California State Route 111

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State Route 111 marker

State Route 111
Route information
Defined by S&HC § 411
Maintained by Caltrans
Length: 130.175 mi[1] (209.496 km)
SR 111 is broken into pieces, and the length does not reflect the SR 86 overlap that would be required to make the route continuous. Portions of SR 111 have been relinquished to or are otherwise maintained by local or other governments, and are not included in the length.
Major junctions
South end: Fed. 5 at Mexico-United States border in Calexico
  I‑8 near El Centro
SR 78 in Brawley
SR 195 at Mecca
SR 74 in Palm Desert
North end: I‑10 near White Water
Highway system
SR 110 SR 112

State Route 111 (SR 111) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California. It is the main north/south state highway and retail corridor through the Coachella Valley, a part of the Colorado Desert in the southeastern corner of the state and famous as a resort destination. It runs from the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Calexico to Interstate 10 at White Water.

Route description[edit]

This route is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System[2] and is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System.[3] However, this route is not designated by Caltrans as a scenic highway.[4]

Highway 111 links virtually every desert resort city in the valley. It begins in Calexico at the international border where it meets with Calle State Route 111 in Mexicali before it intersects with SR 98. It then intersects with SR 86 in Heber. As Route 111 continues north through Imperial County, it enters El Centro, intersecting with I-8, which runs east to Yuma and west to San Diego before passing through the agricultural communities of Holtville, Brawley, Calipatria and Niland.

A nearly 40 mile (64 km) length of the highway dotted with date and citrus groves follows both the old Southern Pacific "Sunset Route" (now the main Union Pacific line between Los Angeles and Yuma, Arizona) and the eastern shore of the Salton Sea. Though some small settlements and a California state park line the shore, the area is eerily empty due to the sea's rapidly declining water quality. The small town of North Shore is all but abandoned as a tourist destination, though more than 3,400 residents were counted at the 2010 census.

SR 111 enters the southeast corner of the Coachella Valley as a two-lane highway. It used to run concurrently with SR 86 in Coachella but that is no longer the case since SR 86 has been moved over to the newer SR 86S expressway, which was then renamed SR 86. SR 111 continues northwest as a major arterial road, four lanes or wider, through Indio, La Quinta, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and Cathedral City. Continuing west from Cathedral City, the highway enters Palm Springs, then swings north and then west to bypass downtown, while SR 111 Business passes through the congested downtown area. The highway widens from an arterial road to a divided expressway as it exits Palm Springs just northwest of San Rafael Drive. It ends at an interchange with Interstate 10 near the foot of San Jacinto Peak, just east of the San Gorgonio Pass.

History[edit]

SR 111 was first proposed in the early 1930s due to the area's growth bought on by the Southern Pacific Railroad.[citation needed]

A 1993 rerouting of the highway takes drivers away from the historic center of Palm Springs, but meets with its original alignment as Business Route 111 a few miles further south.

The northern terminus was so busy in the 1950s before the construction of the freeway that visitors returning home to Los Angeles might have waited as long as two hours to make the left turn on the two-lane road that was once multiplexed as US Highways 60, 70 and 99.[citation needed]

In 1995, Caltrans was allowed to relinquish any portion of Route 111 through a city for that city to maintain. The legislature opted to make the act an "urgency statute", effective immediately, so that the local governments could improve traffic bottlenecks along the route as soon as possible.[5] The legislative definition of the route was amended in 1996 to exclude the portions in Rancho Mirage and Cathedral City, which had both been relinquished.[6] Cathedral City completed a pedestrian-friendly redesign in 1998.[7] The stretch through Rancho Mirage has the Coachella Valley's only synchronized traffic lights; they are set to 45 mph (70 km/h).

A 2003 law did not change the route, but clarified that the former highway through those cities could not be taken back by the state, and repealed the section added in 1995 allowing relinquisment to any city.[8] Subsequently, in 2005, the legislature allowed relinquishment within Indian Wells, Indio, and Palm Desert, subject to the same conditions, and to the condition that the cities must maintain signs for the route.[9] La Quinta was added to the list of eligible cities in 2007.[10] As of late 2007, none of these four cities have taken over maintenance of Route 111.[citation needed]

In November 2005, signs on Verbenia Avenue at the highway's northern terminus and along Interstate 10 were replaced to reflect the street's name change to "Haugen-Lehmann Way", honoring two Riverside County sheriff's deputies gunned down by a sniper on that street in 1997.[11][12][13]

In a similar move in December 2005, the stretch of SR111 through La Quinta was named the "Deputy Bruce Lee Memorial Highway". Lee was a Riverside County deputy sheriff in the city for many years and was killed in 2003 during an altercation with a mentally disturbed suspect. The suspect was able to take Lee's baton during the altercation and used it to bludgeon the officer.[14]

Major intersections[edit]

Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then.[1] The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.

