On Tuesday, September 19, 2017 the Beaumont City Council approved a professional services agreement with Kimley-Horn for design of the Pennsylvania Avenue Interchange Improvements. The agreement begins the process of designing the interchange which will include the widening of Pennsylvania Avenue and future grade separation.
Currently the interchange hosts a westbound off-ramp and eastbound on-ramp only. Pennsylvania Avenue's two lanes of traffic intersect with the Union Pacific Railroad at an at-grade intersection south of the I-10 freeway. Two existing grade separations within the vicinity of the project at Beaumont Avenue and Highland Springs Avenue experience a high volume of traffic due to regional commuters and shoppers. In order to avoid congestion at these locations, an increasingly high volume of vehicles are using Pennsylvania Avenue.
The project will be broken down into three phases over the next 5 years. The first two phases will include expanding the existing interchange to include a new eastbound off-ramp and westbound on-ramp, as well as widening Pennsylvania Avenue to four lanes between 1st Street and 6th Street. The last phase of the project, expected in fiscal year 2021/22, will include the construction of a grade separation. Completion of this project will alleviate traffic for the residents of both Beaumont and Banning as well as patrons of local businesses.