California’s San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) has appointed Michael Baker International as lead designer for the Interstate 15 (I-15) Freight Corridor Improvement Project.

Involving an investment of more than $200m, the I-15 Freight Corridor Improvement Project will involve the widening of a six-mile multilane freeway for a tolled express lane facility in San Bernardino County.

One or two express lanes will be added in each direction between Cantu-Galleano Ranch Road and Baseline Avenue.

The project also involves widening 16 bridges, including three over-railroad structures, as well as around 12,000ft of retaining walls, in order to accommodate the express lanes.

Michael Baker International will be responsible for the overall design process, which will include ensuring that the design is in line with the schedule and established design criteria.

To integrate design and construction, the company will coordinate with major project stakeholders.

These will include SBCTA, the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), as well as various rail authorities.

It will manage the design of roadway, intelligent transportation systems, tolling, signals, drainage, lighting and survey activities for the entire corridor.

Michael Baker International national practice executive Malcolm Dougherty said: “I-15 is an economic lifeline connecting San Bernardino County to the rest of the nation, and this project will address one of the most congested portions of the corridor.

“Our team will draw on our vast experience completing large-scale, complex transportation projects, including our work on the adjacent I-10 Corridor Express Lanes, as we partner with SBCTA to encourage growth, a sustainable environment and a high quality of life for everyone who lives, works and travels in and through San Bernardino County.”

Upon completion, the project is expected to reduce traffic congestion and facilitate enhanced regional mobility.

The new express lane facility would also establish access to the connecting Interstate 10 (I-10) and State Route 60 (SR-60) freeways.

The project will be linked to the recently opened RCTC Express Lanes to the South, and work with the Brightline West Rail Design Project in the North for seamless coordination through construction.

Currently in the design phase, the project will enter the construction phase in 2024.