The Point: RCTC is seeking federal funds to match Riverside County taxpayer investments

You spoke, we listened! Thanks to community support received last month, Congressional Representatives Ken Calvert and Mark Takano each submitted two RCTC projects for federal funding.

The requests were made for Community Project Funding through the House appropriations bill and the surface transportation reauthorization bill. Rep. Calvert’s requests included:

– $3 million in appropriations funds for the Smart Freeway Pilot Project in Murrieta and Temecula: Drivers face daily heavy afternoon traffic congestion on northbound I-15 from the San Diego/Riverside County Line to the 15/215 Interchange in Murrieta. The Smart Freeway Pilot Project would use technology to track roadway conditions, adjust ramp metering, and provide real-time travel information to motorists, helping to improve safety, maintain traffic flow, promote economic efficiencies, and reduce pollution

– $3 million in surface transportation funds for the I-15 Corridor Operations Project in Corona and the Temescal Valley: Southbound I-15 is an area of heavy traffic congestion, especially during busy afternoon commute hours. Also known as the 15 COP, this project would add a non-tolled lane to southbound I-15 between Cajalco Road in Corona and Weirick Road in the Temescal Valley to improve traffic flow and address current and future needs.

Rep. Takano’s requests included:

– $20 million in surface transportation funds for the I-15 Express Lanes Northern Extension in Eastvale and Jurupa Valley: RCTC’s 15 Express Lanes opened April 10, providing motorists with a convenient, reliable travel option between Route 60 and south Corona. To the north, the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority is designing express lanes that will extend to Foothill Boulevard in Rancho Cucamonga. Also known as I-15 NEXT, this project will ensure a seamless connection between the two toll facilities to maximize convenience and safety.

– $3 million in surface transportation funds for the Moreno Valley/March Field Metrolink Station Improvements: This Metrolink station is located between Riverside and Perris on the 91/Perris Valley Line. Station improvements would encourage use of passenger rail by adding a train platform and upgrading nearby tracks to create more efficient Metrolink service, a better public transit option for commuters, economic development near stations, and improved air quality.

RCTC expects to learn the results of these funding requests later this year. The requests are part of the Commission’s legislative strategy to identify and secure more state and federal funds for transportation projects in Riverside County. In 2002, voters renewed Measure A, the half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in Riverside County, and RCTC is committed to matching this revenue with outside funding whenever possible.

We value the community support for these funding requests and appreciate Representatives Calvert and Takano for submitting them for federal funding.