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. 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 first phase of the project will be widening Pennsylvania Avenue to four lanes between First Street and Sixth Street. This portion of the project will also include protected dual left turns from northbound Pennsylvania Ave to westbound Sixth Street. Construction of the widening is set to begin by the end of 2021 and is expected to take 6-9 months to complete.
Future plans include expanding the existing interchange to include a new eastbound off-ramp and westbound on-ramp and a grade separation at the railroad tracks. Completion of this project will alleviate traffic for the residents of both Beaumont and Banning as well as patrons of local businesses.