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January 7, 2021

Community Update

By John A. Corella, P.E. – Director of Engineering/Public Works 

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Three Roadways

ramon road image

Ramon Road:

Many drivers have noticed that Ramon Road from Landau Blvd to the Date Palm Drive intersection was reconditioned with Rubberized Emulsion Asphalt Slurry (REAS) in November 2020.  The $360,000 REAS Project provided a new seal, so to speak, to this roadway section as part of the City’s Pavement Management Program and is the second phase of potentially five phases over 20 to 24 years to preserve the asphalt paving that was first laid down in 2014. As a Regional Arterial Highway running east/west through the middle of the City, Ramon Road carries over 34,000 vehicle a day.

date palm image

Date Palm Drive:

Date Palm Drive is the City’s Regional Arterial Highway that runs north/south from Varner Road to East Palm Canyon Drive crossing other Regional Highways, such as, Interstate 10, Vista Chino, Ramon Road, Dinah Shore Drive and East Palm Canyon.  Date Palm Drive carries over 25,000 vehicles a day along its route. 

With the above said, there are plans to completely reconstruct Date Palm Drive from Ramon Road south toward Gerald Ford Drive.  By reconstruct, we mean, that the base of the roadway is proposed to be reconditioned with Concrete Treated Base (CTB) and new asphalt on top of it.  The southerly limit of this Project will all depend on how much available funding will allow us to pave.  The budget for this Project is $5.0 million.  Funding will come from an agreement between the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the City to assist in repaving roadways within the city, essentially due to the traffic generated by the new Casino.  Portions of the roadway work, including engineering/design, may start as early as fall of 2021, with actual construction being completed in 2022 or potentially in 2023.

varner road image

Varner Road:

Varner Road is the City’s northmost east/west roadway allowing vehicles to move from Palm Drive at the west to beyond Metroplex Drive at the east City limits.  This regional roadway varies in volume and width from a Regional Major Highway (Palm Drive to Mountain View Road) to a Regional Arterial Highway (Mountain View Road to Date Palm Drive) and again to a regional Major Highway (Date Palm Drive to Metroplex Drive). As a regional roadway that serves areas north of the City limits, including Desert Hot Springs and the Desert Edge areas, Varner Road is subject to regional Coachella Valley roadway funding sources for reconstruction widening purposes.

Many motorists are particularly concerned about Varner Road between Mountain View Road and Edom Hill Road.  This section of roadway passes approximately 13,000 vehicles per day. Be assured that the City is working in earnest with the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) to secure funding for the reconstruction widening of this Regional Arterial Highway portion of Varner Road all the way to Date Palm Drive. 

Why is regional funding needed? First and foremost is the cost to survey, design and perform reconstruction widening on this two-mile section of Varner Road last estimated to cost $12.5 million (Note:  This estimated cost is more than four times the City’s annual roadway reconstruction budget).  95% of the motorist that travel this portion of the roadway do not live in Cathedral City; hence, a regional road.   Most importantly the City contributes to CVAG for the funding of regional roadways by passing through developer impact fees paid specifically for regional roadway funding.  This, in addition to other past roadway tax measures, provides CVAG monies to be applied to regional roadway expansions/improvements.   

How can regional funding be secured?  CVAG and its consultants compile a valley wide Transportation Project Prioritizations Study (TPPS) approximately every 5 years, the last compiled in 2016.  CVAG Staff is in the process of updating this study and roadways will be reviewed and reprioritized.   The reason this is important is that the prioritization (ranking) on the TPPS list determines the roadway projects that rank the highest and thus will be eligible to receive funds in this TPPS cycle.  The rankings are determined by several components, including but not limited to, regional significance, roadway surface conditions, system continuity, level of service and accident rate.  Thus, to secure regional funding, the City at all levels, is actively pushing CVAG for the highest ranking in this next TPPS cycle.  We are optimistic on the outcome of the final TPPS when completed.

Current work on this roadway:  The City has secured a Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Grant in the amount of $1,089,700 to provide design and construction of safety improvements on Varner Road from Mountain View Lane to Date Palm Drive and on Date Palm Drive from Varner Road to Interstate 10.  This work is currently under design.  The proposed safety improvements include guard rails, rumble strips, signage (both passive and LED) and other roadway safety features.  It is anticipated that we will get Federal approval to proceed with the construction of these improvements later in 2021.  The Grant, unfortunately, specifically prohibits any repaving be done with the Grant funds and thus cannot be included in the work.

If you have any questions regarding this Community Update and the Roadway Projects discussed, please call me, John A. Corella, P.E. at 760-770-0327 or email me at JCorella@cathedralcity.gov.

