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California State Route 111: Wikis


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State Route 111 shield
State Route 111
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.
South end: Mexican 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
State highways in California (list - pre-1964)
< SR 110 SR 112 >
History - Unconstructed - Deleted - Freeway - Scenic

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 Calexico to Interstate 10 at White Water.


Route description

First proposed in the early 1930s due to the area's growth bought on by the Southern Pacific Railroad, Highway 111 links virtually every desert resort city in the valley. It begins at a junction with Interstate 10 near the foot of San Jacinto Peak east of the San Gorgonio Pass. This junction 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. Continuing south, the highway first enters Palm Springs, becoming a surface street. 111 then continues through Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and finally Coachella where it is co-signed with State Route 86 before exiting the southeast corner of the valley as a two-lane highway. 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.

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 Route 111 continues southward into Imperial County, it passes through the agricultural communities of Niland, Calipatria, Brawley and Holtville before entering El Centro. It rejoins 86 in Heber and terminates in Calexico at the international border where it meets with Calle State Route 111 in Mexicali.

As the Coachella Valley's main retail corridor and link to its many resorts, a trip along Route 111 during the height of the tourist season from September to June can be a trying one due to out-of-town traffic, or as the locals fondly refer to them, "snowbirds".

After a two-year delay, signs on Verbenia Avenue at the highway's northern terminus and along Interstate 10 were changed in November 2005 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.

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.

This route is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System[2] and is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System[3].


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.[4] 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.[5] Cathedral City completed a pedestrian-friendly redesign in 1998.[6] The stretch through Rancho Mirage has the Coachella Valley's only synchronized traffic lights; they are set to 45 mph (70km/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.[7] 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.[8] La Quinta was added to the list of eligible cities in 2007.[9] As of late 2007, none of these four cities have taken over maintenance of Route 111.

Major intersections

Note: Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured in 1964, based on the alignment as it existed at that time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.
County Location Postmile
#[12] Destinations Notes
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
R7.71 I-8Yuma, El Centro, San Diego Interchange
9.59 CR S80 (Evan Hewes Highway) – El Centro, Holtville
13.08 CR S28 (Worthington Road) – Imperial
17.59 CR S27 (Keystone Road)
15.04[N 1]
SR 78 east South end of SR 78 overlap
Brawley Best Road, Old Highway 111 Old Highway 111 was former SR 111 south
13.80[N 1]
SR 78 west (Main Street) / CR S31 (8th Street) – Los Angeles North end of SR 78 overlap
26.67 CR S26 (Rutherford Road) – Wiest Lake
Calipatria 32.51 SR 115 / CR S30 (Main Street) – Holtville
RIV 0.00-R63.38
Mecca 18.43 SR 195 (66th Avenue) to SR 86S
66th Avenue – Mecca
Thermal 24.51 California 86S.svg Airport Boulevard to SR 86S
Coachella 28.53
20.52[N 2]
SR 86 south (Harrison Street) – Brawley, El Centro South end of SR 86 overlap
I-10 Bus. east (Dillon Road) to I-10 / Avenue 48 – Blythe, Phoenix South end of I-10 Bus. overlap
G22.85[N 2]
I-10 Bus. west (Indio Boulevard) North end of SR 86 / I-10 Bus. overlap; former 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
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
47.20 South end of state maintenance
Palm Springs

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

SR 111 Bus. south (Palm Canyon Drive)
Tipton Road – Whitewater
R62.54 South end of freeway
111 Haugen-Lehmann Way Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R63.38 I-10 west – San Bernardino, Los Angeles Northbound exit and southbound entrance
  1. ^ a b Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 78 rather than SR 111.
  2. ^ a b Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 86 rather than SR 111.


  1. ^ a b California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List (XLS file), accessed December 2007
  2. ^ CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  3. ^ CA Codes (shc:260-284)
  4. ^ "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.", 1995 chapter 20
  5. ^ "An act...relating to transportation...", 1996 chapter 1154
  6. ^ Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Pedestrian-Friendly Redesign: Cathedral City, CA, accessed December 2007
  7. ^ "An act...relating to transportation.", 2003 chapter 525
  8. ^ "An act to amend Sections 374 and 411 of the Streets and Highways Code, relating to highways.", 2005 chapter 594
  9. ^ "An act to amend Sections 379 and 411 of the Streets and Highways Code, relating to highways.", 2007 chapter 718
  10. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  11. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2006
  12. ^ 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



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