Riverside’s own ‘Carmageddon’ starts this week

Jan Young

2012-06-19-91-fwy-const-zone.JPGThe days of heavy traffic on the 91 freeway are about to get worse before they get better.  From Sunday night, September 16th until Wednesday night, September 19th, all lanes of the 91 freeway at 14th Street will be shut down in both directions from 11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. as crews begin demolition of half of the 14th Street overpass.

Traffic in the area has already been impacted as the overpass itself has been reduced to one lane in each direction.  Even after the night time freeway closures this week, the 14th Street construction will continue for about two years as the bridge is rebuilt.

This closure is part of the massive 91 freeway widening project, which is adding a carpool lane in each direction between the 91/60/215 interchange and Adams Street.  The project also includes revamping the on/off ramps along that same stretch and widening the 14th Street bridge.

Signs have been posted in the area for several weeks warning commuters of the impending freeway closure and lane reduction on the overpass to give them ample time to plan alternate routes during the next few years.  Downtown employees, courtroom jurors, and RCC students, among others, will be flooding onto other surface streets as they try to maneuver around the construction.  Monday morning will be the first true test.

Officials have said that the bridge typically carries about 35,000 vehicles each workday.  During construction for the next few years, the bridge capacity will drop nearly sixty percent to around 15,000 vehicles a day.

See related story:  Major construction and detours scheduled for the 14th Street bridge in downtown Riverside

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

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