Caltrans flagmen to replace escorts on Highway 74 from Valle Vista to Mountain Center

Diane Sieker photo

Caltrans workers continued their road projects on highways 74 and 243 this week with the most welcome news to motorists traveling to Idyllwild via Highway 74 between Hemet and Mountain Center to Route 243. Caltrans announced Tuesday, Oct. 2, that escorts on Highway 74 have ceased between Valle Vista to Mountain Center and will be open with flagmen directing traffic.

However, emergency repairs will continue during daytime hours on Route 74 until the final work is completed.

During that time, flagging will be in place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some of the remaining repairs include final culvert work, drainage and other minor construction related details until further notice. Motorists are advised to expect delays during flagging.

Caltrans is asking motorists to “please have patience and follow all commands given by flaggers and construction crews.”

A portion of Route 243 from Banning to Lake Fulmor will remain closed to traffic until further notice, or when temporary access is considered safe, Caltrans said.

Caltrans survey crews working on the Highway 74/Florida Avenue raised median safety project in Hemet completed most of their work repainting yellow lane separation lines and spotting where the planned raised median strips will be placed on the highway between Interstate 215 and Valle Vista this week.

Motorists in the Hemet area of the project observed different left turn yellow lines along that stretch of the highway. The construction on the median itself will start soon, beginning from Valle Vista and through Hemet.

Caltrans said in their latest news release that they are continuing work on a $13.1 million safety project to construct a raised curb median with access points and left turn lanes on Route74 at various locations from just west of Acacia Avenue to Ramona Expressway.

Autobahn Construction Inc. from Orange worked on pull boxes and removing existing striping and placing the route into its temporary configuration at various locations from Myers Street in Hemet to New Chicago Avenue in Valle Vista. The project is expected to last approximately one year.

Commuters are asked to “Know before you go,” and to stay on top of roadwork in the Inland Empire. Visit Caltrans District 8 website and sign up for commuter alerts. Caltrans said those with sensory disabilities requiring alternate formats, i.e., Braille, large print, sign language interpreter, etc. and those needing information in a language other than English can contact Shane Massoud at (909) 383-4416 or TTY 711 by Dec. 31.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at