Indian Canyon Drive Could Reopen Sooner Than Expected

Carmela Karcher

This has been one of the longest closures the city has ever seen.

As Tropical Storm Hilary swept through the desert over a month ago, heavy flooding and mud destroyed many valley roads. 

Indian Canyon Drive saw much of the damage with a good portion of the road wiped out from 10 feet of rushing water.

The state and federal government stepped in a few days after the storm, working to find ways to divert the water and help get repairs underway.

Since then, city workers have been on site cleaning up the damage but the added wind and poor air quality has made repairs more difficult.

Even then, Palm Springs City Council says Indian Canyon Drive could reopen as early as next week, just in time for tourist season.

“I’m pleased to say that we’re now getting close,” Palm Springs City Councilmember Lisa Middleton said. “We’ll be meeting with the engineers this afternoon. If the weather cooperates, we’ll be making some announcements at the city council meeting this evening, but I think we’re down to a matter of days before we are able to reopen Indian Canyon.”

In June, the city applied for a state grant to get a bridge built on North Indian Canyon Drive to help prevent frequent closures.

Last week, city officials met with the Governor’s Office in Sacramento.

This week, the state’s Office of Emergency Services will be on site inspecting the damage.

She hopes this will help the city get federal and state funding for road repair reimbursement and help with the $50 million grant.

“We want to take advantage of that national attention to the long term issues that we have with Indian Canyon, Gene Autry, and frankly so many other locations across the Coachella Valley where those so called ‘dry washes’ are not dry year round and they are absolutely subject to severe blowing sand,” Councilmember Middleton continued.

The city will know if they receive the funding for the bridge at the end of the year.

Councilmember Middleton said city officials have been meeting with Congressman Ken Calvert over the last few weeks to review not only Indian Canyon Drive, but opportunities for potential federal funding for a bridge at Gene Autry Trail.

In the city council meeting, Councilmember Middleton said they have made perhaps more progress than they’ve had in a number of years on that front.

In the meantime, the city stresses the importance of following road closure signs and directions since they are in place to keep you safe.

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