Some Southland commuters are hopeful that conditions are going to improve on the busy 91 and 15 freeways. The good news is that the Governor is keeping their hope alive with his approval of AB 2098.
AB 2098 gives the go ahead to the Riverside County Transportation Commission to use what’s called a “design build” process for the State Route 91 Corridor Improvement Projects. This allows design and construction phases to overlap, leading to speedier construction and relief.
The 91 Corridor Improvement project will expand the 91 freeway from 8 to 14 lanes – one general lane and two tolled express lanes in each direction. Author Assemblyman Jeff Miller told the Daily Bulletin that the addition lanes will “shorten drive-time by 30 minutes one way.”
Also, a direct connector between the 91 EAST and 71 NORTH will be constructed, as well as direct connectors linking the 91 and 15 express toll lanes. Additional project areas include more lanes on the 15 between Cajalco and Hidden Valley Parkway.
The project comes with a $1.3 billion price tag and a five year due date. With passage of AB2098, Miller says “18,000 jobs will be created and that cannot happen soon enough. Riverside, one of the areas hardest hit by the recession, has a 15 percent unemployment rate and stands to benefit on numerous levels from this legislation.”
Construction should begin in 2012.
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