Work on a closed section of the 91 Freeway in Corona is progressing on schedule, but officials reminded motorists Saturday to plan ahead and avoid the area through the weekend.
The six-mile stretch of the freeway between the 15 Freeway and the 71 Freeway was shut down at 9 p.m. Friday and remains on schedule to reopen at 4 a.m. Monday, said Eliza Echevarria Perez, the public affairs manager for the Riverside County Transportation Commission.
"We are really pleased with the progress made so far, but we still have a lot of work to complete," she said. "Drivers are steering clear of the region, and traffic is flowing" around the closure area.
Crews are working to improve the roadway and tear down the western half of the Maple Street Bridge that extends over the freeway. By Saturday afternoon, they had already removed and hauled away about half of the structure’s 2,200 tons of concrete.
Once the overpass section is demolished, workers will install support beams over the westbound lanes of the 91 so construction can proceed on a new Maple Street flyover. Crews were also repaving a section of eastbound 91 near Interstate 15.
Authorities said that some traffic congestion was occurring Saturday afternoon on the eastbound 60 Freeway, between the 15 and the 57. Drivers were also experiencing delays on the southbound 71 Freeway to the westbound 91.
Officials say the best detours are the 57 or 60 freeways as well as the 10, 210, 215 and 605. Travelers can also take the Metrolink commuter railroad, with riders able to buy one ticket and get one free Saturday and Sunday.
Metrolink ridership on trains passing through the closed area Saturday morning showed a 12 percent increase over the same weekend a year ago, officials said.
The construction work is part of the transportation commission's 91 project, which calls for new lanes, toll lanes, auxillary lanes and connectors from the northbound I-15 to the westbound 91 and from the eastbound 91 to the southbound I-15.
Mobile mapping apps may also help motorists find the best routes around the closure, as well as the telephone helpline, (877) 770-9191.
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