Half of the Pomona (60) Freeway between Riverside and Ontario will remain shut down Saturday and until Monday morning to facilitate resurfacing projects — with no major events expected to add to traffic hassles this time.
“Everything is on schedule and going smoothly,” agency spokeswoman Kim Cherry told City News Service. “We’re hoping to make this another weekend where we lift the closure a little bit early.”
Cherry said that, last weekend, crews completed their assigned work by 2 a.m. Monday, and most eastbound lanes were opened to traffic.
There were concerns about the impact of the “Hard Summer Music Festival” last Saturday and Sunday at the Fontana Speedway, with tens of thousands of spectators expected to worsen traffic jams on detour routes.
“There were some additional backups, but it wasn’t ridiculous,” Cherry said.
No big crowd events are scheduled in any of the inland cities most affected by the partial freeway closure Saturday or Sunday, but Eastvale’s two-day TailGate Fest at Leal Ranch on Aug. 17-18 could add to traffic woes, according to Cherry.
“We’ll be putting the word out on how motorists can avoid getting stuck in long lines for the fest,” she said.
For the third straight weekend, crews are working on the entire eastbound 60 between Interstate 15 in Ontario and the 60/91/215 interchange in Riverside, roughly 13 miles that’s closed to traffic. The closure is not scheduled to end until 5 a.m. Monday.
According to Caltrans, the weekend closures on the eastbound 60 will continue, over the same 55-hour periods, until Sept. 23. However, work will be suspended during Labor Day weekend.
Officials said the rehabilitation work will move twice as fast because of the partial closures, which are part of what Caltrans has dubbed the “60 Swarm,” referring to multiple projects occurring over the next two years along the 60 freeway. Altogether, the Swarm covers a 20-mile stretch, from Chino to downtown Riverside.
Officials acknowledged the weekend disruptions are hard on travelers and businesses that depend on the traffic, but weekday work commuters are 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.
“Our goal is on track — to have the east and west closures finished by Thanksgiving,” Cherry told CNS.
Crews are using the closures to remove and replace entire slabs of pavement.
In addition to the shutdowns, intermittent and extended lane closures are occurring 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 two weeks ago in several locations and will wrap up 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, at a cost of $23 million, 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. Alternating east- and westbound lane closures for the bridge work started last week.
Officials said the current bridges were constructed with dimensions that make them prone 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.
More information is available at www.60Swarm.com, or via the 60 Swarm hotline: 833-607-9276.