Half of the Riverside (91) Freeway will be closed Saturday night in downtown Riverside to facilitate a railroad realignment project, and motorists were advised to be prepared for long travel delays.

The westbound 91 will be shut down between 14th Street and Central Avenue beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday and continuing until 8 a.m. Sunday, according to the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

The closure is necessary for crews to begin the next phase of the “Route 91 Pachappa Underpass Project,” officials said.

“Motorists should allow extra travel time or take alternate routes during the nighttime closure,” according to RCTC.

A detour will be available, taking drivers off of the westbound 91 via 14th, then returning them to the freeway via Magnolia Avenue. However, officials pointed out that surface streets may become backed up, meaning extended waits to return to the 91. The Pomona (60) Freeway via Jurupa Valley and Ontario can be used as an alternate, as well as Cajalco Road between Interstate 215 and La Sierra Avenue in Riverside.

The $8.8 million Pachappa Underpass Project was initiated in April 2020 and entails removal of portions of a railroad bridge and replacement of retaining walls where the rail line was realigned.

The project is slated for completion this fall.

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