Interstate 215 (California)

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Interstate 215

I-215 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-15
Maintained by Caltrans
Length55.060 mi[1] (88.610 km)
History1960s as a highway, 1982 as a number
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end I-15 in Murrieta
Major intersections SR 74 in Perris
SR 60 / SR 91 in Riverside
I-10 in Colton
SR 66 in San Bernardino
SR 210 in San Bernardino
North end I-15 near San Bernardino
CountryUnited States
CountiesRiverside, San Bernardino
Highway system
SR 213 SR 216

Interstate 215 (I-215) is a 54.5-mile-long (87.7 km) north–south auxiliary Interstate Highway in the Inland Empire region of the San Bernardino–Riverside urban area in Southern California. It has portions designated as the Barstow, Escondido, and Armed Forces Freeways. I-215 is a bypass auxiliary route of I-15, running from Murrieta to northern San Bernardino. While I-215 connects the city centers of both Riverside and San Bernardino, its parent I-15 runs to the west through Corona and Ontario.

Part of I-215 was once signed as Interstate 15E (I-15E), but this was changed in 1974 as almost all of the Interstates around the country with directional suffixes were eventually renumbered or eliminated.

Route description

The southern terminus of I-215 is at the junction of I-15 in the city of Murrieta, in southwestern Riverside County. It then runs north through Menifee and northwest through Perris, passing March Air Reserve Base before joining State Route 60 (SR 60) in Riverside, near the Moreno Valley city limits. From just north of downtown Perris to eastern Riverside near the Central Avenue interchange, the tracks of Metrolink's 91/Perris Valley Line run along the freeway.

I-215 overlaps with SR 60 for about 5 miles (8.0 km) in Riverside while passing through the campus of UC Riverside and splits from it at SR 91 near downtown Riverside. It then travels north through Colton, Grand Terrace, and San Bernardino before turning northwest and rejoining I-15 near the small San Bernardino neighborhood of Devore.

This route is an alternative to I-15 for drivers traveling from Phoenix, Las Vegas, or San Bernardino, to the San Diego metropolitan area. This route offers a slight distance advantage as an alternative to I-15's alignment about 10 miles (16 km) to the west of (and roughly parallel to) I-215. The distance between the two I-15/I-215 junctions is almost 6 miles (9.7 km) shorter using I-215 rather than I-15.

However, the traffic and time "advantage" on I-215 is limited by three factors: the segment between the I-15/I-215 "Devore junction" and north of SR 210 in San Bernardino only has two lanes in each direction (while I-15 has four), its co-designation with SR 60 and routing through Riverside requires motorists in both directions to "change freeways" to remain on I-215, and that most of I-215 has a 65 mph (105 km/h) speed limit (except for a short segment in northern San Bernardino north of Palm Avenue, which has a 70 mph (110 km/h) speed limit).

The junction of I-15 and I-215 in Murrieta

I-215 is also used by local residents as the major north–south route for the urbanized portions of the San Bernardino–Riverside–Ontario metropolitan area. (I-15 serves a similar function in the western portion of the metropolitan area; the two are the only continuous north–south freeways in the area.)

I-215 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System,[2] and is part of the National Highway System,[3] a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.[4] I-215 is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System,[5] but it is not officially designated as a scenic highway by the California Department of Transportation.[6] On January 24, 1957, the State Highway Commission defined the Escondido Freeway as what is now Routes 15 and 215 from Route 805 to Route 91. This entire segment was previously Route 395 when it was named. From the SR 60 / SR 91 interchange in Riverside to I-10 near San Bernardino, the highway is known as the Riverside Freeway. From I-10 to SR 210, I-215 is known as the San Bernardino Freeway. Between Highland Avenue in San Bernardino and its northern terminus, I-215 is named the Barstow Freeway.[7] Unofficially, I-215 is known as the Armed Forces Freeway between I-15 and SR 60, given its proximity to the March Air Reserve Base.[8]


Interstate 15E

LocationMurrieta-San Bernardino
NHSEntire route

State Route 194

LocationMurrieta-San Bernardino

State Route 215

LocationRiverside-San Bernardino

The highway (not an Interstate) that is currently I-215 first opened in 1963 as part of U.S. Route 395 (US 395). The "mileposts" in Riverside County reflect this since they do not start at zero at the I-15 interchange in Murrieta. Around 1968, US 395 was renumbered as I-15 (the original proposed route, as SR 71's proposed number was I-15W / SR 31 Hamner-Milliken). This segment of US 395 was again renumbered in 1972 as (Temporary) I-15E. Next, in 1974, this route was renumbered as State Route 194. In 1982, this route was then renumbered as I-215 north of SR 60, and as State Route 215 south of SR 60. Once SR 215 was upgraded to Interstate Highway standards, it became part of I-215 in 1994. Prior to its upgrade to Interstate standards, there were traffic signals at SR 74, as well as at Alessandro Boulevard. Two railroad crossings had also intersected the I-215 expressway at SR 74 and south of Cactus Avenue at then–March Air Force Base.

