Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore is closed until further notice to ensure the safety of residents, visitors, and sensitive habitat.

71/91 Interchange Project: Progress Update

Oct 16, 2023 | Infrastructure, MSHCP, News

RCA MSHCP Reserve Assembly Map
More than nine months have gone by since the Riverside County Transportation Commission, along with project partners, began construction of the 71/91 Interchange Project in the city of Corona. This project will improve traffic flow in this heavily traveled area between Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino counties. Once completed, the new interchange will improve safety, expand access to other modes of travel, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance traffic flow by replacing the existing single-lane loop connector with the two-lane direct connector.

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.

RCA MSHCP Reserve Assembly Map
This project is a covered activity under the MSHCP and is in close proximity to the Santa Ana River. As an important corridor for native wildlife, the project will support continued movement through this area by mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes. RCA, RCTC, and project partners are working closely together to ensure the protection of sensitive habitat during the life of the project.

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.