Busy section of Riverside Freeway will be closed this weekend for construction

A busy section of the Riverside Freeway in Corona will be shut down for 55 hours this weekend while crews work to improve the roadway and demolish part of an overpass.

Riverside County transportation officials say the closure between Interstate 15 and State Route 71 will begin Friday at 9 p.m. and end Monday at 4 a.m. before the morning rush hour.

Motorists make about 280,000 trips a day through that section of the 91, which is one of the most heavily traveled highways in the state. It's the main artery between Orange County and the Inland Empire.

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The public is advised to avoid the 91, the 71 and I-15 near Corona, where delays of up to three to four hours may occur.

Officials say the best detours are State Routes 57 and 60 as well as Interstates 10, 210, 215 and 605.

Another option is the Metrolink commuter railroad, which plans to double the number of trains on its 91 Line and Inland Empire/Orange County Line. On Saturday and Sunday, riders will be able to buy one ticket and get one free.

The closure -- dubbed "91 Steer Clear" -- will allow construction crews to pave a new eastbound section of the 91 near the I-15 and tear down the western half of the Maple Street Bridge over the 91.

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 also plan to finish work on certain ramps and bridges, repair potholes, remove trash from the roadway and assess the need to rehabilitate pavement along the 91.

"By consolidating this work into one weekend, we are able to create a safer working environment for our crews and the motoring public, and cut by more than half the amount of anticipated delays for the public," said Anne Mayer, executive director of the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

The construction is part of the commission's 91 Project, which calls for new lanes, toll lanes, auxiliary lanes and connectors from the northbound I-15 to the westbound 91 and from the eastbound 91 to the southbound I-15.

Additional improvements will be made to interchanges, ramps, lanes and surface streets along the 91 between the Riverside County/Orange County Line in Corona to Pierce Street in Riverside.

Additional information about traffic conditions and the status of the work this weekend may be found on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The project website is at http://www.sr91project.info/.

Waze and other mapping apps also can be used as well as the telephone helpline, (877) 770-9191.

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