What is the SR-79 Realignment Project?
SR-79 would be realigned between Domenigoni Parkway and Gilman Springs Road and upgraded to a controlled-access facility with two-lanes in each direction. Access would be limited to on- and off-ramps at specified locations. The realigned SR-79 would alleviate the existing circuitous route through the downtown areas of Hemet and San Jacinto and result in a more direct north-south route through the San Jacinto Valley.
Why is the SR-79 Realignment Project needed?
SR-79 traverses the community of Winchester and the cities of Hemet and San Jacinto. As the only north-south state highway through the San Jacinto Valley, regional traffic competes with local traffic for limited roadway capacity. There are numerous at-grade intersections, driveways, and traffic signals that affect traffic movement and efficiency. Finally, SR-79 and SR-74 are collocated along Florida Avenue, combining both north-south and east-west traffic in one roadway.
What are the benefits of the SR-79 Realignment Project?
For the General Public, the SR-79 Realignment Project would provide a more direct north-south route for through traffic and improve mobility on local streets.
For Businesses, the SR-79 Realignment Project would expedite the movement of goods and services within the San Jacinto Valley.
Everyone would benefit from improvements in traffic efficiency, safety, and roadway capacity.
What is in the Final EIR/EIS?
The Final EIR/EIS includes responses to comments received on the Draft EIR/EIS and Partially Recirculated DEIR/SDEIS (Februrary 2013), identifies the preferred alternative, and provides complete environmental documentation of the project alternatives. The Final EIR/EIS includes the results of the additional studies for traffic, land use, noise, community impacts, visual, cultural resources, air quality, cumulative impacts and Section 4(f) resources, as presented in the Partially Recirculated DEIR/SDEIS.
Where can I see the Final EIR/EIS?
Hard copies at:
Riverside County Transportation Commission
4080 Lemon Street, 3rd Floor
Riverside, CA 92501
California Department of Transportation, District 8 Office
464 West 4th Street
San Bernardino, CA 92401
Hemet Public Library
300 E. Latham Avenue
Hemet, CA 92543
San Jacinto Public Library
500 Idyllwild Drive
San Jacinto, CA 92583
For individuals with sensory disabilities, please contact us to discuss availability in an alternate format, Please write or call Patti Castillo, P.O. Box 12008, Riverside, CA 92502-2208; (951) 824-8706.
Have there been any new developments in the project since the Public Hearing was held in 2015?
Yes. All comments received were compiled for preparation of the Final EIR/EIS. The Final EIR/EIS was approved on October 29, 2016.
What are the refinements for the Preferred Alternative as presented in the Final EIR/EIS?
The refinements for the Preferred Alternative presented in the Final EIR/EIS are the same as those presented in the Partially Recirculated DEIR/SDEIS. Many of the project engineering refinements are responsive to comments received on the Draft EIR/EIS, and they help minimize environmental impacts, strengthen mitigation measures, or assist in making the project alternatives incrementally more consistent with local and tribal governments (can not be a preference). The refinements are summarized as follows:
1. Access to Winchester - Traffic Signal at Newport Road
2. Increased loop ramp radii at Domenigoni Parkway
3. Shift in interchange location from Ranchland Road to Grand Avenue
4. Westerly shift to alignment around West Hemet Hills: The alignment has been shifted west within the existing environmental study limits to reduce the cut and impacts to West Hemet Hills
5. Increased loop ramp radii at Florida Avenue
6. Removal of Tres Cerritos Interchange
7. Esplanade Avenue interchange revisions to eliminate Design Exceptions
8. Increased loop ramp radii at Cottonwood Avenue
9. Sanderson Avenue interchange revisions to eliminate Design Exceptions and the design has been revised to avoid impacts to the newly constructed improvements at the Eastern Municipal Water District Facility
10. Increased loop ramp radii at Ramona Expressway
Who can I contact about the SR-79 Realignment Project?
If you have comments or questions about the SR-79 Realignment Project contact us through our website at www.sr79project.info/contact or call (951) 824-8706. You may also write to:
Patti Castillo—Capital Projects Manager
Riverside County Transportation Commission
P.O. Box 12008
Riverside, CA 92502-2208