HNTB will work with San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) to procure, select, and oversee a design, build, operate and maintain developer for the scheme.

This project will connect the airport with the Rancho Cucamonga station area via a 6.4km-long tunnel that will be used to move passengers using autonomous vehicle technology.

The project is expected to get under way in the third quarter of this year and completion is expected within 48 months.

“The Ontario Airport Loop project is a transformational project for our region that will improve mobility, reduce traffic congestion and have a significant positive impact on the environment for our residents as ONT continues to grow,” said Carrie Schindler, SBCTA director of transit and rail. “Total cost will be about $85 million when adding an operations centre, management services and paying operators prevailing wages.”

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This is 15 times less than a $1 to $1.5 billion surface rail extension from the Metrolink San Bernardino Line, or other alternatives considered, and could be built in four years rather than the 10 years it would take to fund and extend a more traditional connection.”

HNTB project manager and senior vice president Ian Choudri added: “The concept of moving people in more efficient and cost-effective ways – while optimising fixed infrastructure costs and deploying emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles – is the future of mobility services in the United States.

“When completed, the project will transform the San Bernardino region by reducing congestion, improving the environment and attracting more businesses and airline traffic to Ontario Airport. At the same time, this project will set a gold standard for the country to refer to and deploy similar systems to improve quality of life for residents.”

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