County Location Postmile
[1][15][16]
Exit
[17]
Destinations Notes
Imperial
IMP R0.00-65.40
Calexico R0.00 Mexico – United States border
R0.20 2nd Street – Downtown Calexico
R1.18 SR 98 (Birch Street) – San Diego, Yuma
  R4.74 SR 86 north (Heber Road) – Heber, El Centro Former US 99 north
  R7.71 I‑8Yuma, San Diego, El Centro Interchange
  9.59 CR S80 (Evan Hewes Highway) – El Centro, Holtville Former US 80
  13.08 CR S28 (Worthington Road) – Imperial
  17.59 CR S27 (Keystone Road)
  22.14
15.04[N 1]
SR 78 east / Main Street – Holtville, Blythe South end of SR 78 overlap; Main Street was former SR 78 east / SR 111 north
Brawley 23.67 SR 78 west / Old Highway 111 (CR S31) Interchange; north end of SR 78 overlap; Old Highway 111 was former SR 111 south
  26.67 CR S26 (Rutherford Road) – Wiest Lake
Calipatria 32.51 SR 115 / CR S30 (Main Street) – Holtville
Riverside
RIV 0.00-R63.38
Mecca 18.43 SR 195 (66th Avenue) to SR 86
Thermal 24.51 California 86.svg Airport Boulevard to SR 86 Serves Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport
Coachella 28.53 Harrison Street, Park Lane – Brawley, El Centro Harrison Street was former US 99 south / SR 86 south
CoachellaIndio line   I‑10 Bus. east (Dillon Road) to I‑10 / Avenue 48 – Blythe, Phoenix South end of I-10 Bus. overlap; former US 60 east / US 70 east
Indio 28.53 I‑10 Bus. west (Indio Boulevard) North end of I-10 Bus. overlap; former US 99 north / SR 86 north
28.73 I-10 (CA).svg Lorraine Street, Golf Center Parkway to I-10
30.10 Monroe Street
La Quinta 34.01 Washington Street
Indian Wells 37.63 Cook Street
Palm Desert 38.64 Portola Avenue
39.57 SR 74 west (Palms to Palms Highway) / Monterey Avenue – Hemet, San Diego
Palm Desert–
Rancho Mirage line
40.80 North end of state maintenance
Rancho Mirage 41.27 Bob Hope Drive
43.35 Country Club Drive
Cathedral City 45.39 Date Palm Drive
Cathedral City–
Palm Springs line
47.20 South end of state maintenance
Palm Springs 47.80
T47.80

SR 111 Bus. north (Palm Canyon Drive) / Matthew Drive
T49.37 Ramon Road
T51.59 I-10 (CA).svg Vista Chino, Gene Autry Trail to I-10
T52.88 Sunrise Way
T53.94
53.82

SR 111 Bus. south (Palm Canyon Drive)
  R62.54 South end of freeway
    111 Railroad Avenue, Haugen-Lehmann Way Northbound exit and southbound entrance; formerly Verbenia Avenue
  R63.38 I‑10 west – Los Angeles Northbound exit and southbound entrance; former US 99
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  1. ^ Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 78 rather than SR 111.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Staff. "State Truck Route List" (XLS file). California Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  3. ^ CA Codes (shc:260-284)
  4. ^ "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways". California Department of Transportation. December 7, 2007. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  5. ^ California State Legislature (1995). "An act to add Sections 100 and 411.5 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to highways, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately". State of California. 1995 chapter 20. 
  6. ^ California State Legislature (1996). "An act...relating to transportation...". State of California. 1996 chapter 1154. 
  7. ^ Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Pedestrian-Friendly Redesign: Cathedral City, CA, accessed December 2007
  8. ^ California State Legislature (2003). "An act...relating to transportation". State of California. 2003 chapter 525. 
  9. ^ California State Legislature (2005). "An act to amend Sections 374 and 411 of the Streets and Highways Code, relating to highways". State of California. 2005 chapter 594. 
  10. ^ California State Legislature (2007). "An act to amend Sections 379 and 411 of the Streets and Highways Code, relating to highways". State of California. 2007 chapter 718. 
  11. ^ Riverside County Sheriff Medal of Honor - Deputy James W. Lehmann, Jr.
  12. ^ Riverside County Sheriff - Deputy Michael P. Haugen
  13. ^ DeCarlo, Paul, The Press-Enterprise "Signs honor fallen heroes" December 3, 2005
  14. ^ Riverside County Sheriff Medal of Honor - Deputy Bruce K. Lee
  15. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  16. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2006
  17. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, Interstate 10 Freeway Interchanges, Retrieved on 2009-03-22 (Note: The exit number is used from I-10 mileage, but the number is signed on SR 111).

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing