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91 freeway crunch will impact drivers heading to Riverside

Lanes on both sides of the Riverside 91 freeway will be shut down tonight and the California Highway Patrol will stop traffic hourly on the corridor through the weekend as part of an expansion project.

Caltrans has dubbed the 56-hour disruption the “Downtown 91 Weekend Crunch.”

Motorists should steer clear of the 91 in Riverside altogether to avoid travel delays and detours in effect until Monday morning, Caltrans District 8 spokeswoman Terri Kasinga told reporters Thursday.

According to state officials, the 91 will be narrowed from six to four lanes between Central Avenue and 14th Street beginning at 9 p.m.

Additionally, the northbound Interstate 215 connector to the 91 will be closed to all traffic from tonight to 5 a.m. Monday.

The eastbound Moreno Valley 60 Freeway transition to the 91 will also be closed for the duration with the exception of a five-hour window Sunday morning to facilitate the annual Mission Inn Run.

According to Caltrans, the 10th Street onramp to the westbound 91 will be closed for the weekend work, and the CHP will be implementing “traffic breaks” on the westbound side of the freeway, forcing motorists to slow to a crawl or come to a full stop at 60-minute intervals as part of the “crunch.”

Wait times could top 10 minutes at a stretch, officials said.

The interruptions are necessary for crews working on the $248 million SR 91 HOV Project to complete pile-driving ahead of the installation of support beams for the new Pachappa railroad crossing.

The new rail bridge is among the alterations complementing an infrastructure overhaul that will place an extra lane along a six-mile length of the 91.

The freeway widening effort got underway in early 2012 and is slated for completion the middle of next year.

KESQ News Team

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