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Ranchero Interchange breaks ground
Interchange to alleviate traffic on Main Street, Bear Valley Road
HESPERIA • Icy winds and cold temperatures didn't keep local dignitaries and county officials from celebrating the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Interstate 15/Ranchero Road Interchange project Friday morning.
The groundbreaking marks the beginning of a two-year long project that will allow residents of Hesperia and Oak Hills direct access to the I-15 via Ranchero, Mariposa and Caliente roads at the tune of $59 million, according to Jane Dreher, public information officer for the San Bernardino Associated Governments.
Individuals from SANBAG, the city of Hesperia and Caltrans all celebrated the groundbreaking, which took place on the southeast corner of Ranchero and Mariposa roads, adjacent to I-15.
The interchange is Phase II of a plan to alleviate traffic on both Main Street and Bear Valley Road, according to Hesperia City Manager Mike Podegracz, who added that Security Paving Co. Inc. of Sun Valley will now be able to begin work on the project.
Hesperia Mayor Bill Holland, however, believes the interchange will be completed in less than the allotted time frame.
“Based on everything going on and how fast the underpass has progressed, I anticipate that this too will be ahead of schedule,” Holland said. “I predict that it will be done in as fast as 18 months. The only thing that could slow it down is the weather.”
Newly elected Congressman Paul Cook, who represents the 8th District, was also present at the ceremony and made the audience chuckle a few times with government-centered jokes.
Cook, who said he was on the SANBAG board for 14 years, said SANBAG was one of the most important organizations because it gets things done.
“This is going to be the new start for the southeast Hesperia sphere of influence,” Cook said after the ceremony. “This will bring a lot of new things here and this is government at its finest.”
Janice Rutherford, current SANBAG president and 2nd District supervisor, presented former 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt with a plaque with a mini sandbag on it.
“I give credit to the city of Hesperia for having this project shovelready,” Mitzelfelt said. “It took many years of persistence but the regional cooperation really paid off, most importantly for congestion relief and for economic development.”
According to a press release issued from Dreher, the bridge over the interstate will have three lanes in each direction, and will enhance mobility and improve emergency response times in the region.
The press release states that the interchange will not only help local Victor Valley residents, but as development occurs around the new interchange, new services will become available for the motoring public traveling on I-15 from other parts of the state and country.
Lynnea Lombardo may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at LLombardo@VVDailyPress.com.
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