Interstate 8 / Imperial Avenue Interchange

Interstate 8 / Imperial Avenue Interchange logoDecember 2020

Improving the Highway

Caltrans received funding to allow reconstructing the interchange at Imperial Avenue and Interstate 8 (I-8) in the city of El Centro. Work will include constructing two ramps at I-8 that will provide direct access to southbound Imperial Avenue and will provide connectivity to the southern portion of the city. The improvements will complement city plans for future commercial and residential development.  

Meeting Traffic Demands

Traffic in the project area is primarily associated with the growth in international trade and travel between the United States and Mexico as well as travel on to and from Imperial Avenue north of I-8. The Imperial Avenue interchange experiences congestion in the morning and afternoon hours. Approximately 16,000-27,000 vehicles per day use this section on I-8. By 2025, traffic on this portion of I-8 is projected to almost double.

Securing Dollars

The $44 million project is funded through the State Regional Improvement Program and the Federal High Priority Projects Program.


  • Provide access from Interstate 8 (I-8) to southbound Imperial Avenue-- planned to be extended south of the freeway by the City of El Centro, and eliminate the current out-of-direction travel on city streets and county roads;
  • Improve traffic safety by updating the existing interchange; and
  • Reduce traffic congestion at Imperial Avenue and 4th Street interchanges on I-8 in the city of El Centro.

What's ahead?

Project construction began April 2020 and is scheduled for completion early 2023. The project schedule has been advanced, and the interchange is expected to open to traffic late 2021 or early 2022, with plant establishment and close-out work continuing through 2023. 


Project Manager

Patrick Jenkins
(619) 894-1050


4050 Taylor Street
San Diego, CA 92110
Ph: (619) 688-6670


For real-time traffic information including traffic speed, lane and road closures due to construction and maintenance activities, and more, go to

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