The recently completed half-mile stretch of Menifee Road previously known as the "Missing Link" will get its first real test during the late-night hours of May 29-30.
Those will be the first of what County officials say will be 17 nights of full closure of the 215 Freeway between Newport Road and McCall Boulevard over the next few months as crews work to complete the freeway widening project in the Menifee area.
In order to expedite completion of the additional freeway lanes, the 215 will alternately be closed northbound and southbound between Newport and McCall during selected nights, according to officials of the I-215 Central Project. This will allow crews to complete pillars necessary to add lanes to the bridge across Salt Creek, just north of Newport Road.
These closures will enable officials to open the additional lanes up to two months sooner than originally planned, a County official told Menifee City Council members Wednesday night.
The first closures will be of all northbound lanes May 29-30 between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The detour selected by County officials will take motorists east on Newport Road to Menifee Road, then north over the new stretch of pavement to McCall, then west over the hill and back to the freeway.
An extended detour is planned for trucks in order to keep them off McCall and the steep grade there. Trucks will continue north on Menifee Road to Highway 74, then west to the freeway.
When southbound lanes of the 215 are closed, motorists will take the same detour in the opposite direction. Future closure dates have not been announced.
According to a County official, the 12.5-mile stretch of freeway that requires widening should be completed by December. Some full night-time closures will continue through October.