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State Route 118

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Routing Routing

  1. Rte 118 Seg 1From Route 126 near Saticoy to Route 210 near San Fernando.

    Note: There is a discontinuity in the postmiles for Route 118 along "New" Los Angeles Avenue -- i.e., the segment of Los Angeles Avenue between the Route 118 / Route 23 freeway junction and where Route 23 continues N along Spring Rd. This is because the postmiles in the segment technically belong to Route 23.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment remains as defined in 1963.

    In 1954, route studies were conducted for the Simi Valley Freeway (Route 118) from Desoto Avenue to the proposed Foothill Freeway (public hearing held January 9, 1964); and from the Route 126 Freeway near Saticoy to First Street near Moorpark. The first segment to be constructed was between Kuehner Drive in Simi Valley and Santa Susanna Avenue (likely current Topanga Canyon). In July 1964, the CHC adopted a freeway routing for the western portion of Route 118. The routing ran E-ly to beyond Winnetka Ave, then NE-ly to where it is north-of and adjacent to the DWP power transmission lines S of Rinaldi St. It continues E along this right of way, bending SE-ly E of Balboa Blvd to E of Woodley Ave, then E-ly across I-405 and I-5. It then swings NE-ly beyond Laurel Canyon Blvd, and continues N of and parallel to Paxton St. to join to I-210 just E of Foothill. This routing affected 174 fewer families while costing $2.9 milllion less than the next most favored routing. Later in 1964, a 19.3-mile freeway routing for Route 118 was adopted between six-tenths mile west of La Vista Avenue near Saticoy and three-tenths mile east of First Street near Simi.

    Construction of the Simi Freeway required excavation of 8.5 million cubic yards of earth for roadway, and over 34,000 cubic yards for structure excavation. Fills ranged up to 220' in depth, requiring special drainage structures. In some areas the unique rock strata required a 3-to-1 cut, and the right of way at its widest point is 1,100' from top of cut to top of cut. The summit between Ventura County and Los Angeles county is at 1,568', with the grade being 3.6% on the Ventura side, and 5% on the Los Angeles side

    The following freeway-to-freeway connections were never constructed:

    • EB Route 118 to NB I-5. Rationale: The interchange is only 1½ miles from the I-405/Route 118 interchange. Caltrans wanted drivers to connect to the I-405 northbound to get to I-5.

    In 1987, it was reported that Caltrans was closer to connecting Route 23 (the Thousand Oaks-Moorpark Freeway) and Route 118 (the Simi Valley Freeway) in Moorpark, with state and federal approval expected in Spring 1989. Once that happens, Caltrans can proceed with engineering plans and purchase additional right of way. The state agency already owns 70% of the needed land. Construction is to begin in 1990 and end in 1993, and the freeway will run along Los Angeles Avenue about 200 feet from the nearest homes. The 2.2 mile, $40 million freeway connector is one of the biggest public works projects under way in Ventura County. The proposed route would extend Route 23 north [Actually, it was Route 118 that was extended] from the intersection of New Los Angeles Avenue, through about six acres of wetlands and up to Los Angeles Avenue just east of Princeton Avenue in the College Park area. The freeway would then swing east along Los Angeles Avenue and hook up with the existing Route 118 just east of College View Avenue. In a letter signed by 1,100 local residents, a homeowners group asked Caltrans to consider an alternative route that would cut south into ecologically sensitive wetlands and the Simi Arroyo instead of traveling along Los Angeles Avenue. But Caltrans declined, noting that the southern route would cost $10 million more, eat up four more acres of wetlands and make future freeway expansion more difficult because of its remote location. Caltrans officials also say that studying a southerly alternative would push the entire project back two years and might jeopardize state and federal funding. The freeway connector is on a list of state projects to be built in the next five years and most elected officials support the proposed route. Both Route 23 and Route 118 received the green light from the California Highway Commission in 1964. About seven miles of Route 23 had been completed by 1971; the Route 118 link to Simi Valley was completed in 1975. But plans to finish and connect the freeways stopped that year when Caltrans ran out of money. It was not until 1988 that the connector for the two highways was again included in the State Transportation Improvement Program and elected officials as well as civic leaders today say they want to make sure the freeway is built. Caltrans plans call for a four-lane highway with an exchange at New Los Angeles Avenue and Collins Drive, an undercrossing at Los Angeles Avenue, two two-lane bridges over the Arroyo Simi and the Southern Pacific Railroad, and an interchange at either Princeton Avenue or Condor Drive. The price also includes seven-foot sound walls for residential areas (at $1 million per mile), right-of-way land, room for an additional two freeway lanes as needed, engineering and environmental reports and mitigation measures that the agency is required by law to take. Caltrans must create six acres of new wetlands to replace the federally protected wetland that will be paved over for the freeway, and plant 300 oak trees to replace 150 that lie in the construction path. Moorpark College manages and maintains the site which is used as a nature center by the environmental science program. The project involves moving about 1.8 million cubic yards of dirt and the use of 60,000 cubic yards of concrete, and includes seven bridges, rising to a maximum height of almost 100 feet. They will carry traffic across the Southern Pacific railroad tracks, the Arroyo Simi and Moorpark’s surface streets. The project, initially budgeted at $33 million, was slated for completion in April 1993, but bad winter weather and the need to clean up a large waste dump along the route delayed the work and pushed the cost up to about $39 million, and pushed completion to October 1993.
    (Source: Los Angeles Times, 12/17/1987; LA Times 4/20/1991;

