Yucca Loma Bridge project receives Caltrans approval, proposed funding By BROOKE EDWARDS Staff Writer
APPLE VALLEY — After decades of planning, two milestones have been reached for the Yucca Loma Bridge project, which will ease traffic between Apple Valley and Victorville.
The bridge received Caltrans approval in near-record time, after only one month of review.
Various parts of the $75 million project have also been recommended for a total of more than $40 million of the Measure I local pot, collected from sales tax revenue in the Victor Valley. The funding is now pending approval through San Bernardino County’s transportation board.
The four-lane bridge will connect Apple Valley Road and Green Tree Boulevard, crossing over the Mojave River and the BNSF Railroad. It will include widening Yucca Loma Road to four lanes and then continue north above Spring Valley Lake along Yates Road. It will then drop back down, straightening out a portion of Coad Road and ending with Green Tree Boulevard.
Environmental and engineering studies are still under way. Officials anticipate getting final project approval in June of next year. They can then get permits in the second half of 2009 and hopefully begin construction soon after.
If all goes as planned, Brad Miller, engineer for Apple Valley, said they hope to have the project completed by 2013.
While many Victor Valley
residents are excited about the prospect of traffic relief the bridge will bring, those living in the planned construction zone — at the current end of Yucca Loma and along the north side of Spring Valley Lake — have expressed concerns over its impact.
Traffic studies project 25,000 cars will use the new roadway each day.
“Our two major concerns were the direct impact to residents close to the project, and the safety and security impact to the entire community that will be caused by increased traffic through the community,” said Paul Berger, former board president for the Spring Valley Lake Association and a member of the community’s Yucca Loma Task Force.
The group is also asking Apple Valley to mitigate noise from the bridge, including recommending the use of rubberized asphalt made from recycled tires. Noise receptors have also been used in people’s yards to help plan construction of sound barriers where necessary.
Plans for the bridge include a sidewalk on at least one side of the entire roadway, as well as a shoulder that will allow bike access. The SVLA group has asked that the sidewalk be located on the north side of the street, away from residents’ homes.
“The town of Apple Valley has been very good about meeting with us,” SVLA Manager Osmar Castro said. “They have made it clear that our concerns were going to be addressed.”