Interstate 215 California
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 long 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 return to I-15 south of Cajon Pass.
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 freeway along SR 91 was raised by 30 feet as well.1
Source: December 31, 2021 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-215 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
|Location||Vehicles per day|
Source: Caltrans 2017 Traffic Volumes
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 long stretch for the potential addition of carpool or tolled express lanes.3,4
North End – San Bernardino, California
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
North End Throwback
South End – Murrieta, California
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
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
- “Relief is near on 60/91/215 interchange.” Los Angeles Times (CA), September 21, 2007.
- Projects | San Bernardino County | I-215 Widening.
http://dot.ca.gov/dist8/Project-I-215-Widening.htmlCalifornia Department of Transportation (Caltrans) web site.
- I-15/I-215 Devore Interchange Improvements. Atkinson Construction web site.
- “Projects Relieve Traffic Squeeze on I-15.” Milemarker, September 2017, pages 20-22. California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
Page updated November 9, 2020.