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JAMES QUIGG, HESPERIA STAR
Jason McDaniel's rain poncho blows in the wind and snow as he prepares the Ranchero and Mariposa roads intersection for the upcoming construction of an Interstate 15 exit. A winter storm brought snow and freezing rain to the Cajon Pass and parts of the Victor Valley Thursday.

Interstate 15/Ranchero Road interchange to start construction

HESPERIA • After years of waiting, High Desert commuters will begin seeing major construction along Interstate 15 after city and regional officials break ground on the much anticipated Ranchero Road Interchange in Hesperia on Friday.

Officials from SANBAG, the city of Hesperia and Caltrans will gather near Ranchero and Mariposa roads at 10 a.m. with shovels in hand to move dirt on the $59 million project.

SANBAG President Janice Rutherford, 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood, Caltrans District 8 Director Basem Muallem and other regional officials are scheduled to attend.

The interchange, part of the three-phase Ranchero Road project, will provide residents of Hesperia and Oak Hills direct access to the freeway via Ranchero, Mariposa and Caliente roads.

Additional phases include the railroad undercrossing — which should be completed this summer — and the widening of Ranchero Road from two to four lanes between the interstate and the undercrossing.

The interchange project, which should be completed in two years, will also alleviate heavy traffic currently on the Main Street interchange, located a few miles north of Ranchero, according to a county release.

A tent with heaters will be on-site for the ceremonies, and light refreshments will be served. The public is encouraged to attend.

More information on the project can be found online at www.cityofhesperia.us.

Rene De La Cruz may be reached at (760) 951-6227 or at RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com.


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