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State Route 18

Click here for a key to the symbols used. An explanation of acronyms may be found at the bottom of the page.


Routing Routing

  1. Rte 18 Seg 1From Route 10 near San Bernardino to Route 210.

    Unconstructed Unconstructed (5 miles). The freeway route adoption was rescinded in 1975. At that time the need for Route 18 southerly of then Route 30 (now Route 210) was a low priority. The portion N of Route 10 (Harrison Canyon Alignment) is needed to meet traffic demands (Waterman Ave.). No local roads adequately fit the description of a traversable highway.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1963, this route was a single segment, and was defined as "from Route 10 near San Bernardino to Route 138 via San Bernardino, near Mountain View Avenue and via Waterman Canyon, Big Bear Lake, Baldwin Lake, and near Victorville."

    Scott Parker on AARoads provided some insight on the 1963 definition:
    (Source: Sparker on AARoads, "Re: CA 259", 5/24/2019)

    Before the 1958-59 construction of the (then) I-15 (now I-215) freeway north from I-10 into central San Bernardino, Pre-1964 Route 18 (aka LRN 43) took a convoluted path through downtown: coming into town multiplexed with US 91 & US 395 on Mt. Vernon St., then turning right on 3rd Street (at the south end of the old Mt. Vernon bridge over the Santa Fe yards) to E Street, then turning north on E to Highland (LRN 190/Route 30). It then turned right on Highland a few blocks to Sierra, turning north until that street segued into the original 2-lane Route 18 up into the mountains. Two things happened with the '64 renumbering: new Route 18 came out of the mountains (SB) and at least was intended to temporarily terminate at Route 30; a typical Division of Highways/Caltrans unadopted "dotted line on a map" showed Route 18 extending south more or less along Waterman Ave., the major N-S arterial in the area, all the way to I-10 in the Loma Linda area between Colton and Redlands. When Route 18 was improved in the mountains (opened in early '71) to a 4-lane expressway, its "flatland" alignment was in fact shifted a few blocks east to Waterman Ave. rather than the previous Sierra alignment, because the latter could not easily be expanded to 4 lanes, while Waterman could. Curiously, Sierra was signed as "Business Route 18" -- although it traversed a decidedly residential neighborhood. Route 18 was signed down to the then-Route 30 freeway; initially signage took it west on Route 30 to the present Route 259 "cutoff", then right over that freeway to a terminus at (then) I-15 (which became I-15E at the end of 1972 and I-215 ten years later). Somewhere in the mid-70's any Route 18 signage -- reassurance or trailblazer -- was removed south/west of the Waterman Ave. interchange with Route 30; signage from I-15E/I-215 NB onto Route 259 was "TO Route 30 EAST" with a secondary line "TO Route 18/MOUNTAIN RESORTS"; from Route 30 WB it was "TO I-15E(I-215) SOUTH". Variations on that signage persisted even when Route 30 was extended west to I-215 and east to Redlands (and Route 330) by 1992; [even by 2012] the configuration was the same (but now referring to Route 210 rather than Route 30, of course). The gist of the matter was that originally Route 18 was intended to extend south across the east end of San Bernardino; as that never occurred, Route 259 remains part of the most direct connection between much of the regional freeway network (210 to the west notwithstanding) and the main artery up the mountain to the Crestline/Lake Arrowhead area -- essentially functioning, as it has since its opening in the late '60's, as a natural extension of Route 18.

    In 1965, the definition was relaxed to "Route 10 near San Bernardino to Route 138 via San Bernardino, Waterman Canyon, Big Bear Lake, Baldwin Lake, and near Victorville."

    In 1984, Chapter 409 split the definition into two parts: (a) Route 10 near San Bernardino to Route 15 via San Bernardino, Big Bear Lake, and Victorville. (b) Route 15 to Route 138.

    In 1986, Chapter 928 tightened the language for this segment to be "Route 15 in Victorville via Big Bear Lake".

