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YUCCA LOMA BRIDGE PROJECT FAQ

1. Question:  What is included in the Yucca Loma Road/Yates Road/Green Tree Blvd Corridor Project?
Answer: The project includes two new bridges;  one over the Mojave River at the western terminus of Yucca Loma Road, connecting to Yates Road, and the second bridge over the BNSF Railroad tracks connecting an extension of Yates Road to an extension of Green Tree Blvd.  Also included is widening to four lanes the existing roadway between Apple Valley Road and Park Road, and building a new four lane road between Park Road and Hesperia Road. Major intersection improvements at Hesperia Road, Ridgecrest Road, Park Road, Havasu Road, and Apple Valley Road, as well as other minor improvements at intersections along the route, are also included to provide acceptable intersection operations.
 
2. Question:  What is the projects current status?
Answer:  Open to traffic.

3. Question:  Why is the project needed?
Answer:  The importance of the corridor project on regional traffic flow is revealed in the Victor Valley Area Traffic Study (VVATS), recently conducted by SANBAG.  The Corridor project, including the Yucca Loma Bridge and BNSF Bridge, are confirmed to be necessary, and is one of several planned improvements assumed to be in place in all ultimate build-out scenarios.  

4. Question:  What is meant in the answer to the previous question when it mentions all ultimate build out scenarios?
Answer:  Victor Valley Traffic Studies all incorporate the land use designations identified in each jurisdictions General Plans and the trip generation potential for those land uses.  The studies are intended to serve as a planning tool by estimating the potential traffic generated by the anticipated growth and development.  Those anticipated traffic volumes dictate the roadway improvements needed for mitigation.  Regional circulation improvements, such as the Yucca Loma Bridge/Yates Road/ Green Tree Boulevard Project are essential components of the ultimate transportation network required to handle the calculated growth within the Victor Valley, and are therefore incorporated into the circulation elements for the effected agencies General Plans.

5. Question:  What would happen if the project wasn't built?
Answer:  As indicated in all the various Traffic Studies for our region, unless a development moratorium is imposed, the traffic numbers would continue to increase, regardless of whether the roadway improvements are in place.  The Yucca Loma Bridge/Yates Road/Green Tree Boulevard Project will not generate new trips, but development certainly will.  The Yucca Loma Bridge/Yates Road/Green Tree Boulevard Corridor Project, in concert with the La Mesa/Nisqualli Interchange project, is needed to mitigate todays traffic on Bear Valley Road, as well as the Palmdale Interchange, and to prepare for the future traffic that will come as development ultimately occurs.

6. Question: In addition to connecting Yucca Loma Road to Yates Road, the project will connect Yates Road to an extension of Green Tree Blvd. If this Green Tree Blvd alignment is used, won't thousands of additional cars be dumped onto the existing Palmdale Interchange?
Answer: Not necessarily. With the addition of the La Mesa/Nisqualli Interchange, existing traffic will redistribute reducing traffic at other locations. However, as development continues, collective traffic volumes will increase. This is why the traffic studies do show future increases in traffic using the Palmdale Interchange. Those increases are the result of anticipated development, mostly within Victorville.  The predicted traffic increase is the result of development, not the new bridge.   

7. Question: If the first phase of the Yucca Loma Bridge/Yates Road/Green Tree Blvd Project only connects Yucca Loma Road to Ridgecrest Road, will the existing intersection at Bear Valley Road be severely impacted?
Answer:  From a traffic signal operations perspective, the Ridgecrest/Bear Valley Road intersection may actually be improved.  The reason is the existing traffic volume will then be utilizing all three intersection approaches at a relatively equal level, rather than the two east and west approaches being much heavier than the north approach, which is currently the case.  Traffic can be managed and distributed more equally, enabling the intersection to actually move a greater volume of traffic in less time.

