Later this year, workers will close Riverside Avenue over the 10 to widen the road and the on- and off-ramps. Drivers will still be able to get on the freeway from Riverside Avenue from each direction.
Once the road reopens, it might not stay open long. In the next five years, officials expect to widen the Riverside Avenue bridge over the Union Pacific rail lines just south of the freeway bridge.
"It's really a bad situation," said Councilman Ed Scott, who said the city couldn't get the money to widen both bridges at once.
Although the freeway bridge will be widened from four to six lanes, it will merge back into four lanes to cross the railroad tracks until that bridge is widened as well, said Rialto's public-works director, Ahmad Ansari.
Ansari came to the city after plans for Riverside Avenue had been set.
"To say that it is not going to be a bottleneck, I would be lying to you," he said.
Nevertheless, congestion on Riverside Avenue should be eased after the initial $37 million bridge project because the on- and off- ramps, which generate much of the traffic, will be wider, Ansari said.
He said he hopes work can start on the second bridge within five years. It's not clear whether that work will require a full closure of Riverside Avenue.
Larry Mitchell, general manager of Hometown Buffetjust north of the 10, wasn't happy when he heard another bridge needs work on Riverside.
But he said his business will survive if the work is spread out enough.
"I think our patrons, our guests, will find a way if they want to come to Hometown Buffet," he said.
Greg Lantz, Rialto's economic development manager, said the bridge over the railroad could be widened as part of a project to widen Riverside Avenue to three lanes in each direction. A planned north-south route between Riverside and San Bernardino counties could dump out around Riverside Avenue, making the longer widening necessary.
The good news is that Riverside Avenue on- and off-ramps will get traffic signals as part of this year's project, Ansari said.
Councilwoman Winnie Hanson said that as a rule, work to improve the city's infrastructure won't be easy.
"I think our infrastructure is just way, way, way beyond quick solutions," she said.