    When the freeway to freeway connection was made between Route 118 and Route 23 in 1993, there were some interesting road name changes. Previously, the freeway portion of Route 118 ended at College View. The surface routing ran out of Simi Valley along Easy Street and Los Angeles to Collins, and then continues along Los Angeles curving S and then W to Spring Road (where Los Angeles became High Street). Route 118 then ran S along Spring to Los Angeles Avenue, continuing W along Los Angeles to Ventura. At the intersection of Los Angeles and Spring, Los Angeles Ave was extended E to Route 23 as "New Los Angeles Avenue". When the freeway-to-freeway connection was completed and opened, it was constructed on top of the old portion of Los Angeles Avenue between Collins and Princeton Ave. The "surface" route then was changed to run up Collins to Campus Park Dr and over to Princeton. Princeton was upgraded between Campus Park Dr and where it met Los Angeles, and Los Angeles Avenue was renamed Princeton Ave, until, as before it turned into High Street at Spring. This allowed "New" Los Angeles Avenue to drop the "New", and the interchange at the Route 118/Route 23 join became simply "Los Angeles Avenue".

    Note that the original plan was for Route 23 to be freeway all the way to Santa Paula. As part of that plan, there would have been a full connection between Route 23 and Route 118, with Route 118 continuing E/W Northerly of Los Angeles Avenue on a new alignment to meet the Route 232 freeway between Santa Clara and Vineyard Avenue, remining on new alignment Westerly of Los Angeles to Route 126. This is shown in a 1983 Thomas Guide in my possession.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    Route 118 in 1959This segment is one of the original signed routes dating back to 1934. Before the freeway, it ran along Los Angeles Avenue, Santa Susanna Pass Road, and Devonshire Blvd. It then ran N along Sepulveda to Brand, N on Brand into the city of San Fernando. It jogged N on San Fernando Rd a bit to Maclay, and then N on Maclay to Foothill Blvd. The portion between Route 126 and I-5 was defined in 1933; the remainder was defined in 1909. A small portion in Ventura was LRN 154 until 1957.

    This segment was LRN 9 and was signed as Route 118 when state routes were first signed in 1934 (Jct. US 101 near El Rio to Jct. US 66 at Pasadena, via San Fernando). LRN 9 was originally defined in 1909 running from San Bernardino westward to LRN 4 (what became US 99) in San Fernando. LRN 9 was extended westward to LRN 2 (US 101) near Montalvo (modern day Ventura) in 1933. LRN 9 encompassed portions of the original routing of US 66 (San Bernardino to Pasadena) and Route 118 (Pasadena to Ventura).

    Devonshire Street was named for the Devonshire area of Britain, after beginning life in 1917 as Santa Susana Pass Road. Brand was named after Leslie Brand, a street car magnate and developer who lived in the Glendale area and subdivided Mission Hills. Maclay was named after Charles Maclay, town builder and former state Senator, who was the founder of San Fernando

    Before 1964, Route 118 continued down Foothill Blvd. Around the Devils Gate Reservoir, there was a small freeway segment [since bypassed], connecting it to Montana. It then ran along Montana to Lincoln Ave, then to Colorado St. in Pasadena, where it ended at US 66. Portions of Foothill Blvd have been known as Horsethief Trail, Michigan Avenue, Tujunga Valley Avenue and Mulholland Street. Before that freeway segment was built, it appars to have run (this is in the reverse direction): N up Lincoln Avenue to Montana, turned W to Arroyo Blvd, N to La Canada Verdugo Road, W over the dam, continued NW past Oak Grove Park on the R, skirted Flintridge Country Club on the E, joined Michigan Ave (now Foothill Blvd), continued W. The entire portion from the intersection of Cañada Ave and Montana to Foothill Blvd is now under I-210; the former Country Club is now the site of two high schools. As of the late 1950s, Route 11 (now Route 110) turned NW from Lincoln on Cañada Ave to Montana, then followed (according to the map) Montana two blocks to Arroyo. The present Cañada Ave. still joins Montana at approximately the same place, but I-210 is built over the continuation W to La Cañada Verdugo Road, now under the overpass at Arroyo Blvd.

