Drivers using the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway between Beaumont and Moreno Valley next week should be prepared for nightly delays as crews set up safety barriers for a two-year expansion project along a 4.5-mile stretch of the freeway.
According to the Riverside County Transportation Commission, the California Highway Patrol will be conducting intermittent traffic breaks between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Monday to Friday.
The breaks, lasting up to 10 minutes at a time, are expected to occur hourly east of Gilman Springs Road and west of Jack Rabbit Trail, RCTC officials said.
Road workers will be erecting barriers along the shoulders and center divider. Drivers who want to avoid delays should consider using Interstate 10 for alternate east-west travel, according to the RCTC.
“Motorists should watch for workers and equipment, allow extra travel time, follow the reduced 55 mph speed limit, and note that traffic fines will be doubled in construction area,'' according to an agency statement.
The $106 million State Route 60 Truck Lanes Project, overseen by Skanska USA, is slated to continue until the end of 2021 and will entail installing specially designated truck lanes for safety and to reduce congestion through a sparsely populated area known as the Badlands, marked by steep hills and no freeway frontage roads.
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A single collision on either side of the narrow four-lane segment has been known to tie up traffic for hours, forcing the CHP to divert motorists back into Beaumont or Moreno Valley, depending on which way they're headed.
In addition to adding a truck lane on each side of the freeway, crews will flatten several of the most curvy road sections to improve motorists' visibility, and will widen freeway shoulders to 12 feet along the outside lanes, and 11 feet on the inside lanes, adjacent to the center divider.
The contract further calls for construction of 23 wildlife crossings beneath the corridor, as well as fencing on either side to prevent animals from straying into traffic.
In the coming months, one westbound lane will be shut down for an extended duration, leaving only a single lane of travel in that direction during the project, which is being funded through Measure A county sales taxes, as well as grants from state and federal sources, according to RCTC.
More information is available at rctc.org/60trucklanes.