Your drive home from Las Vegas might go a bit smoother now.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has moved one of its inspection stations along the 15 freeway in an effort to alleviate traffic backups. The station has moved from just east of Barstow to about 7 miles south of Primm Nevada. The move is part of a statewide plan to streamline the inspection stations and locate them near California Highway Patrol facilities. This is the 2nd Border Protection station to be updated. The other is on interstate 80, north of Lake Tahoe in Truckee.
Drivers heading toward Los Angeles from Nevada will notice that trucks and cars are separated as they approach the inspection station, with trucks going through their own inspection lanes before moving on to a weigh station. The previous inspection station near Yermo, often caused traffic backups as cars and trucks would share 2 lanes until just before arriving at the station. It also was avoidable by using local roads. State officials were very concerned about big rigs using local roads to avoid traffic delays. The new station doesn't eliminate all backups on that part of Interstate 15. The freeway does go from 3 lanes to 2 when it reaches Primm, but opens up to 3 lanes well before the station, with up to 6 lanes available for drivers to pass through. Once drivers have been given permission to continue, there is a 3rd lane for trucks and slow-moving traffic help ease congestion up the hill toward Nipton Rd.
Other benefits of this move are the elimination of the previous station, which allows traffic to flow through the Calico area before reaching Barstow where the road widens to more than 2 lanes, as well as giving drivers an option of stopping at Primm to eat, shop or gamble should traffic back up from the station.
There are 16 Border Protection Stations in California. They are used to prevent invasive species of plants, insects and animals from being brought into California, which could threaten our enormous agricultural economy. For more information about the CDFA and its stations look here.