1 06/2014 PROJECT STUDY REPORT (Cal Poly Pomona Senior Project) For Conceptual Approval of an Interchange Improvement And Cooperative Agreement with The City of Lake Elsinore for completion of Project Approval and Environmental Documentation On Interstate 15 at Franklin Street Between Railroad Canyon Road and Main Street SUBMITTED BY: APPROVAL RECOMMENDED BY: APPROVED: Cal Poly Pomona Senior Project Hector Salcedo and Jeffrey Hsu PROJECT MANAGER DISTRICT DIRECTOR DATE
2 Page 2 This Project Study Report (Project Development Support) has been prepared under the direction of the following registered civil engineer. The registered civil engineer attests to the technical information contained herein and the engineering data upon which recommendations, conclusions, and decisions are based. Xudong Jia, PE REGISTERED CIVIL ENGINEER DATE
3 Page 3 Vicinity Map ON INTERSTATE 15 AT FRANKLIN STREET ROAD BETWEEN RAILROAD CANYON ROAD AND MAIN STREET INTERCHANGES IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY
4 Page 4 This Project Study Report has been prepared under the direction of the following Project Managers, The Project Managers attests to the technical information contained herein and the engineering data upon which recommendations, conclusions, and decisions are based. HECTOR SALCEDO JEFFREY HSU DATE PROJECT MANAGER PROJECT MANAGER
5 Page 5 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1) INTRODUCTION ) BACKGROUND ) PURPOSE AND NEED ) TRAFFIC ANALYSIS ) ALTERNATIVES... 4 a) Alternative 1: Tight Diamond Interchange... 5 b) Alternative 2: Spread Diamond Interchange... 5 c) Alternative 3: Partial Clover Interchange... 5 d) Alternative 4: Single Point Urban Interchange ) ENVIRONMENTAL ) COST AND BENEFITS ) RECCOMMENDED ALTERNATIVE ) APPENDIX... 4 TABLE OF FIGURES Figure 1- Existing Franklin Street overcrossing... 7 Figure 2 Existing and proposed Mainline LOS... 9 Figure 4 Tight Diamond 2040 LOS Figure 5 Spread Diamond Interchange horizontal alignment Figure 6 Spread Diamond Interchange 2040 LOS Figure 8 Partial Clover Interchange 2040 LOS Figure 10 Single Point Urban Interchange 2040 LOS Figure 11 Cost estimate table for various items for each interchange Figure 12 Total benefit of constructing a new interchange compared to not constructing one Figure 13 Benefit of each alternative over 40 years Figure 14 Benefit of each 20 year design life brought back to present worth Figure 15 Benefit/Cost Ratio Figure 16 Weighted decision matrix procedure Figure 17 Final results of the weighted decision matrix... 20
6 Page 6 1. Introduction This Cal Poly Pomona senior project group will work together with Caltrans, the City of Lake Elsinore, and the local community to investigate several design alternatives for a new interchange at I-15 / Franklin Street that will mitigate existing and future traffic demands and congestion on the I-15 and the City of Lake Elsinore. The work performed includes an initial site investigation, an analysis of current and future traffic conditions, and the development of several conceptual design alternatives that address the project objectives. The four alternative designs that the team chose to proceed with include a tight diamond interchange, a split diamond interchange, a half-clover interchange, and a single point urban interchange. Complete geometric designs of each alternative were produced per Caltrans and the City of Lake Elsinore standards. Detailed traffic analysis and design of the interchange, local intersections, on and off ramps, and the I-15 freeway were also produced per Caltrans and the City of Lake Elsinore standards. Construction staging, advance planning studies, cost estimates, environmental impacts, and cost benefit analysis were completed for each alternative. Project success is based upon reaching our goals. In an effort to meet and/or exceed the existing and future needs of Caltrans, the City of Lake Elsinore, and the local community, the I-15 Improvement Project objectives are: - Improve existing and future traffic congestion at Railroad Canyon Road - Accommodate city development and growth for access to the I-15 - Provide safe access for bicyclists and pedestrians - Accommodate for the future widening of the I-15 - Meet/exceed Caltrans, City, Community, and Future needs 2. Background Franklin Street is currently an overpass at the I-15. It is a two-lane bridge with one lane in each direction of travel as shown in Figure 1. Different angles of the bridge. On the west end of the bridge there is a local street intersection with Auto Center Drive and on the east side there is an intersection (stop and yield control) to local communities. The I- 15 currently exists as a six general-purpose lane freeway. It has a fifty-two foot median with plenty of space to widen for additional lanes. Due to future growth of the communities surrounding Franklin Street, the existing overcrossing will not accommodate for the projected traffic volumes. A new interchange will be needed to provide higher capacity for traffic movements, while also relieving congestion from the Railroad Canyon Road interchange.
