Late Rain Dampens Interstate 215 Construction

Nearby business owners complained that the construction, which was delayed temporarily due to rain, is affecting their bottom line

By JACOB RASCON
Updated 11:00 AM PDT, Thu, Apr 12, 2012

There was only a sprinkle in the Inland Empire Wednesday, but a late spring shower was enough to delay construction along Interstate 215 in San Bernardino, again.

That meant more headaches for drivers, and for business owners along the freeway.

Bob Bigart, Owner of H Street Collision Center, said he can’t work on as many cars as he used to.

"This used to be asphalt parking and then there was a 6,000 foot building," Bigbart said. "I wasn’t too bad with it because they led on that they were going to relocate the business, but that didn’t happen. I have no problem with the growth but I don’t think they have the right to cavalierly take the property."

Bigart has sued Caltrans for his losses and expects either a trial or settlement to take place sometime this summer. Despite the conflict and rain delays, he sees the benefits of the project.

His property is one of dozens affected by the $724 million project. Its organizers said once it's completed, drivers and owners, alike, will be happy with the results, and that in the end, a little rain won’t extend the project deadline.

Tim Watkins, from the San Bernardino Associated Governments, said the project is not the cause of the traffic problems.

"It’s really the solution to them. Days like this where we have weather or rain, it does put a little bit of a damper on the day’s activities but it doesn’t necessarily affect our overall schedule," Watkins said.

The estimated completion date for the Interstate 215 widening project has moved from January 2014 to summer 2013.    

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First Published: Apr 11, 2012 6:29 PM PDT

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