By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– After a comprehensive four-month financial review, including three-weeks of onsite analysis, the California Department of Finance’s Office of State Audits and Evaluations has granted the Town a clean bill of health for its financial management of the Yucca Loma Bridge and Yates Road Improvement construction project.
The audit report affirmed Town spending complied with state and federal guidelines, including the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Transportation Commission, two of the agencies that helped fund the project. The report also states project benefits and outcomes were adequate and consistent with the state funding priorities of Proposition 1B.
“The construction of the Yucca Loma Bridge is a grand achievement for Apple Valley, its residents and commuters,” said Apple Valley Mayor Larry Cusack. “It is a testament to the diligent, collaborative efforts of our Town staff in not only securing additional funding sources, but also properly managing those financial resources in an organized and compliant manner.”
California voters approved the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 1B) for $19.925 billion for a variety of transportation programs. Although the bond funds are made available to the California Transportation Commission (CTC) upon appropriation by the Legislature, CTC allocates these funds to Caltrans to help fund projects.
The CTC awarded the Town $9.7 million in Proposition 1B funds from the State-Local Partnership Program (SLPP) for the Yucca Loma Bridge and Yates Road Improvements project. The project’s purpose was to build a bridge over the Mojave River and widen Yates Road from two lanes to four lanes. The Town was required to provide a dollar-for-dollar match of local funds. Local Transportation Impact Fee funds were used to meet the match requirement.
“I am proud of the work of the Town’s Finance and Engineering staff, who daily demonstrate the highest ethics and professionalism. The clean audit report is an affirmation of their public stewardship in project management and accounting practices,” said Town Manager Doug Robertson. “This was no easy feat. The Office of State Audits and Evaluations is a rigorous institution.”
Completed in 2017, the Yucca Loma Bridge has been hailed as one of the most important transportation projects in the region, helping to improve traffic flows and relieve pressure on heavily-traveled Bear Valley Road. The next phase of the construction project, will extend Green Tree Boulevard by connecting Yates and Ridgecrest roads to the intersection of Hesperia Road and Green Tree Blvd, which includes construction of a bridge over the railroad tracks and wash. It is expected to begin construction in 2020 and will be largely funded by the City of Victorville and San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. The Town will contribute $4 million toward this phase due its regional benefit.
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