If you drive on Cajalco Road between La Sierra Avenue and Temescal Canyon Road, you know that roadwork is in progress.
In addition to grinding, re-grading and re-paving the road, the County of Riverside is adding a traffic signal at La Sierra and Cajalco, and two turnouts for trucks going uphill. I’ve noticed that the lanes are also being widened, which is a welcomed improvement.
In the following picture, you can see the transition from the existing road to the new and slightly wider road.
According to the County’s News Release, nightly closures for the construction work are expected to continue until the work is completed in October 2009.
If you were hoping that the existing project would add lanes to Cajalco, you will have to wait a while longer. You have probably heard that the portion of the proposed Mid County Parkway from the 215 to the 15 is no longer under consideration. Instead, the County plans to widen Cajalco between the 215 and the 15 to 4 to 6 lanes. However, the Cajalco widening is not expected to begin until fiscal year 2011/12.
From the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s (RCTC) July 8, 2009 agenda:
Additionally, the County is proceeding with plans to improve Cajalco Road. The County has already initiated environmental work for the section between I-215 and Wood Road with construction anticipated to begin in FY 2011/12. Preliminary planning has also begun for the section from Wood Road to Temescal Canyon Road. The County’s planned improvements to widen Cajalco Road will provide significant traffic benefit at a much lower cost, estimated at $200 million.
From RCTC’s Mid County Parkway website:
Does RCTC plan to pursue plans for the proposed western section of the Mid County Parkway between I-15 and I-215?
No, that portion of the original project is no longer under consideration. By refocusing the project, RCTC can move more quickly on the greatly-needed 16-miles of the Mid County Parkway planned between I-215 and SR-79 and avoid the time-consuming delays tied to the environmental constraints and community challenges that lie along the MCP’s proposed route between the I-15 and I-215. However, modifying the Mid County Parkway project does not eliminate the need for a future route that will one day connect I-15 to I-215, as identified in CETAP, and RCTC remains committed to that long-term vision. When regional mobility needs prompt consideration of a new or improved link between I-15 and I-215, a new environmental process will need to be initiated.
Will the proposed widening of Cajalco Road be sufficient to accommodate traffic through the I-15/I-215 in the future?
The County’s Planned improvements to widen Cajalco Road to four to six lanes between I-15 and I-215 should accommodate traffic demands for the next 20 years.