Officials Give $22 Million Answer To Road Historically Pummeled By Floods

CATHEDRAL CITY (CNS) - A single road closed for nearly two months as a result of this winter's flooding will receive a $22 million construction makeover beginning in December, officials announced today.

Cathedral Canyon Drive at Whitewater Wash is situated in what is normally a dry riverbed, but February floods grew into a raging river that pummeled the road and caused an estimated $1.2 million in damages, Cathedral City Communications Manager Chris Parman said. The road is expected to partially reopen on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Floods on Cathedral Canyon Drive at the wash have been an ongoing problem for Cathedral City residents, prompting officials to seek constructive solutions over the last few years.

A new construction project for a 650-feet, four-lane bridge over the wash was announced in response to those efforts, Parman said. The bridge will include sidewalks and bike lanes in both directions.

Cathedral Canyon Drive is one of two main north-south arteries into Cathedral City and when it is closed ``due to flood damage it puts a strain on Date Palm Drive,'' Parman said. ``It is also a safety measure for safety crews to get to people in an expedited manner.''

The estimated cost of the bridge is $22 million, Parman said.

Parman added that construction cannot commence sooner because the project will largely be financed by the federal government, and the federal fiscal year begins in October.

Construction for the new bridge will take approximately one year following its December start date.

In the meantime, Cathedral Canyon Drive will reopen as a one-lane road in order to decrease strain on Date Palm Drive.

``Crews have been working on repairing not only the road but also several underground electrical and fiber optic cables,'' Parman said. ``In an effort to open the road on either Monday or Tuesday of next week, Cathedral Canyon Drive at the Wash will be reduced to one lane in each direction.''

Cathedral Canyon Drive normally functions as a four-lane roadway with two lanes in each direction. It is uncertain when or if all lanes will be reopened.

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