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COVID-19 INFORMATION

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COVID-19 Information
COVID-19-Business-Support
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By the Numbers:

As of January 7, 2021, Cathedral City had a total of 4,956 confirmed COVID-19 cases (+449 since last week) and 56 reported deaths (+1 since last week).  Other Coachella Valley cities are reporting the following:

Coachella 5,936 cases (+517), 49 deaths (+3)

Desert Hot Springs 2,825 cases (+267), 40 deaths (+2)

Indian Wells 146 cases (+19), 5 deaths (+0)

Indio 8,751 cases (+823), 130 deaths (+14)

La Quinta  2,318 cases (+248), 30 deaths (+6)

Palm Desert 2,713 cases (+270), 73 deaths (+4)

Palm Springs 2,602 cases (+243), 78 deaths (+4)

Rancho Mirage 687 cases (+83), 26 deaths (+1)

 

Riverside County has reported 204,327 COVID-19 cases (+23,774), 2,189 deaths (+204), and 133,981 recovered cases (+15,145). 

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NEWS

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Measure B Ballots Going Out in the Mail February 1st

Measure B Ballots Going Out in the Mail February 1st

Riverside County Registrar of Voters has notified the City Clerk of Cathedral City that they will begin mailing out absentee ballots starting on February 1, 2021 for the Citywide Special Election regarding Short-Term Vacation Rental Regulations entitled Measure B that will be held on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.  For those who vote at the polls, this election will have … Read more.

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Public Encouraged to Provide Input on Cathedral City’s Housing Element

Public Encouraged to Provide Input on Cathedral City’s Housing Element

The public is encouraged to be part of a virtual community workshop for Cathedral City’s Housing Element which will provide an update on the new State Housing Element law and the 2022-2029 Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation for the city.  The workshop will take place on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 starting at 4:00 pm.   The Housing Element is … Read more.

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“Stay Home Orders” Still in Place for Southern California

“Stay Home Orders” Still in Place for Southern California

Although it’s a New Year, we are facing the worst coronavirus surge since the pandemic began.  As of January 4, 2021, a record number of people requiring hospitalization due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Riverside County was 1,543.  That is three times the number of people needing hospital care when you compare it to the summer surge in July … Read more.

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Riverside County Vaccine Distribution Update

Riverside County Vaccine Distribution Update

As of January 4, 2021, Riverside County has received 45,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines combined.  Since late December they have started vaccinating healthcare workers at hospitals, skilled nursing facilities (including patients), correctional hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and first responders who are EMTs and paramedics.  Over the next two weeks, they are going to expand into Phase 1a, Tier … Read more.

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Weekend Closure, Eastbound Route 60, January 8-11

Weekend Closure, Eastbound Route 60
January 8-11

The Route 60 eastbound lanes will be fully closed from Friday, January 8 at 10 p.m. to Monday, January 11 at 5 a.m. Motorists should expect significant delays, allow extra travel time, and use alternate routes. Construction activity is subject to change. If work cannot be performed the weekend of January 8, it will be rescheduled for the weekend of … Read more.

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EVENTS

“City Hall at Your Corner” Happens January 19th – Register Now

“City Hall at Your Corner” Happens January 19th – Register Now

Register now for January’s virtual “City Hall at Your Corner” as Mayor Raymond Gregory and Councilmember Nancy Ross host the event for an informal discussion of issues in Cathedral City.   This virtual event will take place on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm on Zoom.us.  You must register for the event in advance at https://bit.ly/3pHkFsK. … Read more.

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Cathedral City Housing Element Virtual Workshop

Cathedral City Housing Element Virtual Workshop

The public is encouraged to be part of a virtual community workshop for Cathedral City’s Housing Element which will provide an update on the new State Housing Element law and the 2022-2029 Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation for the city.  The workshop will take place on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 starting at 4:00 pm… Read more.

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Give the Gift of Life

To schedule an appointment, click below, call 800-879-4484 or download the LifeStream mobile app! Patients need your help. We are taking extra steps to keep donors safe.

“Click on the following link for a list Blood Drives in Cathedral City and to schedule an appointment.  You may also call 800-879-4484 or download the LifeStream mobile app! Patients need your help. LifeStream is taking extra steps to keep donors safe.”

https://www.lstream.org/ccbd/

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Cathedral City Postpones Special Events Until Further Notice

On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order (PDF) and Public Health Order (PDF) directed all Californians to stay home except to go to an essential job or to shop for essential needs.

The City of Cathedral City will suspend all special events until further notice.

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For Questions or Comments, Contact Chris Parman, Communications and Events Manager
cparman@cathedralcity.gov