    In 1994, Chapter 1220 split the segment again into "(a) Route 10 near San Bernardino to Route 30. (b) Route 10 [sic] near San Bernardino to Route 15 in Victorville via Big Bear Lake." AB 1650, Ch 724, 10/10/99, corrected the reference to Route 30, which had been renumbered as Route 210.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    1944 MapIn 1934, Route 18 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 19 near Artesia to Victorville, via San Bernardino and Big Bear Lake. The portion of this route from I-10 to San Bernardino was originally part of LRN 26, defined in 1916, as part of a spur off of LRN 26 from Colton to connect to San Bernardino (presumably, as a county seat) ["together with a connection from near Colton to San Bernardino"]. In 1959, this segment was redefined to be LRN 275, and the spur that was part of LRN 26 was deleted. The 1959 LRN 275 also extended the route to Route 30 (now I-210), as the spur had only gone as far as LRN 9 (US 66).

    Note: See the history of US 99 in San Bernardino for more information on the historical routing of Route 18.

    Pre-1964 Route 18 South and West of I-10

    Rte 18 in 1940Pre-1964 State Shield As noted above, in 1934, Route 18 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 19 (Lakewood Blvd) near Artesia to Victorville, via San Bernardino and Big Bear Lake. In 1963, it was truncated to start at I-10.

    South of San Bernardino, until at least 1961, Route 18 continued S through Colton to Lakewood, along the routes of the current Route 215 to Riverside, and Route 91 and Route 55 to Anaheim-Olive (which later became Lincoln Blvd near Olive. then W along Anaheim Olive (now Lincoln), Center Street (Lincoln), and Lincoln Ave to Lakewood Blvd.

    In 1953, the underlying LRN along Lincoln between Route 55 and US 101 was deleted. It appears that Route 18 signage in the wild along Lincoln may have been retained along city streets, but the state highway maps show Route 18 ending at the jct. with LRN 175 (Imperial Highway, later the Riverside Freeway), and then picking up along Lincoln W of Manchester. The focus of the Department of Highways at the time was signing US 91. After 1953, US 91 was routing along LRN 175 westward to varying degrees depending on the completion of the freeway, heading back down S to pick up the original LRN 178 (Route 18) routing at an appropriate N/S lateral (State College, LRN 180; Brookhurst St; Manchester, Byp US 101).

    W of US 101, Route 18 was supposedly signed with US 91 to Lakewood Blvd. This routing was LRN 178. The route was defined in 1933. In the 1963 renumbering, this became Route 214.


  2. Rte 18 Seg 2From Route 210 near San Bernardino to Route 15 in Victorville via Big Bear Lake.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment was created in 1994 (Chapter 1220) from a split of former segment (a), which was created in 1984 and tighted in 1986. Former segment (a) in 1986 read: "(a) Route 10 near San Bernardino to Route 15 in Victorville via Big Bear Lake.". It was split into "(a) Route 10 near San Bernardino to Route 30. (b) Route 10 [sic] near San Bernardino to Route 15 in Victorville via Big Bear Lake." In 1996, Chapter 1154 changed "Route 10" to "Route 30".

    Additionally, the original routing was relocated to Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake per the route adoption dated 5/23/91.

    Note that a big numbering switch also occured in 1964. Prior to 1964, Route 18 ran N from San Bernardino. At Running Springs, it joined with Route 30 (now Route 330) up from Highland, and continued cosigned Route 18/Route 30 to the W end of Big Bear Lake. At this point, Route 30 ran along the S edge of the lake, and Route 18 ran along the N end. When the new definitions went into place, Route 18 was rerouted to the S side of Big Bear Lake (replacing what had been signed as Route 30). The cosigning that existed between the W end of Big Bear Lake and the Route 30 (now Route 330)/Route 18 junction was eliminated, and the route was just signed as Route 18. The old Route 18 routing on the N side of the lake was signed as Route 38.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 18 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 19 near Artesia to Victorville, via San Bernardino and Big Bear Lake. Before 1964, this segment was LRN 43. The segment between Route 30 and Big Bear Lake dates to 1917 (when it was Crest Drive; later Rim of the World Highway) the remainder was an extension defined in 1933 (note that LRN 43 actually covered both the northern and southern routes along the Big Bear Lake — the northern routing, defined in 1931, was later renumbered Route 38).

