The I-10 Bypass – Banning to Cabazon project is located east of the City of Banning, in unincorporated Riverside County. The Riverside County Transportation Department (County) proposes to construct a new road which will provide a missing link between the City of Banning and the unincorporated community of Cabazon. The proposed project is located in close proximity to Morongo Indian Tribal Land, Smith Creek and the San Gorgonio River. The purpose of the project is to provide a local roadway connecting Banning and Cabazon that would:
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Accommodate local trips on a local roadway
Provide an alternate route between Banning and Cabazon in the event of a closure on the I-10
Improve public safety and emergency response access
Provide a safe route for pedestrians and bicyclists
Provide a connection from Cabazon to Banning that does not require an at-grade crossing of the RR tracks.
The current phase of the project includes preparing the preliminary engineering and environmental reports necessary to obtain environmental approval for the proposed improvements. The project will be funded in part with federal, state and local funds and therefore both California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance are required. Under NEPA delegation Caltrans is the lead agency for NEPA compliance. The County of Riverside is the lead agency for CEQA compliance.
The Draft Environmental Impact Report / Environmental Assessment (DEIR/EA) was released for public review on December 29, 2017. A public meeting was held on January 25, 2018. After public circulation of the draft environmental document, the project team evaluates comments and makes a decision to either recirculate the DEIR/EA or select a preferred alternative and finalize the document. . The final environmental document is expected to be approved early in 2020 after which the design and right of way phases are scheduled to be initiated.
Public comments on the draft environmental impact report/draft environmental assessment (DEIR/DEA) were accepted until April 30, 2018.