Myers-Rados Joint Venture Passes Half-Way Point on 91/15 Express Lanes Connector Design-Build Project

Chances are you have experienced delays when traveling near Corona on the 91 or 15 freeways. Well, you can take heart in knowing that construction is officially at the halfway point, and you will soon be reaping the benefits of new Express Lanes that will make your daily commute much more enjoyable. CalContractor was recently provided an opportunity to catch up with the progress of the Myers-Rados Joint Venture in an interview with Josh Dybala (Construction Manager) and Chase Rados (Project Engineer) for Steve P. Rados, Inc.

Josh Dybala has been working at Steve P. Rados for 18 years and he is serving as the Construction Manager overseeing operations for the Myers-Rados Joint Venture (MRJV) 91/15 Express Lanes Connector Design-Build Project. “We started this massive undertaking with design beginning in April 2020, actual start of construction in April 2021, and substantial completion scheduled for December 2023,” says Dybala. “We are at the halfway point now, and despite numerous challenges, the job is moving forward nicely.”

The approximate $165 million Express Lanes Connector project focuses on the Interchange between State Route (SR) 91 and the I-15 Freeway in the City of Corona. MRJV is building an express lane that facilitates the South I-15 to the West SR-91 and the East SR-91 to the North I-15 freeway. “We are working on three bridges on this project. One is the ELC connector, and we currently have almost all of the falsework complete on all four frames. There have not been any deck pours in this section thus far, but we have 6 of the 12 soffit pours complete,” says Dybala. “The two other bridges traverse the railroad on the 91 freeway. We are finished with frame one of the EB Temescal Bridge concluding with the deck pour and post tensioning, and we are currently working on frame two foundations and substructure. The third and final bridge is a widening on the westbound Temescal bridge, where we are currently on foundation and substructure work. Additionally, we are around 90% complete on the outside widening of the eastbound 91 freeway.”

Between all of the poured-inplace and post-tension pours that will take place by jobs end, an astounding 43,967 cubic yards of concrete will be utilized on this project. This includes paving sections of 1.25 feet of JPCP (jointed plane concrete pavement) placed over .35 feet of LCB (lean concrete base). Then you have the bridge decks, stems, soffits, columns, retaining walls and misc. structures. “Of all the concrete pours, the most challenging would be the mass concrete pours that must be monitored with a thermal control plan to ensure that the differential between the core and surface temperature is within 36 degrees and the maximum temperature is never greater than 160 degrees,” says Dybala. “We have a temperature parameter for all the bent caps on the ELC that requires using ice, chilled water, and shading aggregate sources at the concrete plant. The thermal component on this job is a complicated process where you essentially put cooling tubes, sensors, and manifolds (to control water flow) in your core to retain a consistent concrete temperature.”

Chase Rados is a Project Engineer for Steve P. Rados, but he helps with communications and logistics as well. There are many stakeholders and agencies involved with a project of this magnitude. Part of Chase Rados’ job is to keep the lines of communication open, answer questions and keep the stress levels to a minimum. “At peak production, we have over 200 team members working on this project simultaneously, including all of the subcontractors. That involves a lot of planning, scheduling and proper logistics, as well as keeping the lines of communication open to everyone involved in the project; it really is a combined effort from all stake holders” says Rados. “RCTC and Caltrans asked us to implement a design change where they wanted to add an additional express lane in the eastbound direction. We worked with the owners and developed a progressive design to get the additional width needed without any work stoppage. I have to say that everyone has been great to deal with, and the teamwork and coordination has been outstanding.”

Dybala points to the two 55-hour planned freeway closures as one of the many successes of this project. “We have developed a great relationship with the City of Corona and were able to open both 55-hour closures early,” says Dybala. In addition, the traffic crossover where we push the north and south express lanes to one side of the bridge has also been a success. To construct a falsework system over two freeways in 55-hour closures and deal with the tunnel section on these complicated tower systems is not easy. The traffic crossover has allowed our crews to access one entire side of the bridge to allow production during the day shift which might have predominately been night work without it.”

The Myers-Rados Joint Venture has also worked well with BNSF Railway under challenging conditions. “We had a CIDH with a huge casing that had to be installed within 6 feet of the railroad. Additionally, we had a foundation and column going in during live railroad operations,” says Dybala. “I must say that the teamwork between BNSF and MRJV has been exceptional throughout the construction process. We would not be where we’re at today without their support”

According to Dybala, the Myers-Rados Joint Venture is constructing the Express Lane Connectors with a full day crew and a slightly smaller night crew. “We are out there five to six days a week, day and night. It is a job managing the team members in both the day and night crews, the subs and the suppliers. Then you add on COVID and losing crew members for up to 10 days, concrete shortages, trucking staffing issues, and communicating through Zoom instead of in person. Well, it’s all part of taking on a high-profile project like this one, and I am very proud of everyone who has given their all to ensure it is all done safely and efficiently.” For more information on the Myers-Rados Joint Venture 91/15 Express Lanes Connector Design-Build Project, please visit

CalContractor Magazine