Resurfacing work on the eastbound Pomona (60) Freeway between Riverside and Ontario was completed much sooner than anticipated Sunday in what was the first closure of 15 planned through September.
The freeway was originally scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. Monday, but reopened mid-morning because most of the work this weekend was related to testing for the weeks ahead, which went better than expected, according to Caltrans District 8 spokeswoman Terri Kasinga.
“We probably won’t see it opening early like we did today because we’re doing a lot bigger sections in the coming weekends,” Kasinga said.
Crews paved about a 1,000 feet Sunday, about a fifth of a mile, but expect to pave a mile each coming weekend.
The closure began on Friday and affected the entire eastbound 60 between Interstate 15 in Ontario and the 60/91/215 interchange in Riverside, roughly 13 miles. The closure continued Saturday and ended at about 10:15 a.m. According to Caltrans, the weekend closures on the eastbound 60 will continue, over the same 55-hour periods, until Sept. 23.
Work will be suspended during Labor Day weekend, however.
“The contract allows these weekend closures in order to expedite pavement work, rather than have night and daytime closures for long periods of time,” Kasinga said last week.
The closures are part of what Caltrans has dubbed the “60 Swarm,” referring to multiple projects occurring over the next two years along the 60 freeway. The “Swarm compilation” will cover a 20-mile stretch, from Chino to downtown Riverside, Kasinga said.
Officials acknowledged the weekend disruptions will be hard on travelers and businesses that depend on the traffic, but weekday work commuters will be spared delays in return.
The first overnight closure of the westbound 60 is scheduled Sept. 27, and will also begin at 10 p.m., then end at 5 a.m. Sept. 30. Officials said the westbound closures will continue over the ensuing seven weekends, ending Nov. 18. Work will be suspended for Veterans Day weekend, though.
Closures for 2020 have not been announced.
Entrance and exit ramps to the closed sections of the 60 will be inaccessible to traffic. Crews will use the closures to remove and replace entire slabs of pavement, according to Caltrans.
The agency is recommending that motorists use state Route 91, Interstates 10, 15 and 215 during the shutdowns. Surface streets in Jurupa Valley and Riverside will also be available for east-west travel.
In addition to the shutdowns, intermittent and extended lane closures are planned in the construction zone, between Euclid Avenue in Ontario and the 60/91/215, officials said, adding that portions of the Interstate 15/Route 60 interchange in Ontario will also be periodically closed during the Swarm.
Single lane closures began Monday night in several locations and will end in November 2021, when the pavement replacement project is slated to conclude, according to Caltrans.
Rancho Cucamonga-based McLoughlin Engineering Co. is overseeing the $134 million project.
The other part of the 60 Swarm is comprised of bridge replacements, managed by Riverside-based Sema Construction Inc.
According to Caltrans, the Benson Avenue, Monte Vista Avenue and Pipeline Avenue overcrossings in Chino are all due to be razed and replaced with new spans this fall.
Officials said the current bridges were constructed with dimensions that make them susceptible to being bumped by oversized truck loads. Over the years, the repeated minor hits have had a cumulative impact, requiring the two-lane bridges to be replaced.
Alternating east- and westbound closures of the 60 at the site of each bridge are also planned.
The $23 million bridge replacement projects are slated to end in the fall of 2021.
More information is available via the 60 Swarm hotline: 833-607-9276.