Eastbound lanes of the 91 Freeway are slated to be closed overnight throughout the weekend as crews work on an interchange improvement project on the ever-busy stretch of road running through Corona.
The Riverside Transportation Commission warned drivers of the closures, advising that they seek alternate routes to avoid getting caught in the inevitable traffic jams due to stem from the construction.
Nighttime closures are slated for 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday morning and Sunday morning, and from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Monday morning — impacting all eastbound lanes from Green River Road to Serfas Club Drive.
On top of that, two toll lanes on both the eastbound and westbound sides of the freeway will be shut down all weekend.
The closures are part of the 71/91 Interchange Project, which is working to replacing the current connector between the eastbound 91 Freeway and State-Route 71. Currently the connector is a single lane leading to a two-lane loop bridge. They're working to decrease congestion and allow for more vehicles at one time.
The $137 million project started in February, but will be the first time the entire eastbound side of the freeway will be closed for work.
In a statement, RCTC said that crews needed adequate space to move a "large support structure" made of 14-foot-wide and 160-foot-long "rebar cage that is being built adjacent to the 91." The beam is then going to be placed into a pre-drilled hole.
"The hole will be filled with 700 cubic yards of concrete to form the foundation for one of the columns of the 71/91 connector," the statement said. "Because of the size of the cage and the amount of concrete to be transported — more than 70 truck loads — the lanes must be closed for the safety of motorists."
The southbound connectors leading to both the eastbound and westbound 91 will stay open throughout the weekend.
Officials are advising drivers to utilize State-Route 60 as an alternate route. If not, they say that traffic is going to be funneled through the area via a single lane, which runs off the freeway at Green River Road and through downtown Corona before drivers are able to rejoin the eastbound 91.
Crews will also add an eastbound auxiliary lane to the 91 and realigning with the Green River Road on-ramp and adding a wildlife crossing to the area.
The project is expected to continue until at least 2025.
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