The Point: The Mid County Parkway Ramona Expressway and Metrolink Double Track Project are recommended to receive SB 1 funding

In the past 10 years, the mid county region of Moreno Valley, Perris, San Jacinto, and Hemet has grown significantly. More people are traveling between this area of Riverside County and the rest of the County for housing and work than ever before, and they must also compete in traffic with the nation’s agricultural and freight carriers, 40 percent of which travels through the Inland Empire to serve the rest of the state and country. This rapid growth shows in the congestion that these communities must endure daily on the I-215 corridor and unsafe surface streets on Ramona Expressway to access employment and education opportunities.

RCTC is working diligently to advance mobility solutions in these corridors, and a recent award announcement from the State provides a needed boost for two critical projects. Thanks to the California Transportation Commission, the region’s Mid County Connectivity Enhancement Program is set to receive $44.5 million in Solutions for Congested Corridors Program (SCCP) competitive grant funding.

Funded by the Road Repair and Recovery Act of 2017, also known as SB 1, the SCCP award to the Mid County Connectivity Enhancement Program includes two projects – the Mid County Parkway Ramona Expressway Project and the Metrolink Double Track Project. Together, these projects will provide greater access to multimodal transportation options, relieve traffic congestion, improve roadway safety, and promote clean air.

The Mid County Parkway Ramona Expressway Project runs along the Ramona Expressway and will add one lane in both directions for 8.6 miles between Warren Road near San Jacinto and one mile east of Rider Street near Lake Perris. The project will also include medians, a bridge over the San Jacinto River, upgraded traffic signals, and a wildlife crossing – all to dramatically improve safety on a road known for fatal traffic collisions. Notably the project will also help relieve traffic in this growing community by bolstering connections to Metrolink service on the western side.

The Metrolink Double Track Project will add a second track to the Metrolink 91/Perris Valley Line between the Moreno Valley/March Field Station and the Perris-Downtown Station allowing for increased service frequency in the future by Metrolink’s commuter trains.

RCTC Mid-County Parkway Photo

Ramona Expressway

0123 PVLDowntown 2571

Perris-Downtown Metrolink Station

Together, both projects allow better access to multimodal transportation services such as bus and rail, project safety improvements, relieve traffic congestion, and help improve air quality in the region.

This grant award complements a previous state award from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) and will also support other improvements already underway along the Perris Valley Line corridor such as RCTC’s $33 million Moreno Valley/March Field Improvements Project and Metrolink’s Perris Valley Line Capacity Improvement Project, which includes additional double tracking and an expansion and improvement of the Perris-South Station.

The SCCP is a highly sought-after statewide grant program that makes available approximately $250 million annually to projects. RCTC’s Mid County Connectivity Enhancement Program strikes a competitive balance that provides traffic relief while also increasing multimodal transit connectivity, enhancing safety and security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting wildlife habitat connectivity, and increasing access to jobs for the community.