The eastbound Moreno Valley (60) Freeway between Moreno Valley and Beaumont will be shut down Friday night and through the weekend, and the California Highway Patrol is urging motorists to avoid the corridor and plan on taking alternate routes. 

From 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, the CHP will close all eastbound lanes between Gilman Springs Road, just east of Moreno Valley, to the Interstate 10/60 Interchange in Beaumont as part of the “State Route 60 Truck Lanes Project.” 

According to the Riverside County Transportation Commission, the full eastbound 60 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. Westbound lanes on the 60 will not be impacted. 

“Although this closure may be inconvenient to some of us, it is a sign of progress, as the main purpose of this closure is to shift the focus of the work onto the eastbound side,” CHP Officer Matt Napier said. “We are just that much closer to a safer, wider and more practical SR-60 in the San Gorgonio Pass Area.” 

The CHP recommends that eastbound motorists utilize I-10 from San Bernardino to Beaumont as an alternate route. Gilman Springs to Highway 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 by 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 CHP 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, according to the RCTC. More information is available at rctc.org/60trucklanes.

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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