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60/215 East Junction High Occupancy Lane Connector Project

i215project.infoCaltrans opened construction bids for the 60/215 East Junction high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane connector project. Based on preliminary information, the apparent low bidder is Coffman Specialties. The bid of $22.5 million is considerably lower than the approximate estimate of $31.5 million. There were 11 bidders for this project, which will close an existing gap and ensure continuous HOV lane access between Moreno Valley and Riverside on the 60/215 freeway. Project design includes the following elements:

●   Build two direct connectors to close lane gap;  
●   Modify and realign north Box Springs Road exit; and  
●   Modify and realign north I-215/Box Springs Road from two to four lanes.  

Measure A and Local Transportation Fund Revenues Increasing —
Delivering Projects Continues to be RCTC’s Top Priority

RCTCAs part of the annual budget process, the Riverside County Transportation Commission (Commission) released its revenue projections for Fiscal Year 2011/12. Revenue projections include Measure A, the ½ cent sales tax program; Local Transportation Fund (LTF), which consists of funding derived from a ¼ cent of the state’s general sales tax; and funding from Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fees (TUMF). TUMF revenues consist of fees charged to new developments to ensure they pay for transportation facilities needed to accommodate growth.

When making projections, staff considers revenue trends, historical and economic data, and forecast studies. Current trends indicate that Measure A and LTF receipts are about 7.2% and 6.8% higher, respectively, for the six months ended December 31, 2010, compared to the same period in 2009. TUMF revenues have declined 48% for the five months ended November 30, 2010, compared to the same period in 2009. For FY 2011/12, the Commission approved revenue projections as follows:

●   Measure A   $114.7 million  
●   LTF   $56.7 million  
●   TUMF   $4.3 million  

While there has been promising economic recovery, recent forecasts indicate that the Inland Empire’s economic recovery lags the nation and state. The unemployment rate remains high, and the housing market continues to be challenged. Commission staff will continue to monitor revenue projections.

Despite a slow economic recovery, delivering projects continues to be the Commission’s priority. In addition to the 60/215 East Junction project, work will begin on the Interstate 215 South widening project; plans to extend commuter rail service on the Perris Valley Line continues as well as work on the State Route 91 corridor. Full details of the Commission’s major projects can be found in the Commission’s 2009-2019 Delivery Plan, Framework for a Journey, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

State Route 91
Corridor Improvement Project

SR‑91The State Route 91 Corridor Improvement Project (SR‑91 CIP) is a $1.3 billion project that proposes to add two tolled express lanes and a general purpose lane in each direction of the SR‑91 from the Orange County line to Interstate 15. Also included in the project are a number of key interchange and ramp improvements located at major thoroughfares that cross and access the freeway.

At the January 12, 2011 Commission meeting, a presentation was made on the economic benefit of the SR‑91 CIP including the impact to the city of Corona and surrounding area. Economic benefits include:

●   1,400 new construction jobs annually plus 400 jobs through induced/indirect effects in the county of Riverside. An additional 735 jobs per year will be created throughout the remainder of California;  
●   Project will generate more than $2 billion in economic output throughout the state ($422 million/year) through 2015; and  
●   Project will reduce congestion and save travel time for thousands of commuters.  

A copy of the SR‑91 Economic Benefit Analysis report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Upcoming Commission Meeting

The Commission will hold its next meeting on Thursday, February 10, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. at the Hilton Palm Springs, 400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, California. Additionally, its annual workshop will be held Thursday and Friday, February 10-11, 2011, starting at 3:30 p.m. at the same location.

Speaker’s Bureau

The Commission maintains a speaker’s bureau that actively makes presentations throughout the county on transportation issues. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation for your service club or community organization, please contact Eliza Echevarria at (951) 787‑7141 or eechevarria@rctc.org.

Follow RCTC on Twitter

In an effort to enhance public outreach, the Commission created a twitter account — an internet messaging site that allows anyone to post information on a real time basis. If you use Twitter, you can follow the Commission at twitter.com/RCTC.

twitter.com/ie511Interested in what’s happening with traffic in the Inland Empire? IE511 is your best source for getting around Southern California. Real-time traffic for Southern California, including travel times, freeway cameras, and incident information. IE511 also offers bus and rail transit information as well as rideshare for those seeking an alternative to automobile travel. Connect on the go. Call 511 within the Inland Empire or rely on IE511 wherever you go by calling 1‑877‑MYIE511.

Transportation in the News

Complex Gas Tax Backfires
(North County Times, 1/12/2011)

Highway 91 Toll Project will Create Jobs
(Press Enterprise, 1/12/2011)

RIVERSIDE COUNTY: 60/215 Car Pool Project Bids to be Opened Thursday
(Press Enterprise, 1/11/2011)

REGION: Toll Lanes in Long-Range Freeway Plans
(North County Times, 1/10/2011)

REGION: Metrolink's Holiday Toy Express to Make Inland Stops
(Press Enterprise, 12/10/2010)

PERRIS: I-215 Upgrades to Pave Way for New Retail Center
(Press Enterprise, 12/9/2010)

Widening of Southern Section of I-215 to Start Early Next Year
(Press Enterprise, 12/9/2010)

Riverside County Transportation Commission
P.O. Box 12008 • Riverside, CA 92502-2208 • Phone: (951) 787-7141 • Fax: (951) 787-7920
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