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Officials Break Ground on Riverside 91 Freeway Widening Project

Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Issue 50, Volume 17.

CORONA - Transportation officials today celebrated a $1.3 billion freeway expansion project that will add lanes on an eight-mile stretch of the Riverside (91) Freeway in an attempt to relieve congestion.

Construction of the 91 Project Fast Forward is expected to begin shortly after New Year's Day and continue into the last half of 2017.

Riverside County Transportation Commission Chair Karen Spiegel, representatives from Caltrans and other state and local officials took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking at the North Main Metrolink Station in Corona.

Officials touted the estimated 16,200 construction and other jobs the project is expected to create, as well as the long-term benefits of expanding the Riverside Freeway between the Orange County line and the Interstate 15/91 interchange.

The segment, which also connects to the Corona (71) Expressway, is a bottleneck utilized by more than a quarter-million motorists most weekdays, according to the commission.

Two toll lanes will be added to both the westbound and eastbound sides of the freeway, mirroring the dimensions of the freeway on the Orange County side, according to the commission.

Carpool lanes currently available between the Green River Road interchange and Interstate 15 will be removed to make space for the toll roads.

"Stop-and-go traffic is the norm, especially during morning and late- afternoon rush hours," according to a commission statement. Advertisement
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"In fact, traffic congestion on eastbound 91 between Anaheim and Corona is routinely among the worst five areas in the nation (in terms of congestion) ... Studies show that once the project is complete, users of regular lanes can save an average 12 minutes per day when traveling round-trip during peak morning and afternoon hours."

In addition to the express toll lanes, a general purpose lane will be added along a portion of the route, and ramps, interchange connectors and other access points will be expanded or otherwise upgraded to facilitate smother traffic flow, according to transportation officials.

Detours and lane closures are anticipated during the project, but officials said roadwork will be scaled down during peak travel times to allow full use of existing lanes.

The 91 Project Fast Forward will coincide with work on the $232 million 91 HOV Project, which involves construction of carpool lanes along a six-mile stretch of the Riverside Freeway, between Adams Street in Riverside east to the 60/91/215 interchange.

That project began two years ago and has required periodic overnight freeway closures at various junctures, as well as street detours and the reconfiguration of a downtown overpass.

The 91 Project Fast Forward is being funded by local Proposition 1A sales taxes, federal and state grants, and revenue bonds, according to the commission.



Comment Profile ImageTaxpaying Chump
Comment #1 | Friday, Dec 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm
I was one of a majority of Riverside County taxpaying idiots that voted to tax ourselves to fund transportation improvements. Our trust in government was rewarded with toll lanes. We fall for it every time like Charlie Brown trusting Lucy to hold that football.

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