Friday, January 11, 2019

2019 Update: Construction on Winchester Road / SR-79 in the French Valley / Winchester area

Winchester, Ca - As many driving thru the French Valley area have recently seen, there has been construction going on at each street corner for many months now.

We did a little research and found that this is a CalTrans District 8 project involving installing ADA curb ramps and paving for 6 miles of SR-79 / Winchester Rd. The project begins south at Murrieta Hot Springs Rd and continues north to Abelia Rd.

They started doing the ADA curb ramps in September and apparently some of them were not done correctly, as they were demolished and recently re-poured (Winchester Rd at Thompson Rd being one of them). Originally when we contacted an official about this project in late August, we were told that the curbs should be done in September and the paving would begin in October 2018. Obviously, a bit behind on this project.

Well, here is the latest from a CalTrans spokesperson:

"The project on SR-79 in the French Valley area is a Highway Maintenance project from Murrieta Hot Springs Rd to Abelia Rd. The scope involves constructing 40+ curb ramps and 6 miles of cold-plane and overlay." said the CalTrans rep in an email.

To clarify in non-construction language, 'cold-plane and overlay' is where construction crews use a huge grinder/scraper to remove a portion of the old damaged roadway and then they recycle the ground up asphalt. After the damaged road is removed, the crew comes back in and replace the pavement with fresh asphalt. A similar project you may have seen was just recently completed in Murrieta on Jefferson Ave near the Siggy's drive thru. 

The CalTrans rep continued in the email, "At this moment, we are working on the curb ramps, 20 have been completed and 20 more to go. Per the contract, the pavement work will not start until April 15th, so that the weather would be warmer to achieve a high-quality paving. It is estimated the paving work would last thru the early summer."

What this means for residents is some traffic delays after April 15th and continuing for a couple months. There will be lane closures and possibly a short term detour or two during the process. Please think about planning ahead so you are not surprised when this more disruptive part of the project begins.

The good part is the road will be driving smooth and the days of dodging potholes will be gone.