Both sides of Interstate 215 connecting Riverside and San Bernardino counties will be shut down Friday night for bridge work, and state officials recommended that motorists take alternate routes to avoid long delays.
According to Caltrans, all lanes of I-215 will be closed to traffic beginning at 10 p.m. and continuing until noon Saturday. Officials have dubbed the closure the "I-215 Summer Sting.''
Crews are completing a railroad bridge between Barton Road and Iowa Avenue and need the freeway to be closed while the two last truss spans are anchored in place, according to Caltrans.
The new Burlington Santa Fe Railroad bridge is part of the $170 million I-215 Bi-County Project intended to expand the gateway artery between Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The new bridge will replace an older one farther north on the freeway in Grand Terrace.
During the closure, southbound traffic will be routed off the freeway at Barton Road, down La Cadena Drive, returning to the freeway at the La Cadena on-ramp. Northbound motorists will be taken off the freeway via Iowa Avenue and routed back to the freeway at Barton.
"We're hoping commuters will leave the local detour for local residents and use other freeways to avoid the construction area and keep congestion to a minimum,'' Caltrans District 8 spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said.
Weekend travelers can steer clear of the closure altogether by using a combination of state Route 60, Interstate 15 and Interstate 10.
Additional freeway shutdowns are planned during the weekends of Sept. 12-13 and Sept. 19-20, according to Caltrans.