• Overview
  • Background
  • Project Alternatives
  • Process
  • Photos

Project Overview

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 completed the HDC Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report (EIS/EIR) in late 2014. The environmental effort is to study alternatives for improving traffic congestion, goods transportation, and air quality in the region.

  • Metro and Caltrans studied five functional alternatives and four physical variations in the Draft EIS/EIR and identified the Preferred Alternative (PA) in July 2015. The PA is a multipurpose alternative that includes Freeway/Tollway with High Speed Rail in the Median along with the Green Energy Corridor and the Bikeway. The PA includes two previously considered variations (Variations D and B1) as part of the alignment.
    • Variation D - located in Lake Los Angeles, will reduce the number of residential displacements and avoid an existing vineyard.
    • Variation B1 – located in Adelanto, will avoid impacts to several water wells owned by the Phelan Piñon Hills Community Services District.

The PA will be carried to the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (Final EIS/EIR), which is anticipated to be released in Spring 2016.

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

HDC Strategic Multipurpose Corridor

Rail – Recognizing the HDC as a multipurpose corridor with potential to connect to the ever-growing regional rail system, the HDC project will serve as a High Speed Rail (HSR) Feeder service between Palmdale and Victorville. This feeder service would have the potential to connect two HSR projects being proposed in California. First is the California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) which would run between San Francisco/Sacramento and San Diego with a stop in Palmdale and the proposed XpressWest HSR between Las Vegas and Victorville. The HDC HSR could close the gap providing direct connections to the CAHSR and XpressWest Systems. Towards this goal, the HDC team has conducted studies to identify viable routes to connect to both the Palmdale Transportation Center in Palmdale, and the future XpressWest station in Victorville.

Green Energy Production /Transmission Facility – The HDC environmental studies explore opportunities for a sustainable and environmentally responsible project, particularly through use of wind and solar energy. 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 20th Street 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.


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 late 2010, 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) and released the Draft EIS/EIR for public review and comment in late 2014. Metro and Caltrans studied five functional alternatives and four physical variations in the Draft EIS/EIR and identified the Preferred Alternative (PA). The PA is a multipurpose alternative that includes Freeway/Tollway with High Speed Rail in the median along with the Green Energy Corridor and the Bike lane. The PA also includes two previously considered variations (Variations D and B1) as part of the alignment:

  • Variation D - located in Lake Los Angeles, will reduce the number of residential displacements and avoid an existing vineyard.
  • Variation B1 – located in Adelanto, will avoid impacts to several water wells owned by the Phelan Piñon Hills Community Services District  

The PA will be carried to the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (Final EIS/EIR), which is anticipated to be released in Spring 2016.

HDC Strategic Multipurpose Corridor

Rail – Recognizing the HDC as a multipurpose corridor with potential to connect to the ever-growing regional rail system, the HDC project will serve as 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 already conducting studies to identify viable routes to connect to both the Metrolink station in Palmdale, and the future XpressWest station in Victorville. In essence, the HDC project has potential to provide a one-seat rail trip from Las Vegas to Victorville and Palmdale.

Green Energy Production /Transmission Facility – The HDC environmental studies explore opportunities for a sustainable and environmentally responsible project, particularly through use of wind and solar energy. 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 20th Street 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 Preferred Alternative

In July 2015, the Preferred Alternative (PA) was finalized and adopted by Caltrans and the Metro Board of Directors, advancing the alternative for further study in the Final EIS/EIR, the study is expected to be completed in Spring 2016.

The selected PA consists of a Freeway/Tollway with HSR feeder/connector, bike lane, and a green energy generation corridor, with Variations D and B1, details are listed below:

  • Roadway - The proposed roadway would begin in Palmdale as a freeway, follow Avenue P-8 in Los Angeles County, run parallel to and south of El Mirage Road when entering San Bernardino County, turn east to Air Expressway Boulevard near I-15, transition to an expressway at Dale Evans Parkway, and end at SR-18/Bear Valley Road in the Town of Apple Valley.
  • Toll - The toll section, if adopted, would begin at 100th Street East in Palmdale and end at US-395 in Victorville.
  • HSR Feeder/Connector - The HSR Feeder/Connector service would run between the Palmdale Transportation Center and the proposed XpressWest HSR station in Victorville. The planned future passenger rail network would potentially connect San Francisco, Central Valley, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Diego.
    • HSR Option 1C to the Palmdale Transportation Center - includes underground segments for both northbound and southbound wye connections to avoid conflicts with the Union Pacific Rail Road (UPRR), Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) tracks near Sierra Highway, Runway Protection Zones at the Plant 42 facility, and the St. Clair Parkway Section 4(f) open space property in Palmdale.

Alignment Variations selected as part of the PA:

  • Variation D – located in Lake Los Angeles, will reduce the number of residential displacements and avoid an existing vineyard.
  • Variation B1 – located in Adelanto, will avoid impacts to several water wells owned by the Phelan Piñon Hills Community Services District.

Multipurpose components selected as part of the PA: 

  • Bikeway- between US-395 and 20th St. East in Palmdale
  • Green energy production and/or transmission corridor - the project will assume a footprint that can accommodate an energy production and/or transmission facility along HDC.
    • The green and renewable energy component would contribute to greenhouse gas and energy cost reductions.
    • The green energy production and transmission facilities would be constructed within the study area footprint.

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 Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) Phase, the document is expected to be completed in Spring 2016.


Share this page on