Highway 74 will reopen to traffic for Easter Weekend. Repair and reconstruction of the roadway for the February rainstorm is not completed, But Caltrans and its contractor, Ames Construction, can now permit limited use of the highway.

            From 6 a.m. to midnight on both Saturday, April 20 and Sunday April 21, escort will take traffic between Mountain Center and Hemet.

            “During these hours, traffic will be escorted by pilot vehicles in both directions,” the Caltrans press release stated.

            Beginning Monday April 22 and continuing forward, including weekends,, public use of Highway 74 will be limited to 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. in the morning and from 6 p.m. to midnight. Again traffic will follow pilot vehicles during these periods.

            At this point, there was no estimate of when use with pilot vehicles would end.

            Caltrans did set several conditions which motorists must follow while using Highway 74:

• Down bound motorists (coming from Mountain Center) on SR 74 for the 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. escort must be in line by 7:45 a.m. or they will not be permitted in the escort process.

• The speed limit will be 25 miles per hour during the escort.

• Motorists will not be permitted to stop or pull over during the escort.

• Motorists will not be permitted to pass other vehicles during the escort.

• The construction zone on SR 74 between Mountain Center and Borco will be a “DOUBLE FINE ZONE”.

• Sections of SR 74 will have uneven, unpaved roadbed with narrow passage. Be advised that dirt, sand, rock and mud will exist on the SR 74. Low profile vehicles are not recommended.

• No drone, video or photos will be permitted while you are using the escorts.

• Motorists must follow all commands given by the pilot workers, contractor employees, flaggers, Caltrans crews and the California Highway Patrol (CHP). • The escorts can be canceled at any time due to safety concerns for the traveling public such as slope issues, rock fall, roadbed concerns and motorists not following traffic laws or escort provisions