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Author Topic: Why is the Interstate 15 route looks like a bypass of San Bernardino & Riverside  (Read 1181 times)

ACSCmapcollector

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Here is a curious question that is at the back of my mind.

I wonder why Caltrans or AASHTO signed Interstate 15 to the Ontario and Corona Freeways, the alignment looks like a bypass.  And Interstate 215 (Former Interstate 15E, U.S. 395), Barstow & Mojave Freeway, San Bernardino Freeway, Riverside Freeway, Pomona Freeway, Moreno Valley Freeway and the Escondido Freeway(s) is a bypass of Interstate 15?

The last time I was in the San Bernardino area, or Inland Empire was during a trip to Oro Valley, AZ and I navigated the proper route to get from Interstate 210, and California 210, bypassing the original routing of Interstate 210 at San Dimas to near Pomona to Interstate 10 on the San Bernardino Freeway (which is now signed as California state route 57, Orange Freeway).  After reaching the Foothill Freeway extension to Interstate 15, Ontario Freeway, we used the inverted four level stacked interchange, I-15/I-10 to reach the San Bernardino Freeway.  And I wonder when this interchange was constructed near Ontario, CA?

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cahwyguy

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I believe it is answered in a discussion thread you started a few days ago: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=18342.msg2158156#msg2158156
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NE2

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Because it is a bypass...?
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Quillz

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Interstates are generally for the purpose of being the shortest route between two points, bypassing cities if necessary. You can see this with I-5 (shortest route between LA and Sacramento), and I-15 seems to serve the same purpose between San Diego and Barstow. Thus, bypassing Riverside and San Bernardino was a compromise made.
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Max Rockatansky

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As opposed to plowing through all those cities?  If I recall correctly wasn't all that land I-15 was built on significantly less developed?  Orange groves and irrigation were still a thing in Southern California back when the Interstates were being built.  I would imagine that it was a lot easier to buy land from a farmer than trying to relocate a neighborhood of people. 
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sparker

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Max is correct about this; one of the reasons for relocating I-15 to the Corona/Ontario corridor was that it was deemed very difficult to expand the existing I-15 freeway, and the US 395 routing south of there via Riverside, because of the configuration of the urban sections of that freeway -- fears that much later came to pass with the difficulties encountered during the expansion process of I-215.  Using a new alignment over a relatively undeveloped area was considered more practical and effectual.  Also, the route of the CA 31 freeway that became the alignment of the relocated I-15 had been formally adopted several years prior to the Interstate switch -- so no eminent domain/condemnation activity beyond what was already in process for CA 31 was required.  To the Division of Highways, it was a "win-win" situation. 
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Exit58

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Max is correct about this; one of the reasons for relocating I-15 to the Corona/Ontario corridor was that it was deemed very difficult to expand the existing I-15 freeway, and the US 395 routing south of there via Riverside, because of the configuration of the urban sections of that freeway -- fears that much later came to pass with the difficulties encountered during the expansion process of I-215.  Using a new alignment over a relatively undeveloped area was considered more practical and effectual.  Also, the route of the CA 31 freeway that became the alignment of the relocated I-15 had been formally adopted several years prior to the Interstate switch -- so no eminent domain/condemnation activity beyond what was already in process for CA 31 was required.  To the Division of Highways, it was a "win-win" situation.

Wasn't the northern segment of the Ontario Freeway built before the realignment of I-15 was approved? I've seen maps showing SR31 LRNs and shields along this route well before any I-15s appeared on it or I-15Es on the San Bernardino alignment. Could this very well be the reason why the Devore Interchange was so messed up? I understand that I-215 was originally the through route, but it makes logical sense to rebuild the interchange before opening road

Of course this is Caltrans who rarely does anything logical, so who knows.

