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Eastbound 91 Freeway to be closed tonight

September 08, 2007|David Reyes | Times Staff Writer

Caltrans is urging motorists to avoid the 91 Freeway in Corona tonight and Sunday morning because of construction work that will close the eastbound lanes of the highway at Green River Road.

Eastbound lanes of the freeway are scheduled to be closed from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m.

On Friday night, workers closed the freeway's westbound lanes because of bridge work at Green River.

"We're going to have a high volume of construction trucks and other equipment going in there at night to work on the bridge," said Shelli Lombardo, a Caltrans spokeswoman for Riverside County.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area. Otherwise they will be rerouted and are likely to experience delays of more than two hours, she said.

Lombardo suggested using the 10 and 60 freeways as alternatives. Those traveling from Orange County are advised to take the 57 Freeway north to the 10 or the 60, then take the 15 Freeway south to connect to the 91 eastbound.

The 91 Freeway is the main connector between Riverside and Orange counties. More than 285,000 vehicles travel it daily.

"It's become what we call a 24-hour freeway because it's busy 24 hours a day now," Lombardo said.

The $21-million project calls for a new and wider Green River bridge that will accommodate future widening of the 91 to help alleviate congestion, said John Standiford, a spokesman for the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

The work is expected to be finished by late next year.

Standiford said the bridge's width will be nearly doubled to allow more capacity, and new freeway ramps are planned to prevent freeway backups.

One lane will be added on the eastbound side of the 91 by 2010, Standiford said. The lane addition is from the 241 toll road to the 71 Freeway.

The weekend closures are the first of several expected for bridge construction, Lombardo said. Three more closures are planned, although they have not yet been scheduled, she said.

Only Corona residents will be allowed through the area, to get to their homes at Green River Road, she said.

For more information, Caltrans has a map of the area on its website at www.caltrans8.info.

"Motorists need to divert their travel routes or travel around the closure hours," Lombardo said. "Make certain you are through that area well before the closure."

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david.reyes@latimes.com

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