    Crest Drive/Rim of the World Highway was initially constructed in 1852 as a logging road by Mormon settlers in what is now modern day San Bernardino County. Crest Drive became suddenly increasingly important following the discovery of Gold in Holcomb Valley located near modern day Bear Lake. A large town known as Belleville developed around the Holcomb Valley mining claims. Growth in Belleville was so rapid that it almost took the San Bernardino County seat from San Bernardino. Although the Gold Rush in Holcomb Valley last about a decade mining continued in the area until the 1910s. By the turn of the 20th Century the crest of the San Bernardino Mountains had become an increasingly popular locale for recreation. It appears that one of the primary drivers in adding Crest Drive to the State Highway system was likely to eliminate the toll facility in the area. A 1919 Third State Highway Bond Act measure extended LRN 43 over Bear Valley Dam, this is reflected on the 1920 State Highway Map. Previously LRN 43 had been routed north of Bear Lake (which would become part of Route 38).
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog - California State Route 18; the Rim of the World Highway to California State Route 138)

    066 in VictorvilleVictorville provides another example of a rerouting in the late 1940s to eliminate a number of dangerous curves. Note from these comparison maps how the old Route 18 is still visible as a dirt trail near the current highway. The previous Route 18 routing had seventeen curves, some of them "hairpin" variety with radii as short as 50 feet that made it impossible for trucks and trailers to negotiate them without blocking traffic or risking collision. The revised routing has four curves of easy transition ranging in radii from 1,000 to 2,000 feet designed for a safe driving speed of 50mph.

    Tom Fearer provided a chronology of the mountain routings:
    (Source: Tom Fearer (Max R) on AARoad, "Re: CA 18", 10/1/2019)

    • The precursor to Route 18 from San Bernardino up Waterman Canyon to Big Bear was known as Crest Road which was constructed as a logging route in 1852 by Mormon Pioneers. Crest Road was gradually improved as mining interest in Holcomb Valley and with water rights in Bear Valley increased over the following decades.
    • In 1917 LRN 43 was adopted from where the pavement in Waterman Canyon ended east towards Bear Valley north of Bear Valley Lake.
    • In 1919 a spur of LRN 43 was extended over Bear Valley Dam east through modern Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City.
    • In 1931 LRN 43 was extended northwest from Bear Valley to US 66 in Victorville, south out of Waterman Canyon to San Bernardino and southwest to Newport Beach.
    • In 1934 LRN 43 was signed as Route 18 between US 66 in Victorville and Route 55 near Olive. Route 18 then ran to Lakewood along Harbor Blvd using LRN 178.
    • In 1947 US 91 was extended from Barstow to Long Beach. This extension included a multiplex of Route 18 from San Bernardino to Lakewood, and then down Route 19 to Long Beach.
    • Route 30 appears to have first been signed in 1954 and had an eastern terminus at Route 18 in Running Springs.
    • In 1957 Route 30 was extended east on a multiplex to Bear Valley. Route 30 ran along the south shore of Bear Valley whereas Route 18 stayed on it's original alignment on the north shore.
    • In 1962 Route 18 was truncated to end in San Bernardino where it ended at US 66/91/395.
    • In 1964 Route 18 west legislatively extended west from Victorville to Llano on what was the unbuilt LRN 268. Route 18 was also shifted to the south shore of Big Bear Lake and Route 38 took over the previous north shore alignment.
    • In 1965 Route 18 was truncated to CA 30 in San Bernardino whereas the previous stub to US 66/91/395 became Route 259.
    • The western extension of Route 18 from Victorville to Llano was complete by 1967.
    • By 1970 Route 18 between San Bernardino and Route 18 was completed to expressway standards.
    • In 1991 Route 18 was shifted out of Bear Valley Lake Village which created the somewhat unofficial Route 18 Business Loop.

