(Victor Valley)– Caltrans today announced the completion of a “major overhaul” of Interstate 215, which includes 15 new bridges, four new lanes, two flyovers and the reconstruction of 34 ramps along the 7.5 mile route.
“This major overhaul of Interstate 215 through San Bernardino exemplifies the superior work that can be achieved through partnerships,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Caltrans, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Inland Empire transportation agencies will continue to work together to deliver high-caliber transportation projects for the people of this region.”
The project included construction of new general use and carpool lanes in both directions of I-215 from I-10 to SR-210 and an auxiliary lane from SR-210 to just south of University Parkway. Connector ramps between I-215 and SR-210 were also added to improve mobility between freeways. Crews also built 15 new bridges and two flyovers and reconstructed 34 ramps. Artistic features on retaining walls reflect the San Bernardino Mountains, the region’s railroad history, and natural springs have also been added along the roadway.
The project was funded through a combination of $128 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, $117 million in State Proposition IB funds, and local Measure I funds—the voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in San Bernardino County.
This four-phase project was a close partnership between SANBAG (San Bernardino Associated Governments), Caltrans, the city of San Bernardino, and the Federal Highway Administration. The seven-year, $647 million project will reduce travel times and increase safety along one of the region’s major transit corridors. This project also created and supported thousands of jobs in the San Bernardino area
“SANBAG and Caltrans are proud to unveil this beautiful finished freeway to the public today,” stated SANBAG President Bill Jahn. “It represents fifteen years of planning and design, plus seven long years of construction that occurred while heavy freeway traffic continued to flow. We witnessed an amazing engineering and construction feat, as we watched this giant puzzle assembled, piece-by-piece, during these years. We now have one of the nation’s most elaborate, efficient, and safe freeway systems passing through the heart of San Bernardino County.”
This major expansion and revitalization project will increase traffic flow, eliminate fast-lane entrances and exits, and aid traffic merging with the added auxiliary lane, which enhances access to both the east and west sides of San Bernardino on this major goods movement corridor between the Victor Valley, Riverside County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County. Other added benefits of the project include improved air quality and noise reduction.