One of the nation's most congested freeways is slated to get some relief via a widening project that breaks ground Wednesday, Dec. 11.
The $1.3 billion project will relieve congestion on both State Route 91 and Interstate 15 by adding regular lanes, tolled express lanes, auxiliary lanes, and a direct express lane connector from the northbound 15 to the westbound 91. Improvements to interchanges, ramps and surface streets also will be made along the 91 corridor.
Earlier this year, the Budget and Implementation Committee for the Riverside County Transportation Committee approved the project's financing plan, which, among other things, calls for the issuance and sale of up to $475 million in Riverside County Transportation Commission sales tax revenue bonds (limited tax bonds), and up to $275 million in county transportation commission toll revenue bonds.
The plan also includes a $435 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
A 2009 Measure A Expenditure Plan approved by Riverside County voters in November 2002 identified SR-91 improvements to be financed using Measure A Western Riverside County highway funds. In November 2010, Riverside County voters increased the Measure A debt limit to $975 million.
According to the RCTC, the sales tax and toll bonds would be issued as fixed, long-term bonds.
The project is adding an estimated 16,200 jobs, according to an RCTC news release.
Although tomorrow’s event celebrates the project’s groundbreaking, full construction begins early next year with completion expected in 2017. The work complements ongoing Interstate 215 construction that includes widening as well as improvements to the SR-60/I-215 interchange.
Tomorrow’s 11 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony takes on the rooftop of the North Main Corona Metrolink Station Parking Structure, 250 E. Blaine Street, Corona. The RCTC will be hosting the event.
For more information about the 91 Project, visit www.sr91project.info.