New Blythe Freeway Ramps to be Dedicated Wednesday
BLYTHE – New on- and off- ramps at the Hobsonway/Riviera Drive Interstate 10 interchange in Blythe will improve traffic flow and allow vehicles to enter and exit the freeway safely at California’s busy entrance point.
Supervisor John J. Benoit and City of Blythe officials invite the public to join them for the ribbon cutting of the new ramps at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6. The event will be held on a lot at 2298 East Hobsonway, Blythe, east of Olive Lake Boulevard.
“The relocation of these ramps will facilitate easier and safer travel and will be good for the growth of the Blythe community,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “Riverside County and the City of Blythe were truly fortunate to have a great partner, Caltrans, which saw the need for this project, made funding available and worked with us every step of the way to the benefit of our residents and visitors.”
Prior to the ramp realignment, the westbound ramps at the Hobsonway/Riviera Drive Interstate 10 interchange were located within the California Agricultural Inspection Station. Vehicles travelling west from Arizona needed to cross over the truck inspection lanes when exiting at this juncture, and merge with trucks when entering the freeway.
The Hobsonway/Riviera Drive Interstate 10 Ramp Improvement Project constructed new westbound on- and off- ramps a half mile west of the inspection station. The relocation of the ramps eliminates the dangerous vehicular crossing conflict that existed, enhancing safety and improving traffic flow. The old westbound ramps will be removed.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) made available $3 million in State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) funds to relocate the ramps.
The Riverside County Transportation Department was the lead agency for the project, in partnership with Caltrans and the City of Blythe. The total project cost was $4.4 million, including $530,000 for design and environmental work funded with State Transportation Program funds. The City of Blythe acquired the right of way for the new ramp sites.
In June 2015, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors awarded the $2.965 million construction contract to Skanska of Riverside. Construction began in November 2015 and will be completed next week.
The ribbon cutting ceremony coincides with the 59th Annual Palo Verde Valley Outlook Conference, which will be held April 6-7 at the Colorado River Fairgrounds. The conference will celebrate the City of Blythe’s centennial anniversary. For more information about the conference, contact the Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce at 760-922-8166.