Half of the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway between Moreno Valley and Beaumont will be shut down for two days next week, and motorists are being advised to plan ahead and take an alternate route.

From Friday night, Jan. 8, to Monday morning, Jan. 11, crews working on the “State Route 60 Truck Lanes Project” will close the eastbound 60 between Gilman Springs Road, just east of Moreno Valley, to the Interstate 10/60 Interchange in Beaumont.

According to the Riverside County Transportation Commission, the full eastbound closure is required to re-position concrete barriers along a 4.5-mile stretch, as part of a shift from old traffic lanes to new ones that have been established as part of the project.

Westbound lanes on the 60 will not be impacted.

Officials recommended that eastbound motorists utilize I-10 from San Bernardino to Beaumont as an alternate route. Highways 74 and 79 by way of San Jacinto will also be available.

The $113 million truck lanes project began in the summer of 2019 and entails widening the 60 through a five-mile stretch known as the Badlands, where the freeway twists and turns over barren hillsides without the availability of frontage roads.

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.

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 remains on track to be completed in the first half of 2022, RCTC officials said.

More information is available at rctc.org/60trucklanes.

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