PALM DESERT, Calif. - Several recent traffic jams on Interstate 10 have tied up traffic through the San Gorgonio Pass and left motorists stranded for hours.
In order to alleviate the problem, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to partner with state agencies and local cities to alleviate the problem.
One of the incidents occurred back in February when Cal Trans road work brought westbound traffic to a stand-still between Palm Springs and Banning.
Motorists had no where to turn because of a lack of detours along the 19-mile stretch of the interstate.
To remedy the problem, the county plans to extend four sections of existing roads next to the freeway to serve as detour routes.
The plan also calls for installing three gates in the medians so traffic can be turned around and message signs will go up, warning motorists to exit due to trouble ahead.
"CVAG is a big supporter of the I-10 bypass plan and we've had some major incidents on I-10 over the years where I-10 has been closed for three or four or 12 hours, and if that happens in the middle of the summer people could die," said Tom Kirk, the executive director of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments.
Although no money has been authorized for the bypass project, the county hopes to complete the improvements within five years.