass with a 5k Fun-Run?”
In an interview, Rachel Molina, City of Hesperia Public Information Analyst, explained how important the Ranchero Road Underpass Project was since its inception: “This project has been in the works for probably as long as we’ve been incorporated if not longer and has been aggressively pursued for the last 10 years. Construction began in August of 2011 and we completed the project ahead of schedule and within budget. It’s something that our citizens have been looking forward to. Staff and Council have been huge supporters of working very aggressively to get funding from our legislature and using our tax dollars wisely to be able to provide this much needed access-point in the city.”
The Ranchero Road Underpass is the largest transportation project in the City of Hesperia’s 25-year history and is the first of a three-phase project. Ranchero Road no longer ends at either side of the railroad, which forced citizens and emergency vehicles to travel seven miles out of the way, across the City from east to west. The project began at Seventh Avenue, with reconstruction and grading of Ranchero Road that enables traffic to pass under the BNSF Railroad tracks due to a nearby privately owned small-craft airport. Phase II consists of a new Interchange at Ranchero Road and Interstate 15 which broke ground in January 2013, while Phase III involves a joint City/County project to widen Ranchero between the two points.
The Ranchero Road Underpass 5K helped celebrate the City of Hesperia’s 25th Anniversary. The Celebration continues on September 21 with the 2013 Hesperia Days 5K Run, Walk, Skate. For more information, visit: http://www.hesperiaparks.com/hesperia-days-5k-run-walk-skate/ or http://www.cityofhesperia.us/ .