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Home / Neighborhood / Riverside County / Temecula to receive $39.3M federal grant for Old Town flood control

Temecula to receive $39.3M federal grant for Old Town flood control

by Staff
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Federal funds totaling $39.3 million are coming to Temecula to continue a flood control project in the Old Town district, the city announced earlier this month.

“Temecula businesses and residents located along Murrieta Creek will soon have critical flood protection,” Mayor James Stewart said in a statement. 

Phase 2B of the Murrieta Creek Flood Control Project recently got House and Senate approval for this fiscal year, and President Joe Biden signed the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill into law March 9. 

“The Murrieta Creek Flood Control Project has been making progress in phases since the tragic flood of January 1993 that put parts of Old Town Temecula under water,” Stewart said. “We can now be relieved this won’t happen again thanks to US Representative Darrell Issa who advanced this important project to the Appropriations Committee with unwavering commitment throughout the years to protect businesses, landowners, and residents in our region who are vulnerable to flooding. We are grateful to Congressman Issa who ensured this Appropriation made it to the finish line.”  

Stewart led a delegation of city officials to the nation’s capital last week to lobby for continued support of this funding ahead of the appropriation receiving legislative approval.  

“The City also expresses our gratitude to US Representative Ken Calvert who has been engaged since the beginning to secure funding for the phased improvements of Murrieta Creek, and to US Senator Padilla and US Senator Butler for their strong support of this project’s federal Appropriation,” Stewart said.  

For more than three decades Temecula officials have worked with Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to finish Phases 1 and 2A through Old Town, according to the city. 

Phase 2B extends through uptown Temecula between Winchester and Rancho California roads.

Officials said construction is slated to begin next year.  

The project is expected to change what the flood maps look like in Temecula and protect the local economy and infrastructure from future flooding.  

“We applaud our dedicated partners at Riverside County Flood Control and Army Corps of Engineers for their tireless efforts leading this project and we look forward to our ongoing collaboration,” Temecula City Manager Aaron Adams said in a statement.   

Murrieta Creek is among the last high-quality, minimally disturbed riparian environments in Southern California, and the flood control project includes environmental and wetland restoration. 

The project covers 7 miles with a habitat corridor that runs the entire length of the coverage area and is designed to significantly enlarge the open space corridor while providing aesthetic benefits, according to Temecula officials.

Another feature of the project is equestrian and trails for hiking and biking that connect to the recreation area at the project’s “detention basin” and small parks along the length of the creek project.

“It improves water quality through the creation of an extensive natural wetlands system that can efficiently remove contaminants from stream flows destined for Camp Pendleton’s aquifer,” officials said.

To improve local water quality, the 250-acre detention basin aims to reduce the force of flood flows and capture sediment from the area’s more than 150-square-mile watershed. 

The detention basin also entails creating over 160 acres of wildlife habitat, both wetland and riverine, and developing a 50-acre regional sports park, according to Temecula officials. The sports complex, which will be administered jointly by the cities of Temecula and Murrieta will include several soccer fields, baseball-softball fields, a children’s playground, comfort stations and picnic areas.

More information on the project is at temeculaca.gov/285/Murrieta-Creek-Flood-Control-Project.

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