SR74 Caltrans work between beach cities and Lake Elsinore continues

Most of Caltrans’ highway work is moving toward the desert communities and San Bernardino as the summer is coming to an end. However, work continues in the Lake Elsinore area as State Route 74 to the Orange County border continues.

The Riverside County Transportation Commission did announce that in partnership with Caltrans, it is building the Interstate 15 and Highway Express Lanes Connector that will provide a new connection from the eastbound 91 Express Lanes that many Southwestern Riverside motorists use going into Los Angeles and Orange County. It will connect from Highway 91 express lanes to the future northbound I-15 express lanes and to the westbound 91 express lanes.

Caltrans notes State Route 74 Lane Widening, near Lake Elsinore, may bring weeknight full closures from Monday, Sept. 12  through, Sept. 16. The work continues on DR71 from Lake Elsinore to the Orange County border to Monte Vista Street just west of Lake Elsinore.

Crews will perform rebar forming, pouring, excavation and barrier work in various locations throughout the project zone. Contractors will perform daytime work from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. that will require daytime one-way closures. These closures will occur near Bear Canyon and run approximately a mile long. Signage indicating closure zones will be placed ahead of the work area. A flagging operation will assist in traffic control.

Weeknight full closures will bring one-way traffic control with flagging with pilot vehicles in place from 8 p.m. to 9:59 p.m. During the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., the route will be closed to through traffic.

Caltrans said residents and commuters will need to utilize the alternate routes to go around the closure each night beginning at 10 p.m. Access through the work zone will be prohibited during the previously stated hours. Work will take place nightly, east of the County line on SR-74, Monday through Friday. Residents on Tenaja Truck Trail or west of Tenaja Truck Trail, including the Ortega Oaks RV Park and Campground and The Candy Store, will be directed to Lake Elsinore but will not be given access to go through to Orange County during the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Residents at Long Canyon and Decker Canyon will be directed to Lake Elsinore also will not be given access to go through to Orange County during the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Caltrans in San Bernardino is working on fiber optics, guardrail systems and lighting at the I-15 and I-215 connector, which is a $1.6 million project to modify fiber optic communications and lighting, install new Midwest Guardrail Systems and terminal system end treatments on I-10 in that county, weather permitting. From Sept. 15 through Sept. 30, from 9 p.m. to a.m. (Sundays-Fridays), there will be lane closures from the westbound 1-10 to the northbound I-215 connector with lane 2 closed.

The westbound I-10 off ramp at Waterman Ave. will be closed. Future operations may include shoulder, lane and ramp closures approaching and within the construction zone from the I-10/215 separation to .4 miles west of Waterman Ave. with possible detours to be determined. The project is expected to be complete by the end of  Summer 2022.

Many streetlights, sewer lines and utility work on Menifee and Wildomar roadways continue this week, weather permitting. Watch out for flagmen, warning signs and the working crews from the city, Southern California Edison, Calrans, RCTC and Eastern Municipal Water District at those projects.

Tony Ault can be reached at

Tony Ault