Motorists who travel the Pass region freeways, from Beaumont to Moreno Valley, need to be prepared for additional traffic once the State Route 60 Truck Lanes Project begins this summer.
“We are going to be adding truck lanes in both directions and that construction is expected to start here soon,” said Cheryl Donahue, with the Riverside County Transportation Commission, which is overseeing the roughly 2½ year project in the “Badlands” area of Highway 60, between Jack Rabbit Trail in the east to Gilman Springs Road in the west.
“We’ll be adding an eastbound truck climbing lane and a westbound descending lane. We will be widening the shoulders to standard widths,” Donahue said.
Donahue and Bryce Johnston, Capital Projects Manager for RCTC, provided an update on the project at the May 20 Calimesa City Council meeting. The two are part of an outreach team, talking to cities and residents affected by the project, which is expected to begin soon and includes the closure of a westbound lane on Highway 60 for an extended period of time.
“We know that will have some impact on the 10, coming this direction,” Donahue said, about the Highway 60 lane closure.
“We can’t over communicate on this project,” said Councilman Larry Smith.
In about mid-June, Johnston said, motorists should start to see equipment along the project area, with Stage 1, the realigning of the highway’s curves at the west end, expected to be completed about the end of July.
“The end of July, first of August, we will be entering the main reason we are doing a big public outreach is stage two, where we are going to be closing one lane in the westbound direction for a long duration, about six months,” Johnston said.
“There will be one lane taken out of service and the reason is there is no shoulder to work from and we need some space,” he said, continuing. “Once we get through that first part of Stage 2, where we take one lane and we give the lane back to you, then we will be able to give all of the lanes back during construction … We should be finishing the project in late 2021.”
Even though the lane closure may be painful to motorists because that will leave only one westbound lane of the 4.5-mile stretch open, Johnston said it was necessary because it will reduce the construction time by about one year. Motorists should also be aware Freeway Service Patrol will operate during the lane closure.
Besides the addition of the truck lanes, shoulders and recovery areas in both directions, Donahue said the median