The Point: Commission approves construction management contract for new lane between Green River Road and 241; next step is construction bids

Traffic relief and economic recovery are on the way. The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) awarded a $4.9 million construction management contract to Riverside County-based small business Falcon Engineering Services on May 13, paving the way for work to start on the 91 Corridor Operations Project later this year.

The project will add a general-purpose lane for approximately two miles on westbound 91 from the Green River Road on-ramp to Route 241. Developed in 2018, the project was accelerated based on facts and data collected in the months after opening lanes from the 91 Corridor Improvement Project, with input from Commissioners and residents. Environmental studies and design were completed this spring, and RCTC will advertise for construction bids this summer. Construction of the $36 million project is scheduled to start this fall; the new lane is expected to open by the end of 2021.

“Traveling on the 91 continues to be a challenge in Riverside County. Although stay-at-home orders have lessened traffic delays, drivers are starting to return to work, and traffic congestion will return with them,” said Commission Chair Ben J. Benoit, who also serves as a member of the Wildomar City Council. “The 91 Corridor Operations Project will add capacity to the 91 and aid in our region’s economic recovery,” he said.

In addition to constructing the new lane, the project will widen the County Line Creek Undercrossing, build retaining walls north of the 91, rebuild a portion of Green River Road, replace overhead signs, and install new lighting.

RCTC will deliver the project in partnership with Caltrans, the Orange County Transportation Authority, the City of Corona, and Transportation Corridor Agencies.

This project is one of several that RCTC is starting this year. Last month, construction began on the Pachappa Underpass in Riverside and design started on the 15/91 Express Lanes Connector in Corona. Construction of the I-15 Railroad Canyon Road Interchange in Lake Elsinore will begin this month, followed by construction of the I-215 Placentia Avenue Interchange in Perris this fall. Each of these projects will add new jobs to help the economy recover from jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.