    Note: the use of this route as "Temporary" I-210 is discussed with Route 210.

    Former Fwy section of Rte 118 - 1957A portion of this (from Foothill Blvd. near Gould Ave. east to near the intersection of Montana Ave. and Cañada Ave.) was constructed to freeway standards in 1957, but was bypassed and decommissioned as "freeway" in 1974, when I-210 was constructed over the Arroyo Seco.

    By 1935, the surface alignment of Route 118 absorbed what was then US 99 on LRN 9 between San Fernando and Pasadena, with US 99 being rerouted along LRN 4. This move occurred because the State Legislature removed restrictions that prevented State Funds from being used to maintain urban roadways. This change by the Legislature led to the addition of numerous urban highways being adopted including the extension of LRN 9 to Ventura. Originally US 99 had bypassed downtown Los Angeles in favor of using LRN 9 from San Fernando via the following route:
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog - California State Route 118)

    • From US 66 northwest on Foothill Boulevard (now Altendena Drive) to Altendena.
    • From Altendena south via Fair Oaks Boulevard to Montana Street.
    • West on Montana Street to Michigan Avenue (now Foothill Boulevard).
    • Northwest on Michigan Avenue (now Foothill Boulevard) to San Fernando and Maclay Avenue.
    • West on Maclay Avenue to San Fernando Road/LRN 4.

    According to Gribblenation, 1935 maps show all the roadways described above between Pasadena and Los Angeles signed as Foothill Boulevard. The alignment of Route 118 appears to take a simplified route from US 66/LRN 9 on Colorado Street up Fair Oaks Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue to Foothill Boulevard on a bypass of Altendena.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog - California State Route 118)

    A 12.5-mile portion of the route between Los Angeles Avenue at Madera Road in Ventura County and De Soto Avenue in the City of Los Angeles was adopted by the California Highway Commission in 1962. The remaining portions to the west and to the east of this adopted segment are currently under planning study with a target date for adoption late in 1963. First construction was planned for the five-mile unit of the adopted route between the easternmost end of Simi Valley and De Soto Avenue in the West San Fernando Valley. An estimated $12,000,000 was believed necessary to finance that construction.

    Status Status

    Planned as freeway from Route 126 to Route 23 but never upgraded. Freeway from Route 23 to Route 210.

    Somis Reconfiguration

    [118/34 Jct]In February 2009, the CTC received notice of preparation of an EIR for reconstruction of the Route 118/Route 34 interchange in Somis. The proposed project would construct roadway improvements that include relocating and realigning Route 118 at Donlan Road, and adding a westbound left-turn lane in the westbound direction of Route 118, an eastbound auxillary lane, and interchange ramp improvements along portions of Route 118 and Route 34 intersection in the community of Somis in Ventura County. The project is included in the State Highway Operation and Protection Program Long Lead Project List. Future funding for project design, right of way, and construction will be programmed later pending completion of the environmental clearance. The alternatives being considered are:

