INDIO HILLS – Work is underway on a $1.1 million county transportation project to make one of the Coachella Valley’s most scenic routes safer for residents of Indio Hills and Sky Valley, bike riders and visitors to the palm oasis and hiking trails within the Coachella Valley Preserve.
Construction of a federal safety grant-supported project on Thousand Palms Canyon Road began this month and is expected to take two months to complete.
The county road offers views of pristine desert and serves as the entrance to the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. The public will enjoy a protected left-turn pocket as they come to visit the preserve when the project is complete.
“By providing smooth pavement free of ruts and a wider shoulder along the curve, this project will enhance the safety of all who share this beautiful byway,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez in a prepared statement. “I commend staff of the Riverside County Transportation Department for their efforts in successfully pursuing grant funds to make these important improvements and coordinating this project after the peak season at the preserve, with as minimal impact to residents as possible.”
The Thousand Palms Canyon Road Widening, Turning Lane and Resurfacing Project will boost safety on the road that runs between the community of Thousand Palms and other unincorporated communities along Dillon Road, north of Interstate 10.
The Riverside County Transportation Department project will resurface a half-mile segment of the road near the preserve. The project will also add a left-turn pocket into the preserve entrance and widen shoulders along the half-mile curved roadway section adjacent to the preserve.
“This project will make Thousand Palms Canyon Road safer for local drivers, visitors, bicyclists, and the occasional pedestrians who are touring the area,” said Estelle Dahl, chair of the Indio Hills Community Council.
The preserve protects and manages wildlife and habitats, and is a popular destination to enjoy more than 28 miles of hiking trails, picnics, photography, birdwatching and spring wildflower blooms.
The preserve is closed to the public during the construction period.
There are no full road closures expected for the project work. During construction, at least one lane will be open for two-way traffic, directed by flaggers.
The $1.1 million project is largely funded by a $693,000 federal highway safety improvement grant, with the remainder from gas tax revenues. Granite Construction Company is the contractor on the project doing the work.
Perez represents the eastern two-thirds of Riverside County on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Stretching from Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs, south to the Salton Sea and east to Blythe and the Colorado River, the 4th District is the largest geographical district in the county.
Photo caption: The road safety project includes a turning lane into the driveway entrance for the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, a conservation area that includes the McCallum Grove palm oasis.
- Supervisor V. Manuel Perez: Supervisor V. Manuel Perez