MECCA – After a couple years of construction and over a decade of planning efforts, a brand‑new overpass, built to improve safety, traffic and better connect the Mecca community, is set for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, March 12.
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and the Riverside County Transportation Department invite the public to a ribbon cutting and community celebration of the new Avenue 66 bridge, to be held at 11 a.m. March 12 on the bridge itself.
Parking is available in the Mecca Boys and Girls Club parking lot at 91-391 Avenue 66, Mecca, CA 92254. Shuttle service to the event site will be provided, or people can take a walkway. Traffic on the bridge will open to traffic on Monday, March 14.
“The Avenue 66 bridge will provide an improved transportation connection for the Mecca community, which helps the quality of life of residents as well as the local economy,” said Supervisor Perez. “From residents commuting to work, to parents taking their kids to school, to first responders in emergency vehicles, everyone benefits from the smoother travel option this project creates. We invite the community to a special community celebration of this very important project that brings many benefits and new infrastructure for the future of the community.”
The community event will have a performance by Mariachi Nuevo Amanecer, display vehicles by local agencies, light refreshments, and the ribbon cutting of the new bridge.
The Avenue 66 Grade Separation, a county transportation project, began construction in summer 2020.
The $60 million project constructed a bridge that connects the Mecca community from the 86 Expressway to the businesses, community services and homes in the downtown area, providing much easier transportation access as well as safe biking and pedestrian access without the need to cross train tracks.
The 800-foot-long structure goes over State Route 111, the Union Pacific Railroad, and Hammond Road. The bridge has a traffic lane in each direction, along with a barrier-separated lane for bicycle and pedestrian access. The bridge structure includes the Mecca community logo in its design.
The project’s many benefits include water lines that could facilitate future housing in Mecca and a bridge design that ties into a future community park.
Supervisor V. Manuel 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.
Supervisor Perez’s office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.