California State Route 111
State Route 111 (SR 111) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California. It is the main north-south route and retail corridor through the Coachella Valley, a part of the Colorado Desert in the southeastern corner of the state and a famous resort destination. It also runs through the Imperial Valley, and along the eastern shore of the Salton Sea. Its southern terminus is at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Calexico, and its northern terminus is at Interstate 10 at White Water.
SR 111 highlighted in red, with relinquished portions in pink.
|Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 411|
|Maintained by Caltrans|
|Length||130.175 mi (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||Fed. 5 at Mexico-United States border in Calexico|
|North end||I-10 near White Water|
Highway 111 links virtually every desert resort city in the valley. It begins in Calexico at the international border where it meets with Avenida Cristóbal Colón in Mexicali. State Route 111 (Imperial Ave) begins 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. As it approaches this area, the northbound traffic is on Indian Canyon Road, and the southbound is on Palm Canyon Road. An alternate Route runs on Gene Autry Trail while it then continues west on Vista Chino Drive. 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.
SR 111 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System and the portions south of SR 78, and in the city of Indio are part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration. SR 111 is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System, but it is not officially designated as a scenic highway by the California Department of Transportation.
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.
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. 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. Cathedral City completed a pedestrian-friendly redesign in 1998. 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 relinquishment to any city. 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. La Quinta was added to the list of eligible cities in 2007. As of late 2007, none of these four cities have taken over maintenance of Route 111.
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.
In a similar move in December 2005, the stretch of SR 111 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.
After being Imperial Avenue in Calexico, the road is known as the Imperial Pioneers Expressway and the Victor Veysey Expressway in Imperial County. Several parts of the route are at or under sea level, similar to SR 86 outside of Brawley.
Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, based on the alignment that existed at the time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary (for a full list of prefixes, see the list of postmile definitions). Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.
|Calexico||R0.00||Fed. 5 south (Boulevard Adolfo López Mateos) – Mexicali||Continuation beyond the Mexico–United States border at the Calexico West Port of Entry|
|R1.18||SR 98 (Birch Street) – San Diego, Yuma|
|Heber||R4.74||SR 86 north (Heber Road) – Heber, El Centro||Former US 99 north|
|||R7.71||I-8 – Yuma, San Diego, El Centro||Interchange; I-8 exits 118A–B|
|||||CR S80 (Evan Hewes Highway) – El Centro, Holtville||Former US 80|
|||||CR S28 (Worthington Road) – Imperial|
|||||CR S27 (Keystone Road)|
|SR 78 east / Main Street – Holtville, Blythe||South end of SR 78 overlap; Main Street was former SR 78 east / SR 111 north|
|23.67||SR 78 west / Old Highway 111)||Interchange; north end of SR 78 overlap; Old Highway 111 was former SR 111 south|
|||||CR S26 (Rutherford Road) – Wiest Lake|
|||29.40||Two Rivers Rest Area||Closed permanently in September 2015|
|Calipatria||32.51||SR 115 / CR S30 (Main Street) – Holtville|
|Mecca||18.43||To SR 86 / 66th Avenue|
|||22.14||SR 86 overpass; no direct access; north end of state maintenance|
|Thermal||24.51||To SR 86 / Airport Boulevard||Serves Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport|
|Coachella–Indio 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||To I-10 / Golf Center Parkway|
|Palm Desert||39.57||SR 74 west (Palms to Palms Highway) / Monterey Avenue – Hemet, San Diego|
|Cathedral City–Palm Springs line||47.20||South end of state maintenance|
SR 111 Bus. north (Palm Canyon Drive)
|T51.59||To I-10 / Gene Autry Trail|
SR 111 Bus. south (Palm Canyon Drive)
|||R63.38||I-10 west – Los Angeles||Northern terminus; no access to I-10 east; former US 99; exit 111 on I-10|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 78 rather than SR 111.
- California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (XLS file) on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Division 1 of the California Streets and Highways Code". Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: Indio–Cathedral City, CA (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: California (South) (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "Article 2.5 of Chapter 2 of Division 1 of the California Streets & Highways Code". California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- California Department of Transportation (September 7, 2011). "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- California State Assembly. "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". 1995–1996 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 20.
- California State Assembly. "An act to amend Section 564 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to amend Section 19993.7 of, and to add Section 65088.5 to, the Government Code, and to amend Sections 11474, 44013.5, and 44521 of, and to repeal Sections 39047.4..." 1995–1996 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1154.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Pedestrian-Friendly Redesign: Cathedral City, CA Archived 2005-07-30 at the Wayback Machine, accessed December 2007
- California State Assembly. "An act to amend Sections 8879.1, 14070.4, 14076.4, 14524.2, and 65082 of, and to repeal Sections 8879.17 and 14524.15 of, the Government Code, to amend Sections 21602, 21702, 21704, 21707, and 102015 of, and to repeal Section 21604 of, and..." Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 525.
- California State Assembly. "An act to amend Sections 374 and 411 of the Streets and Highways Code, relating to highways". Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 594.
- California State Assembly. "An act to amend Sections 379 and 411 of the Streets and Highways Code, relating to highways". Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 718.
- "Riverside County Sheriff Medal of Honor - Deputy James W. Lehmann, Jr". Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- "Riverside County Sheriff - Deputy Michael P. Haugen". Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- "DeCarlo, Paul, The Press-Enterprise "Signs honor fallen heroes" December 3, 2005". Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- "Riverside County Sheriff Medal of Honor - Deputy Bruce K. Lee". Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.
- California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, 2006