    Status Status

    In September 2012, it was reported that the Caltrans has ordered the CHP to make the 26-mile stretch of Route 18 between Route 138 and Route 38 (~ SBD R17.216 to SBD 44.411) a Daylight Headlight Section. Fines for violations could be as high as $350. The Daylight Headlight Section came about because of a request from community members made during the second annual Community Preparedness Meeting and Open House in 2011 in Lake Arrowhead.

    [Route 18 Bridge Replacement]In April 2006, the CTC heard the results of a draft EIR related to replacement of an existing bridge near Big Bear in San Bernardino County (SBD PM 44.2/44.7). This project is programmed in the 2006 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. The total estimated project cost is $58,314,000. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2007-08. The following alternative are being considered: (•) Alternative 4 - "Lake Crossing", which proposes to construct a new three-lane bridge across the western end of Big Bear Lake that would widen and realign the approach to accommodate the new structure and eliminate a substandard curve on Route 18, as well as signalization of the intersection of Route 18 and Route 38 to improve channelization during peak hour traffic on weekends and holidays, (•) Alternative 5 - "Canyon Crossing", which proposes to construct a new three-lane bridge across Bear Lake Canyon, widening and realigning the approach to accommodate the new structure and realign a substandard curve on Route 18, as well as signalization of the intersection of Route 18 and Route 38 to improve channelization during peak hour traffic on weekends and holidays, or (•) No-Build Alternative. Because Route 18 and Route 38 are part of the United States Forest Service (USFS) scenic byway system and are eligible for listing as State Scenic Highways, any activities that could alter aesthetics are considered significant. The proposed project will remove mature trees and modify large rock outcroppings in the area. It will also modify the gateway view of Big Bear Lake by introducing new and larger transportation elements.

    In August 2015, the CTC approved $3,296,000 for a project in San Bernardino County, on Route 18 (08-SBd-18, 49.1/51.6) in Big Bear Lake, from Pine Knot Avenue to Stanfield cutoff that will construct auxiliary lanes in both directions to reduce congestion and improve highway operations and mobility.

    Cushenberry Creek Bridge (SBD 64.60)

    In May 2009, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that will replace the existing Cushenberry Creek Bridge (SBD 064.60) on a new alignment, remove the existing bridge, improve drainage, and construct roadway improvements near Lucerne Valley. The project is fully funded and is programmed in the 2008 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. Total estimated project cost is $11,639,000, capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2009-10.

    In August 2011, the CTC approved $100,000 in SHOPP funding for repairs near Lucerne Valley, at Cushenbury Creek Bridge, that will provide landscape mitigation covering one acre area at one bridge replacement project site. Project will maintain existing plants for four years to facilitate plant establishment.

    Realignment - Apple Valley to Adelanto (~SBD 86.886 to SBD 100.873)

    Portions of this routing may be affected by the High Desert Corridor; see Route 138 for a discussion of the HDC. According to SANBAG, the City of Victorville has secured Federal Demonstration funds for the Project Approval and Environmental Document (PA&ED) phase of the High Desert Corridor project. The project realigns Route 18 to a new alignment from Joshua Road in the Town of Apple Valley (~SBD 86.886) to US 395 in the City of Adelanto (~ SBD 100.873). The new facility will be a four-lane expressway. The project is the first phase of the eventual High Desert Corridor linking the Victor Valley to the Antelope Valley.

