The Point: Project is on schedule to open in 2022

Providing new paving, wildlife crossings, drainage, and enhanced safety are all in a day’s work for RCTC’s Route 60 Truck Lanes Project, which remains under construction in the Riverside County Badlands between Moreno Valley and Beaumont. Construction began in June 2019, and work is nearly 50 percent complete, with the new lanes expected to open in 2022.

The $113 million construction effort adds an eastbound truck climbing lane, a westbound truck descending lane, significantly wider shoulders, a concrete median barrier, enhanced drainage, and large structures for wildlife to cross beneath Route 60. Designed to improve safety and traffic congestion, the 4.5-mile project area extends from Gilman Springs Road to 1.4 miles west of Jack Rabbit Trail.

Last summer, crews paved a portion of the new westbound lanes and shifted vehicles to the new lanes to allow work to start in the median of Route 60. Median paving is scheduled to start after Thanksgiving. The westbound Gilman Springs Road off-ramp likely will be closed through December 11 during this paving work.

In January, a weekend full closure of both eastbound lanes on Route 60 will take place to shift the eastbound travel lanes to the newly constructed lanes and allow work to occur on the eastbound lanes and outside shoulder. Construction of a half-mile long retaining wall also will begin in 2021.

Two large wildlife crossings are now about two-thirds complete. The 20-foot tall crossings will provide safe passage for coyotes, mountain lions, and other animals beneath the roadway.  The height of the crossings will allow daylight to enter the structures, making it more likely for the animals to use them.

Work on drainage systems continues. Crews have placed more than 7,000 feet of drainage pipe to carry water from one side of the roadway to the other and prevent ponding in the lanes.  A total of 123 drainage systems are under construction as part of the project.

Throughout construction, safety remains RCTC’s highest priority. The project team works closely with the California Highway Patrol to enforce the 55 mph speed limit, places speed detection devices on the outer shoulders, and issues ongoing safety reminders through videos and social media posts. During a speed limit enforcement campaign in September, officers issued 177 citations to speeding drivers.

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