Public Input Now Being Taken Prior To 210 Freeway Widening Project

The public comment period for the plan to widen the 210 Freeway at its furthest eastern/southeastern extreme opened this week and will run until June 16.
Local transportation officials, in San Bernardino County known by the collective acronym SANBAG intend to widen the 210 from Sterling Avenue in San Bernardino east to the interchange at San Bernardino Avenue near what is referred to as the Donut Hole, an island of unincorporated San Bernardino County property surrounded by Redlands. Transportation officials also are slated to improve the freeway interchange at Base Line in Highland.
SANBAG, which stands for San Bernardino Associated Governments, is San Bernardino County’s transportation agency. Its board consists of a representative, either a councilmember or mayor, from each of the county’s 24 incorporated cities, as well as all five of the members of the county board of supervisors. SANBAG has discretionary spending authority over Measure I funds. Measure I is the countywide half cent sales tax measure initially approved by voters in 1989. Measure I money is devoted strictly to road and transportation improvements.
The 210 Freeway runs essentially southeast from its western terminus at the Golden State Freeway (I-5) near the Sylmar district of Los Angeles through the northeastern San Fernando Valley and the Crescenta Valley, then through northern Glendale to a junction with the Ventura Freeway (State Route 134) in Pasadena. From that point on it is known as the Foothill Freeway, an east-west thoroughfare that parallels the southern periphery of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest. At Rancho Cucamonga, it crosses the Cajon Gap and then runs along the base of the San Bernardino Mountains. Near Highland, the freeway makes a radical curve south before terminating in Redlands at the 10 Freeway. Along this last span, the freeway closes down to just two lanes in either direction.
In cooperation with the California Department of Transportation, SANBAG plans to widen the 210 between Sterling and San Bernardino avenues to reduce congestion and improve operation of the freeway. Transportation officials say the project will minimize hazards for vehicles entering and exiting the freeway, and eliminate existing traffic bottlenecks.
The project will also widen Base Line from Buckeye Street to Seine Avenue to alleviate traffic congestion.
The northeastern San Bernardino/Highland area has experienced significant growth over the past decade, including commercial and residential development along Base Line near the 210 Freeway, according to SanBAG.
This week, on Monday May 16, the public circulation of what officials call the draft environmental document for the project began. A public hearing on the interchange project is scheduled for May 25 at Highland City Hall. A second public hearing on the lane addition will be June 2 at Beattie Middle School, 7800 Orange St., in Highland.
On June 16, the public comment period ends, so those members of the public who wish to weigh in on the undertaking should do so by then. It is not anticipated that anything members of the public put forth will dissuade officials from moving ahead with the project, which is estimated to cost $132 million and will involve the aforementioned widening from Sterling Avenue in San Bernardino east to San Bernardino Avenue in the Donut Hole, adding one mixed-flow lane in each direction from property taken from the existing freeway median; adding an auxiliary lane in each direction between Base Line and Fifth Street interchanges; providing a deceleration lane on the eastbound freeway between the Sterling Avenue undercrossing and proposed two-lane off-ramp at Highland Avenue; building an acceleration lane at the Fifth Street eastbound on-ramp; widening nine bridges within the proposed project limits; and improving drainage, adding ramp metering systems at the Fifth Street/Greenspot Road interchange, relocating utilities and adding retaining walls as needed.
Completion and approval of final environmental document and final project approval is anticipated by September or early October. By Spring 2018 officials believe they will have in hand the completed final design and will have acquired all needed right-of-way. The project is slated to begin in Fall 2018 with the project completed and new lanes open by Fall 2020.
The funding sources for the project are Measure I revenues, and state and federal monies.
Construction of both projects is scheduled to begin in fall 2018 with anticipated completion in fall 2020. SanBAG has completed the draft environmental documents and technical studies for both projects. Public review of the environmental documents for the interchange project is underway. Public review for the 210 Freeway begins Monday. The comment period ends in June.

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