7 Page 7 Figure 1- Existing Franklin Street overcrossing 3. Need and Purpose a) Caltrans Caltrans' mission and vision is to improve mobility across California. In order for Caltrans to meet their vision, it must focus on the improvement of public access to both the state and interstate highway systems. Congestion at Railroad Canyon Road is causing operational problems with I-15. Interchange ramp and city intersections are tightly spaced along Railroad Canyon Road producing long delays for vehicles entering/exiting the freeway. In addition, long delays on the off-ramps are queuing traffic onto the freeway slowing traffic along I-15. Caltrans' need is to reduce existing and future congestion at the Railroad Canyon Road so the interchange provides timely access to and from the interstate facility while not adversely affecting traffic flow along the I-15. b) The City of Lake Elsinore The City of Lake Elsinore's first need is to reduce the existing traffic congestion at I-15 and Railroad Canyon Road. Lake Elsinore was the third-fastest growing city in the State of California in If the increase in population continues as projected, Lake Elsinore will need to accommodate for the future growth of the city. The current general plan shows multiple designations of commercial, residential, industrial, recreation, and public institutional future land uses. It is crucial that the city provides a solution for future traffic demands of vehicles entering and exiting the freeway due to projected growth. The city also needs a transportation system that provides facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, buses, trucks, and cars to safely and effectively move throughout the city.
8 Page 8 c) The Community The community in the City of Lake Elsinore experiences excessive traffic congestion during morning and evening peak hours at the I-15 /Railroad Canyon Road interchange. Commuters, businesses, and visitors of the City need reliable paths in and out of the area. Current conditions fail to efficiently support the traffic demand entering and exiting the I-15 as well as local streets. Implementing improvements in the interchange and the local intersections or providing another access point will greatly reduce congestion and benefit the community in countless ways specifically the City's unique recreational activities. d) The Future The City of Lake Elsinore is striving to grow into an urban point of interest in Southern California. The City expects rapid growth in the next 20 years with an increase in residents and commercial businesses. Recreational activities will grow and attract visitors from Southern California as well as all over the country. There is a need to improve the infrastructure of travel ways to accommodate this increase in traffic demand on the City while still providing safe routes for pedestrians and bicyclists. 4. Traffic Analysis a) Basic Freeway Segments Basic freeway segments are located outside of merge, diverge, and weaving influence areas. Traffic flow within these basic segments vary depending on several factors such as volumes, speed, grade, interchange spacing, freeway geometry, etc. Density, measured in vehicles per hour, is calculated using these factors. The calculated density is used to determine the performance of traffic flow, or level of service (LOS). The LOS for the I-15 was calculated for the basic freeway segments beginning from the adjacent interchanges to Franklin St. The LOS was determined for 3 independent cases, (1) the existing (2009 year) volumes/geometry, (2) the project (2040 year) volumes and existing geometry, and (3) the project (2040 year) volumes and ultimate build out of the freeway.
9 Page 9 Figure 2 Existing and proposed Mainline LOS b) Merging/Diverging Influence Areas Merging/diverging influence areas were calculated using the methodology described in the Highway Capacity Manual 2000 (HCM 2000). These influence areas are located on the mainline at the on-ramps and off-ramps of a local street interchange. The merge influence area at an on-ramp includes the acceleration lane(s) and the 2 lanes immediately adjacent to the acceleration lane for a distance of 1,500 feet downstream from the merge point (where the acceleration lane(s) and mainline lanes starts to become parallel). The diverge influence area at an off-ramp includes the deceleration lane(s) and the 2 lanes immediately adjacent to the deceleration lane for a distance of 1,500 feet upstream from the diverge point (where the deceleration lane(s) and mainline lanes cease to be parallel). The purpose of merge and diverge analysis is to provide a level of service (LOS) of the merge/diverge influence area. The LOS is calculated based on the density of the influence area. The density is calculated using a methodology provided by the HCM 2000 that includes influential factors such as volumes of ramps and freeway segments, acceleration and deceleration lengths, upstream and downstream ramp distances, etc. This analysis was performed for the case of 2040 Franklin Street interchange alternative with 2040 Railroad Canyon Road No-Build. Due high volume of vehicles on the mainline (major factor in merge / diverge calcs), the merge / diverge calcs resulted in either a D or F for all project alternatives. This team recommends that Caltrans revisit their strategy for widening the I-15, which will increase the merge / diverge LOS for all alternatives. c) Intersection Control Evaluation (ICE) Policy Directive calls for the implementation of Intersection Control Evaluation (ICE) to projects concerning the following: - Encroachment permit proposals to construct new or expand existing intersections. - Project identification and initiation efforts proposing: o New highway facilities. o New intersections and interchanges on existing highways.
