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High Desert Corridor

  • Overview
  • Background
  • Project Alternatives
  • Process
  • Photos

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) for the High Desert Corridor is now available for public review and comment through December 2 at 5pm. Staff will review public comment and the technical evaluation to recommend a preferred alternative in the final environmental document which is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2015.

Click on the boxes at the top of this page to review the document, learn about the four public hearings scheduled for November 5, 6, 12 and 13, see an interactive project map, provide written comments about the project, view the Draft EIS/EIR, and more.

The High Desert Corridor (HDC) project is considering construction of a new multi-modal link between State Route (SR)-14 in Los Angeles County and SR-18 in San Bernardino County. This project would connect some of the fastest growing residential, commercial and industrial areas in Southern California, including the cities of Palmdale, Lancaster, Adelanto, Victorville and the Town of Apple Valley. While recent economic conditions have slowed growth throughout California, projections show that there will be significant growth in the HDC area again in the future.

In anticipation of this future growth, combined with existing congestion on east/west corridors such as I-210, I-10, SR-60 and SR-138, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) partner agencies initiated the HDC Environmental Impact Statement/Report (EIS/EIR) in September 2010..

Goals of the project include:

  • Address current and future regional growth
  • Improve east-west mobility
  • Enhance safety
  • Improved connections between regional airports and efficient movement of goods

The HDC was originally proposed in the 1970s as a metropolitan by-pass for trucks to alleviate truck traffic in the Los Angeles Basin and to facilitate truck movement from Mexico to points north and east. In 2004, the Metro Board adopted the North County Combined Highway Corridor Study that recommended strategies for addressing the high volume of truck traffic traveling north and south on the I-5, SR-14 and SR-138 Freeways. The HDC was one of the preferred strategy improvements for some of the following reasons:  

  • The High Desert communities in the northern Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties are some of the fastest growing subregions in Southern California
  • Both counties have experienced tremendous growth and demographic changes in the last 20 years
  • The rapid growth has caused travel demands to exceed roadway capacity resulting in deteriorating east-west travel speeds for an area that is served primarily by two-lane rural highways

In April 2010, the Metro Board authorized entry into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the implementation of the HDC Project. Metro is working on an MOU with the High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority (HDCJPA), the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), the State of California represented by the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Districts 7 and 8, the County of Los Angeles and the County of San Bernardino represented by their respective Departments of Public Works, and the Cities of Lancaster, Palmdale, Victorville, Adelanto and the town of Apple Valley for the implementation of the HDC. Caltrans will serve as the lead agency for the environmental clearance.

Strategic Multipurpose Corridor

During spring 2012, the Metro Board of Directors recognized the HDC as a “Strategic Multipurpose Corridor” that may be able to additionally accommodate a highway, a green energy production and/or transmission facility, a High Speed Rail (HSR) feeder service line from Victorville to Palmdale, and a bikeway. The addition of these new components to the original study has resulted in the need to update and refine specific technical studies, which are already underway.

New components of the HDC Strategic Multipurpose Corridor include: 

Rail - Recognizing the HDC as a multipurpose corridor with potential to connect to the ever-growing regional rail system, further studies will examine the potential for a High Speed Rail (HSR) Feeder service between Palmdale and Victorville. This feeder service would have the potential to connect to the XpressWest System – a planned high-speed rail service from Victorville to Las Vegas. Towards this goal, the HDC team is conducting studies to identify viable routes to connect to both the Metrolink station in Palmdale, and the future XpressWest station in Victorville.

Green Energy Production /Transmission Facility - The HDC environmental studies will explore opportunities for how a sustainable and environmentally responsible project could be achieved through the use of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. If proven viable, the HDC may be able to use green energy and contribute to state greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Bikeway- Another exciting component to the HDC Multipurpose Corridor project is an effort to enhance bicycle facilities along the HDC, approximately from 100th St. to US-395. Coordination has already started to identify local routes for an ideal bike connection between the City of Palmdale and the Town of Apple Valley.


HDC Functional Alternatives and physical variations carried forward for further study in the Draft EIS/EIR:

No Build Alternative

The No-Build (No Action) Alternative is exactly as it sounds – it proposes that no new corridor be built. Simply, the No-Build alternative represents future travel conditions without the HDC project, and is the baseline against which the other alternatives are measured. 

Freeway/Expressway Alternative (Avenue P-8, I-15 and SR-18) (With 4 Variations)

This Alternative consists of a combination of a controlled-access freeway and an expressway.  It generally follows Avenue P-8 in Los Angeles County, and south of El Mirage Rd in San Bernardino County, later extending to Air Expressway Rd near I-15 and curving south to terminate at Bear Valley Rd. This alternative, unlike the previous two, will also consider incorporation of green technologies and a new bikeway.

There are four slight variations that are being considered for this alternative, each representing a difference in how the freeway/expressway would curve and bend throughout the alignment:

Variation A

  • Near the City of Palmdale, the freeway/expressway would dip slightly south of the main alignment, approximately between 15th St East and Little Rock Wash.

Variation B (south)

  • East of the county line, the freeway/expressway would flare out slightly south of the main alignment between Oasis Rd and Coughlin Rd.
  • Variation B1 is another option in this area but is more direct and would require a shorter travel distance and would pass through Krey Airfield.

Variation D

Near the community of Lake Los Angeles, the freeway/expressway would dip slightly south of the main alignment, just south of Avenue R approximately between 180th St East and 230th St East. Variation D would maintain geometries that would allow for High Speed Rail tracks.

Variation E

  • Near the cities of Adelanto and Victorville, the freeway/expressway would dip south of the federal prison.

Freeway/Tollway Alternative (Avenue P-8, I-15 and SR-18)

This Alternative follows the same physical alignment as the Freeway/Expressway Alternative with the addition of sections of the alignment operating as a tollway. The incorporation of green energy technologies and a bikeway will also be considered.

Freeway/Expressway Alternative with High Speed Rail Feeder Service 

This Alternative is the same as the Freeway/Expressway Alternative, with the addition of a High Speed Rail (HSR) Feeder Service between Palmdale and Victorville. The incorporation of green energy technologies and a bikeway will also be considered in this alternative.

Freeway/Tollway Alternative with High Speed Rail Feeder Service

This Alternative is the same as the Freeway/Tollway Alternative, with the addition of a High Speed Rail (HSR) Feeder Service between Palmdale and Victorville.  The incorporation of green energy technologies and a bikeway will also be considered.


Study Process

The project development process is defined by federal and state environmental requirements. The following flow chart highlights the major milestones in the process from beginning to end. Currently the project is in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report (DEIS/R) Public Review and Public Hearing Phase. To review the Draft EIS/EIR click on the boxes at the top of this page, learn about the four public hearings scheduled for November 5, 6, 12 and 13 see an interactive project map, provide written comments about the project, view the Draft EIS/EIR, and more.



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