A map showing Cajalco Road and surrouding areas.
The first segment of the Cajalco Road Widening Project runs from Wood Road to Seaton Avenue. (Source: Riverside County Transportation Department)

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors last week unanimously approved a $10.4 million consulting services agreement for the first segment of the Cajalco Road Widening Project in the unincorporated community of Mead Valley.

“I just wanted to raise the concern that we have been studying Cajalco Road for 10 years, maybe longer … it goes back to Supervisor [Bob] Buster, so 20 years,” Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, who pulled the item from the consent agenda, said. “I just want a brief update on what’s going to happen with this, the timelines, just to make sure that it’s actually going to get done.”

Planned improvements for this segment of the project, which runs from Wood Road to Seaton Avenue, include widening Cajalco Road from two lanes to four lanes, building a sidewalk, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, driveway approaches, turn pockets, bridge structures and drainage facilities.

“We’ve been working on the Cajalco Road project, studying it, for many years,” Patricia Romo, Interim Director of Transportation for Riverside County, said. “We are finally at a point where we have circulated the environmental document, we’re addressing comments and we’re hopeful that we can get that approved at the end of the year.”

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Romo said that with this agreement, the department is hoping to bring in a consultant to finalize the design for the first segment of the project so her team can start looking for federal funding.

“There is federal money available for large projects like this, but the way it works is they look at projects that are shelf ready and ready to be built,” she said. “So we’re trying to get ourselves ready so that we have this project, it’s ready to get built and then we’ll start looking for money to build it, but this puts us in a good position to be there.”

As for concerns about flood control and mitigation, Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District General Manager Jason Uhley said his team was working in conjunction with the county’s Transportation Department to purchase the properties needed to ensure adequate drainage for the project.

Romo said the estimated cost for the project is “in the ballpark of $100 million.”

In other board action: The Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to appoint Nicole Windom-Hurd as the new Director of Child Support Services. Windom-Hurd said she was excited to be taking on the role and continuing her work with the department.

The board also unanimously appointed Supervisor Chuck Washington as board chair for the next year, taking over the position from Supervisor Kevin Jeffries. The board also unanimously appointed Supervisor V. Manuel Perez as vice chair of the board for the next year, taking over the position from Supervisor Karen Spiegel.

A video of the meeting can be found here on the county’s website.

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Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.