July 26, 2023
The Honorable Pete Buttigieg
Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Secretary Buttigieg,
I am writing on behalf of Inland Action to express our support for the application of the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) for a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant (MPDG), for the Interstate 10 (I-10) Corridor Freight and Managed Lane Project (Project), with a focus on the INFRA and Mega competitive grant programs.
This 11-mile segment, located on I-10 between I-15 in Ontario and Pepper Avenue in Colton, will add a high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane in each direction and strategic auxiliary lanes to: 1) address a nationally significant freight bottleneck and 2) provide incentives for use of transit and shared rides that do not currently exist. With this segment of I-10 as part of the National Highway Freight Network, carrying 25,000 trucks per day, SBCTA is seeking $60 million in INFRA/Mega grant funding, which will contribute to the Project construction phase. A strategy for implementing zero-emission truck fueling infrastructure within the I-10 corridor is also included, as well as advanced technology for dynamic pricing on the managed lanes.
The I-10/I-15 interchange, located at the west end of this segment, is ranked the 10th most critical truck bottleneck in the U.S. by the American Transportation Research Institute. Currently, eastbound queues of trucks and other traffic on I-10 regularly extend into the I-10/I-15 interchange from downstream freight bottlenecks. This will be addressed through the strategic, targeted use of auxiliary lanes and merge/diverge lane extensions to improve operations and safety at those bottleneck locations.
The MPDG funding request is the last piece of the funding puzzle to be completed. The total package is $796 million for I-10 improvements plus a $10 million investment in zero-emission truck fueling infrastructure, which has already been secured. The Project will fulfill the INFRA/Mega goals of improving efficiency and safety on a nationally significant freight facility. Caltrans and SBCTA staff have worked together to reconfigure the project to combine strategic freight bottleneck relief with single HOT lanes in each direction (rather than the original dual lane concept). This will further promote multimodal priorities (for people and goods), reducing vehicle-miles traveled, greenhouse gas emissions and criteria air pollutants, and increasing equity and access for historically disadvantaged communities in the corridor.
Interstate 10 plays a critical role in this high-profile link of the global supply chain for both exports and imports. The improvements are a win-win for moving both people and goods more efficiently and safely through this national gateway. Inland Action would like to thank USDOT for its consideration of this project.
Carole Beswick, CEO