The Point: Lane closure has provided safe condition for motorists, crews and reduced one year of construction time

Traveling through the Route 60 Badlands in Riverside County will be easier soon, with the reopening of a lane that closed last summer for construction. The Riverside County Transportation Commission will reopen the westbound Route 60 lane between Beaumont and Moreno Valley on the night of March 5, marking a milestone for the Route 60 Truck Lanes Project.

To prepare for the lane reopening, the CHP will be conducting intermittent daytime traffic breaks of 5-10 minutes the week of February 24 to allow crews to move k-rail and equipment. In addition, the nights of February 24-28, westbound Route 60 will be fully closed and one eastbound lane will be closed for crews to check pavement quality, make repairs and reset k-rail. Nighttime lane closures will occur from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

RCTC closed the lane August 23 to allow crews to safely excavate thousands of cubic yards of dirt from the hillsides to carve out space to build a truck lane in both directions and widen the inner and outer shoulders.

During the closure, crews excavated 1.3 million cubic yards within the project area. This represents about 60 percent of the total 2.1 million of cubic yards that need to be excavated for the project.

Crews are shifting k-rail and checking pavement quality to prepare for the reopening of the westbound lane on March 5.

The timing will improve traffic flow in time for the April festival season in the Coachella Valley.

Closing the westbound lane created safer conditions for motorists and construction crews and saved overall project time. Originally planned as a 3.5-year project, the lane closure has reduced a year of construction time and should allow the project to be completed in about 2.5 years or in late 2021.

RCTC operated Freeway Service Patrol roving tow trucks to help stranded motorists while the westbound lane has been closed. Tow truck drivers assisted more than 1,600 motorists, including 134 with flat tires, 205 with mechanical problems, 75 with overheated engines, and 74 who ran out of gas.

Learn more about the 60 Truck Lanes Project.