LAKE ELSINORE, CA — Commuters weary of daily traffic jams at Railroad Canyon Road and Interstate 15 in Lake Elsinore are finally going to see major construction changes.

On Wednesday, the Riverside County Transportation Commission awarded a $31 million construction agreement to Riverside Construction Company for the I-15/Railroad Canyon Road interchange project. Twelve bids were received for the project.

According to county documents, the project will result in several major changes at the interchange “that are intended to improve safety and reduce congestion,” including two new lanes on Railroad Canyon Road through the interchange; reconstruction of northbound ramps; construction of auxiliary and deceleration lanes on I-15; and improved sidewalks and bike lanes through the interchange.

A groundbreaking for the project is planned this spring; construction is expected to take approximately 2.5 years to complete.

First District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries commended Lake Elsinore Mayor Pro Tem Bob Magee for his dogged commitment to the project, stating that Magee never gave up on it “despite all the years of obstacles being thrown at it.”

According to Jeffries, the project has been 20 years in the making.

Funding for the project is provided by a combination of sources including city, state, gas tax, and Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fees, according to the county.

News of the construction contract coincides with the opening last month of an approximately 1 mile extension of Camino Del Norte, from Main Street to Franklin Street, along the east side of the 15 Freeway in Lake Elsinore. The roadway now serves as an option for those commuting to and from Canyon Estates Drive and/or Tuscany Hills, according to the city.

Construction on the $3.4 million project began in July. Improvements include a traffic signal at the intersection of Canyon Estates Drive, Camino Del Norte and Franklin Street. A sidewalk has also been constructed.

The roadway is also designed to help alleviate traffic at the I-15/Railroad Canyon Road interchange.

Source: Patch