Why hasn’t this San Bernardino County bridge full opened? – San Bernardino Sun



Q: The bridge over the train tracks where Devore Road meets Cajon Boulevard in Devore has been completed for years but half the bridge, the two lanes on the east side, have never opened and remain blocked off, said reader Rich McGee of Victorville. He asked why this bridge in San Bernardino County hasn’t been fully opened. He noted that northbound traffic from Glen Helen Parkway backs up for blocks, especially after a concert.

A: It’s complicated, but work on this bridge continues and completion is still a few years out.

San Bernardino County’s Glen Helen Parkway Bridge Project is a two-phased project aimed at improving public safety and traffic flow in the area. Amy Ledbetter, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Works, explained the status of the project. “The existing Glen Helen Parkway was an at-grade railroad crossing with a low-flow bridge over Cajon Creek. The roadway was known for periodic closures during flooding and long wait times at the railroad crossing,” she said.

In 2006, voters passed Proposition 1B, known as The Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006; this included a Trade Corridors Improvement Fund, or TCIF, she said. These funds were targeted for trade corridors. San Bernardino County secured some of this funding for the railroad bridge along Glen Helen. “The funds had a tight expenditure deadline, so various funds were advanced to complete the overcrossing in 2015 as a first phase to the Glen Helen Parkway corridor,” Ledbetter said.

The remaining bridge over Cajon Creek uses a different type of federal funding involving numerous complex land acquisitions and agreements, environmental mitigations, and utility relations, so this second phase is on a different timeline, she explained. “Phase II of the project is currently in the final design phase and environmental approval and permitting phase. The project is anticipated to begin construction in summer 2024, with construction anticipated to take two years.”

Q: Edward Owens of Murrieta wants to know “what the engineering thinking is” behind having two merge entrances onto a freeway. For example, eastbound traffic on Winchester Road in Temecula merges onto the 15 Freeway northbound under the overpass, while the westbound traffic merges onto 15 northbound further on, he said. “This requires two sources of traffic to merge independently” onto the freeway. “It would seem more logical to have the oncoming east-to-north traffic merge with the west-to-north traffic in their own lane off the freeway before then merging with the I-15 traffic flow,” Owens said.

A: We ran this by Caltrans and received this explanation from the traffic safety office, courtesy of Caltrans Spokesman Eric Dionne: “In some cases, where there is heavy traffic coming from a local street to the freeway, the freeway/street intersection will not be able the handle all the movements needed without causing a major delay on the local street.” That’s why there are different ramp entries from the local street. In addition, Dionne said, there are two types of merging for the case cited by our reader: a case where each ramp will merge into the freeway independently, and a case where the first ramp will merge on an auxiliary lane, then the second ramp will join the same auxiliary lane and the auxiliary lane will merge into the freeway.

Do you commute to work in the Inland Empire? Spend a lot of time in your vehicle? Have questions about driving, freeways, toll roads or parking? If so, write or call On the Road and we’ll try to answer your questions. Please include your question or issue, name, city of residence, phone number and email address. Write ontheroad@scng.com or call 951-368-9670.



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