Construction has finally started for a new connector at the 15 and 91 freeways in Corona, California, the US, following a downturn in the economy that deferred the project, announced county officials.
Construction on the $270m 15/91 Express Lanes Connector project is expected to be completed in 2023. The commencement follows the April 10 opening of the Interstate 15 express lanes.
The project will connect the new I-15 express lanes and the state Route 91 express lanes.
Once completed, eastbound 91 express lanes will connect to the northbound 15 express lanes, and southbound 15 express lanes will connect to the westbound 91 express lanes.
Originally, the connector was a part of the 2017 Route 91 Corridor Improvement Project, but an economic downturn put a brake to its funding. As a result, the 91 project had to be scaled back and construction of the 15/91 Express Lanes Connector postponed. The announcement was made by the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC).
In 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed off the California Senate Bill 132, which provided $180m of the $270m connector project cost, while the remainder will come through toll revenue from the 91 express lanes, says the RCTC.
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RCTC Chair and Palm Desert mayor pro tem Jan Harnik said: “RCTC is excited to have opened the 15 express lanes earlier this month, and we are wasting no time starting work on yet another traffic solution — the much-needed 15/91 Express Lanes Connector. As we emerge from the pandemic and see more vehicles back on the road, this project will be an essential new travel option for drivers in northwest Riverside County.”
The project will connect the new I-15 express lanes and the state Route 91 express lanes. Credit: Ervin Lukacs/Unsplash.