Q: Paul Parque of Canyon Lake said he doesn’t see an impact on roads or freeways from the additional gas taxes and increased vehicle registration fees imposed on Californians in recent years that raised funds for road and transit improvements. “I really don’t see an impact on our freeways or roads other than what our normal taxes spend on construction. Am I wrong? I would expect a lot more to be done,” Parque said.
A: Our reader is referring to Senate Bill 1, the transportation funding package that led to an increase in the gas tax and registration fees. SB1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, invests $54 billion over a decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in California and also to fund transit and safety efforts. Learn more about what’s going on and what projects are included at: https://dot.ca.gov/programs/sb1 and http://rebuildingca.ca.gov.
It’s fair to say that major freeway, road and transportation programs don’t get funded, designed, approved and built in the span of a five or six years but often take a decade or more to complete. Sometimes they involve matching funds from another transportation agency or municipality also, as those funds become available over time. And, of course, since this bill passed in April 2017, we had a two-year pandemic during which most road work was effectively halted, followed by a year or so of supply chain problems that further delayed many projects.
Q: S. D. Williamson of Victorville asked when the construction work along the 15 Freeway in Victorville and San Bernardino County will be finished. Williamson said the concrete barriers in place are dangerous.
A: The current project is extensive and is expected to be complete in early 2025, said Joy M. Pippin, a spokesperson for Caltrans District 8. The scope of the project is to rehabilitate 59 miles of lane, ramps, and drainage systems on the 15in San Bernardino County, spanning from Oak Hill Road in Hesperia to just south of Bear Valley Road in Victorville. Crews continue to work on excavation and paving on both north- and southbound sides. The concrete barriers, or K-Rails, are there to protect the workers in the center divider, Pippin said, as well as drivers in the area because there could be open trenches and other hazards from the construction work.
Tip for older drivers We would like to share a tip for older drivers who belong to the Auto Club: AAA is hosting a free Senior CarFit program for drivers 55 and older from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 3 at the Janet Goeske Center, 5257 Sierra St., Riverside. A technician will check your vehicle to make sure it’s comfortable and safe for the driver, going through a 12-point checklist. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 714-885-2300 to RSVP by March 1.
Finally, speaking about AAA, thanks to reader Patricia Havens of Claremont for a reminder that if you’ve lost your disabled parking placard, you can get a replacement not only from the Department of Motor Vehicles, but from the Auto Club, if you are a member. AAA offers its members help with this service at their offices.
Do you commute to work in the Inland Empire? Spend a lot of time in your vehicle? Have questions about driving, freeways, toll roads or parking? If so, write or call On the Road and we’ll try to answer your questions. Please include your question or issue, name, city of residence, phone number and email address. Write email@example.com or call 951-368-9670.
Amy Bentley | Correspondent A newspaper, magazine and online journalist in Southern California for three decades, Amy Bentley has written about nearly every topic imaginable, from business and community news to the environment, travel, the justice system, parenting and more. Her writing portfolio can be viewed online at amybentley.contently.com.