Location: Interstate 15 Railroad Canyon Road, Lake Elsinore

Construction: Begin in late Spring 2020 to late 2022

Investment: $38 million (construction)


The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), in partnership with Caltrans and the City of Lake Elsinore, is upgrading the Interstate 15 Railroad Canyon Interchange in Lake Elsinore. RCTC is the lead agency for this project.

The project will address the needs of the area’s growing population and recreational visitors. Benefits and features include:

  • Safety: Building new auxiliary lanes on I-15 to help drivers enter and exit the highway and reduce traffic back-ups
  • Capacity: Adding two new lanes on Railroad Canyon Road through the interchange and new lanes to the on-ramps and off-ramps
  • Traffic Flow: Replacing the northbound diamond off-ramp with a hook-style on-ramp and off-ramp that both connect to Grape Street
  • Clean Air: Reducing the number of idling vehicles waiting to enter/exit I-15, for improved air quality
  • Access: Constructing sidewalks and bike lanes along Railroad Canyon Road

RCTC awarded a construction contract on March 11, 2020. Construction is scheduled to start in June, 2020 and is anticipated to open in late 2022. Please watch for updates about the official start date.

Work is expected to begin in June 2020. Please register for Construction Updates for weekly news about work within the project area.

  • 2000: City of Lake Elsinore and Caltrans conducted a Project Study Report. Five alternatives and a no-build alternative were approved in the PSR in 2003.
  • 2006: A Value Analysis Study was performed to evaluate each alternative.
  • 2008: A Traffic Impact Analysis Study was completed, which identified four traffic scenarios. An Alternative Reduction Workshop was held and three alternatives were advanced for further study. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provided suggestions to improve two alternatives, and in 2009, the City of Lake Elsinore and Caltrans eliminated the third remaining alternative.
  • 2013: City of Lake Elsinore requested that RCTC manage the Project on its behalf.
  • 2017: Caltrans released the Draft Environmental Document (DED). After comments were received, Caltrans selected Alternative 2, which consists of construction of the interchange with hook ramps at Grape Street. The Federal Highway Administration approved the project’s Finding of No Significant Impact.
  • May 2018: RCTC receives balance of project funding through California Transportation Commission allocation of $15 million in Gas Tax revenue; project is fully funded.
  • May 2018-2020: Right of way acquisition
  • October 2019: Final design completed
  • March 2020: Construction contract awarded
  • June 2020: Construction expected to start
  • Late 2022: New lanes anticipated to open