Official Says Menifee Road 'Missing Link' to Be Built by Dec. 30

The extension of Menifee Road from Aldergate Road north to Simpson Road is shown in red on this ...

The extension of Menifee Road from Aldergate Road north to Simpson Road is shown in red on this city map.
Although a number of financial, design and scheduling factors prevent the City of Menifee from building a Holland Road overpass at Interstate 215 in less than three years, city officials have found a way to mitigate traffic congestion during the first stages of a multi-phase road improvement plan.

Interim City Manager Rob Johnson told Menifee 24/7 Tuesday that a half-mile stretch of undeveloped land in east Menifee between Aldergate Road and Simpson Road will be turned into a four-lane extension of Menifee Road by Dec. 30. According to Johnson, developer Rancon Group has agreed to begin construction in mid-August, completing the "missing link" in a north-south thoroughfare that could greatly reduce traffic congestion during other nearby road projects.

Local residents have long expressed frustration with the fact that northbound Menifee Road ends at Aldergate Road and southbound Menifee Road dead-ends at Simpson Road (below). It isn't much more than a stone's throw from one end of the missing link to the other, located at the east base of a hillside that precludes alternate routes to the west.

For years, the increasing traffic flow has been forced to detour west on Newport Road and Simpson Road, then travel a parallel route on two-lane Lindenberger Road to continue north-south travel. Visions of increased traffic on this route for motorists trying to avoid the upcoming construction at the Newport Road freeway interchange were fast reaching nightmare proportions.

But now, through a bit of political maneuvering, Menifee officials are prepared to give motorists a viable option.

"Because it was evident we couldn't do Holland Road right away, we asked ourselves what would help alleviate traffic when work begins (estimated in early 2014) on the Newport Interchange," Johnson said after Tuesday night's city council meeting. "Completing Menifee Road redirects drivers in two additional ways to the freeway."

As it stands now, residents in the densely populated areas east of Interstate 215 in the center of town have two access points to the freeway -- Scott Road to the south and Newport Road to the north. A $30 million expansion project beginning early next year will eventually create additional traffic lanes on the Newport Road bridge and improve on- and off-ramps. During the construction, however, that vital east-west thoroughfare will be subject to gridlock.

The extension of Menifee Road will allow motorists to h