    Route 18 is a two-lane street with a continuous center turn lane in the Town of Apple Valley and City of Victorville (D Street). When Route 18 junctions with I-15, travelers must follow I-15 south to Palmdale Road, where Route 18 proceeds west. Palmdale Road is a four-lane street until it leaves the city, at which time it becomes a two-lane conventional highway until it terminates at Route 138 in Los Angeles County. The project will realign Route 18 from Joshua Road in the Town of Apple Valley to US 395 in the City of Adelanto. The proposed alignment proceeds north until it nears the Apple Valley Airport, where it turns west. The alignment continues west until it links with Air Expressway near Southern California Logistics Airport in the City of Victorville and proceeds on to US 395. The new facility will be a four-lane expressway with at-grade intersections from Joshua Road to I-15, and will include an interchange at I-15. From I-15 to US 395, the facility will be a four-lane freeway with grade separated interchanges at Phantom East and either Adelanto Road or existing US 395.

    Reconstruction - Route 18 and Apple Valley Road (08-SBd-18, PM 94.2/96.6)

    Rte 18 Apple Valley RdIn the SB1 Project List, as of June 2018, under the Local Streets and Roads program, the following appears: Rt 18 West End Widening/Ph1 - Apple Valley Rd Realignment: Widening Route 18 from four to six lanes; realign and widening Apple Valley Road; modify existing drainage system; replace existing traffic signal; new retaining wall; curb and sidewalk improvements. $4,450,000.

    In February 2019, it was reported that Town Council action has restarted a decade-old road construction project at the intersection of Route 18 and Apple Valley Road. Council members approved a contract amendment on Jan. 22, 2019 for pre-construction work related to an overhaul of the intersection. The $491,366 amendment represents a not-to-exceed amount paid to Dokken Engineering for environmental and design services. The project is expected to widen the highway to six lanes, and Apple Valley Road to four lanes, among other improvements. The amendment increases Dokken’s total contract to more than $1.3 million for a combination of tasks that includes project management. The initial contract was approved Nov. 18, 2008, for a not-to-exceed amount of $417,000, town documents show. Dokken’s latest proposal had been in process for about a year and a half. A nearly $4.5 million California Transportation Commission grant and right-of-way acquisition from the state allowed for its consideration. Dokken completed 95 percent of the planning and design work between 2011 and 2014, but the project was put on hold in 2015 due to a lack of available funding for construction. The $4.5 million secured in 2018 through the CTC’s Local Partnership Program, created via passage of Senate Bill 1 in 2017, meant the project could again move forward. At the time, Town officials estimated a summer 2019 start for construction. But “all the environmental studies, all of the reviews, a lot of the water-quality regulations have changed” since 2014. In addition to widening Route 18 and Apple Valley Road, construction will eliminate Wika Road, a frontage road at the intersection’s northwest corner, according to a previous Daily Press report. Outer Highway 18 will be changed to a one-way road at the southeast corner. Grade changes along the roadway will be reduced, as well. Residents can also expect new traffic signals, storm drain installation, improved signage, retaining walls, additional crosswalks and sidewalks, among other upgrades. The project is currently valued at approximately 8 million, town documents show. Grant funds will be matched with San Bernardino County Transportation Authority Measure I funds and Apple Valley Transportation Impact Fees to cover costs. “It’s almost hard to imagine how complex this project will be and how hard it is to design,” according to the Town Manager. “This intersection is the busiest intersection in town. There are very few alternate routes, and the construction-phasing aspect of it is going to be trying to keep the number of lanes open that we have on a normal day during construction.”
    (Source: Victor Valley Daily Press, 2/5/2019)

