Officials join virtual ribbon cutting opening Menifee’s I-215 and Scott Road interchange

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Menifee Mayor Bill Zimmerman joins others in officially cutting the ribbon for the virtual opening ceremony for the Interstate 215 and Scott Road Interchange in Menifee. Valley News/City of Menifee photo

Facebook and Twitter viewers were invited to see the official ribbon cutting for the completion of the new Scott Road and Interstate 215 interchange Thursday, Sept. 15, in Menifee.

The 10-minute virtual presentation included a description of the work put in by the F. Atkinson Construction Co. from Colorado to build the $58 million freeway interchange since it was first contracted in 2018.

City, state and county officials who each had a part in seeing the project completed included Bill Zimmerman, Menifee mayor; Matt Liesemeyer, Menifee mayor pro tem; Lesa Sobek, District 3 Menifee city councilmember; Chuck Washington, 3rd District Riverside County supervisor; Jeff Hewitt, District 5 Riverside County supervisor; Michael Beauchamp, Caltrans District 8 director and Christopher Gray, Western Riverside County Organization of Cities, transportation and planning director. Each official was shown cutting the ribbon on the livestream presentation.

Although the new interchange has been open in recent weeks, an official in-person ribbon cutting would have been delayed until Sept. 27, due to the current California COVID-19 crowd limitation rules. The event may be viewed on Facebook and Twitter and on the Menifee website.

The Scott Road/215 Interchange includes a new partial cloverleaf interchange with standard diamond ramps, hook entrance ramps and a new overcrossing at I-215 and Scott Road. The scope of the work included work on a 338-foot-long and 90-foot-wide, cast-in-place box girder bridge, three new cast-in-place retaining walls and more than 215,000 cubic yards of earthwork obtained from a local supplier. Drainage, lighting and sign improvements, signal modification and ramp metering on all on-ramps. Project completion is slated for March 2020.

While RCTC provided the initial $32 million for the project, five other partners helped pay the remainder of the $58 million total cost and services. They included Menifee’s Measure DD, WRCOG’s THUMP; Federal Highway Administration; city of Murrieta; Southern California Edison; The Southern California Gas Co. and cable utilities.

Zimmerman thanked each of the agencies for their partnership in the project, saying it will economically benefit all the cities next to the I-215 and make the freeway safer for everyone.

The upgraded interchange has already improved traffic patterns in the area, he said, but it still becomes crowded in the early morning and late afternoon hours. RCTC, Caltrans and WRCOG have plans to add new or improved interchanges in the Perris, Menifee, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore and Temecula I-215 and I-15 corridors between Riverside and San Diego.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at tault@reedermedia.com.