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Home / SCAG

Project targets 1,900 transportation investments in Inland Empire

The Southern California Association of Governments has identified about 1,900 transportation improvement projects for the Inland Empire over the next 25 years, officials said Wednesday.

SCAG released its draft Connect SoCal 2024 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy last month as a long-term vision for transportation investments throughout the six-county region, which comprises Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

The Inland Empire projects that were identified as needing improvement over the next 25 years included:

  • express lanes along Interstate 15 in Riverside County from Cajalco Road to state Route 74 and on state Route 60 from I-15 to the state Route 91/60/215 interchange;
  • express lanes along Interstate 15 in San Bernardino County from state Route 60 to state Route 210;
  • the Brightline West High-Speed Rail system from Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga;
  • the Ontario International Airport Loop;
  • the West Valley Connector bus rapid transit system; and
  • bus replacements throughout the Riverside Transit Authority service area.

Officials said the return on investment of implementing the plan would be significant, reducing travel delays, improving health outcomes and generating about 87,500 jobs directly and indirectly each year in the IE alone.

Another Riverside area mention in the draft plan referred to SCAG’s task of determining areas that are most sensitive to the negative consequences of transportation projects and real estate development. 

“Areas at risk for both flood and wildfire would be deemed more sensitive to growth than areas with only wildfire risk,” the draft plan states. “An example is the Lake Matthews area in Riverside County, where portions of land fall in very high wildfire severity zones … and also fall in 100-year flood hazard areas.”

Officials from the Riverside area currently on the SCAG Regional Council are County Supervisor Karen Spiegel and city council members Patricia Lock Dawson, Riverside; Kathleen Kelly, Palm Desert; Linda Krupa, Hemet; Clint Lorimore, Eastvale; Steve Manos, Lake Elsinore; Marisela Nava, Perris; Oscar Ortiz, Indio; Jan Harnik, Palm Desert; and Zak Schwank, Temecula.

Regional Council members from the San Bernardino area include city council members Damon L. Alexander, San Bernardino; Elizabeth Becerra, Victorville; Rick Denison, Yucca Valley; Ray Marquez, Chino Hills; L. Dennis Michael, Rancho Cucamonga; Frank J. Navarro, Colton; and Deborah Robertson, Rialto.

“The SCAG region’s financially constrained Connect SoCal plan includes revenues from both core and new reasonably available revenue sources — which together total $750.1 billion from FY2024-25 through FY2049-50,” according to the draft plan, which gets 61% of its funding from local sales-tax revenue, 32% from state sources and 7% the federal government.

Following the public review period, a final version of Connect SoCal 2024 is expected to be presented to SCAG’s Regional Council for approval in spring 2024.

“This plan incorporates local input more so than in past cycles,” said Buena Park Mayor Art Brown, SCAG’s Regional Council president. “This can help us move together as a region toward improving our transportation network and meeting our sustainability goals.”

The draft Connect SoCal 2024 is available for public comment and review until Jan. 12. To learn more and submit comments, visit connectsocal.org.

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