Butterfield Stage Road widening expected to be complete by April, city says

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Crews work at building a curb along a widened section of Butterfield Stage Road currently under construction in Temecula, Jan 10. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

Construction crews have nearly finished digging into a hillside to widen Butterfield Stage Road, and paving is expected to be completed by April, a Temecula city official said this week.

Construction began in July 2019 to widen Butterfield Stage Road to four lanes north of Rancho California Road on the far eastern edge of Temecula — an area where it previously only had one through lane in each direction, though most of the rest of the road’s length is four lanes wide.

Workers had to cut into the side of a hill to make space for the expanded roadway. A vertical retaining wall is now in place on the hillside and construction should be finished by the spring, Temecula Public Works Director Pat Thomas said earlier in January.

“We don’t have a specific date, but I would expect around February,” Kendra Hannah-Meistrell, the project’s senior civil engineer, said.

Once the excavation of the hillside is completely finished, crews can get to work paving, though any inclement weather that occurs over the next few months could impact when the project will be finished.

“About April is our current schedule (for completion), Hannah-Meistrell said. “There’s quite a bit of work right now still to get done. But that’s the target.”

The project also includes a plan to widen Rancho California Road to four lanes, two in each direction, just east of its intersection with Butterfield Stage Road, which should provide traffic relief for motorists leaving wine country in the evenings. That portion of the project is in Riverside County, but construction is being funded by the city of Temecula, Hannah-Meistrell said.

The project is on track to remain within its $6 million contract budget, she said.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.

Crews work next to large excavated hills at the nearly completed Butterfield Stage Road widening project. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo