California state highway officials are proposing to build a truck lane on eastbound Highway 60 between the Coachella Valley and Riverside to help speed traffic normally stalled behind slow trucks traveling the steep grade.
Officials want to add a 12-ft.-wide climbing lane on eastbound Highway 60 west of Beaumont — a project that is expected to cost $77 million and take more than four years to complete, according to the Desert Sun.
According to the California Dept. of Transportation’s 2011 traffic count, an average of about 44,500 vehicles pass the area on a daily basis, about 8,320 are semis.
Truck drivers told the Sun they agree that a truck lane is necessary because Highway 60 is the only major route through Riverside County other than Interstate 10.
Truck driver Julius Byla pointed out that big rigs are limited to traveling at 55 mph or slower and often are only able to travel between 20 and 30 mph on the grade.
Environmental studies will need to be completed so the project may not go out to bid until 2016, according to Caltrans spokeswoman Shelli Lombardo.