Cajalco Road Widening and Safety Enhancement Project

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The Riverside County Transportation Department is proposing to widen and realign Cajalco Road between Temescal Canyon Road to the west and Interstate 215 (I-215) to the east. The project is located in Riverside County, California and covers a distance of approximately 16 miles. A small portion of the westernmost part of the alignment is located in the city of Corona. The project would widen the roadway to four lanes between Harvill Avenue and Temescal Canyon Road, and to six lanes between the I-215 southbound ramps and Harvill Avenue.

Please note, this project is not the Mid County Parkway project. The Mid County Parkway is a freeway level facility that has been proposed by the Riverside County Transportation Commission for improving east-west mobility in Riverside County. The Cajalco Road Widening project is in fact part of an alternate strategy to provide east – west mobility by widening several existing regional facilities rather than constructing a new freeway level facility.

PROJECT PURPOSE

The purpose of the proposed project is to:

  • Improve the transportation facility to address anticipated growth and mobility needs, as identified in
    the County of Riverside General Plan Circulation Element Policy 1.5;
  • Provide improved inter-regional travel by improving east-west mobility in Riverside County;
  • Improve roadway alignment and intersection design to enhance safety along Cajalco Road.

Safety enhancements proposed for the project include the following:

  • Construct medians
  • Pave roadway shoulders
  • Improve curves between La Sierra and Temescal Canyon Road
  • Add left and right turn pockets
  • Add roadway signs
  • Provide new and improved traffic signals
  • Install object markers and lighting

PROPOSED ALTERNATIVES

County Transportation staff has held four Public scoping meetings in which two proposed alternatives were presented for consideration. Subsequent to the scoping meetings, County Transportation staff made several presentations to local community groups and has coordinated with many agencies.

As a result of this public outreach effort, County staff received significant feedback that has resulted in the addition of two new alternatives and a substantial modification to one of the two original alternatives. Four build alternatives are now proposed to address the project purpose along with a No Project Alternative.

These currently proposed alternatives are described below.

Alternative 1

Widen Existing Cajalco Road from Temescal Canyon Road to I-215 including Minor Alignment Changes between Temescal Canyon Road and Gustin Road

cajalco_Alt_1

Alternative 1 would construct two 12-foot lanes in each direction (eastbound and westbound) from Temescal Canyon Road at the west to I-215 at the east, replacing the two-lane roadway that currently exists. Between the I-215 southbound ramps and Harvill Avenue, and between Temescal Canyon Road and Temescal Creek Bridge, three lanes would be constructed in each direction (eastbound and westbound), replacing the existing four-lane roadway segment. A new bridge would be constructed over Temescal Creek. New striping is proposed along Cajalco Road, between Temescal Canyon Road and Grand Oaks; however, the limit of roadway construction at the west end of the project would end at Temescal Canyon Road. The proposed alignment would generally follow the existing roadway. Some deviations from the existing alignment are proposed for reducing impacts to some existing properties and to improve access. Left turn lanes and right turn pocket lanes are proposed to be constructed along Cajalco Road at selected intersections.

West of Lake Mathews Drive and north of Lynette Lane, Cajalco Road would be realigned, bypassing the Hollis Lane residential area to the south, and would include the construction of a bridge south of Lake Mathews. The new bridge would reduce grading impacts and provide opportunities for improving connectivity between habitat areas. A connection between Dirt Road and Lake Mathews Drive would also be constructed for secondary access to residences in the Hollis Lane/Lynette Lane area.

Medians of various widths and types are proposed for Cajalco Road to provide for the separation of opposing traffic, provide a recovery area for out of control vehicles, allow space for speed changes and for left- and U-turns, and minimize headlight glare. In rural areas, cross-slopes would be included where appropriate to better conform to the natural terrain, break up the expanse of paving, handle drainage, and serve as potential water quality treatment areas. Between Temescal Canyon Road and El Sobrante Road a wildlife undercrossing may be constructed. In addition, along this portion of Cajalco Road there would be a median constructed that could accommodate two additional travel lanes (one in each direction) in the future. Fencing would also be installed along Cajalco Road through the Lake Mathews Preserve area to prevent access into the preserve.

From Harley John Road to the east along Cajalco Road curb and gutter and 8-foot shoulders that would serve as a combined shoulder/bike lane would be constructed. A new bridge would be constructed at Harley John Road and at Cajalco Creek. Sidewalks would be constructed on one side along the portions of the project where residential and commercial properties are present. In addition, the existing electrical poles/lines along Cajalco Road would be relocated to accommodate the widening.

