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. 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 described 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 worked to consider and address the comments received. In addition, RCTC and Caltrans have continued close coordination 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 resulted in a number of project refinements to reduce environmental impacts and improve the proposed project. The refinements were included in a Partially Recirculated Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS (DEIR/SDEIS) that was circulated for public and agency review and comment between August 21, 2015 and October 8, 2015. In addition, one public hearing was conducted during the 45-day public availability period. Comments received on the Partially Recirculated DEIR/SDEIS were compiled and considered for the preparation of the Final EIR/EIS. The Final EIR/EIS was prepared to respond to all comments received and identify the Selected Alternative. The Final EIR/EIS was approved on October 29, 2016.

The Final EIR/EIS was circulated to the public and agencies who had previously commented on the Draft EIR/EIS, as well as the Supplemental EIR/Partially Recirculated EIS. The comment period was 30 days, from October 29, 2016 to December 5th, 2016. Alternative 1br was selected, and a Notice of Determination was issued December 9th, 2016 and a Record of Decision was signed on December 16th, 2016 by Caltrans.

For the latest information on the SR-79 Realignment, click here for the most recent newsletter.

This website was last updated December 16, 2016. Recent updates are indicated by the NEW icon.