(Apple Valley)– As contractors begin construction on Yucca Loma Bridge in Apple Valley, town and city leaders are taking steps to insure the timely completion of the final phase in Victorville.
Apple Valley and Victorville officials are planning a trip to Washington D.C. in the spring to advocate for federal funding to complete this important regional project.
In 2013 Apple Valley submitted an application for a TIGER grant (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery), and just missed the cut for funding.
“Our project was ranked as ‘highly recommended’. We were very encouraged by comments offered by those who reviewed our application,” said Frank Robinson, Apple Valley town manager. “It is important for us to continue to advocate for this project in person.”
The 2014 federal budget includes a 20% jump in TIGER funding, to $600 million.
The 1600-foot Yucca Loma Bridge is phase one of a complete corridor, connecting the east side of the Victor Valley to the 1-15 freeway. Phase two, expected to begin in 2015, will widen Yucca Loma Road from Apple Valley Road to the bridge.
The final component is the connection of Yates Road past Ridgecrest, over the BNSF railroad to Green Tree Blvd. The Green Tree Blvd. extension is phase three, with a construction start goal of 2016. The ultimate connection to a freeway is a critical piece of the funding puzzle, as it serves to alleviate local traffic congestion, and not just move cars from one road to another.
“The City and Town have spent and are spending tens of millions of dollars on various parts of this corridor,” said Victorville City Manager Doug Robertson. “As those funds dry up, we are hopeful that working together, we can obtain federal funding for the final key piece of this new corridor for the benefit of the entire High Desert.”
Victor Valley cities have promoted the Yucca Loma Bridge project for more than 40 years. The Mojave River has been a chokepoint for the movement of people and goods across the valley, and these transportation improvements are necessary to the growth of commerce in the region.
Apple Valley has been successful in receiving federal funds for other elements of the Yucca Loma Bridge already, including $2.8 million for environmental studies and $10.5 million for construction so far.