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Public Works

Public Works receives GIS award from ESRI

color seal smallThe County of San Bernardino Department of Public Works received a Special Achievement in GIS Award at the ESRI International Users Conference in San Diego, held July 14-18. This award acknowledges vision, leadership, hard work, and innovative use of ESRI’s geographic information system technology.

In April 2013, Public Works developed new geographic mapping information on their website to assist the public in viewing county roads, flood control and solid waste facilities locations throughout the county.

Ninety percent of the work that Public Works performs is at distinct geographical locations within the County, and the department wanted to share that information with the public through a variety of interactive maps. The website address is

The website includes locations of the Road Yards showing the service boundaries with information on how to contact road yard supervisors. A search by street address feature is also available of the County Maintained Road System, allowing users to easily locate which roads are maintained by Public Works. A Temporary Road Closures map helps users avoid areas where roads are closed for maintenance or problems.  Flood Control facilities and Flood Control right-of-ways are easily identifiable on their own unique interactive map. A Waste Disposal map shows locations, hours and days of operations to assist with accessing the landfills or transfer stations in your area. The Capital Improvement Project map provides a tour of the current projects that are under construction.  All of the maps are interactive, allowing users to click on a geographic feature to bring up additional detailed information.

“The SAG Awards identify the organizations and people that are using the power of geography to improve our world and drive change,” says ESRI president Jack Dangermond.

For more information about the 2014 Special Achievement in GIS Award winners, including project information and photos, please visit

For further information visit Public Works at

Flood Control District celebrates 75th anniversary

"E" Street and Santa Anita River in San Bernardino - March 5, 1938

“E” Street and Santa Ana River in San Bernardino – March 5, 1938

On April 20, 2014, the San Bernardino County Flood Control District celebrates its 75th anniversary and the strides it has made to help reduce flooding risks and damages in San Bernardino County.

In celebration of the 75th anniversary, Public Works is featuring in its lobby located at 825 East Third Street in San Bernardino a display of photos and newspaper articles from the years of the severe floods. Public Works will also feature the display at the San Bernardino County Museum on May 10th as part of Public Works Week “Building for today. Planning for tomorrow.”

With the Flood Control District’s 75th anniversary approaching, the District operates and maintains 151 miles of levees, 226 miles of channels, 40 miles of storm drains and 119 basins.

Flood history in the Santa Ana River Basin is traceable since the entry of the Spanish Mission Fathers into the Los Angeles and San Bernardino areas between 1769 and 1776. In more modern times, one of the most devastating storms in the County occurred on March 2nd and 3rd, 1938, and flood waters caused 14 known deaths and damages estimated at $12 million (that’s more than $194 million in today’s dollars).  Practically no part of the San Bernardino Valley or Mojave River Valley escaped the wrath of this storm with almost every community isolated and hundreds homeless.

The district was formed the following year in 1939 as an urgency and progressive measure for the preservation and promotion of public peace, health, and safety as a direct aftermath of the disastrous floods of March 1938.

Santa Ana River at 10/215 Interchange in San Bernardino - 1969

Santa Ana River at 10/215 Interchange in San Bernardino – 1969

Eclipsing, in many respects, the flood of 1938, were the “great” floods of January and February 1969, occurring a month apart.  Rainfall intensities and amounts were greater and, except for the Mojave River and its tributaries, runoff peaks were higher during these two floods.  Although Flood Control facilities functioned splendidly during the January flood period, there was insufficient time to perform necessary repairs and maintenance before the late February storm struck, which caused nearly twice as much damage.  Monetary losses in San Bernardino County alone amounted to more than $23 million from the January storm and over $31 million from the February storm.  This is, however, only a portion of the losses which would have been sustained had no flood protection been provided at all.  The severe flooding throughout Southern California inflicted costly damages exceeding $213 million in tangible property losses and exacted 115 human lives.  San Bernardino and six neighboring counties were declared national disaster areas.

Many flood events have plagued the county since those early times but the damage has not been as devastating since the formation of the district. The district’s programs have placed a special emphasis on the control of the county’s principal streams and channels.  One shining example of that is the Seven Oaks Dam, completed in November 1999 as a collaborative effort between Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Seven Oaks Dam in Highland

The Seven Oaks Dam collects storm water from a 177-square-mile area at inflow rates of as much as 58,000 cubic feet per second and then meters the water out at a rate of 5,500 cubic feet per second. This dam provides significant protection to communities along the Santa Ana River from the base of the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

Along with reducing flooding risks and damages, many of these sites provide wetlands mitigation, habitat for wildlife, and green space for all to enjoy. By acquiring land for conservation, flood storage and other multi-use projects, the district is ensuring an effective blueprint for flood damage reduction, now and in the future.

