An artists’ rendering of what the French Valley Parkway Interchange project will look like once all three phases of the project are completed.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced $856 million in proposed infrastructure grants to help address the critical issues facing our nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, and interstate highways — $50 million of which has been awarded to the Southern California city of Temecula.
A total of 20 large and small infrastructure projects across the nation were awarded funds through the federal government’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program. “This significant federal investment will improve major highways, bridges, ports, and railroads around the country to better connect our communities, and to enhance safety and economic growth,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
The Temecula project qualified for one of the DOT’s ‘large project’ grants. The City will use the federal investment to construct a northbound collector/distributor system along Interstate 15. The project represents Phase II of a larger three-phase project to increase capacity on I-15. The second phase, which the grant funding is targeted toward, will include two lanes — one directing cars onto the northbound 215 freeway and the other moving vehicles onto I-15 with a ramp. Construction is set to begin in 2021, and will take two years to complete.
According to the DOT, this project “will generate regional economic, mobility, and safety benefits via travel time savings, safety, and emissions savings” and “contributes to the overall goals of safety and congestion reduction.”
To support these goals of safety and congestion reduction, more than 25 organizations, agencies, and governments submitted letters in support of the French Valley Parkway Interchange project.
“I am extremely proud of our city, its visionary council, and staff for putting together this comprehensive and winning grant application package that will help solve a problem that currently impacts our city, the region, and hundreds of thousands of people daily,” said Temecula City Manager Aaron Adams. “These lanes will alleviate the chokepoint of congestion on Interstate 15 where weaving begins, causing daily traffic that backs up travelers from that point into San Diego County; at times up to 20-plus miles long,” he explained.
Congressman Ken Calvert concurred, saying the “announced award to Temecula will provide desperately needed resources for a critical congestion relief project along the Interstate 15 corridor in Temecula Valley.” “I’ve been proud to work with Temecula officials to advocate for this project and ensure the folks at the Department of Transportation understand why it’s needed, ” said Rep. Calvert.
INFRA grants support the Administration’s commitment to fixing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure by creating opportunities for all levels of government and the private sector to fund infrastructure. “The effect of the INFRA grants is magnified because they are accompanied by state, local and private sector participation in these projects. The proposed grants are being matched by more than $2.3 billion in non-federal funding,” stated Secretary Chao.