The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in cooperation with the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), the council of governments and transportation planning agency for San Bernardino County, proposes to add Express Lanes through the entire length of the 33 mile stretch of Interstate 10 (I-10) from the Los Angeles-San Bernardino County line to Ford Street in Redlands. The Project includes transition areas extending from approximately 0.4 miles west of White Avenue in the City of Pomona to Live Oak Canyon Road in Yucaipa (the Project Limits), and will open to traffic in 2025,with a design year of 2045. The design year is the period of time during which the improvement is expected to work within specified parameters.
Within the Project limits, the I-10 corridor is currently experiencing congestion and traffic delays, particularly during peak demand hours due to traffic volume exceeding capacity—a byproduct of local, regional, and inter-regional traffic demand. In addition, forecasted local and regional traffic demand is expected to continue increasing, resulting in a pressing need to improve traffic operation on the I-10 corridor. Peak-period traffic demand for substantial portions of the I-10 Freeway mainline general purpose (GP) lanes (traffic lanes other than managed lanes such as Express Lanes and High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes) currently exceeds capacity; and traffic demand for the I-10 mainline GP lanes is projected to exceed capacity in future years. Further, traffic flow on the I-10 Freeway’s existing mainline High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes is experiencing significant degradation during peak periods.
The purpose of the I-10 Express Lane Project is to improve traffic operation on the I-10 Freeway in San Bernardino County in order to reduce congestion, increase traffic flow and enhance trip reliability through the planning design year of 2045. Objectives of the Project are to reduce volume to capacity ratios along the corridor; improve travel times within the I-10 Freeway corridor; provide a facility that is compatible with emerging transit and other modal options; provide consistency with the SCAG Regional Transportation Plan; provide a cost-effective solution; and minimize environmental impacts and right-of-way acquisition.
Adds two Express Lanes, one each direction, on a 33-mile section from the Los Angeles-San Bernardino County line at Montclair to Ford Street in Redlands. Convert existing HOV Lanes to Express Lanes, for a total of two Express Lanes, each direction. The purpose is to improve traffic flow on the I-10 Freeway corridor through the west- and east-valley areas of San Bernardino County. See the I-10-CP-Traffic-Study-August 2014 for a fully detailed description of the Project.
Alternative 3 (the approved alternative) would provide two Express Lanes in each direction of the I-10 Freeway from the Los Angeles-San Bernardino County line at Montclair to California Street in the City of Redlands, and one Express Lane in each direction from California Street to Ford Street in Redlands—a total of 33 miles. The Express Lanes would be price-managed lanes in which vehicles not meeting the minimum occupancy requirement would pay a toll. Toll policy, which includes toll rates, and which vehicles would use the managed lanes free and which would pay a toll or a modified toll, has not been determined. Transition areas will be provided where the Express Lanes begin and end. Transition areas near the beginning of the Express Lanes would allow for traffic in HOV and GP lanes to change lanes to access the GP and Express Lanes. Transition areas at the end of the Express Lanes would allow traffic in the Express and GP Lanes to change lanes to access the GP and HOV Lanes downstream of the Express Facility.
In addition to the access and exit points at the beginning and end of Express Lanes near the Los Angeles-San Bernardino County line and Ford Street in Redlands, access to and from the Express Lanes would be provided in each direction at the following locations:
- Mountain Avenue
- Between Euclid and Grove Avenues
- Haven Avenue
- Between Etiwanda and Cherry Avenues
- Citrus Avenue
- Cedar Avenue
- Pepper Avenue
- Tippecanoe Avenue
- California Street
- Orange Avenue/6th Street
In addition to the Express Lanes, Alternative 3 would provide the following improvements:
- Construct eastbound auxiliary lane between Mountain and Euclid Avenues
- Construct westbound auxiliary lane between Rancho Avenue and La Cadena Drive
- Extend westbound auxiliary lane between Pepper Avenue and Riverside Avenue
Modify one-lane off-ramps to two-lane off-ramps at the following locations:
- Monte Vista Avenue Westbound
- Mountain Avenue Westbound
- Euclid Avenue Eastbound
- Holt Boulevard Westbound
- Waterman Avenue/Carnegie Drive Westbound
Bridge/interchange improvements including replacement, at the following locations:
- Monte Vista Avenue
- Euclid Avenue
- Vineyard Avenue
- La Cadena Drive/9th Street
- Tennessee Street
Why is the I-10 Express Lane Project needed
The I-10 Freeway is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System and National Highway System—a network of highways considered by the Federal Highway Administration to be essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility. The I-10 Freeway corridor serves as a major commuter and trucking route between the Southern California ports and the rest of the nation, carrying an estimated 20,000 trucks each day. The I-10 Freeway is also used by an estimated 263,000 commuters each day, many travelling to higher paying jobs in Los Angeles and Orange County, with two-hour daily commutes, each direction. With a lack of significant public transportation and an increasing population, traffic congestion in the region is projected to only worsen:
- In a study conducted by Forbes magazine, the Inland Empire ranked first on its list of America's most unhealthy commutes, beating out every other major metropolitan area in the country, with Inland Empire area drivers breathing the unhealthiest air;
- In a 1999 report by the Surface Transportation Policy Project, the Inland Empire led in fatal crashes caused by road rage; and
- According to Tom Tom's 2017 Traffic Index, an annual report detailing traffic congestion levels in cities around the world, each day Inland Empire drivers have to endure 44 minutes of extra travel time, adding up to 170 hours in total time wasted sitting in traffic every year.
The I-10 Freeway Express Lane project is intended to ease congestion throughout the I-10 corridor.
To address commuter challenges on the I-10 Freeway in San Bernardino County and to keep traffic moving, SBCTA studied various alternatives that would provide commuter choices to motorists, encourage economic growth and a sustainable environment, and promote a high quality of life for everyone who lives, works and travels in and through San Bernardino County.