The Point: Public may register support for rebuilding this interchange  

The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) is seeking a $25 million federal grant to rebuild the State Route 71/State Route 91 interchange in Corona. The interchange is operationally obsolete and creates a traffic bottleneck on the highly congested 91 corridor between Orange County and Riverside County.

RCTC has designed the new interchange and is ready to build it, but there is not enough funding available. The $25 million grant would be matched by $92 million in local funds to construct the estimated $117 million project. For the first time, RCTC has created a page (click here) for citizens to register their support for this effort. Supporters’ names will be included in RCTC’s grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The funding is available through the federal “Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development” (BUILD) program. Applications will be evaluated based on safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental protection, innovation, partnerships and additional non-federal revenue for transportation infrastructure investments. The maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single state.

The project would replace the existing connector with a safer, more efficient direct connector by eliminating the current loop connector between eastbound 91 and northbound 71. Also included is construction of an additional lane from Green River Road to east of the 71/91 interchange to improve traffic flow between the two highways. The eastbound 91 Green River Road on-ramp also would be slightly realigned.

The project is designed to enhance efficiency and mobility for residents, businesses, visitors and interstate travel, improve air quality, and reduce collisions in this area.

RCTC sought funding through the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, also known as SB 1 or the Gas Tax, but the project was not selected for funding in the initial cycle. The BUILD federal grant provides another opportunity for funding. If chosen, project construction activity would begin in 2020.