Btw if you have a chance to I recommend driving through the Devore area. The whole realignment finally makes things flow the way they should. I had a chance to tonight and it was great.
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sparker

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Grading for the Devore interchange began in early 1969 as the final part of the project that rerouted I-15 up the hillside north of there away from the original US 66/395 route alongside the RR tracks in the Cajon canyon; bridge construction was begun later that year,  just prior to the commencement of negotiations about rerouting I-15 onto CA 31.  The initial segment of the CA 31 freeway was an extended "stub-end", depositing local traffic on Lytle Creek Road; that opened to traffic in late 1970.  I drove on this road soon after opening and noticed CA 31 white mile "paddles"; the nascent freeway was signed "To Lytle Creek Road/Local Traffic Only" from I-15; at the time, I don't recall seeing CA 31 reassurance shields posted.   The portion of the original I-15 southeast of the Devore interchange was re-signed as I-15E at the end of 1972, along with white mileage paddles indicating the legal definition of that route as CA 194.  I had moved away from Riverside back into L.A. in the fall of that year, so I didn't get a chance to revisit the Devore "stub" until the new I-15 freeway had been completed south to I-10 and CA 60 by 1979;  I am not personally cognizent of exactly when "15" mileage signs started appearing on that stub.  I do know that the transition ramp from the CA 31 stub to north I-15 was originally only 2 lanes over the separation bridge, but dropping to a single lane before merging with the existing I-15; this had been corrected by the time the entire facility to Ontario (and beyond) was opened to traffic. 

Glad to hear that the improved Devore interchange is finally completed; work on it was just starting when I left the area in the fall of 2012.   Need to make a trip down to Hesperia to pick up some items left in storage (it's the desert, so I'll wait until later in the fall), so I'll try to make a side trip south to check out the new interchange. 
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Exit58

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This is very cool information thank you! The modern I-15 has always been a curious case for me. I live in the area currently and even when I was younger I always thought that I-15 always felt like an after thought. This is also way before Caltrans upgraded the San Bernardino/Barstow Freeway from I-10 to Devore. I remember those left exits very well.

Re: the guide signs for SR 31, did they ever have the shield on them or were they just signed To Lytle Creek Rd? I know earlier maps show a road named 'Cajon Connection' running from Lytle Creek Rd to LRN 31 (66/91/395), any idea if this was ever a state highway and if so, was it possibly signed as SR 31 or TEMP SR 31? It just never made sense that SSR 31 (Hamner/Milliken) ended in space at US 60/Mission Blvd, especially when the 1930's definition already had a portion from Ontario to Devore codified into the highway system (as LRN 193). I suppose it's possible that this was unconstructed mileage, but considering how big of a time savings that route could have been for LA travelers I find it hard to believe something wasn't signed as SR 31 north of US 60.
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sparker

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As I previously stated, I don't recall seeing any green CA 31 reassurance shields on the stub route of the Devore Freeway back in '69-'71 when I lived in the area.  The "Cajon Connection" was an existing 2-lane county road parallel and just to the south of the new freeway; it is still there, serving as an accessway to the Glen Helen amphitheater and recreation area.  Later, well after I-15 was completed through the area, this connection was realigned across the new freeway and an interchange serving Glen Helen was built about halfway between Lytle Creek and I-215.  Because of the events held at Glen Helen (concerts, conventions, etc.) the Connection has gradually been upgraded over the years; the eastern portion connecting Glen Helen to I-215 just south of the I-15 interchange was always hampered by twin grade crossings of the UP and BNSF parallel tracks (BNSF would run over 100 trains, mostly containerized cargo,  per day over Cajon Pass); just recently an overpass was built to separate the grade there. 
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The High Plains Traveler

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On this topic, I've heard people claim that this extension of I-15 through Devore was originally designated I-15W, to match the I-15E designation for original I-15 to San Bernardino. I've never seen any evidence to support this, but if anyone has, please so indicate.
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sparker

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A I-15W desigation was considered, but dropped soon into the numbering process.  The reason was simple -- although Riverside and environs wanted direct Interstate access, there was no guarantee at that time that 15E would ever be extended south past I-10 at Colton, the original end of I-15; and no party involved wanted a suffixed route that extended well past its "twin".  As this was well before the late '70's move to eliminate suffixed routes, a 15/15E split was thought of as no worse than, for example, the 80/80N pairing. 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 05:14:51 PM by sparker »
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Quillz

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See, my thoughts are there should have been both 15W and 15E, so they could function as loops, similar to 35W and 35E. But as noted, was unknown if the 225 would see an extension
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