County to consider implications of taking responsibility for State Highway 74

RIVERSIDE – The Board of Supervisors today directed the Riverside County Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of managing state Route 74 between Lake Elsinore and Perris, a roughly 11-mile artery currently the responsibility of Caltrans.

Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, whose first district encompasses the area, asked for the feasibility study, saying businesses and property owners along the corridor face the prospect of long delays anytime they want easements or to make improvements because the state is the controlling authority.

”It can take several years to get through the permitting process,” Jeffries said.

In a document added to the board’s policy agenda, Jeffries pointed out that both Lake Elsinore and Perris had taken control of SR-74 in the immediate vicinity of their respective boundaries, though that action required state legislation.

”This establishes a precedent for doing the same with this stretch of 74 (in the unincorporated part of the county),” Jeffries wrote.

He said the communities of Good Hope and Meadowbrook are positioned along the part of the highway that the county could potentially manage.

”With relinquishment (to the county) would come costs and liabilities … for increased road and signal maintenance, vehicle accidents and other potential factors,” Jeffries said.

Based on the supervisor’s motion, the board directed county staff to conduct a risk management assessment and return with a report in four months.

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