71/91 Interchange Project: Progress Update
Since the shovels broke ground in January, crews have made significant strides on the project. If you have driven on the 91 lately, you probably have seen cranes, drills, bulldozers, and so much more on the side of the 71 and 91 and in the median.
In early June, the project completed a major construction task. Crews moved large equipment and materials to the median of the 91 to build a large support column that will support the new connector. The support columns is a large rebar cage weighing more than 232,000 pounds with a 14-foot diameter and 160 feet tall. Crews were able to fit this structure into a 15-foot diameter, 160-predrilled hole in the median and fill it with 700 cubic yards of concrete.
To build the new eastbound 91 to northbound 71 connector, crews now need to build the support structures that will be approximately 30 feet high and will span across the 91. Beams measuring 120 feet long and weighing 18 tons each will be placed across supports to create a tunnel-like structure. To accomplish this safely, the project will require full weeknight eastbound 91 closures starting on October 16 through November 21, Monday through Wednesday. For more information on the closures, visit rctc.org/7191closures.
Construction crews have maintained open drainage culverts to facilitate the safe passage of animals. Wildlife fencing and native plants are being used to funnel wildlife into existing crossings. Easy access through this area helps animals pursue food and mates, avoid inbreeding, and increase genetic variation. Safe wildlife movement also dramatically reduces motorist-animal collisions.
The project is anticipated to open in 2025. To learn more about this project and to register for construction updates, visit rctc.org/71-91interchange.