The Point: The Commission awarded a Project and Construction Management contract for the 15 Express Lanes Project Southern Extension in December

Extending the I-15 Express Lanes south beyond Cajalco Road in Corona is part of RCTC’s 10-Year Western Riverside County Delivery Plan to deliver traffic relief to the growing communities along the I-15 corridor. With the approval of the Project and Construction Management (PCM) contract to Parsons, the Commission is getting ready to line up contractors and agency agreements to begin construction on the 15 Express Lanes Project Southern Extension (ELPSE) by 2026. 

The 15 ELPSE will construct two express lanes in each direction from Cajalco Road to State Route 74 (Central Ave.) in Lake Elsinore. This 14.5-mile extension of the Riverside County express lanes system is designed to bring much-needed mobility options to the area. Over the past 20 years, the community of Temescal Valley and the cities of Lake Elsinore and Corona have grown tremendously, bringing with it new housing, residents, and increased travel throughout the region.

Once complete, the new express lanes will give motorists an option for a reliable commute between Lake Elsinore, the 60, and Orange County. With additional lanes, congestion relief of the general-purpose lanes is possible, improving traffic operations. The 15 ELPSE will also help improve transit and rideshare options by providing free-flowing lanes to buses and commuters that carpool or vanpool. This cost-effective commute opens possibilities for new routes and employers to incentivize employees to avoid solo car trips. 

0124 15 ELPSE Map

The Commission will use an innovative progressive design-build project delivery method to speed up construction. Unlike traditional construction-bid delivery methods, the progressive design-build method will allow RCTC to engage with the design-build contractor earlier, enabling solutions that save funding and help maintain the construction schedule. This progressive design-build approach is vital as the Commission continues to assemble funding for this project. With this process, RCTC will have the option to build and deliver the project in phases. This innovative project method is made possible by the passage of recently approved Senate Bill 617. 

The project is a partnership between RCTC and Caltrans and will be funded with a combination of federal and local sources. Sign up to receive project updates at