APPLE VALLEY — With construction on a nearly mile-long stretch of Yucca Loma Road progressing, town officials have tentatively scheduled an opening date for the long-anticipated bridge to which the road leads.

Town spokeswoman Kathie Martin told the Daily Press the Yucca Loma Bridge will open to traffic May 22, almost two months ahead of schedule.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and community bike ride — scheduled for May 19 and May 20, respectively — will precede the official opening, though all dates remain open to change, according to Martin.

“Of course, this is a major construction project,” she said, “and there could still be unforeseen issues that impact the schedule, but we are working toward that date as of now.”

Initial completion for the more than $8 million Yucca Loma Road widening project was set for July 14; however, Martin said several factors sped up construction, including use of an alternative material for the storm drain that runs underground from Apple Valley Road to the Mojave River.

“The bid originally called for a product that is cast in place, and which then has to cure,” Martin said. “The contractor, Riverside Construction, suggested rectangular precast concrete sections. They are just set in place and connected, which takes much less time.”

Meanwhile, Yucca Loma Bridge construction wrapped up in July after more than two years of work. At the time, Town Manager Frank Robinson said the project came in on time and under budget, costing $28.7 million, not including $3.9 million in construction management costs.

Although the bridge opening is finally in sight, the saga for the three-phased Yucca Loma Corridor is not yet over.

In November, the Victorville City Council approved an amendment to a services agreement with Dokken Engineering for additional work related to final design of the Green Tree Boulevard Extension project.

That $45 million project will eventually stretch Green Tree Boulevard about a mile from Hesperia Road to Ridgecrest/Yates roads and will include a bridge over the BNSF railroad tracks, creating a third arterial connection to Interstate 15 in the High Desert via the Yucca Loma Bridge.

Construction is expected to start in late 2018, according to Victorville City Manager Doug Robertson.

Source: Matthew Cabe, Daily Press