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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 24, 2016
Improvements on 91 Freeway Open to Drivers
A six-mile stretch between State Route 57 and Interstate 5 gets new general-purpose and auxiliary lanes, widened bridges and ramps
ORANGE – Drivers traveling westbound on the Riverside Freeway (SR-91) between the Orange Freeway (SR-57) and the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) will experience more efficient travel times with the completion of improvements to the six-mile stretch of freeway, which fully opened as of Thursday morning.
The improvements, led by the Orange County Transportation Authority and Caltrans, include four miles of new general-purpose lane in the westbound direction and auxiliary lanes that allow traffic to more smoothly enter and exit the freeway.
The project, completed by construction contractor C.C. Myers, also included widening seven bridges that span the 91 freeway and reconstructing and repaving 10 on- and off-ramps to allow cars to more safely and efficiently enter and exit the freeway. The improvements also are expected to ease the transition from the southbound 57 freeway to the westbound 91, requiring less merging and weaving of cars.
With the improvements, the six-mile stretch of the 91 now includes four general purpose lanes and one carpool lane. The existing carpool lane in the area is striped to allow continuous access by drivers, which studies have shown reduces accidents and air pollution.
The $61 million improvement project was paid for with a combination of state Prop. 1B and local funds from Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.
In all, 19 new lane miles have been added to the 91 freeway since 2010. Two more lane miles are currently being added on the 91 between Lakeview and Tustin avenues, a project scheduled for completion later this year.
“The improvements to the SR-91 freeway will help ease congestion in a vital part of Orange County, making commutes easier for thousands of drivers every day,” said OCTA Chair Lori Donchak. “It is also one more step in delivering the promises made through Measure M to the people of Orange County.”
Measure M sets aside 43 percent of revenues collected for freeway improvements.
While the new lanes on the 91 freeway were opened as soon as they were safely available for drivers, periodic nighttime lane closures are expected over the next two weeks while workers touch up lane striping and put the finishing touches on the project
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