City Solicits Bids for Preliminary Design of Holland Overpass

Plans call for a freeway overpass where Holland Road currently dead ends into Interstate 215. Bids f...

Plans call for a freeway overpass where Holland Road currently dead ends into Interstate 215.
Bids from engineering design companies were due last Friday in response to the City of Menifee's Request for Proposal regarding preliminary designs for the Holland Road overpass at Interstate 215.

The city's 2012-13 budget includes $300,000 in Measure A (transportation sales tax) funding dedicated to the project, which would consist of a freeway overpass connecting sections of Holland Road on both sides of Interstate 215. Because of its location midway between the Newport Road and Scott Road freeway bridges, the Holland overpass is considered an integral part of Menifee's road improvement program.

Because planning has just begun, however, it is estimated that the project will take at least three years to complete. According to Rob Johnson, senior manager of community improvement for the city, the following must take place once the contract is awarded. Each item is listed with the average time required for such a process:

-- Preliminary design (3-6 months)
-- Design development (3-6 months)
-- Environmental impact report and mitigation (6-12 months)
-- Final design (6 months)
-- Cal Trans permit process (3-4 months)
-- Design corrections (3 months)
-- Construction bid process (2 months)
-- Actual construction (12-18 months)

The preliminary design process alone addresses several factors, including the following:

-- Bridge dimensions (number of lanes, height, landing area)
-- Scope of the project and schedule
-- Environmental factors to be considered
-- Opportunities to accelerate the design
-- Determination of the total cost

Lanes and looping freeway ramps will be added to the
Newport Road interchange.
At this point, the city is acting alone in seeking funding and design bids for the Holland Road project. It could at some point seek a contract with the County of Riverside Transportation Department for assistance in the project. But even if that happens, says a county transportation official, priority of construction would remain with the county's two current bridge projects in Menifee -- Newport Road and Scott Road.

"At this stage, Holland Road is not something we are involved in," said Juan Perez, Director of Transportation for Riverside County. "If Menifee chose to, they could contract with us to do the work. However, it's an involved process. Holland is not as involved a process as the others because it's only a freeway overpass, but you're starting at ground zero."

The Newport Road 215 interchange -- which will expand the bridge to four lanes each way, plus looping on- and off-ramps -- isn't scheduled to begin construction until February 2014. Even so, it is further along in the process than the Holland Road project, simply because the design has been completed and the environmental impact process is virtually complete, Perez said.

Menifee has $17 million in funding allocated for the Newport Road interchange, which is estimated to cost $25 million. Perez said he is confident the county can help close the gap of the remaining cost. Newport Road is a priority with county officials because it serves as a major artery from Hemet on the east to Lake Elsinore on the west.

Perez said it's unlikely that regional agencies which helped fund the Newport Road project would allocate funds as quickly to Holland Road because the Holland project is considered a concern primarily to Menifee residents.

"You can't really switch funding from one project to the other," Perez said. "The money comes from regional agencies. They are looking at a project like Newport Road because it's about a 40-mile corridor from State Street in Hemet to Railroad Canyon Road and the 15 Freeway. There's a better argument to be made for sticking with Newport as the priority."

Perez said there is no estimate on a completion date for the Scott Road project, for which the county is the lead agency.




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