The Point: Project removed temporary railroad bridge and added new retaining wall

Done! RCTC completed construction of the Pachappa Drive Underpass in downtown Riverside last month, marking the end of work that was deferred during Caltrans’ construction of the 91 carpool lanes in 2016.

When Caltrans and RCTC widened the 91 in Riverside to build carpool lanes, the existing railroad bridge owned by Union Pacific Railroad had to be replaced to span the wider width of the freeway and to be raised in height. While the new bridge was under construction, crews built a temporary bypass bridge for freight trains to use as a detour. ​

Union Pacific did not need the bridge for long-term use, so RCTC was required to remove it, along with an associated retaining wall, and to build a new retaining wall to support the final UP track alignment along the 91, north of Central Avenue.

Nighttime closures of the 91 were required during the summer months for crews to safely build the project.

The $11.5 million project provided about 118 jobs at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Work began in April 2020 and was completed in September 2021.