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Hemet hoping Caltrans median is put on hold

By in Press Enterprise on January 5, 2018

By Craig Shultz

The controversial median proposed for Highway 74 through Hemet is in limbo after city officials met with the Caltrans director last month in Sacramento to say they don’t want the project built.

The City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 9 is expected to approve a motion to ask the state agency to stop its plan to install a raised-curb median and turn over the road to Hemet.

Also that night, the Council is expected to give interim City Manager Allan Parker the post on a full-time basis.

Councilwoman Linda Krupa, who was part of the Sacramento meeting, said the project was put on hold so a study can be held to see what would be involved in moving the road to city control.

“They are stopping the project,” she said. “We will, with their help, put together a feasibility plan not only to take control of it but put a plan in place to reduce accidents.”

But Caltrans spokeswoman Joy Schneider said the project is not stalled.

“We are moving forward with the project but conversation is taking place regarding possible relinquishment,” she said. “We need to move forward because we don’t know what the culmination of the relinquishment will be.”

Hemet officials are hoping they’ve stopped a plan for Caltrans to construct a raised-curd median where a painted median divides traffic on Highway 74/Florida Avenue. File photo by Craig Shultz/Staff

Caltrans, which controls the state highway, plans to construct an 8-mile-long median along Highway 74, which is Florida Avenue in the city, stretching from near Hemet’s western border into the unincorporated Valle Vista neighborhood to the east.

City and business leaders have railed against the project, citing slowed traffic and loss of access to businesses among their concerns.

Caltrans said the project is to make the street safer and cut down on crashes.

Krupa said it’s unknown how […]    

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