    • No Build Alternative: The No-Build Alternative proposes to maintain the existing conditions without any alterations.
    • Intersection Improvement Alternative: This alternative closes the existing Donlon Road from Route 118 to La Cumbre Road. The new alignment of Donlon Road would begin at the Route 118/34 intersection and run north along the west side of Coyote Canyon Creek up to the spillway of the Ventura County Watershed Control District debris basin. At this point, Donlon Road would cross over the spillway in a northeasterly direction with a bridge structure. The southbound lane for Donlon Road would have a mixed thru/left-turn/right-turn lane at the intersection with Route 118. The realigned northbound lane of Donlon Road would not change. It would also add an additional left-turn lane in the westbound direction of Route 118 (east leg), an auxiliary lane in the eastbound direction of Route 118 (east leg), and a right-turn only lane in the eastbound direction of Route 118 (west leg). An auxiliary lane would be added on the southbound direction of Route 34 and a left-turn through-lane only on the northbound direction of Route 34. The existing drainage culvert and large catch basin (north side) for Coyote Canyon would be modified to accommodate the extra left-turn lane and auxiliary lane on Route 118 (east leg).
    • Bridge Alternative: This alternative proposes the same intersection improvements as the Intersection Improvement Alternative with the exception of the realignment of Donlon Road. The new Donlon Road would be a straight alignment due north of the Route 118/Route 34 intersection and would cross Coyote Canyon via a bridge structure. The Department of Transportation Division of Structures has estimated that a bridge structure of 156 feet by 55.5 feet would be required.
    • Roundabout Alternative: This alternative consists of a one-way, one-lane circulatory roadway in a counter-clockwise direction with a width of 24 feet. An additional structural pavement, 8 feet in width, would abut the inner radius of the roadway, which would function as a truck apron. A raised curb would border the inner radius of the truck apron and delineate the central island. The roundabout would replace the existing signalized intersection. The east leg approach of Route 118 would consist of a four-lane roadway (two lanes for ingress and two lanes for egress). The west leg approach of Route 118 would consist of a three lane roadway (two lanes for ingress and one lane for egress). The south leg approach of Route 34 would consist of a three-lane roadway similar to the west leg approach of Route 118. The realigned Donlon Road would travel north over the outlet of the debris basin with a two-lane roadway (one lane for ingress and one lane for egress).
    • Somis Bypass Alternative: This alternative was presented by local residents of the Somis community. This alternative would attempt to alleviate truck and commuter traffic going through this community by constructing a new two-lane highway. The proposed roadway would start at the present Union Pacific railroad crossing with Route 118 on the east side of Somis, continue south parallel to the railroad alignment, and connecting to Route 34 at a point south of the community of Somis.
    • Save Our Somis (SOS) Alternative: JR Consulting Engineers, LLC, was retained by the Save Our Somis (SOS) community organization and proposed a smaller intersection design for the project. This design would be similar to the lntersection Improvement Alternative with the following exceptions: only one left-turn lane for the westbound direction of Route 118, lengthened to almost 350 feet; the east leg of Route 118 would not have an eastbound auxiliary lane; and no auxiliary lane for the southbound direction of Route 34.

    Moorpark officials reviewed the draft EIR, and believe that it fails to take into account a plan by Ventura County to realign Donlon Road so that it joins to make a four-way intersection where the two state highways meet. They also believe that it does not provide mitigation of an expected increase in truck traffic and related air quality, noise and safety impacts on Route 118 as a result of projects planned by Caltrans.

    In October 2012, it was reported that Caltrans has dropped plans to revamp the Somis interchange. Caltrans will include its decision in the project's environmental impact report that will be issued by the end of November 2012. The county now wants to realign Donlon to make a four-way intersection at Route 118 and Somis Road. According to the county, Caltrans can make "easy, quick and cheap fixes" in conjunction with the county project, such as lengthening a left-turn lane from westbound Route 118 to Somis Road.

    Reconstructed 118/34 interchangeIn March 2015, it was reported that the intersection of Route 118 and Somis Road will start construction in May to improve the traffic flow and create a fourway stop. In February, 2015 the county paid $88,000 for a one-third-acre lot next to the intersection. The right of way will allow road crews to reroute Donlon Road in order to create the four-way stop. The Ventura County Public Works Agency has already removed 25 eucalyptus trees on the newly purchased land. Project engineer Chris Hooke said it was critical to cut the trees down before nesting season starts in March. Some of the birds that nest in the trees include the endangered American peregrine falcon and the golden eagle. Hooke said the birds’ nests would have halted the project until the summer. Donlon Road currently connects 200 feet east of the intersection; the side road makes it difficult for drivers making left-hand turns. Additionally, the length of the left-turn lane on Route 118 will be nearly tripled, from 120 to 350 feet. Construction at the intersection is expected to take eight months, at a cost of about $2.5 million.

    In April 2016, it was reported that the Donlon Road realignment project in Somis had been completed. The job involved moving Donlon Road 200 feet to the west to align with the existing traffic signal on Route 118 at Somis Road/ Route 34.
    (Source: Moorpark Acorn, 4/1/2016)

    In November 2019, it was reported that the city of Moorpark is exploring options to increase the safety of Route 118 in Moorpark (VEN 15.571 / VEN R17.894). Since the city incorporated in 1983, Moorpark has dedicated more than $16 million to improvements on Los Angeles Avenue. The roadway’s funding, though, was mostly supported through Moorpark’s residential and commercial developments that are required to make contributions to both the city’s traffic mitigation efforts and the Route 118 improvements. The money has helped the city make enhancements to the area by widening parts of the roadway, adding traffic signals and planting new landscape. But, according to Moorpark, the thoroughfare still has a long way to go until it meets the city’s expectations. High on the city’s priorities list is eliminating unsafe driving and truck traffic along the highway; widening the road between Spring Road and Moorpark Avenue; and adding a raised median on parts of the avenue, among other improvements. Moorpark officials are also working with the Ventura County Transportation Commission and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to expand the frequently-used roadway and make it safer. Since 2016, the agencies have worked together to re-pave Route 118 and to re-program traffic signals to increase speeds and reduce wait times. Caltrans also approved a city project to install a raised concrete median between the Route 23 Freeway and Spring Road (technically, part of Route 23). The city is also working to complete a right-of-way designation along the roadway to widen L.A. Avenue to three lanes in each direction between Spring Road and Moorpark Avenue. The city hopes it can finish designs for those plans by the end of 2020. In the future, Caltrans plans to devote $17 million to resurface Route 118 between Spring Road and Montair Drive. The city is also pushing for Caltrans to install a traffic signal at Millard Street. Looking to the future, Caltrans plans to devote more than $20 million to replace the two truck scale facilities west of the city. The project, though, is still in the planning stages.
    (Source: �� Moorpark Acorn, 11/22/2019)

