What’s Going on With The 215 Widening?

Lisa DaSilva of the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) was able to explain the progre...

Lisa DaSilva of the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) was able to explain the progress of several projects currently underway along the I-215 freeway, so we’re all up to speed.

I-215 South Project
215 projects
The first stretch of construction extends from Scott Road to Murrieta Hot Springs on the I-215 freeway. The project is currently at 60% completion, with a little more than three miles of road effectively widened including an additional lane and a new shoulder in both directions.

Improved drainage, electrical connections, and adjusted freeway grade are currently underway along the remaining miles. Crews will continue to pave the new lanes, repair existing lanes, and build a median lane barrier.

Since the project's start one year ago, in April 2011, they have been able to stay on schedule and targeted budget. The expected completion is estimated for late summer of 2012.

This 6-mile section of construction created about 594 jobs, providing a boost to the local economy. The total cost came in around $33 million with approximately 33% funding coming from prop 1B, 61% from state funding, and the remaining funding from sales tax revenue.

Together RCTC and Caltrans have worked to ensure safety throughout construction by reducing the speed limit to 55 mph in cone zones and scheduling lane closure only when necessary and at nighttime when possible.

74/215 Interchange in Perris

This project reconstructed and modified the existing interchange at the 74 and 215 in Perris including a new overcrossing and five new signals.

Construction began in 2010 and the interchange was reopened 4 ½ months ahead of schedule and on budget. Completion is expected this year, 2012.

I-215 Central Project

The project will widen the freeway, constructing an additional lane in each direction from Scott Road to Nuevo Road. This 12.5-mile stretch of construction will create over 1,900 jobs.

The I-215 central project is in the final design stages, construction is set to begin late 2012 or early 2013 and completion is expected for late 2015.

The estimated cost for the central project is $143 million. $49.2 million has already been allocated by RCTC toward the total project cost, additional funding will be provided by Measure A, the half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in Riverside County.

To fund the aforementioned projects, the RCTC is seeking $57 million from the prop 1B reserve and state monies will fund $120 million.

After the completion residents and commuters alike can expect to enjoy fewer delays, better freeway operation and flow, reduced idling and therefore gasoline consumption, and enhance air quality.