Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120


Improvements Coming to Ramona Expressway/I-215 Interchange

Work begins this week on improvements to the Ramona Expressway interchange at I-215 in Perris, a $7.5 million project that officials say will remake a major gateway to the City and greatly reduce traffic congestion at freeway on and off-ramps.

“This is another major coupe for the City of Perris,” said City Councilman Al Landers. “Ramona Expressway is a major gateway to our City and the City Council has been working for years to get it improved. People traveling to May Ranch in Perris as well as Hemet, San Jacinto and Idyllwild use that highway. It is good that the projects we have worked on are coming to fruition. It makes people take more pride in their community.”

The project is expected to take about a year to complete and most of the construction costs –about $5.5 million—will be paid for through the Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee (or TUMF).

TUMF fees are paid for by developers of residential, industrial, and commercial property as a means to help fund the traffic and growth costs of the projects they create.

About $1 million for the project will come from Riverside County. The City of Perris’ $1 million contribution has been offset by other agreements with developers so no general fund or Redevelopment Agency money will be expended.
The Ramona Expressway/I-215 interchange project will increase capacity of the interchange and alleviate traffic congestion.  
The project will widen the two off-ramps—one northbound and one southbound—from from two lanes to three lanes each and widen the existing bridge to accommodate future widening of Ramona Expressway and Cajalco Road.
Construction will be disruptive to traffic at times, although the City, Riverside County and contractor will work together to minimize delays.

At times, on- and off-ramps will be reduced to only one lane and complete closures of ramps will take place for a few days at a time.

Detour routes will be posted and the public will be notified with appropriate signage in advance of closures and notice of closures will be posted on the City website,

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said the City has worked for years to improve on and off-ramps at Ramona Expressway and I-215.

“It’s been a long-time coming and it’s much needed,” he said. “The traffic backs up on the off ramps and that poses a hazard to motorists. No one has been injured yet and we certainly don’t want anyone to be.”

Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough said traffic backs up so frequently at Ramona Expressway that he sometimes will use other exits to avoid delay and potential accidents. He said the new construction provides “a much-needed overhaul for one of the major arterials in the Inland Empire.”

“Traffic is very bad at that intersection,” he said. “The improvements give us more capacity and more control and improve circulation. It’s a safety issue.”

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans said the Ramona Expressway project is another example of a city moving forward in tough economic times.

Work is progressing rapidly on the new interchange at I-215 and Highway 74, which includes the construction of new off and on ramps and an eight-lane bridge. The new Mercado Apartments on D Street are moving along quickly, and the ribbon-cutting for the Big League Dreams sports complex is expected in January.

“It’s awesome,” Evans said. “The City is moving along.”

Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers said she can’t wait for the work to begin and finish. She travels I-215 from her job in Riverside and always gets caught up in the inevitable delay at Ramona Expressway.

 “The project will definitely ease traffic congestion,” Rogers said.