Southwest Riverside commuters can breathe easier Thurs. morning. The nightmare commute closure has ended as of 3:30 a.m. Two lanes of the westbound Riverside (91) Freeway in Corona that were closed for storm-related repairs, causing commuting struggles for motorists through that corridor, reopened today.
The lanes reopened at 3:30 a.m., a California Highway Patrol dispatcher said.
Slow-and-go traffic stretched for miles Wednesday due to the closure, with the CHP reporting a bumper-to-bumper backup all the way into west Riverside.
Corona Mayor Eugene Montanez sent an open letter to RCTC executives Wednesday, saying his constituents had reached a “breaking point” following the unanticipated partial freeway shutdown Tuesday. He said his office had
received an avalanche of complaints.
The two far right lanes on the six-lane westbound 91 at Green River Road were taken out of service Tuesday after Riverside County Transportation Commission officials became concerned that a section of roadway may have
sustained water damage, compromising the integrity of the freeway surface.
Water was pooling at the site, making the lanes unusable during downpours triggered by a storm front that swept through the inland region, dumping more than an inch of rain in places.
Crews spent all of this afternoon ripping out and replacing concrete slabs.
“All of the damaged roadway sections have been removed, and the soil beneath the two lanes is solid,” according to RCTC statement. “Crews will use rapidly setting concrete to expedite the process. All lanes are on schedule to
reopen before the start of Thursday’s morning commute.”
The 91 is undergoing a major expansion between Interstate 15 and the Orange County line. The $1.3 billion “91 Project Fast Forward” got underway last year and is slated for completion in 2017.
The work entails widening the 91, with new traffic lanes and ramps, as well as additional shoulder space and wider surface streets in the vicinity of the freeway.
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