New freeway near Perris to begin construction soon

Rob McMillan Image
Thursday, October 25, 2018
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Plans for a new six-lane freeway from Perris to San Jacinto are in the works and it would help alleviate congestion on the 215 Freeway.

PERRIS, Calif. (KABC) -- Driving on Interstate 215 through Perris during the middle of the day can be rather painless - but try that drive during rush hour, and it's a completely different experience.

"It's pretty bad in the mornings," said one frustrated commuter.

"We're late going to work, and to school and all that," said another commuter from Perris, who said it's not just the north-south corridors that become snarled with traffic, but the east-west corridors as well - such as the Ramona Expressway.

But a new 16-mile freeway should alleviate some of the congestion.

As planned, it will start at an interchange on I-215 at Placentia Avenue and stretch eastward, eventually taking over the thoroughfare currently traversed by the Ramona Expressway. It will provide an alternative to State Route 60 to the north and State Route 74 to the south.

"Adding another corridor in the east-west direction should help the overall movement of traffic throughout the county," said John Standiford, deputy executive director of the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

But at this time, only a small portion of the approximately $1 billion project is funded: the interchange on I-215 near Placentia Avenue. But Standiford said the interchange will help take some of the load off the other freeway onramps and offramps in the area.

When completed, the freeway will be a designated state route with three lanes in either direction. A handful of homes north of Paragon Park in Perris will have to be demolished to make way for the new freeway. But that's several years away and that part of the project isn't even funded yet.

The interchange is scheduled to begin construction in 2020. The remainder of the freeway will begin construction afterward, depending on the availability of funding.