The Point: RCTC awards construction management contract

Improving the heavily congested and operationally deficient 71/91 Interchange in Corona took another step forward with the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s award last month of a construction management contract to Corona-based Falcon Engineering.

The interchange serves as a gateway between Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino counties and is a vital link for commuters and freight vehicles that use the 91. The interchange reconstruction project is designed to help relieve traffic congestion, increase travel reliability, improve safety, and enhance air quality.

Project team members are finalizing environmental approvals, plans, and permits before advertising for construction bids next spring. Construction is expected to start during the second half of 2022 and take about three years to complete.

Key construction features will include:

  • Replacing the existing single-lane loop connector from eastbound 91 to northbound 71 with a new, non-tolled, two-lane, direct connector ramp
  • Building a new, separate lane from Green River Road to east of the 71/91 Interchange
  • Realigning the eastbound 91 on-ramp from Green River Road to improve access to the interchange
  • Reconstructing a bridge crossing the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway tracks

Learn more here.

Last December, RCTC received its final piece of funding from the California Transportation Committee — $58.1 million from state gas tax revenue. The project also is funded is part by Measure A, the voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in Riverside County and is expected to provide about 1,500 construction-related jobs.

Public support has been significant, with more than 1,100 motorists and residents backing the project through online campaigns. This support was included in last year’s funding application.

The construction contract is estimated to total $121 million and represents another investment in infrastructure in the Corona area. Other adjacent projects include:

  • The 91 Corridor Operations Project, which is adding a new non-tolled westbound lane to the 91 from the Green River Road on-ramp to the 241 Toll Road. Construction started last November and is expected to be open in late 2021.
  • The 15/91 Express Lanes Connector, which will link the 15 Express Lanes and the 91 Express Lanes via a tolled connector. Construction began in April. The new connector is anticipated to open in 2023.
  • The 15 Corridor Operations Project, which is undergoing environmental studies to add a non-tolled lane to southbound Interstate 15 between Cajalco Road and Weirick Road. Construction is forecast to start in 2023 and the lane could open by 2025.