[mappress mapid=”8″]Riverside officials warned residents today that streets on the western end of the city could overflow with vehicles spilling off the Riverside (91) Freeway during the planned weekend-long shutdown of the busy corridor in Corona.
“Traffic always seeks the path of least resistance, so we can expect to see an impact on our streets in western Riverside,” said City Councilman Jim Perry, whose Ward 6 borders Corona. “Residents and business owners who must be on the roads should allot more time than usual to get where they need to go.”
Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey urged locals to give themselves a “break from freeway driving, which is already stressful enough even without freeway closures making it worse,” next weekend.
Officials anticipated the heaviest jams along La Sierra Avenue and Pierce Street during the 55-hour closure, which is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Friday and wrap up at 4 a.m. Monday.
During that period, the 91 will be closed in both directions between Interstate 15 and the Corona (71) Expressway, according to the Riverside County Transportation Commission.
Dubbed “Corona Carmageddon,” the full freeway shutdown will enable crews to tackle three major components of the “91 Project Fast Forward” without traffic conflicts.
“By fully closing the roadway, we will be able to consolidate these significant construction efforts into one weekend, rather than multiple weekends or extending this over a month of weeknights,” said RCTC Executive Director Anne Mayer last month. “Consolidating the work activities within one weekend will reduce the number of closure hours by more than 50 percent.”
Mayer said the westbound side of the Maple Street bridge at the 91 will be demolished, and crews will install support beams at the flyover ramp connected to the bridge, as well as pave a portion of the eastbound 91 under Interstate 15.
RCTC officials emphasized the benefit of conducting the construction activity without exposing road workers to freeway traffic.
Other east-west corridors traversing the IE include Interstate 10 and the Pomona (60) Freeway. Interstate 15 will remain open, as will the 71 expressway. However, utilizing either freeway to connect to the 91 will not be possible.
According to Mayer, drivers who attempt to take the 91 westbound from Riverside or eastbound from Orange County into Corona are likely to find themselves stacked up in traffic, delayed three to four hours until they’re detoured onto surface streets. Corona residents have been advised to expect higher traffic volume on surface streets.
Mayer said public safety agencies will have full access to closed traffic lanes to expedite handling of emergency calls during the closure.
More information is available at http://sr91project.info/ , or by calling (877) 770-9191.
The $1.3 billion “91 Project Fast Forward,” which got underway in early 2014, involves widening the east-west corridor between the Orange County line and I-15, with new traffic lanes and ramps, as well as additional shoulder space and expanded surface streets in the vicinity of the freeway.