Due to the fact that the I-215 designation was overlaid upon existing freeways between the southern junction with SR 60 and the city of San Bernardino, the SR 60 / SR 91 / I-215 interchange in the city of Riverside has been widely known for its confusing nature concerning the numbering of I-215. While SR 60 continues east-and-west through this interchange, and SR 91 continues southwest (and formerly to the north), the I-215 designation continues away from this interchange on SR 60 east and the former northern portion of SR 91 (now solely numbered I-215). Travelers following I-215 in either direction need to "change freeways" at this interchange, instead of just following through lanes. The interchange was reconstructed to include some high-speed flyovers, one of which carries I-215 southbound traffic. In addition, when I-215 temporarily cosigns SR 60 in Riverside, the mileposts for I-215 supersede mileposts for SR 60. Motorists traveling east–west on SR 60 must begin counting exits at a new number, in the reverse order, during the I-215 overlap.

San Bernardino widening project

A joint project between Caltrans and SANBAG of San Bernardino County to widen I-215 between Orange Show Road and University Parkway in San Bernardino began in 2007.[9] With its completion, the project added one general use lane and one carpool lane in each direction, bringing the total number of lanes from six to 10 lanes across. The 7.5-mile (12.1 km), $723 million expansion project included the reconstruction of all underpasses and overpasses within the project as well as connector ramps between I-215 and SR 210. The widening was completed in late 2013, and all construction signage and equipment were completely removed by spring of 2014.[10]

Construction between Inland Center Drive and Orange Show Road in San Bernardino
  • Phase 1: Reconstruction of 5th Street Bridge. Work began in January 2007 and was completed in November 2008, approximately six months ahead of schedule and $2 million under budget.[11] The 5th Street bridge was built in phases with the new bridge being constructed alongside the old structure to allow for continuous use of the east/west corridor during construction.
  • Phase 2: Freeway widening between Orange Show Road and Rialto Avenue. Construction began on Phase 2 in December 2007 and was completed in July 2010.[11] In addition to the reconstruction of various bridges, the freeway was widened from three to five lanes in each direction through this stretch of road. Aesthetic wallscapes depict the City’s iconic symbols, including palm trees, the San Bernardino mountain range, fountains representing the local springs, and more.
  • Phase 3: Freeway widening between Rialto Avenue to Massachusetts Avenue. Construction began in September 2009 and finished in mid-2013. This phase received $128 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds, one of the largest allocations of funding to a construction project in the country.[12] As part of this phase, the freeway was widened from three to five lanes in each direction along with the reconstruction of various bridges and underpasses. Following construction completion, all fast-lane entrances and exits were eliminated with drivers using new 5th Street and Baseline Street onramps that connect directly to the newly constructed bridges. This new configuration provides more balanced access to the west and east sides of the city. Also, residents living alongside the northbound side of the freeway have a sound wall to help block out freeway noise.
  • Phase 4: freeway widening between Massachusetts Avenue and University Parkway. Construction began in January 2010 and was completed in November 2012.[13] A key feature in this phase was the construction of I-215 / SR 210 connector ramps. Drivers now have direct access to these freeways in all directions. In addition to a general-purpose and carpool lane added in each direction south of the I-215 / SR 210 interchange, a southbound auxiliary lane and a northbound general-purpose lane were added between University Parkway and the I-215 / SR 210 interchange.


Many improvements are in the works along the entire length of the I-215 corridor. Several interchanges are planned to be built or reconstructed, such as the interchange at University Parkway in San Bernardino, which is planned to be converted into a diverging diamond interchange.[14] Long-range plans include adding a carpool lane in each direction on a 10.75-mile (17.30 km) section of I-215 between Nuevo Road in Perris and SR 60 near Moreno Valley.[15] There are also plans to connect I-215 at its southern terminus in Murrieta to a planned collector–distributor lane system on I-15 near the Temecula–Murrieta border, providing access to interchanges at French Valley Parkway and Winchester Road.[16]

Exit list

I-15 south (Temecula Valley Freeway) – San Diego
Access to I-15 north is via exit 1; southern terminus; I-15 north exit 63