Alternative 2C

Widen Existing Cajalco Road between Temescal Canyon Road and from just west of Lake Mathews Drive to Interstate 215; Construct New Segment of Cajalco Road between La Sierra Avenue and just west of Lake Mathews Drive

cajalco_Alt_2c

Alternative 2C would include the same improvements as Alternative 1 with the exception that a new four-lane segment of Cajalco Road would be constructed from La Sierra Avenue to just west of Lake Mathews Drive. A large undercrossing may be included within the newly constructed segment of Cajalco Road west of Hollis Lane. If included, the undercrossing would be designed with a minimum 15-foot clearance height for mule deer passage, and 50-feet width each side of the bridge footings for sheep passage. This new segment of Cajalco Road would also be constructed with a median that could accommodate two additional travel lanes (one in each direction) in the future. Under this alternative the existing Cajalco Road between La Sierra and just west of Lake Mathews Drive would be closed to public traffic. The existing pavement in this portion of existing Cajalco Road would be removed and fenced to prevent access. The remaining dirt road may be used by Metropolitan Water District for access in managing the Lake Mathews Preserve and Lake Mathews.

Alternative 3

Widen Existing Cajalco Road between Gustin Road and Interstate 215; Realign El Sobrante Road from Gustin Road to a Point Approximately One Mile West of Harley John Road; Widen El Sobrante Road between Gustin Road and La Sierra Avenue; Construct New Segment of Roadway between La Sierra Avenue and Temescal Canyon Road

cajalco_Alt_3

Between Gustin Road and I-215 the improvements would be identical to Alternatives 1 and 2C. Between Gustin Road and Temescal Canyon Road, El Sobrante Road would be improved from the existing two-lane facility to a four-lane facility and would generally follow the existing El Sobrante Road from La Sierra Avenue to the east. The El Sobrante Road intersection with La Sierra Avenue would be improved. La Sierra Avenue would be slightly realigned to the west from the intersection with El Sobrante Road to just west of Tin Mine Road. West of Tin Mine Road a new segment of El Sobrante Road would be constructed, which would tie into Temescal Canyon Road at the west terminus of the project. At the west end Cajalco Road would be modified to turn north to tie back into the new El Sobrante Road. Between Gustin Road and a point approximately one mile west of Harley John Road, El Sobrante Road would be realigned to provide a smoother transition from Cajalco Road to El Sobrante Road. In addition, existing Cajalco Road would be realigned to the west of Harley John Road to tie into El Sobrante Road. The roadway from Temescal Canyon Road to Gustin Road would have the same configuration and cross section that is proposed for Cajalco Road under Alternatives 1 and 2C.

Under this alternative the remainder of La Sierra Road to the south of Tin Mine Road and Cajalco Road from its new intersections with El Sobrante Road to the east and west would remain open to the public in their current configurations. The only exception to this would be that the curved portions of Cajalco Road to the west of La Sierra Avenue would be straightened to improve safety. However, Cajalco would remain a two-lane roadway through this area.

Alternative 4

Widen Existing Cajalco Road between I-215 and Gustin Road; Widen and Improve El Sobrante Road between Gustin Road and La Sierra Avenue; Realign La Sierra Avenue between El Sobrante Road and Cajalco Road; Widen Existing Cajalco Road with Minor Alignment Changes between La Sierra Avenue and Temescal Canyon Road

cajalco_Alt_4

Between Gustin Road and I-215 the improvements would be identical to Alternatives 1 and 2C. Between Gustin Road and La Sierra Avenue, the roadway would be identical to the improvements proposed under Alternative 3.

Between La Sierra Avenue and Temescal Canyon Road, the western portion of Alternative 4 would extend south to existing Cajalco Road, and then west along Cajalco Road to Temescal Canyon Road. Between El Sobrante Road and Cajalco Road, La Sierra Avenue would be realigned slightly to the west of the existing La Sierra Avenue alignment. Between the realigned La Sierra Avenue intersection with Cajalco Road and Temescal Canyon Road, the improvements would be the same as proposed under Alternative 1. The portion of Cajalco Road between La Sierra Avenue and Gustin Road would remain in its current configuration

No Project Alternative

cajalco_Alt_None

Under the No Project Alternative Cajalco Road would remain a two-lane roadway. The roadway would remain as constructed with the exception of the portion between Brown Street to Day Street where a center turn lane is in the planning stages and is schedule to be constructed well in advance of the proposed project.

All Project Alternatives

An overview of the project Alternatives superimposed on each other.

cajalco_Alt_All

These alternatives that have been and will continue to be developed and refined based on public and agency input and minimizing environmental impacts.

Proposed Typical Sections

Proposed Typical sections for the various segments of each alternative.

cajalco_xSections

Habitat Conservation

Portions of the project are located within the boundaries of the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (WRC MSCHP) Stephen’s kangaroo rat (SKR) Long-term Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), and Metropolitan Water District’s (MWD) Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP). The project’s consistency with the plans and goals of the conservation plans will be evaluated in the environmental document that is prepared for the project.