10 Page 10 o o Existing intersection and interchange capacity expansion. New or expanded access to mitigate traffic impacts generated by development. - Traffic signal, multi-way stop control, and yield controlled roundabout proposals. - Expansion or modification proposals for existing signalized intersections, roundabouts, and traffic circles. ICE is a two-step process that allows engineers to justify the installation of traffic signal systems, yield control (roundabouts), and multi-way stop control at state highway intersections and interchanges. It also helps identify effective intersection traffic control strategies and alternative treatments, approaches, and configurations for particular conditions as well as estimate the relative effectiveness and impacts of specific control strategies. i) Step 1: Assessment of Control Alternatives The objective of the first step in ICE is to identify access solution concepts that merit further consideration. To do this, we must understand the need, identify what strategies/configurations will meet the need, and assess to eliminate non-viable and impractical strategies. For this project, stop, yield (roundabout), and signal control were considered for each intersection. The feasibility of these control types were evaluated for each intersection to determine if the control type should proceed to the next step or be eliminated. Since proposed intersections are new, other control types were not considered as implementing anything too exotic may be unnecessary and/or confuse drivers. ii) Step 2: Engineering Analysis of Control Alternatives The objective of step two is to analyze and compare each control alternative to each other and determine the best option for the specific intersection. It is important that intersection cost and performance are considered in the analysis. Data provided by Caltrans, Synchro 8, and SimTraffic 8 were used for this analysis. Parameters considered for each control type include total intersection delay, fuel use, and total stops. The total network was also analyzed to determine if the control affected the total network positively or negatively. Weighted decision matrices were used here to determine which type of control should be used for each intersection. To create these matrices, many variables had to be created and determined using engineering judgment. These variables are: - Fuel Used - Adaptability - Cost
11 Page 11 - Intersection Delay - Right of Way Impact - Total Stops - Total Network Impact - Pedestrian/Bicycle Friendly - User Expectation Each of these variables are then assigned a weight. Then a score is given to each control type, and a total score is given afterwards. The control type with the highest overall score is the chosen control type. 5. Alternatives a) Scope The scope of work is to design a new interchange between Main Street and Franklin Street in the City of Lake Elsinore. Deliverables for the Franklin Street Geometrics team are to design an interchange that will meet the purpose and need of this project. All existing roads within the project boundary are subject to redesign. New roads and bridges may be designed to appropriately handle traffic between the new interchange and existing communities. The City of Lake Elsinore General Plan is to be accounted for in all designs. Geometrics Approval Drawings will be submitted and include the following: horizontal alignments of the interchange and all new or existing roads in the project design area, vertical alignments, superelevation tables, and typical sections. b) Existing Conditions and Constraints Franklin Street lies just Northwest of Railroad Canyon Road, one of the busiest interchanges in Lake Elsinore. While there is currently no congestion at Franklin Street, the future development of the area combined with the growing population of the city has brought about a need for a brand new interchange. The City General Plan will widen Franklin Street and calls for the design of new roads to handle local traffic. The new interchange will be approximately one-third of a mile West of the existing Franklin Bridge. Along with the local roads, it will be designed to handle all traffic flow in the area, provide a safe and efficient means for residents to travel within the city by car, bus, or foot, as well as provide safe and easy access to the Interstate 15. c) Alternative Consideration Initial interchange designs were created during a preliminary study of the site. These designs were considered, at the time, as being able to achieve the purpose and need of the interchange design project, and were altered according to specifications shown in the
