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Traffic-choked 91 freeway to undergo $1.3 billion widening project

Sunday, December 29th, 2013
Issue 52, Volume 17.
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CORONA - The traffic-choked freeway between Riverside and Orange counties will get some major surgery starting this year, as a $1.3 billion widening project is to begin in Corona.

The existing eight-lane Riverside (91) Freeway will be rebuilt from the Orange County line east through Corona to the Interstate 15 junction.

It will be expanded to 10 lanes, not including the four-lane-wide tollway that will be added to the center median. That easterly extension of the 91 toll lanes will bring so-called "Lexus lanes" into the Inland Empire for the first time.

It will connect the tollways in eastern Orange County to the free carpool lanes now under construction on the 91 freeway all the way east to Riverside, and then further east on the 60 Freeway. That will make for a modern tollway or freeway from Irvine all the way to Moreno Valley.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2017. Separate widening projects have already been completed west of the county line, on the 91 Freeway past the 241 toll road interchange to the Newport (55) Freeway split.

The congested eight-mile stretch of Route 91 through the Santa Ana River Canyon backs up traffic into western Riverside County on a near-daily basis, and that traffic is dubbed "the Corona Crawl" as tens of thousands of commuters use the only freeway between Orange and Riverside counties.

Construction will begin in January with lane restriping on the 91 in Corona, Caltrans officials said.



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