By CBSLA Staff

LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA) – Starting Friday, the California Department of Transportation plans to shutdown both directions of Highway 74 in the vicinity of Monte Vista Street, west of Lake Elsinore, for the entirety of the weekend.

The 55-hour closure will begin Friday, July 16, at 9 p.m. and conclude Monday, July 19, at 4 a.m, according to Caltrans spokesperson Kimberly Cherry.

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“There’s no through traffic. That’s the bottom line,” Cherry said Thursday. “You can’t get through.”

During that time, drivers will need to choose a different route, such as the 91 Freeway, to get from Orange County to Riverside County and vice versa.

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Residents that live on Monte Vista Street and east of there will be directed toward Lake Elsinore and will be unable to get to Orange County using the Ortega Highway. Those who live west of Monte Vista Street will be sent toward Orange County and won’t be able to get to Lake Elsinore.

For residents that live in the construction zone, a pilot car will be on site at the west side of the closure, to escort them to and from their homes and in or out of the construction zone,” Cherry said, adding that Caltrans warns of long waits of up to two hours, and possibly longer, for those escorts.

This is the first of several planned weekend-long closures along the Ortega Highway in the same area every other weekend, Cherry said. Other 55-hour closures are set for July 30 to Aug. 2, Aug. 13 to 16 and Aug. 27 to 30, the release states.

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The closures stem from a four-year, $49 million project Caltrans launched in late winter. Agency officials say the project will make driving conditions safer along 6 miles of the road by widening travel lanes to 12 feet, constructing 4-foot-wide shoulders and installing rumble strips in the center and on the sides.