San Bernardino County Public Works will be constructing two new bridges and road improvements on National Trails Highway (Route 66) at Dola Ditch (2.08 miles east of Kelbaker Road) and Lanzit Ditch (2.77 miles east of Kelbaker Road), east of the community of Amboy. The construction will include removing the existing timber bridges and constructing new timber bridges.
A portion of National Trails Highway will be closed at all times to through traffic, including emergency vehicles. Traffic will be routed around the construction on public streets and highways. The detour plan includes using Interstate 40 and Kelbaker Road.
Local residents and businesses will have access from Essex Road west to the construction site, but there will be no traffic through the construction site. Construction of the project is tentatively scheduled to start on Monday and run through mid-September. This construction project was awarded to Cushman Construction Corporation of Goleta. The funding for this project is from the Federal Highway Bridge Program and locally funded gas tax.
This project is part of a master plan to replace several of the 127 bridges along the National Trails Highway corridor over the next several years. Engineering standards have changed since the bridges were originally constructed in the late 1920s, and with the modern traffic loading on these bridges, they have become structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.
Route 66, or National Trails Highway, is significant in American history as one of the earliest and most important highways linking the Midwest and California and was once characterized as "the road of opportunity."
The designation of Route 66 in 1926 signified the nation's growing commitment to improved transportation arteries and increased influence of the automobile on American lifestyles. Route 66 had a transformative effect on the American landscape through which it passed. This landscape continues to provide a visual narrative history of America's automobile culture of the 20th century and its legacy of related commerce and architecture.
At well in excess of 250 miles, San Bernardino County has the longest stretch of Historic Route 66 than any other county in the United States.
"Replacement of these two bridges is a giant step in the continued effort to preserve the historical bridges of Route 66 in San Bernardino County," said 1st District Supervisor Robert A. Lovingood, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.
The Public Works website contains up-to-date information on National Trails Highway at http://cms.sbcounty.gov/dpw/Operations/Route66.aspx