By Jane Dreher, SANBAG
Travelers on Interstate 10 in Redlands will receive an early holiday gift with the opening of a new westbound lane between Ford Street and Orange Street this month.
San Bernardino Associated Governments and Caltrans expect to open the new lane by the weekend of December 8th - weather permitting. The new eastbound lane opened to motorists on November 15, in time for the Thanksgiving traffic rush.
"It's exciting to see how well the opening of the new eastbound lane is working," said San Bernardino County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger, a Redlands resident. Hansberger said the new lane has eased the bottleneck from the freeway interchange with Route 210 (the former Route 30) and saves him about 15 minutes each day on his commute.
Hansberger and other elected officials spoke about the benefits of the project during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held November 29 in Redlands. The speakers agreed that the freeway widening would reduce traffic congestion for both commuters and freight movement.
"Interstate 10 is a trade corridor of national significance and the primary route for cargo headed from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Arizona, the Gulf Coast and all the way to the East Coast," stated Congressman Jerry Lewis, whom had just returned from Washington, D.C. and attended the ceremony.
Other elected officials speaking at the event included Senator Bob Dutton, Assemblyman Bill Emmerson, Caltrans District 8 Director Michael Perovich, SANBAG President and Mayor of Barstow Lawrence Dale, and Redlands Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Gilbreath .
Gilbreath praised the project as an excellent example of cooperative regional planning and support. The $46.5 million project was financed with $32 million in federal funds and $14.5 million in Measure I funds. Measure I is the voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in San Bernardino County. "This project demonstrates the support by local residents to tax themselves to fund necessary regional transportation improvements," Gilbreath said.
Before the westbound lane opens, construction crews will remove the concrete barriers that now line the roadway and will install sign structures. They will restripe the lanes, on-ramps and off-ramps within this 2.5-mile section of freeway.
The upcoming lane opening marks the near-end of the I-10 widening project, which started in November 2005. The project involved several stages of work:
- Rehabilitating the shoulders on both sides of the freeway
- Widening and strengthening 11 bridges
- Paving the new lanes and building a concrete median barrier
- Building walls to reduce sound for residents along the freeway corridor.
Landscaping work also is underway and will continue after the new lane opens to motorists. The landscaping plans call for Boston ivy, trumpet vines and a variety of other greenery to be planted to add color to the corridor and to deter graffiti.
This project is the second in a series of mobility improvements planned for San Bernardino County's East Valley. An eastbound truck-climbing lane between Redlands and Yucaipa was completed in mid-2005, and final design is underway now to add a westbound lane in this same area. Construction started in September to widen the Live Oak Canyon Road interchange in Yucaipa. In addition, preliminary engineering and environmental studies began this fall for the addition of carpool lanes on I-10 between Ontario and Redlands. SANBAG also is continuing environmental studies for the extension of passenger train service between San Bernardino and Redlands, with stations planned in downtown Redlands, the University of Redlands and other locations along the route.
"It is clear that SANBAG is continuing to deliver projects, and it's exciting to see how the I-10 widening project will help improve mobility for our residents and for the goods movement industry," said SANBAG Executive Director Deborah Barmack.
To read more about transportation projects and programs in San Bernardino County, visit the SANBAG website at:
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