Bridges, wildlife underpasses planned for Palm Springs, California

April 26, 2024

The Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) will use $74.9 million to build bridges, wildlife under-crossings, a transportation pathway and solar-shaded area in Palm Springs, California. Palm Springs is 106.8 miles east of Los Angeles.

The Addressing Climate Change, Emergencies and Sandstorms (ACCESS) Indian Canyon Drive project will address a stretch of flood-prone road that cuts off underserved neighborhoods from critical amenities. The project is currently in the design phase. Construction will begin in August 2025.

CVAG will build two all-weather bridge systems designed to withstand all types of weather without limiting local access to essential services. Plans include elevating the bridge over at-grade crossings along the route’s Whitewater River. The raised design increases the bridges’ resiliency and mobility, facilitating the flow of water and sand. Alleviating flow in concentrated areas will help decrease the amount of road closures.

“Not only is this roadway a critical artery for commuters, it’s also the main artery to the Coachella Valley’s only level one Trauma Center at Desert Regional Medical Center,” said Palm Springs Mayor Grace Garner. “This is about saving lives; especially when there is an emergency that shuts the road down for a prolonged period of time.”

In addition to improving the bridges’ ability to withstand inclement weather caused by climate change, Palm Springs will incorporate wildlife underpasses into the structure’s design. This will help preserve the local ecosystem, providing threatened and endangered species with safe paths around roadways. CVAG will also install 2 miles of sand fencing connected to Amtrak’s Palm Springs Station.

Plans include building a 2-mile active transportation pathway (ATP) to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists and other forms of multimodal transport. The road will connect to the existing Coachella Valley (CV) Link, a 40-mile ATP connecting eight cities and the lands of two tribes. CVAG will install solar shades over the pathway to generate energy for the local community.

In early 2023, Tropical Storm Hilary closed down Indian Canyon Drive for months, washing out the road and making the roadway impassable. To recover from the damage and safeguard the community from future disasters, CVAG submitted an application to the Local Transportation Climate Adaptation Program (LTCAP) to fund the ACCESS Indian Canyon Drive project.

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) awarded $50 million to CVAG for the project December 2023. Indian Canyon Drive was one of 15 climate change resiliency projects that received more than $300 million from the CTC.

Photo courtesy of the CVAG

Adam Rollins

Adam Rollins brings his expertise as a Researcher and Writer to the Managing Editor role for several of SPI's key publications, including Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the latest addition, Government Market News. With a rich background as a freelance Content Specialist, Adam has honed a passion for learning and information gathering, delving into various industries. His research and writing have spanned a range of topics, from artificial intelligence (AI) technology, conservation, and project outsourcing, to managed IT services and software development.

Holding a bachelor's degree in English from Texas State University, Adam's proficiency in message development is complemented by his robust research skills and seasoned writing experience. These attributes make him an invaluable asset to SPI, ensuring the delivery of insightful and impactful content to the company's clientele.

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