By Michael P. Neufeld
Hesperia, CA – The temporary bypass road on Highway 138 near Hog Ranch Creek Bridge was supposed to open Monday, January 9 as part of the $23 million East Alignment Project that will eliminate the switchbacks just east of Interstate 15. However, weather conditions have prevented Skanska USA from completing the temporary bypass.
Once completed, Skanska personnel will be directing traffic onto the temporary pavement that will be utilized until the completion of the project, according to a Caltrans press release.
Flaggers and advanced warning signs will be in place to alert the traveling public of the new traffic configuration.
The Caltrans release explains the project realigns the roadway, constructs outside shoulders and three wildlife crossings near Hesperia from 1.9 miles east of I-15 to 0.1 mile west of Summit Post Office Road. The realignment project will also shorten the trip from Crestline to I-15 by about a mile.
Highway 138 through Summit Valley will a remain a two-lane road with one lane in each direction. The project — which is scheduled for completion in summer 2018 — will construct full 12-foot lanes in each direction, plus full shoulders of 8 to 10-feet each.
To build the “new” roadway closer to the existing railroad tracks, Skanska will excavate about 777,000 cubic yards of dirt, traverse seven (7) tributaries of Crowder Creek, which is a tributary to Lytle Creek and ultimately the Santa Ana River.
The contractor will also build three (3) new bridges requiring the excavation of 1,160 cubic yards of stream bank and placement of 2,657 cubic yards of rock slope protection within the streambeds. A total of 11 new culverts will be installed and 15 existing culverts will be removed.
The project alignment is located outside the designated critical habitat for the federally-listed endangered Arroyo Toad (Anaxyrus Californicus).