The Point: Long overdue project is on horizon

Hallelujah! Construction is finally ready to start next spring on the Interstate 15 Railroad Canyon Interchange in Lake Elsinore, following the California Transportation Commission’s approval of $17.9 million in state funding on December 5.

The allocation makes up the balance needed to fully fund the estimated $45 million construction project. RCTC will lead the construction effort and is issuing invitations for bids this month.

“This project is long overdue,” said RCTC Commissioner and Lake Elsinore City Council Member Bob Magee.  “We have been working for nearly 20 years to make this project a reality, which is far too long. However, now that construction is right around the corner, we look forward to a safer, more efficient connection to I-15 and ask the public to be patient while construction is under way,” he said.

Other funding is provided by a combination of sources including the City of Lake Elsinore and local Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fees.

The project will result in several major changes to the current interchange that are intended to improve safety and reduce congestion, including:

  • Two new lanes on Railroad Canyon Road through the interchange,
  • Reconstruction of the northbound diamond ramps to hook ramps to connect to Grape Street,
  • Construction of auxiliary and deceleration lanes on I-15, and
  • Construction of improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities through the interchange.

Construction is expected to start in the spring and take about 2.5 years for the new interchange to open to drivers.