Interstate 215 California

Interstate 215 California
History
North End
South End

Overview

Interstate 215 provides access to the fast-growing communities of the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties). The commuter freeway joins a number of cities including Murrieta, Menifee and Perris with March Air Reserve Base and Moreno Valley south of Riverside. A 4.5 mile section coincides with California State Route 60 (Moreno Valley Freeway) northwest to the end of the Riverside Freeway (SR 91).

Turning northeast from SR 60 and SR 91, I-215 continues to Grand Terrace and San Bernardino, where it meets I-10. Passing west of Downtown San Bernardino, I-215 begins a gradual westerly shift to Devore and the merge with I-15 south of Cajon Pass.

History

Interstate 215 in California was originally U.S. 395 between Murrieta and San Bernardino. Signed as Interstate 15E in the 1970s, I-215 was completed by the 1990s. California State Route 215 along the expressway sections was eliminated with the completion of the freeway between SR 60 and SR 74.

The long standing bottleneck along Interstate 215 at the late 1950s-era cloverleaf interchange joining the freeway with SR 60 west and SR 91 south in Riverside was addressed with a $317 million upgrade underway from 2004 to 2008. Reconstruction widened five miles of freeway and replaced the loop ramps previously joining I-215 north with SR 91 south and the I-215 southbound mainline movement onto SR 60 east. 11 bridges were built, with the tallest flyover topping out at 90 feet. A half mile section of the SR 91 freeway was raised by 30 feet as well.1

Route Information

  • North End – San Bernardino, CA

  • South End – Murrieta, CA

  • Mileage – 54.50

  • Cities – San Bernardino, Riverside

  • JunctionsI-15 I-10 California 210

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

I-215 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Location Vehicles per day
Murrieta 93,000
Perris 103,000
Riverside 184,000
Colton 170,000
San Bernardino 140,000
Devore 55,000

The Interstate 215 Widening Project added a general use and carpool lane to I-215 between I-10 and SR 210, and auxiliary lanes from 5th Street to SR 210 and northbound from SR 210 to University Parkway (Exit 48). The $647 million project also reconstructed all bridges along the 7.5 mile stretch and improved the interchange linking I-215 with SR 210 in San Bernardino. Left exits and entrance ramps were relocated to the right during the January 2007 to 2013 project. The new flyover from I-215 north to SR 210 west opened in December 2011. The connector from SR 210 east to I-215 south followed in July 2012.2

Completed in mid-2016, the $324 million Devore Interchange Project at the north split of I-15/215 added an additional general use lane in each direction, constructed 18 bridges and reconnected Historic Route 66 between Kenwood Avenue and Devore Road / Glen Helen Parkway. Two miles of truck bypass lanes were added in each direction to eliminate slower weaving truck traffic due to the area grades. Associated work improved I-15 north through Cajon Pass at a cost of $121 million. Work at both areas got underway in mid-2013 as design-build projects. It included upgrading local ramp interchanges, and replacing the two outside lanes in each direction of Interstate 15 with new concrete between Kenwood Avenue and a point two miles south of U.S. 395. Additionally provisions were made along the 12-mile stretch for the potential addition of carpool or tolled express lanes.3,4

Highway Guides

North End I-15 – San Bernardino, California

I-215 North at I-15

I-215 north at I-15 - Devore, CA

Exit 54A leaves I-215 north for Devore Road to the community of Devore and Old U.S. 66-91-395. The succeeding exit connects with southbound Interstate 15. 07/13/18

I-215 north at I-15 - Devore, CA

Exit 54B converges with an entrance ramp from Devore Road before curving southward onto I-15 (Ontario Freeway) ahead of Fontana. 07/13/18

I-215 north at I-15 - Devore, CA

The north end of I-215 partitions with a slip ramp onto the I-15 truck bypass roadway for Kenwood Avenue (Exit 124). 07/13/18

I-15 South at I-215

I-15 south at I-215 - Devore, CA

Winding down from the Cajon Summit, Interstate 15 maintains four through lanes at the directional T interchange (Exit 123) with I-215 south. 08/14/16

I-15 south at I-215 - Devore, CA

Finished in 2016, the Devore Interchange Project added a truck bypass lane for Interstate 15 south and reconfigured Exit 123 so that I-215 departs from the right instead of the left. 08/14/16

I-15 south at I-215 - Devore, CA

Interstate 215 follows old U.S. 66-91-395 southeast to Downtown San Bernardino, then heads south to Colton, Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris, Sun City, Murrieta and Temecula. 08/14/16

I-15 south at I-215 - Devore, CA

Interstate 15 south expands to six lanes leading to the separation with I-215 at Exit 123. Through traffic en route to San Diego, Corona, Los Angeles (via SR 210, I-10, or SR 60), or Orange County (via SR 91) is best served by I-15. 08/14/16

I-15 south at I-215 - Devore, CA

The truck bypass lanes partition from Interstate 215 just beyond the gore point at Exit 123. These rejoin I-15 before the mainline curves southwest across Historic Route 66. 08/14/16

