Road closures at Guava Street in Murrieta will be in effect for nearly a year while a construction project to redirect flood waters is underway.
Many Murrieta residents may be aware that the intersection at Guava and Adams Avenue tends to flood—and is often closed to through traffic—when heavy rains occur.
To fix this, the City of Murrieta on Dec. 4, 2012, awarded a nearly $4-million contract to Riverside-based Alabbasi Construction and Engineering to perform the long-planned job of installing an 1,100-foot-long box-shaped culvert (tunnel) under the intersection. Once complete, it will enable flood waters to be diverted to nearby Murrieta Creek.
The project—approved as part of the City’s Capital Improvement Plan—follows the recent installation of large drainage lines to carry flood waters underground from Madison Avenue west to Jefferson Avenue. The pipelines will convey the waters into the tunnel.
Work on the Guava project started Jan. 22, and is expected to take 12 months to complete, according to Bob Moehling, acting engineer/public works director for the City of Murrieta.
“...This section of Guava and Adams will no longer flood and have to be closed once this project is complete,” Moehling said.
Road closures due to the project will be in effect for the duration, Moehling said.
Guava is closed at Jefferson and Adams avenues; Adams is closed just south of Brown Street on the north end of the project and Adams is closed just south of Guava on the south end, according to Moehling.
Once the year’s worth of construction is done, Moehling said next up will be installing a bridge connecting Guava to Washington. The plan is for that work to get started in 2014, he said.
“Once the Guava Street bridge is completed and opened, the Washington Avenue bridge will be demolished in order to accommodate the Army Corps Murrieta Creek project,” Moehling said.
In 2001—nearly a decade after a deadly flood—fixing the creek was designated as an Army Corps flood control project, which qualified it for federal funding.
The four-phase plan was intended to deepen and widen the creek in Temecula and Murrieta, build a 270-acre detention basin near the Temecula/Murrieta boundary and create 160 acres of wildlife habitat.
The Army Corps finished phase one in 2005, but then the economy fell flat and federal funding got yanked.
In May 2012, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors having not seen any recent, significant federal movement. The cities of Murrieta, Temecula and Wildomar, through which the creek winds, were invited to be a part of the JPA.
Supervisor Jeff Stone, whose third district includes Temecula and Murrieta, said talks continued with the Army Corps.
In light of new leadership in the Corps’ Los Angeles region, a new plan was unveiled in November 2012 that would concentrate on completing phases two and three, with an indefinite date for phase four, which lies in Murrieta.