City of Riverside Encourages Residents to Avoid Highway 91 This Weekend
Full closure of freeway between Interstate 15 and Highway 71 expected to back up traffic
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside residents are encouraged to avoid Highway 91 this weekend and enjoy local restaurants and entertainment venues instead of braving the impacts of a full closure of the freeway between Interstate 15 and Highway 71.
The closure of Highway 91 begins at 9 p.m. Friday (2/19) and continues through 4 a.m. the following Monday to allow for three major construction activities needed for the widening of the freeway through Corona. The closure is expected to cause delays of as much as four hours on east-west freeway routes, including the 91, Highway 60, Interstate 10 and Interstate 210.
“This is a great weekend to connect with fellow Riversiders in our neighborhoods, our parks, our restaurants and local shops,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “Give yourself and your family a break from freeway driving, which already is stressful enough even without freeway closures making it worse.”
The impact of the closure in Riverside is expected to be especially heavy in the westbound lanes of Highway 91, where motorists travelling to Orange and Los Angeles counties will be re-routed in Corona north on Interstate 15, west on Highway 60 and south on Highway 71. That will affect western Riverside, where traffic on Highway 91 sometimes backs up to Pierce Street and La Sierra Avenue even without closures.
If warranted, the California Highway Patrol could close the freeway in western Riverside and divert westbound traffic in the reverse direction until traffic between Riverside and Interstate 15 dissipates. Such a change would likely back up traffic in the westbound lanes of Highway 91 in Riverside to Pierce Street, La Sierra Avenue, Tyler Street, Van Buren Boulevard and possibly Adams Street.
“Traffic always seeks the path of least resistance, so we can expect to see an impact on our streets in western Riverside,” said City Councilman Jim Perry, who represents Ward 6. “Residents and business owners who must be on the roads should allot more time than usual to get where they need to go.”
Eastbound traffic on Highway 91 coming from Orange County will be diverted north on Highway 71, east on Highway 60 and south on Interstate 15 to return to the eastbound lanes of Highway 91 just outside Riverside. Some of that traffic could stay on Highway 60, causing back-ups there.
Information about the freeway closure and the “91 Steer Clear” effort can be found at http://www.sr91project.info/91-steer-clear.