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Riverside County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a $12.3 million funding agreement for a widening project intended to relieve heavy congestion on Temescal Canyon Road between Lake Elsinore and Corona.

The Riverside County Transportation Commission is supporting the project with Measure A infrastructure funds, and under the agreement authorized by the Board of Supervisors, the RCTC will release the money as the project progresses.

Roughly $2.7 million is expected to be utilized in the current fiscal year, ending June 30. Construction is likely to get underway this fall and conclude in the first half of 2020.

According to Transportation & Land Management Agency officials, it can’t happen soon enough, given the extensive traffic tie-ups that plague Interstate 15, which Temescal Canyon Road fronts between Corona and Lake Elsinore, causing commuters to stream onto the smaller road most days of the week.

“Temescal Canyon Road traverses Temescal Valley as the primary north- south arterial and often serves as an alternate route for motorists to bypass congestion on I-15 during peak commuting hours,” according to a TLMA statement. “However, several segments of Temescal Canyon Road still exist as a rural two-lane road and are currently loaded beyond the road’s capacity. Local residents have reported that increased congestion on Temescal Canyon has resulted in travel times taking as much as 30 minutes to drive just one or two miles.”

According to county officials, Temescal Canyon will be widened from two to four lanes at two locations. The first is a half-mile segment between Dos Lagos Drive and Leroy Road; the second is a half-mile segment between Dawson Canyon Road and a community known as The Retreat.

The TLMA says the “addition of one travel lane in each direction along Temescal Canyon will provide congestion relief for the residents of the Temescal Valley and commuters traveling through the I-15 corridor.”

There are plans for the eventual expansion of I-15, but the work may be years away.

The county has secured some agreements with area property owners that are needed for roadway expansion. Officials said negotiations are continuing with nearly two dozen other property owners for permanent right-of-way easements under eminent domain.

A total $1.93 million will be deposited into the State Condemnation Fund until the monies are authorized for disbursal to the affected parties.

–City News Service

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