Bye-Bye Traffic - I-215 Improvements in San BernardinoMeasure I: I-215 Widening - San Bernardino

Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2007 on the first phase of the Interstate 215 widening project throughout downtown San Bernardino. SANBAG, Caltrans, the Federal Highway Administration and the City of San Bernardino are partners in this project, which is designed to reduce traffic congestion and improve freeway operations.

Current Project Information

215 helpline number is 1-877-215-NEWS


I-215 Project Details

This project involves adding a carpool lane both northbound and southbound from just north of Interstate 10 to State Route 210, widening and replacing bridges, and reconstructing interchanges. The project also will add a general purpose lane in each direction along this six-mile stretch. An auxiliary lane will be built in each direction between 5th Street and the State Route 259 split and between 2nd Street and Mill Street. Sound walls and retaining walls will be constructed as well.
Widening and realigning of the freeway will improve access to the west side of Interstate 215 and enhance safety with the removal of entrances and exits from the fast lane and the addition of more conventional direct diamond interchanges. Right-of-way will be required for the project along the corridor. The exact requirements for some of the corridor right of way remain to be finalized.

The total cost is estimated to be $700 million and will be financed by a combination of federal, state, and Measure I funds. SANBAG has designed the freeway segments between Rialto Avenue and the future Route 210. Caltrans has designed the freeway segment from Orange Show Road to south of Rialto Avenue.

Artist rendering of the 5th st. bridge
An artists rendering of the new 5th Street Bridge

Phase I: 5th Street Bridge
Estimated Dates: Early 2007 to Mid-2009
Work began in January 2007 for the reconstruction of the 5th Street bridge, the first phase of the Interstate 215 widening project. The bridge widening is expected to take about 30 months to complete. SANBAG will serve as the lead for this phase of work.

This project will include building the new bridge and removing the existing bridge in stages. New bridge approaches will be constructed between H Street and J Street, which will involve regrading and elevating streets and intersections.
Construction activity will require extensive coordination with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, which has approximately 100 trains using the tracks each day in this area – an average of one train every 15 minutes. The construction work will require trains to be stopped for short periods of time, except during the heavy fourth quarter of each year.

Efforts will be made to keep 5th Street open to motorists as much as possible, but some closures will be required, particularly at night. Weekend closures also will be needed to repave and elevate the streets. Construction work will require about 30 instances of full freeway closures at night throughout the 30 months of the project. This will require drivers to be detoured to H Street for about seven or eight hours at night. The closures will cover several consecutive nights for bridge demolition, falsework placement and falsework removal.

Temporary freeway lane closures and ramp closures will be needed. The northbound 4th Street on-ramp will be closed for about six months, likely in mid- to late-2008.

Reconstruction of the 5th Street bridge will cost about $23 million, funded by state and local Measure I revenue. Measure I is the half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in San Bernardino County.

Phase II: Freeway Widening, Interstate 10 to Rialto Avenue
Estimated Dates: Mid-2007 to Mid-2010
Caltrans will serve as the lead agency for this section of the freeway widening project. The department expects to begin advertising for construction bids in spring 2007, with work tentatively scheduled to start by February 2007 and to last for about three years. This segment will include new bridges at Inland Center Drive and Mill Street, wider bridges over Warm Creek and Lytle Creek, drainage improvements and new northbound and southbound lanes.

Phase III: Freeway Widening, Rialto Avenue to 9th Street
Estimated Dates: Summer 2008 to Summer 2012
SANBAG will serve as the lead agency for this section of the freeway widening project, which is tentatively scheduled to start in the spring of 2008 and last approximately four years. This work will include new bridges at 2nd Street, 3rd Street, 9th Street, Base Line and 16th Street, sound walls, drainage improvements, local street improvements, reconfiguration of the interchange between Interstate 215 and State Route 259 and new northbound and southbound lanes.

Phase IV: Freeway Widening, Massachusetts Avenue to Route 30
Estimated Dates: Summer 2008 to Summer 2010
SANBAG will serve as the lead agency for this section of the freeway widening project. Work is tentatively set to start in mid-2008 and to take about two years. This segment will involve the reconstruction of bridges at Massachusetts Avenue and Highland Avenue over the freeway and adjacent railroad tracks, sound walls and operational and drainage improvements.


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