Riverside County supervisors Tuesday approved plans to establish three marked equestrian crossings for the safety of riders and motorists along busy De Portola Road in the Temecula Valley.

In a 5-0 vote without comment, the Board of Supervisors signed off on the Transportation & Land Management Agency’s proposal, and then authorized the Clerk of the Board to solicit bids for work on the $272,000 project, which is tentatively slated to get underway mid-summer.

“The equestrian crossings … will improve safety and protect the community’s equestrian rural lifestyle by providing signs, signals and pavement markings that alert motorists to the presence of equestrian crossings,” according to a TLMA statement posted to the board’s agenda.

According to the agency, the current makeshift crossings at Galway Downs Drive, Monte De Oro Road and Shiraz Way lack adequate definition and need technological upgrades to ensure safety.

De Portola is a two-lane corridor that runs east-west through Temecula Wine Country, just east of the city of Temecula, where equestrian recreation is popular.

The board-approved improvements will include installing marked crosswalks, placing new crossing signs, installing flashing beacons to alert drivers that riders are preparing to enter the roadway and providing push-button devices on poles to enable riders to activate the signals without having to dismount.

Existing culverts in the area of De Portola and Galway Downs will also be extended as part of the project.

After a contractor is selected, the work is expected span roughly two months. Temporary lane closures may be necessary, but the public will be alerted in advance.

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