Near mile post 16.5, Ames Construction, the Caltrans contractor, has to dig up the road surface on Highway 243 to enable a new culvert and repair work to be done. Photo by JP Crumrine

Caltrans, in cooperation with Mountain Disaster Preparedness, will hold another community meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the Idyllwild School.

Caltrans staff, Ames Construction Inc., the California Highway Patrol  and Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington will discuss the current status of the repairs and reconstruction of highways 74 and 243 and escort process, and answer questions from the community in relation to the emergency projects.

For those with sensory disabilities requiring alternate formats (such as Braille, large print, sign language interpreter, etc.) and those needing information in a language other than English, contact Terri Kasinga at 951-232-4268 or TTY 711 by June 10.

 MDP is organizing and sponsoring the event for local residents and visitors.

Caltrans told the Town Crier on Wednesday that Highway 74 from Hemet to Mountain Center will open with an escort starting at 4 p.m. for the June 13 meeting.


  1. What a crock! The roads are closed to the working public at the bottom until 6:00pm. It’s like other good ole boy meetings on this mountain held in the morning. These folks should be fired. The hard question will never be asked in this forum. They get to pick the questions and avoid the critical ones. Now they’re talking about a bridge out at Bay tree springs. Was this project under funded, under staffed, and a bait and switch to get the contract?

  2. 4-6weeks, 8 million, and 24 hours a day, hmmm. They call it the Valentine’s Day Mascare. Really? A group of men were lined up against a wall in a park and executed by men in police uniforms in 1929. Smoke and mirrors.

    The facts are simple. We paid gas taxes for decades, yet they neglected our roads, letting them fall apart. They own this and they relate it to executing men in a park, sick, sick, sick.

  3. I drive up and back Hwy 74 once a week to Hemet. Don’t see much progress or equipment lately. Worked 50 years in construction contracting. Project looks mismanaged. Is it incompetence or corruption or both? Washington and Caltrans were duped and sucker punched by Ames. Should have more than one contractor for Hwy 74 & 243. Skanska and Granite could do it. Where is contract penalty clause enforcement for not completing on time? If fire breaks out near Mt Center and heads to Idy, we are all trapped and fried! Hotter than hell yesterday and today. Fire weather! Where is Ruiz, Feinstein, and Kamala Harris. We need someone pounding the table. Billions of $ being wasted on the high speed rail to nowhere but what about our mountain roads? IS ANYBODY LISTENING?

  4. Ames crews tell me the night heavy equip operators stopped a month ago and were assigned to traffic management, no night work. Ames has other county projects outside the area. Bait and switch.

  5. I’m sick and tired of the highway 74/243 detours, Quality of Life impacts, rebuild delays, limited crew numbers, reduced work hours, and its management.

    I offer this method of voicing our objections. When entering and travelling through the pilot car staging areas from Mountain Center to Valle Vista ONLY travel at the posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour following the posted rules to the letter.

  6. The CalTrans engineer and Ames engineer said they would move the hwy 74 weekend crews up to Hwy 243. That’s nice but they tipped their hand. Hwy 243 had room to absorb these crews. In other words they were not working at maximum capacity at least on hey 243.

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