The Point: Progress Continues for First Mid County Parkway Construction Contract; Design to Advance for Second Contract

Equipment is rolling, pavement is curing, and new on-ramps and off-ramps are taking shape at the Interstate 215 Placentia Avenue Interchange in Perris, with construction more than half completed.

The interchange is the first piece of the Mid County Parkway to be constructed, a planned 16-mile corridor between San Jacinto and Perris. This new corridor is designed to improve travel times between these rapidly growing communities and help address transportation needs through 2040.

“Our crews are continuing to make great progress on this new interchange, and we are eagerly awaiting its opening next year to help with local traffic flow and easier access to I-215 for drivers in the Perris area,” said RCTC Chair Jan Harnik, who also serves as the Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Palm Desert. “Completing this interchange also brings us another step closer to starting construction of the next contract of the Mid County Parkway, an important transportation link between the Perris Valley and San Jacinto Valley,” she said.

RCTC began construction in August 2020 and expects to open the brand-new interchange next summer, providing another way for motorists in this growing area to enter and exit I-215. Located between Ramona Expressway to the north and Nuevo Road to the south, the project also is realigning East Frontage Road, widening the existing Placentia Avenue overcrossing, and adding lanes to Placentia Avenue between Harvill Avenue and Indian Avenue.

The project team has reached a number of milestones:

  • Paving is about 90% completed. Only the final asphalt cap needs to be placed on the new roadways and ramps.
  • Of the 94 drainage systems on the project, crews have finished 69 (80%).
  • The four ramps (northbound I-15 on-ramp and off-ramp; southbound I-15 on-ramp and off-ramp) have been built and are being used intermittently as temporary detours until the project opens next year.
  • Crews have completed close to 60% of the electrical work, primarily underground.
  • Construction of the two bridges – over I-215 and over the BNSF tracks – is about 15% completed. A 10-month full closure of the Placentia Avenue bridge over I-215 began July 20 to allow crews to safely widen the bridge.

Funding for the $42 million interchange investment is provided by a combination of state funding and Measure A, the twice voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in Riverside County.

As work continues at Placentia Avenue, RCTC is preparing to award a contract for project design for the second construction contract of the Mid County Parkway, also referred to as MCP.  This second MCP contract will construct a new three-mile road from Redlands Avenue north of Placentia Avenue to Ramona Expressway south of Lake Perris.

This alignment will offer a new east-west alternative to heavily traveled Ramona Expressway/Cajalco Road, with a traffic signal at each end, and no stops or driveways in between. The non-tolled roadway will be two lanes in each direction for most of the corridor, divided by a concrete median barrier, and then narrow to one lane in each direction at Redlands Avenue and at the eastern connection to Ramona Expressway. Crews will build a bridge over Evans Road and the Perris Valley Storm Drain as part of the project.

RCTC has not determined additional construction contracts for the MCP; these contracts will depend upon future available funds.

To learn more about the I-215 Placentia Avenue Interchange and the MCP, please visit