The Point: New lanes offer a safer, more efficient way to travel between the Coachella Valley and western Riverside County

Traveling between the desert and western Riverside County is safer and easier with the opening of the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s Route 60 Truck Lanes in the Badlands.

RCTC began construction of the $138 million highway investment in June 2019 with Caltrans providing design and construction oversight. The new lanes opened on time and within budget.

“This project has fully transformed the Route 60 corridor from a narrow, winding roadway to one that is wide open, safe, and a great new way to drive between the Coachella Valley and western Riverside County,” said RCTC Chair and Riverside County 4th District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “RCTC’s investment in Route 60 has provided a stronger way to connect our residents,” he said.

60TL Screencap EDIT

The project added an eastbound truck-climbing lane and a westbound truck-descending lane for 4.5 miles between Gilman Springs Road and 1.4 miles west of Jack Rabbit Trail. Built next to the outer shoulders in both directions of Route 60, the truck lanes help separate slower-moving big-rigs from passenger vehicles that can use the two left lanes in both directions.

In addition to adding the truck lanes, the project widened the inner and outer shoulders and excavated 2.1 million cubic yards of dirt from the steep hillsides to add another 30 feet next to the outer shoulders. The wider shoulders and open space provide safe pullout areas for motorists and emergency responders. The project also flattened the curving roadway to improve sight distance for drivers, another safety benefit.

Animals have a safer way to cross Route 60 as well, thanks to the construction of two 20-foot by 20-foot by 200-foot wildlife crossings and extension of culverts that allow coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, deer, and other animals to travel beneath the highway to seek food and mates. The crossings also help prevent collisions between motorists and animals.

60TL WildlifeCrossings1
0522 Bobcat Crossing

Funding was provided by a combination of federal, state, and local sources and employed approximately 1,400 workers.

See our other project facts and figures:

  • Crews installed 123 drainage systems with 15,000 feet of pipe
  • A 2,200 foot-long retaining wall was built using 60,000 blocks that support up to 3,750 tons of weight
  • A total of 155,000 cubic yards of concrete was used for the top layer of the lanes.

Closeout work will continue during the weeks ahead with nighttime lane closures likely. Please continue to follow @60trucklanes on social media or visit the project website, for updates.