This week marked the first anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act established by President Obama, and the appropriations of federal funding have made their way to the Big Bear Valley. Earlier this month, the Bear Valley Unified School District was able to hire a new Student Attendance/Safety Officer, a position that is federally funded through 2011 and will ultimately help the school district generate revenue from the state should student attendance increase.

ARRA funding has allowed for maintenance on 116 miles of trails in the San Bernardino National Forest. Project completion is scheduled for this spring, so bikers and hikers can enjoy once the snow melts.

In March 2009, the San Bernardino National Forest received $1.5 million in ARRA funding, which is being used to address the backlog of trail needs on the forest. The trail maintenance project, which includes reconstruction and survey work, was initially targeted to address 26 miles of trails and roads–including 3N16 in the Holcomb Valley area, 3N12 near Delamar Mountain and 2N09 in Polique Canyon—but, given the service of the Los Angeles and California Conservation Corps and the newly established Urban Conservation Corps of the San Bernardino National Forest Association, the actual accomplishment, so far, is 116 miles of trail maintenance on our local forest.
CalTrans has seen its share of Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, to the tune of $2.45 billion for, to date, 481 projects statewide. Among those is the Lucerne-area project, which started in January, to realign Highway 18 at Camp Rock Road and build a new Cushenberry Creek Bridge, just northwest of the current bridge. Per Project Manager Ron Rolstad of SEMA Construction, “This project came along at a good time, when there wasn’t a lot of work out there. It opened up opportunities for our employees, subcontractors and suppliers in the High Desert area.” Rolstad tells KBHR that they don’t expect there will be any flagging, or subsequent delays, on the Highway 18 project at the base of the mountain until the new Cushenberry Creek Bridge nears completion, which should be late June/early July.