The Point: Future eastbound lane is intended to improve traffic flow from Orange County and enhance safety

Studies will soon be underway for the 91 Eastbound Corridor Operations Project following the Commission’s approval of an engineering and environmental consulting contract on May 10.

RCTC, in coordination with Caltrans, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), and the City of Corona, is proposing to add a lane to eastbound 91 from the 241 Toll Road connector to the 71 connector in Corona. The new lane is designed to help improve traffic operations on eastbound 91, especially during afternoon and evening hours, and enhance safety due to better merging conditions.

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“Economic opportunities and population growth in Riverside County create commuting challenges across our region, including on the 91,” said Commission Chair and Lake Elsinore City Councilmember Robert “Bob” Magee. “The 91 Eastbound Corridor Operations Project study provides a path towards improving traffic flow and safety that will help keep our region moving,” he said.

In 2022, OCTA partnered with RCTC, TCA, Caltrans, and the cities of Anaheim, Yorba Linda, and Corona to complete an alternative analysis study that recommended four design options for the new lane. Under the new contract, the four designs will be analyzed, the preferred option will be selected, and preliminary engineering and environmental approval documentation will be performed. This phase of work is expected to take two to three years.

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Once project approval is achieved, RCTC will seek funding for future project phases, including final design and construction. Timing for these next phases of work will depend upon the availability of funding. In April, RCTC’s request to Representative Young Kim for $3 million in federal Fiscal Year 2024 funding was recommended to the House Appropriations Committee. If approved later this year, the funding will go towards future design costs.

The project will complement the 71/91 Interchange, which is replacing the single-lane loop connector with a new, two-lane direct connector between eastbound 91 and northbound 91, helping with traffic operations in western Riverside County. The 71/91 Interchange began construction in January and is expected to open in 2025.

To register for 91 Eastbound Corridor Operations Project updates, please visit the “Contact Us” section of the webpage,