Construction began in October 2013 on the Perris Valley Line, which will expand Metrolink commuter rail service on the 91 Line. The new service will extend 24 miles from downtown Riverside to south Perris and will add four new stations along the route. The PVL is expected to open to riders by late 2015. Located within the right of way of the existing San Jacinto Branch Line through Riverside, Moreno Valley and Perris, the PVL is the first extension of Metrolink service since the Antelope Valley Line was built in 1994.
Project benefits will include:
Safety is a priority for RCTC and Metrolink. The PVL will upgrade 15 at-grade crossings with a variety of safety measures, including flashing warning devices, gates, raised center medians, striping, signs, and pavement markings. The project also will add pedestrian crosswalks at two railroad crossings, upgrade and close to traffic one crossing, and permanently close two crossings.
Quiet Zones and Noise Reduction
The PVL will provide infrastructure that will allow the City of Riverside to establish “Quiet Zones” at Marlborough Avenue, Spruce Street, Blaine Street, and Mt. Vernon Avenue. In Quiet Zones, railroads no longer sound their train horns when approaching grade crossings, except during emergencies or to comply with railroad regulations. Noise studies were performed to analyze the impacts of the project to area residents. Sound walls of varying heights will be built near residential neighborhoods in Riverside.
Most of the PVL parallels Interstate 215, which carries a growing number of commuters each day and is often jammed with traffic congestion. Heading west, the PVL connects to the 91 Line, which provides service through Riverside County and into Orange County and Los Angeles County. The PVL will provide commuters with a safe, convenient and traffic-free alternative to driving on the region’s heavily traveled freeways. freeways. .
Enhanced Air Quality
Metrolink, combined with regional and local bus services, provides an environmentally-friendly and energy efficient alternative to driving alone. It is estimated that the PVL will attract 4,350 riders daily, serving commuters from Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, Perris, Moreno Valley, Hemet and San Jacinto. This will help improve the overall quality of life for Riverside County.
By extending Metrolink to more of the region, local residents can take the train to jobs within Riverside County. The success of Metrolink will make the area more attractive to potential employers that will want to locate near vibrant rail stations. The $248.3 million project is expected to create an estimated 4,400 direct and indirect jobs, a definite plus for Riverside County, which has been hit hard by high unemployment rates, especially in the construction industry.
This project is currently widening a 12.5-mile section of I‑215 from Scott Road in Menifee to Nuevo Road in Perris. One lane and a shoulder will be added in each direction in the unused portion of the center median, creating three general purpose freeway lanes in each direction. In some portions of the project, the median is 46 feet and can accommodate the planned widening. In other portions, the median is only 22 feet wide and is not adequate to accommodate the planned widening. In the areas where the median is only 22 feet wide, outside widening will be required. Using the median to the greatest extent possible will reduce the impacts to homes and businesses located adjacent to the freeway.
Improvements to a number of structures also are in process as part of this project, including:
- Widening of the Salt Creek Bridge
- Widening of the Romoland Flood Control Channel
- Widening of the Ethanac Road Railroad Overhead Bridge
- Widening of the San Jacinto Bridge
- Replacement of the Perris Boulevard Overcrossing
- Replacement of the northbound D Street On-ramp/Overcrossing
In addition, plans call for the two existing freeway lanes in each direction to be resurfaced, creating a smoother ride for motorists.
Noise studies were performed to analyze the impacts of the project to area residents. Sound walls have been built along the west side of the freeway between McCall Boulevard and south of McLaughlin Road.
The preliminary engineering and environmental document phase of this project involved a series of studies and public meetings to determine how the project goals could be met while minimizing the impacts on the surrounding area. Project approvals were received in 2011, and final design was completed in 2012. Construction began early February 2013 and is expected to be complete by mid-2015.
The total project cost is estimated to be $102 million, of which $77 million is allocated to construction. Funding is provided by a combination of state sources and Measure A. The project is anticipated to create 1,836 jobs.
SR-91 HOV Project
The SR-91is a primary truck and commuter route and carries approximately 170,000 vehicles per day within the project area on the existing three lanes in each direction. The route is often highly congested at current traffic levels with Riverside County’s population expected to reach 3.5 million by 2030, the vehicle pressure in this corridor will continue to increase. The improvements to the freeway through this widening project will help alleviate congestion through this hub. The cost of the project is estimated to be $232 million and is funded by Measure A, Riverside County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation; federal funds; and $ 157 million in Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA) funds, the state Proposition lB funding.
WHAT ARE THE PROJECT BENEFITS?
The SR-91 freeway serves the entire inland region as primary freeway connection to communities including Riverside, Corona, and San Bernardino. Over the past few years, significant investments have been made to improve the SR-91 with the reconstruction of the 60/91/215 interchange in Downtown Riverside and the widening of the freeway from Adams Street to the Orange County line.
One section of the freeway that has yet to be widened is the 6-mile segment between Adams Street and the 60/91/215 interchange. The addition of a carpool lane through this area will provide HOV continuity, improve traffic safety and improve the level of service of SR-91 through Riverside. Moreover, the widening of the freeway and its ensuing investment will lead to many other adjacent improvements including improved on and off-ramps at 14th Street and Arlington Avenue, relocating the 9th Street on ramp to 1Oth Street, and the replacement of a number of bridges that cross the freeway such as 14th Street, Cridge Street, and Ivy Street. The overall result will be
a state·of·the art transportation facility that serves motorists by adding capacity while easing access to and from the community which better serves businesses, employers and local residents. The project anticipates creating an estimated 1,500 jobs during its construction.
CONSTRUCTION SAFETY: OUR TOP PRIORITY
The safety of construction crews, area motorists and pedestrians is the highest priority of this project. Please follow these safety tips near the SR-91construction zone:
- Slow down and watch for construction workers and heavy equipment.
- Allow extra time to get to work, school or appointments.
- Tell friends or customers coming to your home or business about construction work.
- Be extra careful when driving at night and in rainy weather.
- Immediately report to the police any suspicious activity or children playing in construction staging areas.
- Avoid using your mobile phone or other distractions when driving through this area.
- Watch for ramp closures and use alternate routes.
Be patient. Please remember that this is a temporary inconvenience for a long-term solution to traffic congestion.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT SCHEDULE?
Delivering a transportation project to the public takes place over a period of several years. Work began on the SR-91 HOV project in 2006 with the completion of the project study report. The Project Report and Environmental Documents were completed in August 2007. Construction began in Spring 2012 with completion scheduled for 2015. Construction will be phased along the project corridor in order to minimize disruptions to traffic.
The 91 in Riverside County ranks among the nation’s worst commutes. Stop-and-go traffic is the norm, especially during morning and late afternoon rush hours. In fact, traffic congestion on eastbound 91 between Anaheim and Corona is routinely among the worst five areas in the nation.
Good news is on the way for drivers, thanks to the $1.3 billion 91 Project. Led by RCTC, the project will add regular lanes, tolled express lanes, auxiliary lanes and direct express lane connectors from the northbound 15 to the westbound 91 and from the eastbound 91 to the southbound 15. Improvements to interchanges, ramps and surface streets also will be made along the 91 corridor. Please go to Project Segments for more detailed information.
These improvements will reduce delays, allow faster emergency response, relieve local street congestion and offer better access to public transit and trails, all of which will allow motorists to “Fast Forward” their travel. In addition, this innovative design-build project is creating 16,200 jobs. Visit http://sr91project.info/ fore more information.