A popular alternative to the Cajon Pass took its first step toward a major upgrade today when the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved a contract to design improvements for Summit Valley Road.

"Many High Desert residents use Summit Valley Road as an alternate route to Interstate 15 through the Cajon Pass, especially when the pass is blocked due to accidents or weather," said First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. "Widening it to four lanes will provide a much-improved alternate route when there are problems in the pass."

Supervisors approved a $1.23 million contract with Stantec Consulting to complete the design work and conduct an environmental review for the project, all of which is expected to take up to three years.

About six miles of the road will be realigned and widened from two lanes to four between Ranchero Road, at the southern end of Hesperia, and Highway 138 a few miles east of Interstate 15. The project will improve access to and from Apple Valley and Hesperia.
Local residents are well aware of the road as a detour, and traffic levels jump whenever there are problems in the Cajon Pass, or when local traffic problems obstruct access to Interstate 15 in the Victor Valley.

A long, dirt stretch of Summit Valley Road was paved by the County and the City of Hesperia in September 2004 as an interim improvement.

Summit Valley Road will connect to Ranchero Road in Hesperia, creating what will become a vital link between two major arterial routes across the southern edge of the Victor Valley. Several projects are planned on Ranchero Road that will improve its significance as a major east-west corridor. Those projects include widening the road, building a grade separation at the railroad tracks, and constructing an interchange at I-15. The improvements will not only provide local traffic relief, but will also relieve congestion on offramps further north on I-15 and on other east-west arterials in the Victor Valley, such as Main Street and Bear Valley Road.