12 Page 12 Caltrans Highway Design Manual. The purposes of this project include offering safe transportation options for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as providing access to the Interstate 15 which accommodates the future growth of the study area. The needs of the project involved evaluation of the City's general plan for the study area. Franklin Street is surrounded mainly by residential facilities. As such, providing access to the highway will help to draw some of the traffic from Railroad Canyon Road to the new interchange. As the Franklin Street site is generally open, there are minimal constraints for geometric designs. Although there were not many constraints, the ones that are applicable include interchange spacing and the presence of a landfill near the design area. In terms of interchange spacing, Franklin Street is located between Main Street and Railroad Canyon Road interchanges. As a result, interchange spacing will be less than the minimum required by Caltrans Highway Design Manual of one mile in the direction of one of the aforementioned interchanges. For the purposes of this project, we designed a new bridge between Franklin Street and Main Street. This gives us ample spacing between Franklin Street and Railroad Canyon Road, but requires a design exception for the spacing between Franklin Street and Main Street interchanges. The reasoning behind the new bridge is to eliminate the design exception for intersection spacing between the designed interchanges and existing intersections. Aside from interchange spacing, there is a nearby landfill that we needed to design around. After the preliminary study of the site was completed, the interchanges that we decided upon are as follows: 1. Tight Diamond Interchange 2. Split Diamond Interchange 3. Partial Clover Interchange 4. Single Point Urban Interchange 5. Roundabout Variations d) Alternative Development After the preliminary study was conducted, more detailed analyses were completed. These include traffic studies and AutoTURN analyses. Traffic studies were completed to determine whether or not the given geometric design would be able to accommodate the projected traffic volumes for the future build of the study boundary. According to the traffic study, geometric designs were altered as needed, and if possible, to allow for the projected traffic volumes to be accommodated. The AutoTURN analysis was done because the site is located on a truck route. The study is done to determine whether or not the alternative is capable of allowing for turning movements for STAA-Long trucks. While these studies were being done, the geometric designs of each alternative were constantly being changed in accordance with the information that was determined during the studies. i) Alternative 1: Tight Diamond Interchange
13 Page 13 The tight diamond interchange is an interchange design that is commonly used. It is characterized by being a very simple design that meets driver expectation quite easily. In the case of this interchange design project, this interchange causes very few problems. For this design project, the ramps connect to a bridge. Since the ramps for a tight diamond interchange are closely spaced, it eliminates the need for a design exception for intersection spacing on the bridge. Unfortunately, this design does not allow for the elimination of the interchange spacing design exception between the Franklin Street and Main Street interchanges. Figure 3 Tight Diamond Interchange horizontal alignment Figure 4 Tight Diamond 2040 LOS Alternative 2: Split Diamond Interchange The Split Diamond Interchange connects two major crossroads into one large interchange. It does this by sharing the on and off ramps located between the crossroads. This is appropriate when the crossroads are closely spaced. In this case, the new proposed bridge is located less than one mile (approximately 0.78 miles) away from the Main Street interchange. This may causing weaving issues between the interchanges as Interstate 15 becomes congested. The Split Diamond eliminates these weaving issues while moving a large amount of traffic volume. It also has the advantage of being expandable with room to add two loop ramps in the future.
