Caltrans installing median gates along I-10 between Palm Springs and Banning

Gates will help motorists escape traffic jams

CABAZON, Calif - Work is underway by Caltrans to install five median gates along Interstate 10 between Palm Springs and Banning.

The gates will be located at:

1.1. miles east of Hargrave Street in Banning;
0.1 miles west of Malki Road in Cabazon;
1.4 miles east of Main Street  in Cabazon;
2.3 miles west of the Haugen-Lehmann Way exit in Whitewater; and
1.2 miles west of where Route 62 and Interstate 10 separate near Palm Springs.

It was a six-hour backup of westbound traffic on I-10 in Dec. 2010 that helped prompt the idea of installing the gates.  The traffic jam was caused by a fatal collision.

The gates will go between a 60-foot gap in the guardrail, and will only be used when the CHP determines it's unsafe for people to be stuck in traffic.

Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit pushed hard for installation of the median gates.

"I am worried about the elderly or pregnant or someone who is sick, stuck in the car in the heat, and no way to move them for hours and hours and hours," said Benoit.

In most cases, traffic won't be diverted around an accident scene, but rather in the opposite direction.

The work on installing the gates is expected to be completed by June at a cost of $860,000.

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