As a full-time resident who must make a roundtrip from Idyllwild to the Los Angeles area every week for work, I’m very grateful for our “new” Highway 74.
I say “new” because not only has Caltrans and its contractors repaired the parts of the highway that were damaged by the Valentine’s Day Deluge (yes, that rainstorm was a “deluge” of Biblical proportions), but because much of the old road has been refurbished as well.
If you haven’t yet headed off the Hill to Hemet, it’s worth the drive just to admire the countless hours of planning and hard work of so many that have culminated in the lovely new road.
How has this personally impacted me? Since mid-February, what was previously a more than two hour trip to and from work each week, became a greater than three hour trip — not that driving to Glendale via Temecula or Palm Desert isn’t a wee bit of a detour. The additional drive time came from my beauty sleep, which at my age, is a definite sacrifice.
Idyllwild relies on visitors to support its economy. So good, reliable roads are literally a lifeline for us all.
Now, I’m just waiting for the return to service of Highway 243, which is by far my preferred route into Los Angeles. It’s both faster and much more scenic (at least, in my opinion). I’m waiting patiently, as the reopening of Highway 74, which has reduced my commute time, is a great benefit to me and my family.