The Point: $75 million grant would fund three separate projects to improve travel on the 91

RCTC is applying for a $75 million federal grant to help improve travel along the 91 through three separate projects. Commissioners are traveling to Washington, D.C. this week to seek congressional support for the grant application, which is due March 4.

The “91 Workforce to Workplace Vitality Network” application seeks funds from the federal Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“Riverside County residents power the economy of southern California,” said RCTC Chair Chuck Washington.  “Unfortunately, our residents must endure among the longest commutes in the nation to secure their own prosperity and support the national economy.  With local and state funds we have helped ourselves to the maximum extent, and now we need federal partnership.”

The grant would fund three improvements, which could begin next year:

91 Corridor Operations Project – A new auxiliary lane from the Green River Road on-ramp on westbound 91 to the State Route 241 connector, a project championed by local residents and accelerated by RCTC in 2018.

71/91 Interchange – Replaces the single lane loop connector between eastbound 91 and northbound 71 with a two-lane director connector ramp. This project is part of the voter-approved Measure A expenditure plan and has been on the books for decades.

15/91 Express Lanes Connector – New connector from the future southbound 15 Express Lanes (currently under construction) to the westbound 91 Express Lanes, and links the eastbound 91 Express Lanes to the future northbound 15 Express Lanes. State funding secured by Assembly Member Sabrina Cervantes and Senator Richard Roth in 2017 jump-started this project, which was shelved during the Great Recession.

Motorists and community members who wish to express their support for the grant funding can register at

RCTC sought funding for the 71/91 Interchange last year through a similar federal grant program and received a “Highly Recommended” rating by U.S. DOT officials, according to a debrief provided to RCTC by U.S. DOT.  However, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao did not select the interchange for this highly competitive nationwide program.

RCTC Vice Chair Ben Benoit, who is leading the delegation to the nation’s Capital, is optimistic and determined in the commission’s pursuit of federal funds.

“Our residents and businesses struggle every day on the 91 corridor and throughout our fast-growing county,” Benoit said. “And every day we will do our best to make our case to our representatives in Washington. I am confident our voice will be heard and ultimately we will get these projects moving,” he added.