Remember, at Ridgecrest and Bear Valley Road there will not be an increase in total vehicle numbers, (the additional vehicles using the Ridgecrest Road connection will be former Bear Valley Road users).  With a proper signal timing program, there may actually be an improvement in overall Level of Service.  In addition many Spring Valley Lake residents will use the Yucca Loma Bridge to travel east into Apple Valley, thus avoiding Bear Valley Road.

8. Question:  The existing Green Tree Blvd/Hesperia Road intersection already experiences heavy congestion. Wonít connecting a road to the east harm operations?
Answer:  The Yucca Loma/Yates/Green Tree Corridor project includes expanding the existing intersection, adding new turn lanes and through lanes to maintain acceptable levels of service.

9. Question:  Can an alignment further south of Green Tree Blvd be used to connect Ridgecrest Road to Hesperia Road?
Answer:  While there is nothing in the current Environmental Document and Preliminary Engineering for the Corridor project that obligates or commits Victorville to use the proposed Green Tree Blvd alignment, the proposed alignment has many advantages.  It is the only one that has historically appeared in both the Victorville and County of San Bernardino General Plans and for which right-of-way has been preserved.  A significant deviation would most certainly require amendments to the Circulation Elements of both plans.  In addition, virtually all of the Regional Traffic Studies for the Victor Valley Region, and the Circulation Element of the San Bernardino County General Plan, and the SCAG Regional Transportation Network could also be impacted.  Just how involved the amendments would be, and the potential impact on current land use designations within Victorville and San Bernardino County is a subject for a regional planning discussion for those two agencies.  It is beyond the scope of the project level studies done for the subject project.

10. Question:  This project appears to only benefit Town of Apple Valley and Spring Valley Lake residents.  How would this project benefit Victorville residents?
Answer: While it could be argued the majority of motorists actually driving over the new Yucca Loma and BNSF bridges are Apple Valley or Spring Valley Lake residents, the purpose and intent of the project is to create an additional east/west corridor through the Victor Valley.  The benefits of the new corridor and the new La Mesa/Nisqualli Interchange, are region wide, and serve anyone who drives, works, or operates a business in the Victor Valley.  The benefit of this project is traffic congestion relief, and traffic congestion affects nearly everyone, but perhaps especially those residents and business owners in Victorville who must endure it on a daily basis.

11. Question:  Will west-bound traffic from Apple Valley use Spring Valley Lake as a cut-through to reach Bear Valley Road, Victor Valley College, and other destinations?
Answer:  While public roads are intended for all to use, there will be features included in the project to encourage motorists to use Ridgecrest Road as the main thoroughfare, and not enter the residential areas to find ìshort-cutsî.  These features will include a center median on Yates Road, preventing left turns until Chinquapin Drive and Ridgecrest Road.

12. Question:  Will this project negatively impact the Mojave Narrows Park, and the Mojave River itself?
Answer:  No.  The Park will benefit from easier public access and a future traffic signal at the main entrance.  The Park will eventually be accessible from the west, south and east by way of the Yucca Loma Bridge, Ridgecrest Road, and Green Tree Blvd.  The Yucca Loma Bridge will make the Park easily accessible from Apple Valley, and the project includes mitigation that will remove damaged and degraded natural areas.  The project mitigations will restore the natural look and beauty of the Park frontage, while also restricting and reducing un-lawful access into the river bottom.   The project is supported by our local environmental protection and water quality Agencies.

13. Question:  Will the Rio Vista Elementary School be negatively impacted by this project?
Answer:  No. The Rio Vista Elementary School is intentionally situated at the intersection of Yucca Loma Road, a major arterial, and Havasu Road, a local residential street.  Schools are significant traffic generators, and are typically sited on or very near an arterial roadway.  The installation of a traffic signal at Havasu Lane is included in the project scope. Having easy access to Yucca Loma Road by way of a signalized intersection, while the school entrance actually fronts on a local residential street, is a near ideal placement.  In addition, there will be features included in the design of Yucca Loma Road to accommodate the needs of the school traffic, such as an extended west bound left turn bay, and full pedestrian improvements around the intersection.