The Point: 15 Express Lanes may look complete, but will not open until late 2020

Miles of fresh pavement fill the median of Interstate 15 in Jurupa Valley, Eastvale, Norco, and Corona. Lanes are striped, sound walls are built, lights are up, and tolling equipment is in place. To most drivers, the new lanes look ready to use – but they are not.

The Riverside County Transportation Commission, the lead agency for the design, construction, and operation of the 15 Express Lanes, is working with its construction contractor to complete remaining items along the 15-mile corridor. These “punch-list” items will take time to complete, and crews will remain on site. RCTC also will begin testing its tolling system this month. Testing the equipment will take several months, followed by system adjustments to prepare the lanes to open late this year.

While these last few months of work are under way, RCTC is cautioning drivers, “Don’t Go There: Crews Still at Work,” using this public education tool to keep drivers from the lanes before they officially open to customers.

“The 15 Express Lanes may look ready, but our essential workers are still hard at work, night and day,” said RCTC Chair Ben J. Benoit. “This is still an active construction site. Don’t place the lives of our crews in danger by illegally using these lanes before they are open.”

Orange barrels currently separate the 15 Express Lanes from the general-purpose lanes, and multiple signs along the shoulder note that the lanes are closed. Drivers who trespass in the lanes can receive a CHP citation, and fines are doubled in construction zones.

As the lanes approach opening day toward the end of the year – schedule and weather permitting – RCTC will provide additional information on how to open an account, toll rates, and where to enter and exit the 15 Express Lanes.