The Point: Connector Will Provide Smooth Transition between 91 Express Lanes, 15 Express Lanes

Design and construction of the 15/91 Express Lanes Connector moved a step further with the selection of four firms to submit proposals for design and construction.

The Riverside County Transportation Commission received statements of qualifications in April from seven design-build teams and chose the following four to continue with the selection process:

1. Flatiron West, Inc.

2. Guy F. Atkinson

3. MCM Construction, Inc.

4. Myers-Rados

Proposals are due in November. RCTC expects to choose a design-builder by early 2020. Construction may begin in fall 2020, and the connector is anticipated to open in late 2022.

The connector will link the eastbound 91 Express Lanes with the northbound 15 Express Lanes that are currently under construction. It also will link the southbound 15 Express Lanes that are being built with the westbound 91 Express Lanes. Linking the two tolled facilities will expand RCTC’s express lane network and provide more travel time savings and travel time certainty.

Funding to build the connector was not available as part of the 91 Project or the 15 Express Lane Project. Plans for the connector originally were included in the 91 Project, but a downturn in the economy required RCTC to reduce the scope of the project.

RCTC received $180 million in state funding for the Express Lanes Connector, which is estimated to cost $220 million. The balance of funding will be provided by toll revenue that has been collected from the 91 Express Lanes or from grant funding, if RCTC is successful in receiving funding from a federal grant application submitted in March.