The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), in cooperation with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), proposes to realign State Route 79 (SR-79) between Domenigoni Parkway and Gilman Springs Road in the San Jacinto-Hemet area. RCTC is the public agency responsible for transportation in Riverside County and administers Measure A, a one-half cent sales tax originally passed by voters in 1989, specifically for transportation purposes.
Preliminary engineering and environmental studies were done on several different alignments/ alternatives and a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIR/EIS) was prepared for public review and circulated for public and agency review and comment between February 8, 2013 and March 25, 2013. The Draft EIR/EIS describes the four proposed Build alternatives and two design options to realign SR-79 to the western area of the San Jacinto Valley. In addition, two public hearings were conducted during the 45-day public availability period. Public and agency comments received were compiled and evaluated by the project team.
Since then, RCTC and Caltrans have worked to consider and address the comments received. In addition, close coordination has continued with the local agencies (cities of Hemet and San Jacinto, community of Winchester, and Riverside County), Native American tribes, and state and federal resource/regulatory agencies . This has resulted in a number of project refinements to reduce environmental impacts and improve the proposed project. Additional studies were conducted on the project refinements to evaluate and assess environmental impacts, including traffic, air quality, land use, noise, as well as Section 4(f) effects. Section 4(f) refers to the original section within the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 which established the requirement for consideration of park and recreational lands, wildlife, and waterfolw refuges, and historic sites in transportation project development. The results of these studies will be included in a Recirculated Draft EIR/Supplemental EIS that will be available for public and agency review and comment during summer 2015.
Comments received will be compiled and considered during preparation of the Final EIR/EIS. The Final EIR/EIS will respond to all comments received and identify the Preferred Alternative.
For the latest information on the SR-79 Realignment, click here for the most recent newsletter.
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