Corona, CA: Freeway widening to affect hundreds of properties

A handful of property owners in Corona are in early negotiations to sell their property and make way for the county's most expensive freeway widening project.

Officials in charge of the $1.3 billion Highway 91 project said they might need to purchase part or all of about 400 residential and business properties in Circle City, a number that includes temporary uses and could vary depending on the final plan.

"Some of the businesses were early, willing sellers. They actually wanted their buildings bought because they wanted to move on," Corona Councilman Eugene Montanez said.

About 80 of those properties are needed for the project regardless of which design is chosen, said John Standiford, deputy director of the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

The project would extend two toll lanes on the 91 from the Orange County line to McKinley Street in Corona. Officials are waiting on a $446 million loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund the four-year project, which would start in 2013.

Montanez said more businesses than residences are expected to be affected.
"In the Lincoln Avenue and Pomona Road area, there are a whole string of businesses that are going to be relocated or moved because Pomona Road is going to be reconstructed. That's probably the single biggest impact," Montanez said.

The popular restaurant Mill Creek on Lincoln Avenue is one of those businesses.

"They are going to be completely taken away. They're probably the most visible one that is a complete taking," Montanez said.

Most homes that would have to be sold are scattered throughout the project area, with a few spots where more than one home sits, Standiford said.

The public can view a 22-foot map of the affected areas Thursday at a public hearing on a draft environmental impact report.

The meeting is from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Corona Civic Center, 502 S. Vicentia Ave.

The area of Norco in the study area includes land adjacent to Interstate 15 from Hidden Valley Parkway to Fifth Street.

Norco Mayor Berwin Hanna said he doesn't have any major concerns about the project severely affecting the city, other than minor traffic.

"I imagine we'll all be impacted from the construction," Hanna said.
English and Spanish notices of the public hearing were sent to everyone within a 500-foot radius of the project, said Robert Morin, Corona principal civil engineer and project liaison.

"It's impacting both sides of the freeway from the 15 to Auto Center Drive," Morin said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know if this means there will be more than one entrance to the toll roads. If the entrance is moved to McKinley, it will require the majority of Corona residents to backtrack to have access to the toll road.