Last week, town roads were completely torn up due to the county repaving project. Detours were present only when it was too late to compensate and traffic control was non-existent. Not only were residents frustrated, so were business owners.
The work was originally scheduled to coincide with the work on Highway 74 to ensure the town would be minimally impacted. However, the Idyllwild Water District’s pipeline replacement work in the center of town was delayed. This caused a delay in the repaving project and Highway 74 from Hemet to Mountain Center opened without the pilot car before the repaving project was completed.
The Town Crier sent an email to Riverside County Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington’s Chief of Staff Michelle Dearmond letting her know the conditions and asked if the work would be competed by Oct. 12 for the Art Walk and Wine Tasting, the Quilt Show and other events around town that weekend.
Dearmond responded, “I’ve reached out to Patty Romo, the transportation director, to answer your questions. I’ll be in touch or she will as soon as possible.”
Romo called the office shortly after and told the newspaper that the repaving would be completed by the event. Repaving began Monday, Oct. 7, and will continue through Thursday, Oct. 10. Water trucks were out over this past weekend to keep the dust down to a minimum.
In addition to speaking with Romo, the newspaper also spoke with Andrea Suarez of Connect & Company, the public relations firm for the project. Suarez took the concerns relayed to the newspaper by locals and had her team work to address the concerns.
“As we discussed, we will be reaching out this afternoon/tomorrow morning to the four businesses that you mentioned,” said Suarez in a follow-up email after the phone call. “I will also relay details we discussed about safety and signage to our project team, and there will be a water truck on site to control dust [over the weekend]. Also note that crews will not be working Oct. 11 or Oct. 14.” No work is being done on the weekend.
On Monday, Oct. 7, Washington posted a press release on Facebook about the project. “During the paving operation, crews will work on one side of the street while traffic is flagged through on the opposite side of the street in one direction at a time. After one side is paved, crews will complete the other side with the same traffic control in place. Crews will place temporary tab delineators in the road for lane designation.”
Crews will stripe the newly paved roadway Tuesday, Oct. 15 to Friday, Oct. 18 and will finish up any miscellaneous work to complete the project the week of Oct. 21, according to the press release.
If there are any questions or concerns about the project, call 877-672-7765.