The above video was recently released by the High Desert Corridor [HDC] study team. For those new to the project, the HDC proposes to construct a new 63-mile east-west freeway between the 14 freeway and State Route 18 in the Antelope Valley.
A rail link parallel to the new road is also being studied as a way to connect California’s bullet train project to the proposed XpressWest, a private venture seeking to build a high-speed train between Victorville and Las Vegas. It should be noted that XpressWest needs a multi-billion dollar federal loan in order to be built and the U.S. Department of Transportation recently decided to stop processing that loan.
As for the High Desert Corridor, the idea behind the project is to relieve traffic on the 138 (the Pearblossom Highway), which is partially two lanes, often congested and can be very dangerous. A lot of truck traffic from the San Joaquin Valley area uses the 138 (and other roads) to reach the 15 and 40 freeways, the two big eastbound links for freight traffic headed from California to other parts of the U.S.
The ongoing environmental studies for the HDC were funded by the Measure R half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. The project, however, remains unfunded. One possibility to help pay for the project is to use a public-private partnership to fund part of the corridor as a toll road to help pay for construction.