CORONA (CNS) – Motorists who travel the eastbound Riverside (91) Freeway in Corona during the overnight hours should make other plans next week and avoid the artery Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights due to construction- related lane closures that will create lengthy delays.
“Motorists traveling eastbound are encouraged to avoid the area by using the northbound 57 to eastbound 60 to southbound 71 as routes to get around the closure,” according to a Riverside County Transportation Commission statement released Wednesday.
Nighttime closures are slated to begin at 11 p.m. Monday, with all eastbound 91 lanes out of service from Green River Road to Serfas Club Drive, on the west end of Corona. The lane closures will be in effect until 5 a.m. Tuesday. The same closures will be implemented again Tuesday and Wednesday nights, according to RCTC.
According to the agency, the Monday-to-Wednesday schedule will be maintained, weather-permitting, to the last week of November.
In addition to all general purpose lanes, the two toll lanes on the eastbound 91 will be shut down at the same time.
The closures are required for the “71/91 Interchange Project,” which entails replacing the current single-lane connector from the eastbound 91 to the Corona (71) Expressway with a two-lane connector loop, which will facilitate a larger volume of vehicles at one time, reducing congestion.
The $137 million project got underway in February.
“Full closures will allow for the safe construction of support structures that will extend across the entire width of the 91,” RCTC said. “To achieve height clearance on the 91, the structures will reach approximately 30 feet high. Crews will also be placing beams across the 91 that will measure about 120 feet long and weigh 18 tons each. More than 200 beams will be placed over the freeway, forming a tunnel-like structure, which will be used to support the new bridge while it is being constructed.”
The Green River Road on-ramp to the eastbound 91 will also have to be shut down during the work.
Officials said motorists who choose to use the eastbound 91 and enter Corona from Orange County will be crammed into a single lane, taken off the freeway at Green River and funneled through the city to downtown, where drivers can rejoin the eastbound 91.
“Drivers who need to reach Green River Road, or choose to use the local detour, should plan for heavy delays,” RCTC said.
The Pomona (60) Freeway will be the more viable eastbound route to get around the closure, according to officials.
Along with expanding the connector itself, the 71/91 Interchange Project also involves adding an eastbound auxiliary lane to the 91 and realigning the Green River on-ramp. The expressway, too, will be realigned to create space for the new connector.
Officials said a wildlife crossing will be one of the other features of the reconfigured interchange.
The project is expected to conclude sometime in 2025.
More than one-third of the project funding — $58.1 million — is being provided by the California Road Repair & Accountability Act of 2017, which hiked gasoline taxes to pay for infrastructure and other projects. The county’s Measure A revenue, which is generated by a half-cent sales tax, is also covering a share of the expense, while federal and other sources make up the difference.
Updates on the project are available at rctc.org/7191closures and www.rctc.org/71-91interchange.
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