I-15 North at I-215

I-15 north at I-215 - Devore, CA

The western extent of the San Bernandino Mountains rise along the north side of Devore as I-15 approaches the directional T interchange (Exit 123) with Interstate 215 (Barstow Freeway) south. 07/13/18

I-15 north at I-215 - Devore, CA

Exit 123 connects I-15 north with I-215 south and adjacent Devore Road. During the aftermath of the devastating wildfires from October 2003, Devore made the news as the location of a mudslide that killed several people at a religious camp during a fierce downpour in a storm later that season. 07/13/18

I-15 north at I-215 - Devore, CA

Beyond Exit 123, I-15 splits into separate roadways with a truck bypass circumventing the merge with I-215 northward through the exchange with Kenwood Avenue. 07/13/18

I-215 North End Throwback

I-215 North at I-15

I-215 north at I-15 - 2010

I-215 north at Exit 54A for Devore Road prior to six lane expansion. 02/20/10

I-215 north at I-15 - 2004

The button copy overhead at Exit 54A for I-15 south was removed by February 2005 and subsequently replaced with a reflective exit number sign. 11/14/04

I-215 north at I-15 - 2010

A lone north trailblazer marked the transition of I-215 north onto Interstate 15. Historically U.S. 66-91-395 continued north from here toward Cajon Summit. 02/20/10

I-15 South at I-215

I-15 south at I-215 - 2004

Replaced by 2008, the initial guide sign for Interstate 215 was this unique diagrammatic overhead. 06/27/04

I-15 south at I-215 - 2013

Former button copy guide sign preceding the southbound split of I-15 and I-215. 08/18/13

I-15 south at I-215 - 2008

I-15 advances to Interstate 215 through Cajon Canyon. This button copy overhead for I-215 was replaced by 2009 as the first to display Exit 123. 03/31/08

I-15 south at I-215 - 2013

The original design for the directional T interchange at I-215 defaulted traffic onto the continuation of the Barstow Freeway southeast into San Bernandino, with the I-15 mainline exiting to the right with just three lanes. 08/18/13

I-15 North at I-215

I-15 north at I-215 - 2004
I-15 north at I-215 - 2004

I-15 converges with I-215 north of Glen Helen Regional Park in the San Bernardino neighborhood of Devore. 01/18/04

I-15 north at I-215 - 2004

These porcelain signs formerly at the north end of I-215 predated the truncation of U.S. 395 northward. 01/18/04

South End I-15 – Murrieta, California

I-215 South at I-15

I-215 south at I-15 - Murietta, CA

The final exit along Interstate 215 southbound is for Murietta Hot Springs Road. There is no direct connection to I-15 north, and motorists instead are directed along the seven lane arterial west to link with the Temecula Valley Freeway northwest toward Corona. 07/31/12

I-215 south at I-15 - Murietta, CA

Interstate 215 defaults onto I-15 at a wye interchange 1.5 miles south of the six-ramp parclo interchange (Exit 1) with Murrietta Hot Springs Road. 07/31/12

I-15 North at I-215

I-15 north at I-215 - Temecula, CA

1.5 miles ahead the wye interchange (Exit 63) with I-215 on I-15 north at SR 79 (Winchester Road). Upgraded to full freeway by the 1990s, I-215 follows the original route of U.S. 395 through Sun City, Perris, Moreno Valley, Riverside, Colton and San Bernardino. Old U.S. 395 rejoins I-15 near Cajon Pass. 07/20/14

I-15 north at I-215 - Murrieta, CA

Interchange sequence sign posted 0.75 miles ahead of the I-15/215 separation. I-15 passes through Lake Elsinore, then enters the Inland Empire at Corona, passing by the agriculture and industry of Norco, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, and Fontana before converging with I-215 again near Devore. 07/20/14

I-15 north at I-215 - Murrieta, CA

The control city for I-15 changes from Riverside to Corona/Los Angeles. I-15 avoids the larger cities of Riverside and San Bernardino, and it is the faster through route to points north of the Inland Empire, such as Barstow and Las Vegas. I-215 serves travel interests east to Palm Springs via SR 74 east or SR 60 east. 07/13/18

I-15 north at I-215 - Murrieta, CA

Northbound I-15 maintains three lanes to Lake Elsinore and four lanes throughout the Inland Empire. Interstate 215 provides an alternate route, but was historically slower with only four lanes and due to the cloverleaf interchange with SR 60 and SR 91. 07/13/18

Sources:

  1. “Relief is near on 60/91/215 interchange.” Los Angeles Times (CA), September 21, 2007.
  2. Projects | San Bernardino County | I-215 Widening. http://dot.ca.gov/dist8/Project-I-215-Widening.html California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) web site.
  3. I-15/I-215 Devore Interchange Improvements. Atkinson Construction web site.
  4. “Projects Relieve Traffic Squeeze on I-15.” Milemarker, September 2017, pages 20-22. Caltrans.

Page updated November 9, 2020.