    Rte 118 Suicide Prevention SignIn June 2018, more than a dozen suicide-prevention signs line the overpass that connects the Simi Valley portion of Route 118 with the N/S portion that connects with Route 23 at Los Angeles Avenue. The signs were installed in the hope of saving lives along the 2.2-mile stretch of road that crosses above Los Angeles and Princeton avenues. Since the overpass was built in 1993 and the installation of the signs in 2018, 11 people have jumped off the two 100-foot-tall bridges, according to the Moorpark Police Department. In 2014, after a 57-year-old Simi Valley man jumped from the overpass, the Moorpark City Council sent a letter to Caltrans asking them to safeguard the bridge with a fence. However, a fence is not feasible because these are curving bridges and a fence would block the driver’s line of sight. Three years later, in December 2017, Caltrans held an environmental hearing on the future widening of Route 118 between Los Angeles Avenue and Madera Road. During the meeting, Sean Corrigan, the city’s public works director, said Moorpark would like to address the safety of the overpass as part of the freewaywidening project. In the months that followed, Caltrans decided to create signs for the bridges with help from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a nonprofit agency that provides mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention services to Southern California communities. Together, the agencies developed freeway-appropriate signs in English and Spanish with information about mental health resources and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. A total of 16 signs were installed between July 5 and 12, 2018 with help from the California Highway Patrol.
    (Source: TO Acorn, 8/2/2018)

    Route 118 Widening in Simi Valley

    118-Widening MapIn late March 2007, ground was broken on a $46M project to add a lane to the freeway in Simi Valley. The work, expected to take more than two years, includes not only widening the roadway from Tapo Canyon Road (~VEN R27.317 to VEN R32.577) as it heads east into the San Fernando Valley, but also the construction of sound walls along the highway and fiber optics to better regulate the flow of traffic onto freeway onramps. The second phase of the work is to begin in mid-2008 and includes widening the westbound portion.
    (Source: Ventura County Star, 3/30/2007)

    In June 2007, Ventura County officials applied for an additional $32.7 million to complete the improvements to WB Route 118. The California Transportation Commission initially allocated $50 million for the project but higher construction costs left only enough to add an eastbound lane from Tapo Canyon Road in Simi Valley to the Los Angeles County line. When the county officials originally asked for the additional funds, the state Transportation Commission staff erroneously classified it as a new project rather than a cost increase and recommended that the request be rejected. If funding is turned down for the second phase, the widening project will probably be delayed several years and the cost will significantly increase. Local planners hope state commissioners will agree to use a portion of funds from Proposition 1B — a $19.9-billion statewide bond measure approved by voters last November — to finish the widening project. Traffic on the stretch of the 118 Freeway increased from 110,000 vehicles daily in 1998 to 117,000 today. With no improvement, traffic planners estimate two-hour delays during morning and evening peak periods each weekday will double by 2025. Ventura County is at a disadvantage because it is the largest in the state without a local sales tax earmarked for transportation projects.
    (Source: Los Angeles Times, 6/6/2007)

    In November 2007 and December 2007, the CTC considered a proposal to reprogram $1,206,000 for Environmental (PA&ED) for the Route 118 Widening project (New Los Angeles Avenue to Tapo Canyon Road, PPNO 3002) in Ventura County to the new Route 118 Widening Phase 2 project (Tapo Canyon Road to the Los Angeles County Line, PPNO 4006). The Route 118 Widening project between New Los Angeles Avenue and Tapo Canyon Road (PPNO 3002) was programmed in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for $4,660,000 for PA&ED with an unfunded need of over $110 million to complete the project through construction, but significant construction cost increases to higher priority projects in the region have resulted in the Caltrans and the VCTC deciding to delete the project from the STIP. The new Route 118 Widening Phase 2 project (PPNO 4006) is a much higher priority but requires funding for Design (PS&E) and Right of Way (R/W) Support. The adopting resolution of the 2006 STIP Augmentation, dated June 2007, included recognition of the high priority given by the VCTC to early programming of this project if capacity is available.

