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Archived News Release  

May 03, 2012
CONTACT: Michele Patterson
City Manager's Office

Planning for the Future. Building Now.
Moreno Valley Breaks Ground

Moreno Valley has marked major milestones by hosting groundbreaking ceremonies for three critical infrastructure projects. Strategic investment of capital improvement funds makes sense for Moreno Valley's residents. With an unemployment rate of 14.8%, Moreno Valley cannot continue to wait around for development to bring the jobs. Instead, the City is targeting its capital improvement funds into the projects described below for three reasons:

  1. To grow Moreno Valley's employment base
  2. To resolve traffic issues experienced by Moreno Valley residents as they travel to local employment centers, shopping centers, schools, and healthcare providers
  3. To boost General Fund revenues (i.e., sales taxes, property taxes, etc.), which support citywide services, such as public safety.

    Photo of shovels in ground

Moreno Valley Auto Mall Improvements

The City has broken ground on the second phase of the Auto Mall Street Improvement Project. Approved in January of 2009 and representing an investment of $584,000, this phase of construction at the Auto Mall installs improvements at the intersections of Moreno Beach Drive and Eucalyptus Avenue and also at Moreno Beach Drive and Auto Mall Drive.

Photo of Councilmember Hastings at podium

Some of the specific work to be completed at the Moreno Valley Auto Mall includes:

  • The replacement of the two existing concrete monument entry signs with new, multiple dealership, 14-foot tall signs with backlit dealership panels
  • Construction of pedestrian access-friendly sidewalks and driveways, including curbs and ramps
  • Construction of six raised automobile display pads
  • Enhanced landscaping, irrigation, and lighting to improve the overall attractiveness of the Auto Mall

The Auto Mall currently includes nine dealerships, which offer vehicles by Toyota, Honda, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Chevrolet, Scion, Buick / GMC and Volkswagen.

New motor vehicle sales already represent approximately 11% of all retail sales in Moreno Valley. Enhancing the aesthetics of the Auto Mall welcomes residents and others to make their auto purchases in Moreno Valley. The City is pleased to report that the Phase I investment in the freeway pylon sign is already paying dividends: 2011 new motor vehicle sales increased by more than 25% in the third quarter and fourth quarter 2011 sales were up almost 22%. Construction is underway and the City looks forward to project completion, estimated for this coming August.

Heacock Street and Bridge Improvements

The City is replacing the Heacock Street bridge, located approximately 2,000 feet south of Iris Avenue. The former bridge provided just two lanes and had been determined to be functionally obsolete because it did not meet current street and bridge design requirements. The new bridge will consist of a four cell, reinforced concrete box culvert over Perris Valley Storm Drain Lateral "A" that will meet seismic design standards and accommodate the 100-year storm flows downstream of the Heacock Channel. The bridge will join the existing two-lane Heacock Street and transition to future Heacock Street improvements as called for in the City's General Plan.

Photo of groundbreaking ceremonyThe bridge and street improvements under construction enable continued development of the Moreno Valley South Industrial Area. The former bridge limited the width of the street to one lane in each direction and created a potential choke point for trucks travelling north and south on Heacock Street. As a result, studies that model traffic circulation generate very expensive mitigation requirements that would be assigned to future projects before development could occur, possibly eliminating Moreno Valley from competition as a development site and preventing job creation. With the City's infrastructure investment, growth is expected to continue in Moreno Valley's logistics industry, increasing employment opportunities and boosting General Fund revenues.

The City recognizes and thanks funding partner March Joint Powers Authority, without which this project would not be possible. The City is contributing nearly $2.5 million in Measure "A" funds, much of which will be reimbursed by the Federal Highway Administration Bridge Fund. In addition, March Joint Powers Authority (March JPA) generously contributed $229,000 in Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee (or TUMF) funds to construct street improvements south of the bridge. Construction has commenced and project completion is anticipated for this coming October.

Nason Street / Cactus Avenue Street Improvements

Recognizing the region's critical shortage in healthcare providers, the City of Moreno Valley adopted a Medical Overlay Planning Zone more than four years ago with the vision of creating a medical corridor on Nason Street.

Consistent with this vision, the City Council re-sequenced construction timing on several capital projects and recently broke ground on the following Nason Street and Cactus Avenue street improvements to facilitate the medical corridor development:

  • Widening Cactus Avenue to four lanes from Lasselle Street to Nason Street
  • Widening Nason Street to four lanes from Cactus Avenue to Delphinium Avenue
  • Extending Nason Street south from Delphinium Avenue to Iris Avenue as a new four- lane arterial road
  • Installing a new traffic signal at the Nason Street and Iris Avenue intersection
  • Constructing two miles of storm drain with the help of Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District
  • Installing 1.3 miles of domestic waterlines, two miles of recycled waterlines, and one-half mile of sanitary sewer with the help of Eastern Municipal Water District
  • Undergrounding one mile of overhead Southern California Edison power-lines along Cactus Avenue.

Photo of groundbreaking ceremonyIn addition to encouraging medical office development, the City Council looks forward to providing improved access for emergency vehicles, enhancing emergency response times to the two hospitals, expanding access to shopping opportunities, and promoting City revenue generation. The City is contributing more than $20 million to the completion of this project. In addition, the City recognizes funding partners Eastern Municipal Water District and Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District. This project is a great collaboration of agencies with the goal of job creation.

The City of Moreno Valley thanks:

  • Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District
    • For funding more than $700,000
    • Applying $6 million in redevelopment funds accumulated under an existing cooperative agreement for planned storm drain lines
  • Eastern Municipal Water District for investing more than $3 million for the construction of the sanitary sewer, domestic water, and recycled water facilities.

These agencies' generous contributions to the project bring the total value of this investment to more than $29 million. The project is under construction and completion is anticipated by June 2013.

The City of Moreno Valley is committed to supporting prosperity for its residents and business owners. Breaking ground on these infrastructure projects strengthens the competitiveness of Moreno Valley as a location for business and development. We look forward to celebrating the completion of these projects and the job creation / revenue generation each enables.

The City's Media & Communications team compiled a short video regarding the groundbreakings. The video entitled "News Center News Minute Groundbreaking" may be viewed at the City's YouTube website: See the Video

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