With Victorville's La Mesa/Nisqualli interchange on track to finally move forward under the county's transportation agency, Hesperia Mayor Mike Leonard said he might consider asking SANBAG to take the lead in building his city's long-awaited Ranchero interchange.


Leonard made the statement during SANBAG's Mountain/Desert Committee meeting Friday, when the 11-member group voted unanimously to take over building Victorville's interchange. When reached by phone after the meeting, Leonard said there's no immediate push to shift Ranchero underpass to SANBAG's control.


"We're going to hang back and wait and see what happens," Leonard said, with news expected soon on additional state funding that could offset some of the project's hefty cost.


The city has long planned to put an underpass beneath the BNSF railroad tracks that bisect the city to create a second east-west corridor through town, then widen the road from the underpass to Interstate 15, where the new freeway interchange would be built.


If the Corridor Mobility Improvement money doesn't come through, Leonard said he will "absolutely" push his City Council to consider asking SANBAG for help in hopes of moving the interchange forward this year.


Staff writer Beau Yarbrough contributed to this report.


Brooke Edwards may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.