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Caltrans anounces $210 million Interstate 10 improvement project

I10 PROJECT

Traffic was flowing smoothly on the 10 freeway Wednesday morning.

But, slow downs and possibly major backups could be happening over the next two to three years because of the $210 million "I-10 Tune Up" project announced at the CHP office in Beaumont.

"With the reduced speed limit and people paying attention and not driving distracted, and following the law we should be fine," said Caltrans spokesperson Terri Kasinga.

The improvements for the I-10 will cover a span of the highway running from the 60 freeway eastward to Highway 111.

A timeline shows work will be completed in three stages, and could take as long as two to three years.

The work on both bides will focus on medians, repaving the number three and four lanes, and "slab replacement" in lanes one and two.

"Will truck traffic and people driving at night see the construction work, yes and they might see some minor delays," said Kasinga.

Caltrans says most of the work will be completed during night-time hours with work stopping for weekends and holidays, and during major events like Coachella and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival.

Some initial stages of the work are already underway and more signifcant stages of the project are set to begin in March.

Caltrans and the CHP both have real concerns about the project on the 10.

If a major incident such as a car accident, wildfire or law enforcement situation occur, the traffic backup could turn into a nightmare scenario.

That's because of limited frontage roads in some areas along the ten where the work is being performed.

In some stretches of the freeway lanes will be reduced from 12 feet wide to eleven feet in width.

During some nighttime hours traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

"There are parts of the 10 that there is no diversion, There is no side streets and there are no alternate routes and so our position is that we are going to clear the highway as fast as possible whether it be a minor traffic collision or a major incident," said CHP Commander Mike Alvarez.

The speed limit in the construction areas will be reduced to 60 miles an hour and Commander Alvarez says his officers will be peforming "aggressive enforcement".

Fines in the construction zone are also doubled.

Caltrans has set up a website and is offering a hot line for updated information on the project, including information on closures and traffic advisories.

Link: i10TuneUp.com

Hotline: (833) i10-TUNE (410)-8863

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Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.

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