The Point: Community project funding requests included within $1.7 trillion omnibus funding package for Fiscal Year 2023

RCTC closed out 2022 on a strong note, with the inclusion of two of its community project funding requests within the federal Fiscal Year 2023 funding package signed into law by President Joe Biden on December 29. These funding requests advance RCTC’s efforts to improve transportation choice and reduce congestion.

A $3 million request by RCTC to Representative Mark Takano was approved to help fund the construction of the City of Riverside’s Third Street Grade Separation Project.

Third Street Grade Separation Project

Third St GS Render EDIT

This critical piece of funding supports the construction phase of a new four-lane underpass to replace the at-grade railroad crossing at Third Street near downtown Riverside. These tracks, operated by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Union Pacific Railroad, are among the busiest in the nation with more than 100 trains passing through daily. This rail traffic causes approximately 225 minutes per day of traffic delay on Third Street, including for emergency responders.

Establishing a new vehicle/pedestrian/bicycle underpass will enhance safety, reduce local traffic delays, improve air quality with fewer idling vehicles, and enhance connections with the Downtown and Eastside communities. Final design is anticipated to be completed by summer 2024, with construction contract awards expected in spring 2025.

Also included within the funding package was RCTC’s $3 million request of Representative Ken Calvert to help fund the proposed I-15 Express Lanes Project Southern Extension.

This project aims to extend the I-15 Express Lanes by 14.5 miles, from Cajalco Road in Corona, through Temescal Valley, to Route 74 in Lake Elsinore. I-15 is the spine of the region’s transportation network, with millions of vehicles using the interstate annually. The southern section of I-15 serves as a critical connection point not only for passengers traveling between San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles counties, but also for the movement of goods we all depend upon and enjoy.

The I-15 Express Lanes Project Southern Extension also directly benefits local communities by expanding mobility choice and mass transit while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The funding will support engineering and environmental studies that are under way and expected to be completed in several years. Efforts will continue to secure funding for construction.

RCTC appreciates the leadership of Representatives Calvert and Takano to secure funding for transportation projects that enhance mobility choice and quality of life for the region’s residents.