    In May 2009, the Ventura County Transportation Commission approved the allocation of $6.5 million to the ongoing widening of eastbound Route118 through Simi Valley. It indicated that construction will start in 2010 on phase 2: widening westbound Route 118 from three to four lanes between Tapo Canyon and Kuehner Drive. It was funded earlier in 2009 as part of $1 billion in transportation spending approved in Sacramento, which will also go to other transportation projects in the county. An engineer’s estimate for the westbound Route 118 project was $21.7 million dollars, and the Ventura County Transportation Commission allocated the funds. However, when the California Department of Transportation opened construction bids for the project on 11/5/2009, the lowest qualifying bid was only $13.8 million by Sun-Valley based Security Paving Co. The first phase of the widening project cost $46.5 million with State Transportation Improvement Program funds, and included the addition of sound walls, the widening of four bridges, and the addition of communication and fiber-optic cables.
    (Source: Ventura County Star, 11/19/2009)

    In November 2009, the Ventura County Star reported the completion of the first widening phase of the project (from Tapo Canyon to the Los Angeles County line).

    In February 2010, the CTC approved an adjustment to the allocation amount for the Route 118 Widening, Tapo Canyon to the Los Angeles County Line (Phase 2) project (PPNO 4006) in Ventura County, from $18,493,000 to $8,961,000, in accordance with Assembly Bill 608. Specifically, on May 14, 2009, the Commission approved Resolution STIP1B-A-0809-019 allocating $18,493,000 for the Route 118 Widening, Tapo Canyon to the Los Angeles County Line (Phase 2) project programmed in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) with Regional Improvement Program (RIP) shares. The project was awarded on November 24, 2009, for $15,468,000 ($8,961,000 RIP and $6,507,000 Regional American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [Recovery Act]), including supplemental work, state furnished materials, and contingencies. Section 188.8 of the Streets and Highways Code allows the Commission to adjust an allocation amount for a capital outlay project in the STIP if the construction contract award amount for the project is less than 80% of the engineer’s final estimate. As a result, Caltrans and Ventura County Transportation Commission requests a downward adjustment of the allocation from $18,493,000 to $8,961,000, with $9,532,000 to return to Ventura County’s regional share balance.

    In March 2011, it was reported that the Route 118 Widening project was complete and open for traffic. Construction of phase one of the project, widening the eastbound highway from three to four lanes over a five-mile stretch from Tapo Canyon Road to the Los Angeles County line, began in 2008. Construction of phase two didn't begin until early 2010 because of funding issues. It added a new westbound lane along the same stretch, and completed the widening of the final two sections of the new eastbound lane. The second phase cost $19.1 million and was funded by Proposition 1B funds, state gasoline sales tax revenue and federal stimulus money. Phase one was completed strictly with state funds. A third phase of the project, which would widen the highway to Moorpark, is not even on the drawing board because of a lack of funds.

    Happy Face Hill / Smiley Face HillThe Ventura County Star, in December 2009, had a nice article on "smiley face hill" (~ VEN R30.401). This is/was a 120-foot creation on the side of a hill in eastern Simi Valley created originally by Sonny Klamerus, 58, of Northridge. By creating the giant smile, it was his intention to invoke the same in drivers who passed by the area near Yosemite Avenue and Kuehner Drive. The hill, which sits on a 10-acre site, was purchased by Palmdale 47th LLC in September 2009 from the bank. The previous owner, Larwin Co., filed for bankruptcy protection after putting a housing development project on hold in 2007. The face was originally established in 1998 without the permission of its then-owner, Mount Sinai Memorial Park (they later gave permission, as did Larwin). Palmdate 47th finally granted permission in early 2010. The property has changed hands several times and the area next to the hill is now marked to be developed with 66 town houses according to the city of Simi Valley. The new units will not obscure the grinning symbol. In 2014, Steve Apostolof, who operates a pizza restaurant in Chatsworth, went out and bought $100 worth of solar lights, recruited some friends and illuminated Happy Face Hill. The hillside grin has also gotten its own Facebook page, which has been "liked" nearly 7,000 times, according to page creator Brian Dennert, a world history teacher at Simi Valley's Royal High School.
    (Image source: YouTube)

    [118 at Rocky Peak]There are currently plans to add new on and off ramps at Rocky Peak Road (~ VEN R32.414): an EB off-ramp and a WB on-ramp. This western half of the interchange was graded and gated at the time of initial construction in 1968. This is a $9.1 million project. In August 2008, Caltrans released a bid to construct the EB off-ramp and the WB on-ramp at Rocky Peak Road. Prior to this construction, there were just dirt ramps. This construction was completed in 2009.

