People who drive I-15 in southwest Riverside or northern San Diego Counties are no strangers to traffic jams. In fact, with 205,000 cars daily, the section through Temecula is considered the 10th worst congested freeway segment in the country.
Fortunately, help is on the way. The City of Temecula has just been awarded a $50 million U.S. Department of Transportation Infrastructure & Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant, in support of the Interstate 15/French Valley Pkwy, Phase II Project. The city had already secured $60 million of the total $110 million cost of Phase II. The project will improve operational efficiency through construction of over 2.5 miles of distributor lanes, along with a new flyover bridge, both aimed at eliminating merging hazards which can cause 20-mile backups down the line.
I-15 traffic isn’t just a regional issue. Public safety, our economy and quality of life are impacted by I-15 congestion. Employees trying to get to/from work or students are slowed and our air quality is substantially impacted by vehicles sitting in congestion. This section of freeway also has the “4th highest cost of congestion” in the nation, heavily impacting commercial freight operations and economies from Southern California to Montana.
I was very pleased to join Temecula city leaders and my congressional and legislative colleagues in writing support letters for Phase II to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and other Transportation Department officials. We also made numerous phone calls lobbying the Department for the funds. Fortunately, since there was no ‘Plan B,’ our efforts succeeded.
As our main north/south transportation artery, I-15 upgrades must keep pace with economic and population growth to keep people moving and our economy humming.
Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.