California Department of Transportation

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District 8 Address:
Caltrans District 8
Attn: Public Affairs
464 W. 4th Street
San Bernardino, CA 92401

District 8 Telephone:
Main: (909) 383-4631
Fax: (909) 383-1009



Projects | San Bernardino County | I-215 Widening

I-215 project logoWork is complete on the $647 million Interstate 215 Widening Project – a major corridor that connects residents, motorists, visitors, and goods movement in Southern California. The project, which started in 2007 and is expected to be completed in 2013, adds a general use and carpool lane in both directions between I-10 and SR-210 and an auxiliary lane from approximately SR-210 to just south of University Parkway. Connector ramps between I-215 and SR-210 have also been built providing greater mobility between the freeways. New on- and off-ramps and reconstruction of all bridges and underpasses throughout the 7.5-mile project are part of the work as well as artistic wallscapes that reflect the San Bernardino Mountains, arrowhead, railroad history, and natural springs in the area.

The project is a partnership among SANBAG, Caltrans, the City of San Bernardino and the Federal Highway Administration, which contributed $128 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to help stimulate our local economy. This major expansion and revitalization project will help reduce congestion and improve traffic flow on this important freeway that serves as a gateway to Victor Valley, Riverside County, Orange County, Los Angeles County and points beyond.

Ribbon cutting ceremony for the I-215.


  • Project Overview
  • Photos
  • Project Phases
  • Project Video

Project Overview & Significance

Less than two years after construction began on the 5th Street bridge, the community gathered to celebrate the early completion of the new structure that allows for four through lanes and two turn lanes in each direction.

This project involves adding one general use and one carpool lane in both directions on I-215 between I-10 and SR-210. Freeway connectors from I-215 to SR-210 have also been constructed. In December 2011, the northbound I-215 to westbound SR-210 connector opened to motorists and in July 2012 the eastbound SR-210 to southbound I-215 connector opened. Auxiliary lanes are being added in both directions between 5th Street and SR-210 and in the northbound direction between SR-210 to University Parkway and sound and retaining walls are being constructed.

Widening and realignment of the freeway will improve access to the west side of I-215 and overall mobility through the City of San Bernardino. Fast lane entrances and exits are being removed and replaced by more conventional on- and off-ramps on the far right lane of the freeway.

Project Funding
The I-215 Widening Project is funded by a combination of federal, state and local funds. In 2009, $128 million was secured from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 along with $117 million in Proposition 1B funding. The local funds are made possible by Measure I – the voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in San Bernardino County.


Phase 1: January 2007 to November 2008
5th Street Bridge

Work began in January 2007 for the reconstruction of the 5th Street bridge, the first phase of the I-215 Widening Project. The bridge widening was completed in November 2008, six months ahead of schedule and under budget. SANBAG served as the lead for this phase of work.

This project included building the new bridge and removing the existing bridge in stages, allowing drivers to travel the east/west connector throughout the construction process. New bridge approaches were constructed between H Street and J Street, which involved regrading and elevating streets and intersections. Construction activity required extensive coordination with BNSF Railroad, which has approximately 100 trains using the tracks each day in this area – an average of one train every 15 minutes. The construction work required trains to be stopped for short periods of time, except during the fourth quarter of each year when there is increased time-sensitive rail traffic.

As a result of the project being completed ahead of schedule, approximately $2 million was saved. The reconstruction of the 5th Street bridge cost about $25 million, funded by state and local Measure I revenue. Measure I is the half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in San Bernardino County.

Phase 2: December 2007 to July 2010
Freeway Widening, Orange Show Road to Rialto Avenue

Construction began on Phase 2 work - the first freeway widening portion of the I-215 Widening Project - in December 2007 and was completed in July 2010. Caltrans served as the lead agency for this section of the freeway widening project.

In this project area, the freeway was widened from three to five lanes in each direction, which includes a carpool lane. The Mill Street bridge was reconstructed, widened and lengthened to accommodate the expansion of Mill Street from four to six lanes with new on- and off-ramps.

In addition, the Inland Center Drive bridge was reconstructed and widened to include two through lanes in each direction and two turn lanes onto the freeway. Bridges also were widened at Orange Show Road, Warm Creek and Lytle Creek. Aesthetic wallscapes, which are being constructed throughout the corridor, depict key aspects of the city including the San Bernardino Mountains, fountains representing the springs, and palm trees among other images. Street improvements and drainage systems were also included as part of this overall phase of work.

Phase 3: September 2009 - January 2014
Widening Through Rialto and Soundwall /Construction

SANBAG serves as the lead agency for construction of this section of the freeway widening project, which began September 2009 and lasted until January 2014. The work included the widening of underpasses at Rialto Avenue, 2nd Street and 3rd Street, and the complete reconstruction of bridges at 9th Street, Baseline Avenue and 16th Street.
Improvements in the project area also include direct on- and off-ramps at 5th Street and Baseline Street. The new ramps eliminate the fast-lane entrances and exits that for more than 50 years only led to the east side of the city. The new configurations provide balanced access to the west and east sides of the city.

Other work includes aesthetic wallscapes, sound walls in residential areas, new drainage systems and local street improvements. The freeway will be widened from three to five lanes in each direction and includes a new carpool lane.

Phase 4: January 2010 to Fall 2012
Freeway Widening, Massachusetts Avenue to University Parkway

Caltrans serves as the lead agency for construction of this section of the freeway widening project. Work began in January 2010 and was completed in fall 2012. A general use and carpool lane was added in each direction between Massachusetts Avenue and 27th Street. This involved the reconstruction of bridges at Massachusetts Avenue, Highland Avenue, and Mt. Vernon Avenue/27th Street. Sound walls and drainage improvements were also made in the project area.

The I-215/SR-210 connector ramps were a key feature in this phase. The northbound I-215 to westbound SR-210 connector opened in December 2011 and the eastbound SR-210 to southbound I-215 connector opened in July 2012. Other improvements included a southbound auxiliary lane and a northbound general use lane that was added from University Parkway to the I-215/SR-210 interchange.

For the last years of the project, SANBAG produced a videolog. Here is the final episode:

To see other episodes, visit the project site on YouTube.