Storm-damaged Highway 74 opens 4 a.m. to midnight weekends under escort

Almost 200 Idyllwild and Pine Cove residents listen to a presentation by Caltrans officials updating the progress on repairing storm damaged Highways 74 and 243 leading to the mountain communities, June 13, in the Idyllwild K-8 School gymnasium. Tony Ault photo
Idyllwild and Pine Cove residents filled the Idyllwild K-8 School gymnasium Thursday, June 13, to learn Caltrans will open Highway 74 from Hemet to Mountain Center under escort every weekend from 4 a.m. to midnight through Labor Day to help the town’s ailing economy.By a raise of hands, the change was decided by a majority of the residents attending the Caltrans State Route 74 and 243 Emergency Project Update, even though they were told it could delay the project to rebuild the flood-damaged highway for more than a month.The unusual communitywide decision to open the highway, now under a $30 million Caltrans emergency reconstruction project, for more hours on weekends came after they were offered the change by Caltrans officials and Ames Construction representatives attending the com
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