Murrieta Hot Springs Road to I-15 north – Lake Elsinore
1.652.662Los Alamos Road
3.515.654Clinton Keith Road
MurrietaMenifee line5.508.856Keller RoadProposed interchange[20]
6.5110.487Scott Road
Menifee9.5115.3010Newport Road
11.8419.0512McCall Boulevard
Perris13.7622.1414Ethanac Road
MenifeePerris line14.5323.3815
SR 74 east – Hemet
South end of SR 74 overlap
SR 74 west (4th Street) – Lake Elsinore, Perris
North end of SR 74 overlap
18.2329.3418D StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
18.8830.3819Nuevo Road
20.5032.9921Placentia Avenue
21.9335.2922Ramona Expressway / Cajalco Expressway — Lakeview, San Jacinto
23.3237.5323Harley Knox BoulevardFormerly Oleander Avenue[21]
March Air Reserve Base25.1540.4825Van Buren Boulevard — Riverside National Cemetery, March Field Air Museum
26.7643.0727ACactus Avenue / Meridian Parkway — March JARB, Moreno ValleySigned as exits 27A (Cactus Avenue east) and 27B (Cactus Avenue west/Meridian Parkway) southbound
Riverside27.4244.1327BAlessandro BoulevardSigned as exit 27C southbound
RiversideMoreno Valley line28.4445.7728Eucalyptus Avenue / Eastridge Avenue
SR 60 east (Moreno Valley Freeway) – Beaumont, Indio
South end of SR 60 overlap; SR 60 exit 58 westbound
29.9148.1430ABox Springs Road / Fair Isle Drive — Box SpringsNorthbound exit is via SR 60 west
30.4849.0530BCentral Avenue / Watkins Drive
31.6850.9831El Cerrito DriveClosed
31.8551.2632AMartin Luther King BoulevardSigned as exit 31 northbound; serves UC Riverside
32.4952.2932BUniversity AvenueSigned as exit 32 northbound; serves UC Riverside
33.1653.3733Blaine Street / 3rd Street
34.2455.1034ASpruce StreetClosed
SR 91 west (Riverside Freeway) – Riverside, Beach Cities
Left exit southbound; SR 91 exits 65B-C; former US 91 south
SR 60 west (Pomona Freeway) – Pomona, Los Angeles
North end of SR 60 overlap; left exit northbound; SR 60 exit 53B eastbound
34.9056.1735Columbia Avenue
36.0157.9536Center Street — HighgroveNo northbound entrance
San BernardinoColton36.7359.1137La Cadena Drive / Iowa Avenue — Colton
Grand Terrace37.6460.5838Barton Road
Colton39.0262.8039Mt. Vernon Avenue / Washington StreetMount Vernon Avenue was old US 66/US 91/US 395
40.3864.9940 I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway) – Redlands, Indio, Los AngelesSigned as exits 40A (east) and 40B (west) northbound; former US 70/US 99; I-10 exit 72
San Bernardino41.3666.5641Orange Show Road / Auto Plaza Drive
41.9167.4542AInland Center Drive — Inland Center Mall
42.3868.2042BMill Street — San Bernardino Airport
43.1269.39432nd Street / 3rd Street — San Bernardino Civic Center
SR 66 west (5th Street) – San Bernardino Civic Center
Signed as exit 44 southbound
44.4271.4944BBase Line StreetSigned as exit 45 southbound
SR 259 east to SR 210 – Highland
Northbound exit and southbound entrance; SR 210 exit 75B westbound
45.7073.5545BMuscupiabe DriveClosed
45.6973.5346AHighland AvenueSouthbound exit is via exit 46B
46.0574.1146BMt. Vernon Avenue / 27th Street
46.3874.6446C SR 210 (Foothill Freeway) – Pasadena, RedlandsSigned as exits 46A (west) and 46C (east) southbound; no access from I-215 north to SR 210 east; future I-210; SR 210 exit 74; former SR 30
47.9677.1848University Parkway — Cal State San Bernardino, University DistrictFormer SR 206 north
50.4281.1450Palm Avenue / Kendall DriveFormer SR 206 south
53.6586.3454ADevore RoadSigned as exit 54 southbound
I-15 south (Ontario Freeway) – San Diego
I-15 exit 123

I-15 Truck north / Kenwood Avenue
Truck bypass to I-15 north

I-15 north (Mojave Freeway) – Barstow
Northern terminus; I-15 exit 123
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ a b California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (XLS file) on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  2. ^ "Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets and Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  3. ^ Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: Riverside–San Bernardino, CA (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
    Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: Temecula, CA (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  4. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "Article 2.5 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets & Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  6. ^ California Department of Transportation (August 2019). "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways" (XLSX). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  7. ^ California Department of Transportation; California State Transportation Agency (January 2021). 2020 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California (PDF). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. pp. 102, 108, 144, 228, 261, 331, 335. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 10, 2022.
  8. ^ Google Maps
  9. ^ "I-215 Widening Project". Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  10. ^ SANBAG: Measure I Freeway Projects Archived July 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b SANBAG. "SANBAG: Phase I". Archived from the original on May 8, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  12. ^ SANBAG. "SANBAG: ARRA". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  13. ^ SANBAG. "SANBAG: Phase VI". Archived from the original on May 8, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  14. ^ "I-215 @ University Parkway". Diverging Diamond Interchange. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  15. ^ "I-215 North Project". Riverside County Transportation Commission. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  16. ^ "French Valley Parkway Interchange | Temecula CA". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  17. ^ a b "Interstate 215 Freeway Interchanges" (PDF). California Numbered Exit Uniform System. California Department of Transportation. October 23, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  18. ^ California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.
  19. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
  20. ^ "New 215 freeway on- and off-ramps planned for Keller Road near Menifee, Murrieta". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California. September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  21. ^ "Harley Knox Boulevard". Retrieved 2013-01-26.

External links