October 5, 2007
A change in RRC Rd. alignmentBy Shannon Weatherford
Canyon Lakers will be relieved to know that the planned closure of the portion of Goetz Rd. from the East Gate to the entrance of Canyon Lake Community Church, originally scheduled for the beginning of October, has been delayed until spring of next year.
The revised schedule will allow for the full opening of all lanes on realigned Newport Rd. prior to any work beginning on Goetz Rd. It is estimated that Goetz Rd. will be impacted for approximately one year while a bridge is constructed to help alleviate flooding. However with all lanes open on Newport Rd., the work will require only a detour and not a full closure, according to Dennis Chapman of Brookfield Homes, one of two developers for the Audie Murphy Ranch project.
The bridgework is being performed as part of the terms of approval for the subdivision. This area of road is prone to flooding and closures during heavy rainfall and will be upgraded with a bridge crossing to eliminate flooding, allowing drainage to Salt Creek to be diverted under the road.
The work on Newport Rd., which began in June of last year, consists of widening the road to an eventual six lanes – three in each direction – as well as realigning it to sweep around and connect with Railroad Canyon Rd. to eliminate the bottleneck at Goetz Rd. According to Riverside County Transportation Director George Johnson, the end result will benefit the entire area, creating a “vital corridor” allowing drivers to travel from the I-15 in Lake Elsinore through Menifee Valley and into Hemet, with Newport Rd. east of Menifee Rd. now extended to Domenigioni Parkway.
Named for the World War II hero and early movie star who had owned the property and raised quarter horses there, the Audie Murphy Ranch is being developed jointly by Brookfield Homes and Woodside Homes, with the first homes expected to open by Spring of 2008. The 1,100-acre site will eventually consist of approximately 2,125 single-family homes, three public parks and more than 30 acres of trails and paseos as well as two new schools – an elementary school and a middle school. More than 150 acres have been set aside as permanent open space and conveyed to the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians to help preserve certain archeological and anthropological features of the land. Preservation and enhancement of the Salt Creek waterway has also been identified in project plans.
According to developers, rough grading on the portion of the development on the south side has been completed, with 785 pads certified. Construction of model homes is scheduled to begin in the next two months. It’s anticipated that it will be approximately 10 years before the project is completed in its entirety. It has been in the planning stages since the mid-80s.
Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone has commented that construction of the Audie Murphy Ranch, along with other smaller scale developments, gives Menifee the potential for becoming the most populous city in Riverside County, itself the second fastest growing county in the nation. All told, infrastructure costs for the project are estimated at more than $200,000,000.
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