High Desert Corridor draft environmental study is released


Caltrans and Metro today released the long-awaited draft environmental study for the High Desert Corridor project, which contemplates a new 63-mile freeway between Palmdale in Los Angeles County and the town of Apple Valley in San Bernardino County — along with a possible high-speed rail line, bikeway and green energy transmission corridor. The study also considers the legally-required No Build alternative.

The draft study can be viewed by clicking here.

The High Desert Corridor sits north of the San Gabriel Mountains, traditionally the divide between the heavily populated Los Angeles Basin and the rural Mojave Desert. In recent years, however, desert cities such as Palmdale, Lancaster, Adelanto, Hesperia, Victorville and Apple Valley have grown tremendously and now have a combined population near 700,000. The study predicts more growth — and more traffic — in coming decades.

Transportation, however, has remained a challenge in the High Desert with Highway 138 remaining the primary east-west option. Highway 138 is narrow — two or four lanes, often with no center divider — and long ago earned a reputation for its safety issues.

As with other transportation projects, funding for the High Desert Corridor project will remain a challenge. At this time, the project is not funded, although Measure R helped provide money for the project’s environmental studies. Among the alternatives studied is a toll road that could raise funding needed to help finance the project.

The news release from Caltrans is after the jump.


14 replies

  1. I’m OK with a little planning, but Caltrans needs to Get Off Their Duff and finish the dang SR-58 freeway FIRST AND RIGHT NOW. It has been a dangerous traffic bottleneck for decades and especially since the Las Vegas population boom caused truck traffic to skyrocket.

  2. This is a good road to build for those who live in work in the high desert and for motorist who travel from the westside to the 15 to head north. Also, this road could spur commerical industry growth in the High Desert and help jump start a high speed rail line from Palmdale to Vegas and beyong.

  3. If we must build this, at minimum, it should include ROW for a future rail project between the Palmdale HSR Station and the I-15 corridor.

  4. Great, more freeway projects! Billions get spent for car drivers instead of being spent on public transit! If these kinds of pork barrel projects are being spent with my tax dollars, you can count a no vote on the next tax increase measure!

  5. Can someone please explain why we’re wasting limited transportation funds on, literally, a highway in the middle of nowhere, which sees very little traffic versus a metropolis of 10+ million people living in dense, urban corridors with only slow-moving buses? Is this Metro’s vision for LA County? More freeways on the fringes of our County to make sure that people can speed 70+ mph through the desert?? While we continue to ignore our urban areas?

  6. Caltrans originally planned on a freeway to be built along or near SM Blvd through Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and West LA to connect up with the 405 SD Freeway. And of course Beverly Hills shot it down just like their good at doing to most transportation that would help the region.

  7. The longer you wait to build it, the more of the land will be gobbled up. Build it while there is still a lot of vacant land available. It is a safety issue so needs to be built. The longer you wait, the more people will DIE on the existing dangerous highway.

  8. “Palmdale in Los Angeles County and the town of Apple Valley in San Bernardino County”

    “Measure R helped provide money for the project’s environmental studies”

    And why are LA County tax dollars being used for commuters from San Bernardino County?

  9. Again we see those in the valley seeking relief traveling from one part to the other. And again those of us who live in the cities of Los Angeles; West Los Angeles, Hollywood, Silverlake; Beverly Hills and West Hollywood see no relief being planned to alleviate our commutes along Santa Monica B., State Highway 2. Century City was developed with the assurance that a freeway was to be built however Governor Jerry Brown killed it although most of the needed property had been acquired. It’s time we are provided relief before any other new projects are approved and started. While Santa Monica Bl. is grid locked everyday Highway 138 is a open highway with normal speeds of 65 mph throughout the day.

    • So the Antelope Valley, which is trying to grow responsibly and put in infrastructure before the population creates gridlock and diminished economic opportunities, should be punished because the Westsiders made horrible land use decisions and overpopulated and overdensified without the appropriate transportation infrastructure to support it? And Westside politicians (Yaroslavsky and Waxman) killed the subway years ago and now are spending billions to build it now?

      Get over yourself and your “The only people that matter are on the Westside” mindset.

      If this High Desert Corridor can generate tolls and other revenues from trucks and long-distance drivers using the route to avoid the gridlock of the LA Basin to help pay for itself, why is this a problem?