Sustainability on the 91 Project

RCTC recognizes the importance of implementing sustainable design and construction practices on all transportation projects, including the 91 Project. To ensure that sustainability best practices are measured, tracked and incorporated into the project, RCTC developed a Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) based on the Federal Highway Administration's Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool (INVEST) Criteria. A multi-disciplinary team monitors the implementation of the plan and reports progress toward these sustainability measures. These approaches help RCTC enhance the region's quality of life and serve the transportation needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.

The overall intent of the SMP is to advance sustainable practices throughout the 91 corridor. Click the links below to view printable frequently asked questions

Sustainability FAQ- English

Sustainability FAQ- Spanish

Seven sustainability goals have been established for the 91 Project: 

  1. Improve Energy Efficiency
  2. The project team will help reduce energy consumption by installing energy efficient (LED) lighting fixtures throughout the corridor.

  3. Reducing Dependence on Oil
  4. The team will reduce fossil fuels demand by promoting walking and cycling with safe, convenient, and attractive pedestrian and bicycle facilities. This effort is expected to decrease vehicle use on local streets and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

    Some examples of pedestrian access improvements on the 91 Project include sidewalk widening, ADA-ramp installation and intersection improvements at East Grand Boulevard, Main Street, West Grand Boulevard, Lincoln Avenue and Maple Street.

    The team also will provide facilities that promote bicycle safety, connectivity, comfort, and aesthetics. Improvements will include the Green River Road cul-de-sac and the construction of a parking lot adjacent to the Santa Ana River Trail. The parking lot will include ADA-compliant parking stalls for use by bicyclists, pedestrians and other trail users.

  5. Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  6. The 91 Project will reduce emissions by implementing a non-idling policy for construction equipment. The non-idling policy will be in place for all construction teams, including subcontractors.

  7. Reducing Transportation Related Impacts on the Ecosystem
  8. The project will reduce transportation-related impacts on local, regional, and global ecosystems by restoring habitats, improving stormwater quality, preserving environmental resources, and promoting training opportunities. Commitments include:

    Tree Preservation/Removal

    The 91 Project requires the removal of selected trees along the corridor. A Tree Preservation and Removal Plan was prepared by a certified arborist, who identified all of the trees within the project limits, the trees to be removed, those to be avoided, and those to be preserved. The plan includes the following elements:

    • Trees that are being removed will be replaced as soon as major roadway improvements are completed in those areas.
    • Most trees will be replaced in the Caltrans right of way at a ratio of 1.25 trees replaced for every 1 tree removed. Oak trees will be replaced at a ratio of 3 trees replaced for every 1 tree removed. Oaks will be replanted in a natural section of the Temescal Wash by the Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District. California Black Walnut trees affected by the project will be replanted in Chino Hills State Park.
    • Extra care will be taken for trees that are removed within the Grand Boulevard Historic District. Replacement trees that are similar to the ones removed will be replanted in the historic district.
    • After trees are cut down, trunks and branches will be removed as quickly as possible and taken to an off-site facility to be mulched, used as firewood, or milled for other uses. Many times trees can be recycled into lumber or paper pulp.
    • Trees in sensitive wildlife habitat areas will be mitigated or replaced in-kind in the project area.
    • Biologists will be present prior to and during the tree removal process to survey for nesting birds and to determine how to minimize any impacts to these birds during the nesting season, which occurs from mid-February to September.

    Biodiversity

    To sustain biodiversity, RCTC is implementing project mitigation measures in the sensitive Riverside County/Santa Ana Watershed area, including Chino Hills State Park and Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority lands. Santa Ana Canyon is an important biodiversity area, due to the Santa Ana River, Cleveland National Forest and Puente-Chino Hills Wildlife Corridor. Mitigation efforts include creating wetlands, restoring riparian/riverine areas and restoring upland habitats.

    RCTC also follows its Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) to determine which lands would be set aside for conservation. The MSHCP is the largest in the nation, providing protection of 146 plant and animal species within 1.26 million acres.

    RCTC also has plans to improve the B Canyon Wildlife Corridor, which is used by small to mid-sized mammals traveling between the Cleveland National Forest, Santa Ana River and Puente-Chino Hills Wildlife Corridor. Plans calls for widening an existing culvert and restoring native habitat between the Cleveland National Forest and Chino Hills State Park.

    Emissions Reduction

    The 91 Project will reduce air pollution emissions caused by vehicles idling in traffic by improving freeway operations through new lanes, ramp metering, auxiliary lanes, interchange reconstruction and traffic signal coordination. Better air quality also will result from increased access to public transit systems.

    Habitat Restoration

    The 91 Project will avoid, minimize, and compensate for the loss and modification of natural habitat caused by project construction and/or restore, preserve, and protect natural habitat beyond regulatory requirements.

    Stormwater

    The 91 Project will improve project-related stormwater quality and control runoff to reduce and minimize impacts to water bodies and water resources. Detention ponds, biofilters, and low-impact development/infiltration management techniques will be implemented to improve water quality, manage runoff, and mimic natural area hydrology. Pollutants from at least 80 percent of the total annual runoff volume also will be treated.

    Historical, Archeological, and Cultural Preservation

    The Grand Boulevard Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The historic acorn-style streetlights that are impacted by construction in this area will be carefully removed and properly stored in a protected location. Once construction is complete, historic street lights will be reinstalled at locations designated by the City of Corona. An architectural historian will be on site during the removal, dismantling, and reinstallation of the acorn-style streetlights to ensure quality and care throughout the process.

    Trees in the Grand Boulevard Historic District will be replaced with comparable trees that are in line with the existing plantings and overall character of the historic district.

    Construction Environmental Training

    Construction personnel will be trained to identify environmental issues and best practices to minimize impacts to the human and natural environment. Training will address required environmental qualifications and certifications, environmental records, environmental compliance monitoring and reporting procedures among other project commitments to ensure that sustainability efforts are properly implemented.

  9. Managing Materials and Resources

  10. Reduce & Reuse Materials

    The 91 Project is reducing and reusing existing materials throughout construction. Measures include pavement preservation techniques to extend existing pavement life and/or pavement reduction approaches that reduce the need for new materials. The team also is reusing existing pavement, structures, or structural elements, instead of using new materials.

    Recycle Materials

    The project will lessen impacts from extracting, producing and transporting new materials by recycling existing materials wherever possible and relocating minor structural elements for reuse. Reclaimed asphalt pavement and recycled concrete aggregate are being used. The team also is using reclaimed water to produce concrete and to compact backfill soil. Reclaimed water will be used in the future to irrigate landscaping, which will feature drought-tolerant and native species.

  11. Managing Waste
  12. The 91 Project is limiting construction waste. Concrete, asphalt, rebar, conduit and guardrail metal are being processed for reuse whenever possible, and a majority of paper and plastic in construction and design offices are being recycled. Plans are reviewed and modified digitally as much as possible to eliminate paper consumption and printing. Overall, the project is expected to divert 50 percent of construction and demolition waste from local and regional landfills.

  13. Promote Sustainable Project Development, Educational Outreach & Quality Initiatives
  14. The SMP was developed by a multi-disciplinary team to determine, implement, promote and measure sustainability efforts described above. The SMP also includes a list of quality control personnel who have specific responsibilities and qualifications related to ensuring sustainability features are properly implemented and promoted to the public.

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