14 Page 14 Figure 5 Spread Diamond Interchange horizontal alignment Figure 6 Spread Diamond Interchange 2040 LOS Alternative 3: Partial Clover Interchange The Partial Clover Interchange is another interchange that is rather simple to understand. One of the more attractive attributes of this alternative is that the ramps are located on only one side of the bridge. What this does is increase the distance between the Franklin Street interchange and the Main Street interchange. Despite having ramps that are more spaced out than the tight diamond alternative, there are still no problems with intersection spacing on the newly designed bridge. The design is characterized by two loop ramps on the inner side of the outer Figure 7 Partial Clover Interchange horizontal alignment
15 Page 15 ramps. As the design does not incorporate any irregular movements, it easily meets driver expectations. Figure 8 Partial Clover Interchange 2040 LOS Alternative 4: Single Point Urban Interchange The Single Point Urban Interchange or SPUI design is a somewhat different design than the other three. The SPUI acts almost like a tight diamond interchange, but there is one major difference. All four of the ramps converge onto one point. This is where the interchange gets its name from. Since all the ramps converge into one point, that one intersection is controlled by a single traffic light. The notable thing about this type of interchange is that it actually performs better than more conventional interchange designs. The way it does this is that it allows for two movements that would normally not move together to happen concurrently. Figure 9 Single Point Urban Interchange horizontal alignment
16 Page 16 Figure 10 Single Point Urban Interchange 2040 LOS 6. Environmental Determination and Environmental Issues The I-15 Improvement Project proposes several potential environmental impacts and risks at the project study boundary. The need for an environmental assessment resulted in the production of the Preliminary Environmental Analysis Report (PEAR), a Caltrans directive that documents issues and assumptions to be addressed by the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The PEAR will determine the anticipated environmental approval for the project at the I-15 and Franklin Street Interchange. a) Preliminary Environmental Analysis Report (PEAR) The PEAR briefly introduces the I-15 Improvement Project and restates the purpose and needs. It explains each proposed alternative and assesses any initial environmental doubt. Special environmental constraints that may require future environmental processes are explained in the PEAR. Anticipated environmental commitments by impacted resources are summarized briefly. The permits and approvals necessary for the project are listed. The timeline to acquire them are shown. Any important consideration that might affect the level of effort and resources are assumed. The PEAR continues with a summarized study of common environmental issues. These issues are environmental risks that usually affect a project's delivery. An anticipated environmental approval is determined at the conclusion of the report to explain what documentation will be required in the next phase of the environmental analysis. 7. Cost and Benefits a) Cost We performed cost estimates for each of our alternatives. We included the costs of Roadway, Bridge, Right of Way, Design, Construction & Administration, and a 25% Contingency. We used unit prices and estimates from Caltrans cost estimates documents. All costs are in millions of dollars and are current year 2014 present value. The table below summarizes our final cost estimates.
17 Page 17 Figure 11 Cost estimate table for various items for each interchange b) Benefit In addition to cost estimates, we performed a benefit analysis for each alternative. We calculated the benefits of constructing a new interchange at Franklin Street and compared it to not constructing the new interchange. The entire study area, including Railroad Canyon Road Interchange, was included in the benefit analysis. We calculated the benefits of Total Vehicle Delay Saved, Total Vehicle Stops Saved, Fuel Use Reduced, CO2 Emissions Reduced, and Accessibility Benefit. For accessibility benefit, we measured the travel time from an arbitrary location in a future residential area to access the I-15 at Railroad Canyon Road interchange. Then we measured the travel time from the same arbitrary location to access the I-15 if the new interchange at Franklin Street was constructed. The difference between these two travel times is our accessibility benefit. The following figures show the difference between the two travel times and the two distances. The following chart shows the total vehicle delay, total vehicle stops, fuel use, and CO2 emissions for our entire study area. The red bar represents these values if Franklin Street interchange was not constructed. The green bar represents these values if Franklin Street interchange was constructed. The difference between these two scenarios is significant, and a new Franklin Street interchange greatly reduces the total vehicle delay, total vehicle stops, fuel use, and CO2 emissions. We can see that having a new Franklin Street interchange is extremely beneficial to the study area and to the City of Lake Elsinore.
18 Page 18 Figure 12 Total benefit of constructing a new interchange compared to not constructing one The line graph shows the annual benefit of each year for each alternative from year 2020 to year The bar graph shows the total benefits for each alternative for the 20 year design life. All values are calculated in 2014 present value. c) Benefit ( ) Figure 13 Benefit of each alternative over 40 years
19 Page 19 d) Total Benefit of 20 Year Design Life Figure 14 Benefit of each 20 year design life brought back to present worth With the cost and benefit calculated, we were able to find the Benefit/Cost Ratio. The following table summarizes our benefit/cost ratio calculations. Figure 15 Benefit/Cost Ratio
20 Page Alternative Recommendation We performed a Weighted Decision Matrix to determine our recommended alternative. The categories we considered, listed in order of importance, are: local circulation, benefit, adaptability, pedestrian and bike friendly, cost, freeway operation, environmental impacts, right of way impacts, and ease of construction. We weighted each category, assigned a score using engineering judgment, and calculated a total score for each alternative. The Partial Clover alternative scored the highest at 294. We proceeded with the Partial Clover as our recommended alternative. Figure 16 Weighted decision matrix procedure Figure 17 Final results of the weighted decision matrix
21 Page APPENDIX Please visit for all supporting documentation. This website is a complete review of the interchange improvement at I- 15 and Franklin Street in the City of Lake Elsinore.