For further information please contact the San Bernardino County Flood Control District at (909) 387-7995.

County forecast: Heavy rains and forceful winds beginning Friday

Falling Rain

Rainfall and wind beginning early Friday may cause unsafe conditions throughout areas of San Bernardino County, according to the National Weather Service.

Wind gusts from 40 to 45 mph are expected in the valleys but mostly in the desert communities of Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms.

Rain began falling overnight Thursday but the storm is expected to pick up on Friday.

National Weather Service forecasters predict:

  • A foot of rainfall in Crestline and other south facing mountain areas where rainfall rates of one to two inches per hour can occur
  • A half foot to a foot in Lytle Creek
  • Four to five inches in Rancho Cucamonga and other foothill  communities
  • One to two inches in the High Desert
  • Ten inches in Yucaipa and Forest Falls

These rainfall amounts may lead to flash flooding.

The heavy rains on Friday will transition to showers through Friday night and Saturday, ending on Sunday.

Although the sun will peek out of the clouds on Saturday, rainfall is expected to continue throughout the day.

County crews and departments are mobilized to address storm-related issues.

Residents are advised to stay clear of flood control debris basins and channels. Persons can be swept away by a surge of water runoff, mudflow, or debris flow. Do not drive where water is over the road as flood waters can rise rapidly and sweep a car and its occupants away.

Sandbags are available at the following locations: County Sandbag List

For information about road closures and to report road and flood problems, visit the Department of Public Works website at www.

In an emergency, call 9-1-1.


New tipper takes on trash at county landfill


Two “tippers” like the one pictured here were installed at the Mid Valley Sanitary Landfill in Rialto in November 2013 to process refuse more efficiently.

The tipper takes half the time to empty refuse than a traditional walking floor trailer which slowly pushes the refuse out of the back of the trailer using hydraulic pumps.

The tipper holds what’s called a possum trailer which can carry about 25 tons of refuse. The tipper is efficient because it has its own engine and typically runs on propane for cleaner emissions.

The tipper unloads faster which means trash trucks can make more round trips to bring waste to the landfill, which increases income to the County.

Merry Christmas from Public Works

In addition to keeping our roads in good shape and performing a host of other services for the public, the people of the County Department of Department of Public Works found DPW Ops 13 Toy Drivethe time and energy to donate toys to the County Children’s Fund Toy Drive.

County will upgrade High Desert railroad crossings


BNSF Railway, the San Bernardino County Public Works Department and the Town of Apple Valley are jointly participating in a project to upgrade the railroad crossing along Kiowa Road just south of Tussing Ranch Road. This project includes placing concrete panels across the railroad tracks in Kiowa Road that will provide a smoother surface resulting in decreased wear and tear on your vehicles.  The project is scheduled for December 3, 2013.  Kiowa Road must be closed up to eight hours for the work.  A detour will be available on Tussing Ranch Road, Central Avenue and Roundup Way.

BNSF and the County Public Works Department are jointly participating in a second project, one that will upgrade the railroad crossing along High Road. This project also includes placing concrete panels across the railroad tracks on High Road to reduce vehicle wear and tear.   This project is scheduled for December 2, 2013.   High Road must be closed up to eight hours for the work. A detour will not be available.

For questions, please contact the San Bernardino County Department of Public Works yard at (760) 247-8208.


Additional snow removal map added to Public Works interactive maps website

snowremovalThe San Bernardino County Department of Public Works has launched a website of various interactive maps for the public to view current information about where county roads, flood control and solid waste facilities are located. The maps include Transportation Road Yards, the County Maintained Road System, Temporary Road Closures, Waste Disposal Site Locations, Flood Control Facilities, Flood Control Right-of-Way and Capital Improvement Project locations.

An additional map shows county residents what roads receive snow removal services from the  Department of Public Works or County Special Districts Department. The snow removal website allows users to click on a road and receive detailed information about which county department to contact for snow removal.

The website address is  Ninety percent of Public Works activities are within the county.

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