Date: April 26
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: City Council Chambers, 101 North D Street
The Project: Widen a 1.25-mile stretch of Perris Boulevard from Fourth Street to Nuevo Road. Project included creating two lanes of traffic in both directions, dedicated turning lanes at Perris and San Jacinto Avenue, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, lighting and landscaping.
Cost: $4 million
Funding: Development Impact fees, dedicated transportation funding, grants
Construction time frame: 8 months
Project Partner: Western Riverside Council of Governments
Project Engineers: Tri-Lake Consultants Inc.
Construction Contractor: Perris-based Alabbasi Construction and Engineering
The City of Perris will celebrate the new and improved Perris Boulevard on April 26, heralding the widening, repaving, landscaping and new lighting intended to beautify a Downtown corridor while improving traffic flow through a vital commercial district.
The $4-million project lasted about nine months and expanded Perris Boulevard from two to four lanes between Fourth Street and Nuevo Road. Funds for the project came from development impact fees, money set aside for transportation improvements and grant funds.
The project, which took about eight months from start to finish, also includes the addition of dedicated turning lanes on Perris Boulevard at San Jacinto Avenue, new striping, bicycle lanes on both sides of Perris from Nuevo to San Jacinto.
It also created a new sidewalk from just north of City Hall to Nuevo Road to make safer pedestrian and the removal of a large obstruction at Perris and Jarvis Street and Perris. New decorative streetlights enhance the historic esthetics of the corridor. Landscaping will be planted in the near future.
The 1.25-mile stretch of the roadway, named after City founder Fred T. Perris, is a major transportation corridor that includes City Hall, the Police Department, the Cesar E. Chavez Public Library, Foss Field Park, several small business, one major shopping center and Perris High School. The average daily number of vehicles using that stretch is about 20,000, making it the most heavily-traveled north/south surface street in Perris.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the project takes place at 4 p.m. in the garden area next to the Perris City Council Chambers, 101 North D Street.
Project Engineer Brad Brophy said the Perris Boulevard expansion removes a major headache for the tens of thousands of commuters traveling the route each week who faced long lines of cars and constant backups. Another bonus: the project came in under budget.
“It’s a big improvement for the Downtown area,” he said. “It was a great team effort between the City of Perris, the contractor, City staff and the engineers. Everybody worked well together and that ensured the project was completed in a timely manner.”
Perris Mayor Michael Vargas also celebrated the Perris Boulevard upgrades.
“It makes commuting and the lives of many commuters better and it beautifies our Perris Boulevard corridor,” Vargas said.
Vargas said the City is committed to improving traffic flow from one end of Perris to the other. Work has begun to widen Ethanac Road between Case and Goetz roads on the City’s south side and improvements to Harley Knox Boulevard on the north side have enhanced traffic flow in North Perris.
“We’re doing more and more every year to improve our City,” Vargas said.
Mayor Pro-Tem Malcolm Corona knows well how the improvements have eased traffic congestion along the major Downtown corridor. He’s a math teacher at Perris High School and drives the road every day. He talks to colleagues and other Perris residents who make the same commute. They all love the upgrades.
“The morning and afternoon commutes were bad,” he said. “Now they’re good. Residents appreciate the upgrades. They’re beneficial to our City.”
Meeting future needs
City Councilwoman Tonya Burke said residents have long sought Perris Boulevard improvements as the City continues to grow, develop and attract new businesses. With those improvements now a reality, Perris Boulevard will serve as a showpiece highlighting the City’s commitment to address future transportation needs.
“It is so important that our City have infrastructure in place so we can attract more businesses and more attractions.” she said. “We’re lucky. A lot of cities don’t have the funding for these kinds of improvements.”
City Councilman David Starr Rabb said the Perris Boulevard project not only improves traffic flow but creates a more beautiful and aesthetically pleasing Downtown by adding new sidewalks, bicycle lanes, landscaping and lighting.
“The widening of Perris Boulevard has definitely improved the flow of traffic through Downtown but the upgrades also make the area look much better,” Rabb said. “It’s a big deal.”
City Councilwoman Rita Rogers said she thanked residents for their patience as municipal leaders and administrators acquired the property needed for the expansion and for understanding delays caused during the construction phase. But now that work is done, Perris residents can celebrate another successful project that beautifies and benefits the City.
“I’m proud to be part of a progressive and active City Council that works to maintain and grow our traffic corridors,” she said.
Motorists aren’t the only folks benefitting from an expanded Perris Boulevard.
Rogers noted that the addition of bicycle lanes and additional sidewalk augment the City’s ongoing Live Well Perris healthy-eating active-living campaign, which encourages folks to get off the couch and exercise.
“We’re inspiring people to get up and move!” Rogers said.