- Project Components
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.
In anticipation of this future growth, and to alleviate 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 to promote transportation mobility, enhance safety, and improve air quality in the region.
- Caltrans and Metro 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 supplying water to local communities.
The Final EIS/EIR in now complete and is available for viewing.
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 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 had experienced tremendous growth and demographic changes in the last 20 years
- The rapid growth had caused travel demands to exceed roadway capacity resulting in deteriorating east-west travel speeds along the SR-138, which was primarily a two-lane highway.
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 project development process is defined by federal and state environmental requirements. The following flow chart highlights the major milestones in the environmental process from beginning to end. The Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report is now complete and is available for viewing.
The High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority (HDC JPA) has commissioned an investment grade study to begin the process of a Public Private Partnership (P3) business plan for the HDC Rail Infrastructure. The study will provide rail ridership forecasts in order to estimate revenue. The study is expected to be completed in October, 2016 and is managed by the HDC JPA with funding from the County of Los Angeles, SANBAG, California HSR Authority and XpressWest.
HDC Preferred Components
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 selected PA consists of a freeway/tollway with HSR feeder/connector, bike lane, and a green energy generation and distribution corridor, with alignment variations D and B1, details are listed below:
Multipurpose components selected as part of the PA:
- Bikeway- between US-395 in San Bernardino County 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.
- Roadway - The proposed roadway will 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, 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.