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California State Route 111: Map

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State Route 111 (SR 111) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Californiamarker. 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 Calexicomarker to Interstate 10 at White Watermarker.

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 Peakmarker east of the San Gorgonio Passmarker. 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 Citymarker, Rancho Miragemarker, Palm Desertmarker, La Quintamarker, Indiomarker and finally Coachellamarker 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 Angelesmarker and Yuma, Arizonamarker) and the eastern shore of the Salton Seamarker. 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 Shoremarker is all but abandoned.

As Route 111 continues southward into Imperial County, it passes through the agricultural communities of Nilandmarker, Calipatriamarker, Brawleymarker and Holtvillemarker before entering El Centromarker. It rejoins 86 in Hebermarker and terminates in Calexicomarker at the international border where it meets with Calle State Route 111 in Mexicalimarker.

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 and is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System.

History

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 Miragemarker and Cathedral Citymarker, 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 (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. Subsequently, in 2005, the legislature allowed relinquishment within Indian Wellsmarker, Indiomarker, and Palm Desertmarker, subject to the same conditions, and to the condition that the cities must maintain signs for the route. La Quintamarker 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.

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

# Destinations Notes
Imperialmarker
IMP R0.00-65.40
Calexicomarker R0.00 Mexico – United States border
R0.20 2nd Street – Downtown Calexicomarker
R1.18 , Yumamarker
R4.74
R7.71 Yumamarker, El Centromarker, San Diegomarker Interchange
9.59
13.08
17.59
22.14
15.04
South end of SR 78 overlap
Brawleymarker Best Road, Old Highway 111 Old Highway 111 was former SR 111 south
13.80
22.14
North end of SR 78 overlap
26.67
Calipatriamarker 32.51
Riversidemarker
RIV 0.00-R63.38
Meccamarker 18.43
66th Avenue – Meccamarker
Thermalmarker 24.51 Airport Boulevard to SR 86S
Coachellamarker 28.53
20.52
South end of SR 86 overlap
, Phoenixmarker South end of I-10 Bus. overlap
Indiomarker
G22.85
28.53
North end of SR 86 / I-10 Bus. overlap; former SR 86 north
28.73 Lorraine Street, Golf Center Parkway to I-10
30.10 Monroe Street
La Quintamarker 34.01 Washington Street
Indian Wellsmarker 37.63 Cook Street
Palm Desertmarker 38.64 Portola Avenue
39.57
40.80 North end of state maintenance
Rancho Miragemarker
41.27 Bob Hope Drive
43.35 Country Club Drive
Cathedral Citymarker 45.39 Date Palm Drive
47.20 South end of state maintenance
Palm Springsmarker
47.80
T47.80
T49.37 Ramon Road
T51.59 Vista Chino, Gene Autry Trail to I-10
T52.88 Sunrise Way
T53.94
53.82
Tipton Road – Whitewater
R62.54 South end of freeway
111 Haugen-Lehmann Way Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R63.38 Northbound exit and southbound entrance
  1. CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  2. CA Codes (shc:260-284)
  3. Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Pedestrian-Friendly Redesign: Cathedral City, CA, accessed December 2007
  4. California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List (XLS file), accessed December 2007
  5. California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  6. California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2006
  7. 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).
  8. Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 78 rather than SR 111.
  9. Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 86 rather than SR 111.


References

  1. CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  2. CA Codes (shc:260-284)
  3. Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Pedestrian-Friendly Redesign: Cathedral City, CA, accessed December 2007
  4. California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List (XLS file), accessed December 2007
  5. California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  6. California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2006
  7. 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).
  8. Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 78 rather than SR 111.
  9. Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 86 rather than SR 111.


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