    The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, authorized $2,320,000 for High Priority Project #124: Landscaping Enhancements along the Ronald Reagan Freeway, Route 118, for aesthetic purposes.

    In August 2016, the CTC approved $31,477,000 for Los Angeles 07-LA-118 R0.0/R14.4 Route 118 in the city and county of Los Angeles, from Ventura County line to Route 210; also on Route 27 (Topanga Canyon Boulevard) from Devonshire Street to Route 118. Outcome/Output: Rehabilitate 65.0 lane miles of roadway to extend pavement surface life and improve ride quality. Replace approach slabs and upgrade curb ramps to meet current ADA standards.

    [Burned 118 sign]In October 2003, the Simi Freeway served as a major firebreak for a fire that started up near Route 126 in Piru, and burned as far south as Browns Canyon and Chatsworth, as far East as Moorpark, and as far West as Stevenson Ranch. The fire burned a number of signs on the freeway, including the sign shown to the right (~ LA R0.5).

    In March 2016, SHOPP funding was approved in Los Angeles County for westbound Route 118 at Tampa Avenue Off-ramp (~ LA R4.728). Outcome/Output: Widen Off-ramp to improve intersection operations.

    Commuter Lanes Commuter Lanes

    Commuter lanes exist on Route 118 between the Ventura County line and Route 5. These lanes were opened in March 1997, require two or more occupants, and are in operation 24 hours a day.

    Naming Naming

    Ronald Reagan FreewayOfficially, the portion of this route constructed to freeway standards (~ VEN T18.238 to LA R13.933) is named the "Ronald Reagan Freeway" (as of 1994). The original proposal for this name was introduced by Willie Brown on August 30, 1994 and amended August 31, 1994, as Assembly Concurrent Resolution 156. However, this version of the bill died on the desk in November 1994. The name was reintroduced by Senators Lockyer, Maddy, and Wright as Senate Resolution 7, amended and enrolled December 5, 1994. Since it was neither a concurrent resolution nor a joint resolution, it was not filed with the Secretary of State. Ronald Reagan, for those who don't know, was the 40th President of the United States. He was Governor of the State of California between 1967 and 1975. The rationale for choosing Route 118 is that the western end of the Route 118 Freeway, at the time the bill was passed, is very close to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
    (Source: Shirleigh Brannon/Caltrans History Library. Image source: Wikimedia; Wikipedia)

    Until 1994, the official name for the portion in Ventura County (~ VEN T18.238 to VEN R32.577) was the "San Fernando Valley-Simi Valley Freeway", and the portion in Los Angeles County (~ LA 0.000 to LA R13.933) was the "Simi Valley-San Fernando Valley Freeway". This portion was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 145, Chapter 185, in 1970. The first segment opened in 1968. Simi is probably from a Chumash Indian designation for "place" or "village"; it was recorded with the present spelling as early as 1795. San Fernando refers to both the community and the mission. The mission was established in 1797 to honor Saint Ferdinand, King of Castile and Leon in the 13th century. The city was named in 1874.

    Simi Valley Police Officer Michael Clark Memorial OvercrossingThe First Street Overcrossing of Route 118 in the City of Simi Valley (~ VEN R23.823) is named the "Simi Valley Police Officer Michael Clark Memorial Overcrossing". It was named in memory of Michael Clark, who was born in Massachusetts in August 1966. His family later moved to Ventura County, and he was raised in Thousand Oaks, where he graduated from Westlake High School in 1984. Michael Clark served in the United States Marine Corps from December 1984 to August 1988 as a Navy diver, assigned to “A” Company 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Michael Clark achieved a life long goal of becoming a police officer when he joined the Los Angeles Police Department in May 1989. He was assigned to the Devonshire Division, where he served as a patrol officer. Officer Clark later joined the Simi Valley Police Department in March 1995, where he also served as a patrol officer. On August 4, 1995, Officer Clark was killed in the line of duty while handling a “check the welfare” call at the request of the Ventura County Mental Health Department at a residence in Simi Valley, where he was shot with a semi-automatic handgun by the person he was attempting to assist. Officer Clark was the first Simi Valley police officer to die in the line of duty. It was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 134, Res. Chapter 120, Statutes of 2016, on August 16, 2016.
    (Image source: VC Star; Simi PD In Memorium)

