I got some more information on the Newport Road realignment project after speaking with George Wentz, our city manager.
Wenzt has been talking with Juan Perez with the county transportation department, and with the developer of Audie Murphy Ranch to come up with a way to improve traffic flow along Newport Rd and Goetz Rd, at least on temporary basis.
Refer to the diagram below.
Click to see larger image (opens new window)
The plan works like this...
- The existing Newport Rd will be renamed to Normandy Road, and will run both ways, eastbound and westbound.
- The realigned portion of Newport Rd will run one-way, heading eastbound. If you're coming from the I-15, you can take this road into Menifee.
- The Goetz Rd bridge will only accomodate southbound traffic. It will no longer support northbound traffic. This is because in order to open up the realigned Newport Rd, the bridge would have to be totally rebuilt, and there isn't enough money for that right now.
- The existing Goetz Rd will run southbound from Normandy Rd to the realigned Newport Rd. However, it will run northbound only from the Canyon Lake East Gate on up.
- Normandy Rd will end at Berea Rd. You'll have to jump on Berea Rd, and then turn on the realigned Newport Rd to get into Menifee.
Wentz said they are working a revised plan that will actually extend Normandy Rd into the realigned Newport Rd, so that we won't have to take Berea Rd. But this isn't final.
Apparently, the city has enough TUMF funds to put this "temporary solution" in place, and therefore, is moving forward on it. At very earliest, we might see this in place within six months.
If put in place, it will remain that way for about 2 or 3 years, maybe even longer, at least until the city collects enough money to make all roads bidirectional, or if the developer decides Audie Murphy Ranch is economically feasible to continue building.
Since this plan only makes the realigned Newport Rd one-way, I asked Wentz why not just leave the existing traffic flow untouched as it is now, until they have the money to make it bidirectional. He said that he thinks this temporary plan illustrated above will actually improve traffic from what we have now.
I think for most of Menifee, this plan will work fine, except for those people who live in the Menifee Hills development (off of La Ladera Rd). For them, if they're coming from the I-15, they won't be able to take Goetz Rd to Normandy Rd. Instead, they'll have to take realigned Newport Rd to Berea Rd, and head west on Normandy Rd. It's more of a pain, but not still not a long drive.