Valley News -

By Will Fritz

Ynez Road improvements to include roundabout, widening


Last updated 7/11/2018 at 3:43am

Temecula drivers could find some relief to their rush hour traffic woes on Ynez Road in the coming years.

The city plans to add a roundabout at the often-congested intersection of Ynez Road and La Paz Street, then follow it up with a project that will widen Ynez through the Los Ranchitos neighborhood, where it’s currently only a two-lane road despite being a major north-south route through Temecula’s west side.

City officials already authorized bids for the roundabout at the beginning of June. Construction is expected to cost around $425,000, and is to be paid for by the developer of the Temecula Gateway shopping center at the intersection of Temecula Parkway and La Paz to address increased traffic associated with the new center.

Once a bid is finalized, construction could take four to six months, Temecula engineer Amer Attar said.

And the Temecula City Council approved a nearly-$400,000 contract with a consultant to begin studying how to widen Ynez Road from Rancho Vista Road to La Paz Street back in May. It’s something that the city’s general plan has long indicated is a long-term goal for the road.

As the road is right now, long queues of cars can often be seen forming up during weekday afternoons.

The project does not include the stretch of Ynez between Rancho Vista and Tierra Vista roads, where there are two southbound lanes and only one northbound lane. It also doesn’t include the rest of Ynez east to Jedediah Smith Road, which the general plan indicates is supposed to be expanded eventually but will for the time being remain as a two-lane road.

The initial estimate for the project cost is about $3 million, Attar said. However, that will probably change as the consultant takes a closer look at the details.

“We go design it, and as we progress in the design we get more accurate cost estimates because we’re actually getting into the nitty-gritty of the project,” he said.

As the roundabout will likely already be in place long before the widening project, the outside lanes added to Ynez will not be included – the additional southbound lane of the road will be a right-turn-only lane for La Paz, for example. La Paz itself is eventually supposed to become a two-lane road, the general plan indicates.

A preliminary evaluation of the widening yielded some good news, too – the city may already own all the right of way required to build the additional lanes of Ynez, though the consultant will confirm that.

It will, however, take some time for the project to go through.

“The city council just approved the contract for the consultant, and we have to do the design and then the environmental (impact report), so we’re probably looking at a year ‘til that’s done,” Attar said.


Reader Comments

tomsuttle writes:

A roundabout at Ynez/LaPaz. Quite an interesting traffic experiment. Very much an increasingly busy intersection, some may have thought a traffic signal more apropos. But, maybe not. From what I've seen, roundabouts work nicely at low to low-moderate traffic sites. They're kinda cute in a trafficy sort of way. But I've seen instances of considerable confusion among the uninitiated encountering busy roundabouts for the first time. I guess we're gonna see.


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