The new year should bring less traffic woes along southwest Riverside County’s most congested section of roadway—southbound Interstate 15 at Winchester Road in Temecula.
According to a Temecula city official, the French Valley Parkway exit as well as construction improvements to the southbound Winchester Road freeway exit will be completed during the early part of 2014.
Weather permitting, the improved Winchester Road exit, which will have two lanes instead of one, should be open by late January, according to Avlin Odviar, senior engineer for the City of Temecula.
By mid-February—also weather permitting—Odviar said the new French Valley Parkway exit just north of Winchester Road should also be open.
“The French Valley Parkway off-ramp will be a new, single-lane exit in advance of the Winchester off-ramp, and allow drivers direct access to Jefferson Avenue at Cherry Street,” Odviar said. “Together, these off-ramps will help alleviate congestion that was previously handled by one, single lane exit prior to the project.”
That puts the project at about two months past the originally estimated completion date, which Odviar said is not uncommon for a project of 18 months and was due primarily to the processing of design changes along with weather-related delays.
“It has been a long time coming, but we are finally here,” Odviar said. “In the next couple of months, we will open the first tangible improvements of a project that the City of Temecula has been pushing for well over a decade. We appreciate your patience and are proud to provide you an improved, safer transportation facility.”
The total cost for both exits, which are phase one of the French Valley Interchange project, was estimated at $29 million. Of that, $16 million went directly for construction and was primarily funded by various elements of the Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee (TUMF) program and Measure A (Local Street and Road), according to Odviar.
Phase two is about 60-percent through the design phase, which is expected to wrap up by mid-2015. Phase two will consist of a freeway overpass from Jefferson Avenue to Ynez Road and a full interchange connection to northbound Interstate 15.
“If all goes as planned, and full funding is secured, construction of phase two would begin at the end of 2015.”
Stay updated on the French Valley Interchange project by visiting this page on the City’s website.