The Point: New westbound lane will help provide traffic relief

It’s official: The Route 91 Corridor Operations Project in Corona advanced another step toward construction, following the Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) approval on Monday of $15 million to help fund the project.

Led by RCTC, the project will add a regular, general-purpose lane on westbound 91 from the westbound Green River Road on-ramp to Route 241. This project was created in 2018 and accelerated in response to Riverside County residents and local leaders.

Both OCTA and RCTC are funding the $36.2 million construction effort with surplus toll revenue from the 91 Express Lanes. Environmental studies and design are underway now, and construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2020. RCTC anticipates the new lane to open by the end of 2021.

“Leaders from Riverside and Orange Counties are working together to address traffic congestion on the 91. I thank the OCTA Board of Directors for recognizing the significance of this project to residents and businesses on both sides of the county line,” said RCTC Chair and Wildomar City Council Member Ben Benoit. “Many residents ask what we do with toll revenue from the 91. Adding this lane to the 91 for westbound commuters, which the community has asked for, is a great example of how the 91 Express Lanes makes traffic relief solutions possible that we otherwise couldn’t do.”

The 91 Corridor Operations Project is one of four projects that leaders on the boards of directors for RCTC, OCTA, the Transportation Corridor Agencies, and executive leadership of Caltrans, agreed last month to coordinate construction to save costs, time, and impacts on motorists. Other upcoming projects include the 15/91 Express Lanes Connector, the 71/91 Connector, and the 241/91 Express Connector.