INDIO (CNS) - The Coachella Music & Art Festival has been over for almost a week, but festival traffic is about to surge anew with Stagecoach trotting into the desert beginning Friday, prompting authorities to point out potential congestion issues throughout the valley.
Honkytonkers will begin their trek into Indio today for the country music festival, and despite the availability of the Any Line Shuttle, which can carry festivalgoers between the grounds and area hotels, major congestion is still anticipated on multiple routes.
Travelers motoring through the desert should expect traffic delays starting today and continuing through Sunday on the following stretches:
-- southbound Jefferson, Washington and Monroe streets from the 10 Freeway to Avenue 52;
-- Avenue 48 between Jefferson and Jackson streets;
-- Highway 111 at Jefferson and Monroe streets; and
-- eastbound 10 Freeway exits at Jefferson, Monroe and Washington streets.
Several significant road closures are also planned Friday through Monday:
-- Avenue 49 between Hjorth and Monroe streets;
-- Avenue 50 between Madison and Jackson streets;
-- Hjorth Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 50; and
-- Madison Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 52.
For motorists traveling north- and south-bound, city officials suggest taking Washington, Jackson and Calhoun streets as well as Golf Center Parkway; while east-west travelers should use Highway 111, Fred Waring Drive, Miles Avenue, Dr. Carreon Boulevard and Avenue 54.
Around 40,000 festival attendees will spill from the desert fairgrounds on Monday, so authorities warn of significant traffic on the 10 Freeway, authorities warned.
The 10 and the 60 freeways are also expected to experience serious congestion through over the weekend.
“Motorists who plan to use Interstate 10 between Beaumont and Indio or state Route 60 from Moreno Valley to Beaumont during these events will experience traffic delays during peak travel times,” Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said.
The 2019 country music festival will be headlined by Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean. The event will mark Bryan's fifth Stagecoach performance and the third time he's been billed as a headliner. Bryan is set to headline Friday's show.
Hunt, who will be the Saturday headliner, previously performed at Stagecoach in 2016.
Aldean will conclude the weekend with his fourth Stagecoach appearance and his second headlining spot. He and Bryan headlined the 2014 festival.
General admission passes priced at $349 are sold out, while general admission and shuttle pass combos are still available for $409. The three-day country music festival will be begin Friday at its usual venue, the Empire Polo Club. More information on the festival is available at www.stagecoachfestival.com.
Traffic will be heaviest for eastbound travelers on Friday before the event, and congestion is expected Sunday for motorists heading westbound.
“Avoid delays by leaving early mornings on those peak travel days or wait to travel the day after the peak travel day,” Kasinga said.
A special traffic warning was also issued for those coming from Temecula using the 15 Freeway since state Routes 74 and 243 are closed for repairs, Kasinga said. Rather than hitting delays on the closed partially closed freeways, travelers should exit the 15 Freeway at Interstate 215 northbound and then travel east on either the 10 or 60 freeways.
Indio officials strongly encouraged Stagecoach attendees to take advantage of the Any Line Shuttle, which costs $80 for the entire weekend and services hotels in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and other local resorts.
Information on the Any Line Shuttle is available here.
Once at Stagecoach, police recommend out-of-towners examine the Indio police Facebook and Twitter pages for traffic and safety tips.
Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron also reminded attendees to be aware of their cellphones at all times and “take advantage of the apps that help locate your phone, the apps for security that lock your phones -- your thumbprint or your passcode.”
“Nowadays, most people have more than just a directory. They have personal credit card information and accounts,” Guitron said.
And, don't forget to juice the devices for a full-day of battery-life in case there is an emergency or festival attendees have to contact friends or get a much-needed ride. Police further reminded people to always lock their vehicles and campsites.
If items are lost at the festival, please check the Lost and Found area.
Indio police suggest using the department's website to report any missing items if something is lost outside of the festival in Indio.
“If they are staying at a hotel, or a rental or a home in the city, they'll need to contact the police department,” Guitron said. “But, at the same time, they can do it online. And, that helps us.”
People can access the Indio police online services at https://www.indio.org/your_government/police/default.htm.
Any items lost outside the city of Indio should be reported to the respective city's police department.
Photos: Getty Images