Westbound 60 Freeway Through Badlands To Be Shut Down for Work

Westbound 60 Freeway Through Badlands To Be Shut Down for Work

Taylor Martinez

BEAUMONT (CNS) – Half of the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway between Beaumont and Moreno Valley will be shut down for three consecutive days next week, and the other half will be partially closed nightly to facilitate work along the median of the expanded corridor, officials said.

Motorists were advised to make alternate travel arrangements.

Beginning Aug. 7, crews working on the State Route 60 Truck Lanes Project will close the westbound 60 between Gilman Springs Road and the Interstate 10 interchange, and will shut down one of two lanes on the eastbound side, according to the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

Officials said the westbound closure will run from 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7,  to 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 10. The lane closure on the eastbound side will be nightly during the same period, generally 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Both eastbound lanes will be available for daytime travel, according to the RCTC.

Agency spokesman John Standiford said the closures are necessary for crews to install new K-rails in the median.

Motorists were advised to consider using Interstate 10 for westbound travel, as well as eastbound travel during the overnight hours, because traffic volumes will likely mean slow going for drivers.

The $113 million truck lanes project got underway last summer and entails widening the 60 through a five-mile stretch known as the Badlands, where the freeway twists and turns over barren hillsides and no frontage roads are available.

The project is being funded via Measure A county sales taxes, as well as federal and state grants, and once completed will provide specially designated truck lanes on both the east- and westbound sides for safety and to reduce congestion.

A single collision on either side of the narrow four-lane segment has been known to tie up traffic for hours, forcing the California Highway Patrol to divert motorists back into Beaumont or Moreno Valley, depending on which way they’re headed.

In addition to the truck lanes, crews are flattening several of the most curvy road sections to improve motorists’ visibility and widening freeway shoulders to 12 feet along the outside lanes, and 11 feet on the inside lanes, adjacent to the center divider, officials said.

The contract further calls for construction of 23 wildlife crossings beneath the corridor, as well as fencing on either side to prevent animals from straying into traffic.

The project is slated for completion in the first half of 2022. More information is available at rctc.org/60trucklanes.