    David M. GonzalesThe interchange of I-5 and Rout 118 in the City of Los Angeles (~ LA R11.33R) is named the "David M. Gonzales Medal of Honor World War II Memorial Interchange". It is named in memory of David M. Gonzales, Private First Class (PFC), United States Army. Gonzales was born in 1923 in East Los Angeles and raised in Pacoima, California. David M. Gonzales joined the Army during World War II on March 31, 1944, at Fort MacArthur, and was deployed to the Philippines as an infantry replacement in December 1944. PFC Gonzales’ heroic service on the Villa Verde Trail in Luzon, Philippines, on April 25, 1945, earned him, posthumously, the Congressional Medal of Honor. On April 25, 1945, PFC Gonzales and his unit, Company A, 127th Infantry, 32nd Division, were pinned down by enemy fire when a 500-pound bomb exploded in the company’s perimeter, burying five men of Company A. Without hesitation, PFC Gonzales seized an entrenching tool, and, under a hail of fire, crawled 15 yards to his entombed comrades, while his commanding officer, who also rushed forward to help, was struck and instantly killed by machine gun fire. Undismayed, PFC Gonzales set to work swiftly with the entrenching tool, and continued to dig out the five trapped men, while enemy sniper fire and machine gun bullets struck him. After PFC Gonzales had successfully freed one of the men, he stood up to be able to dig faster, despite the fact that such a position exposed him to greater danger, and while he successfully freed another man, PFC Gonzales was mortally wounded by enemy fire as he finished liberating the third trapped man. In the words of President Harry Truman, “Private Gonzales’ valiant and intrepid conduct exemplified the highest tradition of the military service”. The other two buried soldiers were later saved when the intense enemy fire subsided. PFC Gonzales was killed on April 25, 1945, while serving our country and saving the lives of his comrades on the field of battle during World War II. PFC Gonzales was survived by his then 25-year-old widow, his one-year-old son, and his mother. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 72, Resolution Chapter 148, September 05, 2014.
    (Image source: Aerotech News; Wikipedia)

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.6] From Route 23 to DeSoto Avenue near Browns Canyon.


  2. Rte 118 Seg 2From Route 210 near Sunland to Route 249 north of La Cañada.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    Unconstructed This segment remains as defined in 1963. Planned as freeway in 1965, but never constructed. Technically, this is signed along Route 210 from Paxton Street to Sunland. The traversable local routing was along Big Tujunga Canyon between Foothill and LA County Sign Route N3 (which appears to what would have become Route 249). There are no plans for improvement. See Route 249 for some further detailed discussion.

    With respect to Big Tujunga Canyon, Scott Parker on AARoads noted (in response to a question about whether there were plans to expand Big Tujunga Canyon): The original canyon road emptied out onto Mt. Gleason Ave., a 2-lane local street; its connector down into the canyon was characterized by horseshoe curves and switchbacks -- slow going.  An extension was built in the late '70's, about the time I-210 was being constructed to the area.  The idea was to skirt the floodplain below the canyon on its south side and intersect Foothill Blvd. at the Wentworth Ave. intersection (I-210 crossed Wentworth about a quarter-mile west of Foothill).  A number of new housing tracts were planned along the new Tujunga Canyon extension -- but that area was considered environmentally sensitive, and those never materialized due to permit denials.  The extension was built to Oro Vista Avenue, which paralleled Mt.Gleason to the west; canyon traffic now is diverted to that street.  It never reached Foothill; a golf course was constructed directly in its path south of the Tujunga Creek channel. 
    (Source: Scott Parker (SParker) on AARoads, "Re: Planned CA 48 (ii), CA 122, CA 196, and CA 249", 4/20/2020)

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    This routing was LRN 266 (defined in 1959) in 1963. It was not signed as Route 118.


Classified Landcaped Freeway Classified Landcaped Freeway

The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:

County Route Starting PM Ending PM
Los Angeles 118 R2.66 R8.65
Los Angeles 118 R8.70 R12.39
Los Angeles 118 R12.43 R13.93
Ventura 118 R18.92 R20.35
Ventura 118 R24.16 R28.96
Ventura 118 R30.21 R30.70

Exit Information Exit Information

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Freeway Freeway

[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 118. This information reflects Route 118 before the Route 118/Route 23 flyover connector was constructed; hence, there might be a mile or two difference in the traversable miles:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

In 1933, Chapter 767 defined the route from "[LRN 2] near Salinas to Coast Road near Castroville" as part of the highway system. In 1935, it was codified as LRN 118 with the definition:

[LRN 2] near Salinas to [LRN 56] near Castroville

This definition remained unchanged until 1963. It ran from US 101 near Salinas to Route 1 near Castroville, and is present-day Route 183.


Acronyms and Explanations:


Back Arrow Route 117 Forward Arrow Route 119

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Maintained by: Daniel P. Faigin <webmaster@cahighways.org>.