Murrieta and Temecula officials come together for groundbreaking of Jackson/Ynez project
Friday, September 27th, 2013
Issue 39, Volume 17.
A bridge will be constructed across Warm Springs Creek and will connect Jackson Avenue in Murrieta to Ynez Road in Temecula.
Construction began Sept. 3 and is expected to be completed by June 2014.
Murrieta City is taking the lead on the project; the city awarded a $5.12-million contract on July 16 to Alabbassi Construction and Engineering in Riverside.
"The street connections will significantly decrease travel time and the traffic on the I–15, freeway especially for Murrieta and Temecula residents," said Joseph Khader, project manager at Alabbassi Construction and Engineering.
The project features nearly 170,000 cubic yards of earth work, Jackson Avenue widening from two to four lanes, construction of retaining walls, storm drain improvements, and sewer improvements, as well as enhancing the corridor between Murrieta and Temecula, said Khader.
Half of the bridge footings have been poured already, he said, and the bridge should be completed in December.
Although the expected completion date is June, "construction is currently ahead of schedule and could be completed substantially sooner," said Khader.
The connection will also help reduce congestion on Murrieta Hot Springs Road and Margarita Road. It will also enhance circulation within the city by allowing a north-south corridor without having to get onto the freeway, said Murrieta Associate Civil Engineer Jeff Hitch.
This is a project that has been in the works for a long time, and the two councils have come together to for the public safety for residents in both cities.
"This is important to the people of the region," said Murrieta Mayor Rick Gibbsduring a speech Monday.
If disaster struck in the area, and there are 275,000 cars a day driving on or around the junction of the 215 and 15 freeway, "do you think they’re going to be moving anywhere?" he asked.
After 9-11, the Murrieta Fire Department Chief and Gibbs spoke about the public safety need for more routes between Murrieta and Temecula in the event of a disaster.
"With the I-15 in gridlock, parents would have a hard time getting to their children who might be in the adjoining city for school, sports, or shopping," Gibbs said.
"This project is a big plus for both cities," he also said.
Gibbs gave an example of when in the event of a terrorist incident, people would be gridlocked on the freeway.
"Nobody would go anywhere," he added.
Murrieta residents that are going to the mall in Temecula are going to go anyway, said Temecula Mayor Mike Naggar, or Temecula residents that are going to Sam’s Club in Murrieta, they’re going to go anyway.
"The only difference is we’re getting on the freeway to do it," he said.
The new bridge will ensure that trips that don’t require the need to take a freeway aren’t going to have to get onto a freeway, Naggar said. This also will help with the congestion of the freeways.
"The more we can move traffic throughout the cities, the better," he said.
"What’s good for Temecula is good for Murrieta, and what’s good for Murrieta is good for Temecula," he added/
The border between Murrieta and Temecula then just becomes a name, Naggar said. "When it comes to serving our residents, we all have the same purpose."
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