Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Orange Avenue Flood Channel Improvements


Construction crews recently completed two major road, bridge and flood channel improvements which will benefit Perris residents and motorists along such major thoroughfares as Orange Avenue and Evans and Nuevo roads.

The projects, officially known as the “Orange Avenue Crossing” and the “Line Q Channel,” wrapped up major construction in January. The work included widening portion of Orange Avenue, carving two new and wider flood channel to improve water flow in much of the City’s east side and the repaving a several heavily-traveled corridors, including Evans Road and Orange.

Best of all, the $5 million price tag for the improvements came from developers, part of a mutually beneficial agreement hammered out by the City Council and staff to help pay the costs associated with impacting Perris’ roadways and infrastructure.

Rain water rushes under the new widened and improved flood channel at Orange Avenue. At the peak of the recent storms, more than 3,000 gallons of water a second rushed under the bridge
Rain water rushes under the new widened and improved flood channel at Orange Avenue. At the peak of the recent storms, more than 3,000 gallons of water a second rushed under the bridge.

“We got finished just in time for the recent big rains and the improvements did what they were designed to do,” said Perris Mayor Daryl Busch. “The City Council has been working to resolve this situation for years and it’s a great feeling to know we’ve done it. We are committed to improving our infrastructure by as much as we can as fast as we can.”

City Councilman Mark Yarbrough said completing the dual projects represents a “win, win, win” for Perris because they improved public safety, infrastructure and flood control concerns. Motorists sometimes drove through barricades on Orange Avenue during floods, endangering themselves. Flooding on that avenue also could delay police, fire engines and paramedics responding to emergency calls.

“We work with developers to expedite their projects but we expect them to pay for the impacts those projects have on our City,” he said. “We want those impacts mitigated and we are working to see that they are.”

City engineer Grant Becklund said work on the projects began in September.

City Councilman Mark Yarbrough at the same location this week, after the waters receded
City Councilman Mark Yarbrough at the same location this week, after the waters receded.

Initial construction on the project was delayed when engineers discovered a burrowing owl nest near Orange Avenue and had to wait until the birds left before beginning the job. That job also included scraping out the Perris Valley Flood Channel at Orange and constructing a series of reinforced concrete boxes to control runoff during heavy storms. The concrete boxes, each 11 feet by 14 feet, were set in the channel. Engineers designed a new and improved Orange Avenue crossing over the flood channel, raising the surface and removing a dip in the road that frequently flooded. Orange Avenue went from 24-feet wide to 64-feet across. Huge rocks, some weighing two tons, were placed along sides of the earthen flood control channel to prevent erosion.

During heavy rains that fell in January, traffic along Orange Avenue moved without delay, a far cry from the previous condition when precipitation invariably caused a closure and snarled traffic.

During January’s heavy rains, City Engineer Grant Becklund watches as water moves under the newly built flood channel on Orange Avenue. Traffic moved unimpeded over the new roadway, a vast improvement from the old road
During January’s heavy rains, City Engineer Grant Becklund watches as water moves under the newly built flood channel on Orange Avenue. Traffic moved unimpeded over the new roadway, a vast improvement from the old road.

“The new roadway provides all-weather access from East Perris to West Perris, even during a 100-year flood,” Becklund said.

Along the Line Q route, which runs a mile along Nuevo Road between Murrieta Road and El Nido Avenue, engineers replaced an existing dirt flood channel with a reinforced concrete channel. The old channel often clogged with debris caused by runoff.

The improved version will help drain the discharge from nearby subdivisions and should help keep the intersection of Evans and Nuevo roads from flooding and reduce the amount of runoff at Nuevo Road and Perris Boulevard.
Perris City Councilman Al Landers said that even during current tough economic times, the City’s long-term infrastructure plans will forge ahead.

“We are committed to improving the infrastructure because it is vital to public safety, the motoring public and in this case, draining and storm runoff,” he said. “We’ve put a great deal of resources into our infrastructure and we will continue to do in the coming months and years.”

Among the future projects under consideration are improvements to the flood channel at San Jacinto Avenue, City Council members said.