Route 60 Truck Lanes Open in the Badlands
With the snip of a shiny purple ribbon, RCTC, Caltrans, and project partners, including the RCA, celebrated the opening of the Route 60 Truck Lanes on June 2. Under construction for about three years, the new lanes offer a safer and more efficient way to travel between the Coachella Valley and western Riverside County.
The lanes stretch 4.5 miles – from Gilman Springs Road to 1.4 miles west of Jack Rabbit Trail – between Moreno Valley and Beaumont through the formerly treacherous “Badlands.” Built next to the outer shoulders in both directions, the truck lanes separate slower-moving and faster-moving vehicles.
Not only is the road safer for motorists, but it is also has created a safer way for animals to travel. The project included construction of two 20-foot by 20-foot by 200-foot wildlife crossings and the extension of culverts to allow coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, deer, and other animals to cross safely beneath Route 60. Not only do the crossings help prevent collisions between motorists and animals, but they also allow for linkages between MSHCP Core Areas so that animals can seek food and mates and avoid inbreeding.
The wildlife crossings show how transportation infrastructure and conservation can work together and create lasting community benefits. The MSHCP streamlines the environmental permitting process for needed infrastructure like the Route 60 Truck Lanes Project. Without the permitting authority that the MSHCP grants, projects would take longer to deliver.