    In May 2020, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding the State Route 18/Apple Valley Road Intersection Realignment Project (08-SBd-18, PM 94.2/96.6), which will widen and realign the Apple Valley Road Approach to the Route 18/Apple Valley Road Intersection in San Bernardino County. (PPNO 3010U). The project is located in the Town of Apple Valley on Route 18 in San Bernardino County. The objective of the project is to widen and realign the Apple Valley Road approach to the Route 18/Apple Valley Road intersection to reduce excessive vehicle delays and improve traffic operations. This project is fully funded and currently programmed in the 2018 Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) Local Partnership Program (LPP) for a total of $8,900,000 in LPP funds and Local funds. Construction is estimated to begin fiscal year 2019-2020. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the California Transportation Commission (Commission) in the 2018 SB 1 LPP.
    (Source: May 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.2c.(1))

    In May 2020, the CTC approved the following STIP allocation: $4,450,000. 08-SBd-18 94.2/94.6. PPNO 08-3010U. ProjID 0818000194 EA 0G920. Route 18 West End Widening- Phase 1 Apple Valley Road Realignment. In the town of Apple Valley, at the intersection of Route 18 and Apple Valley Road. Widen Route 18, realign and widen Apple Valley Road, upgrade/modify existing drainage system, replace existing traffic signal and construct various sidewalk  improvements. Allocation: CONST $4,450,000.
    (Source: May 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5s.(2))

    In August 2020, the CTC received notice of the following delegated allocation: $8,032,000. 08-SBd-18 97.0/99.5. PPNO 08-3006F ProjID 0813000140 EA 1E060. Route 18 In and near Victorville, from Amargosa Road to Cobalt Road. Outcome/Output: Improve safety by constructing raised curb median, widening roadway, and installing traffic signal. This project will reduce the number and severity of collisions.
    (Source: August 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5f.(3) #8)

    Naming Naming

    "Rim of the World" Highway; "North Shore" Drive; "Big Bear Blvd.", "Lakeview Dr." and "Paine Rd.".

    Donald S. Wieman Vista PointOn Route 18 in San Bernardino County, at PM SBD 21.4, two miles south of the City of Rimforest, may be found the Donald S. Wieman Vista Point. It was named in honor of Donald S. Wieman, a native Californian (b. 1900), who was a skilled stone mason and building contractor in the Glendale, California area. He moved to San Bernardino in 1932 to work for the California Division of Highways and was responsible for constructing miles of red rock walls and other structures along Route 18, also known as the Rim of the World Highway. This masonry work was part of a major state public works program aimed at recovery from the Great Depression. He rose through the ranks of the Division of Highways to the position of Maintenance Superintendent, Special Crews, from which he retired in 1965. The historical marker reads as follows: "Donald S. Wieman / 1900 - 1977 / In 1932, during the Great Depression, California launched a large public works project to aid recovery. A major component was the construction of masonry walls, parapets and fountains along the historic "Rim of the World" highway. This work, widely acclaimed for its beauty and craftsmanship, was the handiwork of Donald S. Wieman. This vista point is dedicated to his memory." Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 248, Chapter 195, September 16, 2004.
    (Image source: Historical Marker Database)

    Rim of the World Veterans HighwayThe segment of this route in the County of San Bernardino, beginning at the intersection of Route 18 and Route 330 and continuing toward Big Bear Lake for 4.5 miles (~ SBD 31.548 to SBD 36.048), is designated the "Rim of the World Veterans Memorial Highway". It was named in honor of the nearly two million veterans that reside in the State of California, and particularly those veterans who live in the San Bernardino Mountains. The naming was spearheaded by the American Legion Post 360 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9624, who partnered to sponsor the “Rim of the World Veterans Memorial Highway” designation in honor of those who have dedicated their lives to the service of this nation. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 21, Res. Chapter 87, Statutes of 2015, on July 1, 2015.
    (Image source: Alpenhorn News)

    The segment of this route in the City of Apple Valley (~SBD 86.844 to SBD 95.395) is officially named the "Happy Trails Highway". It was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 82, Chapter 80, in 1992. Happy Trails was the song and slogan made famous by Roy Rodgers and his wife, Dale Evens, both residents of Apple Valley. More information on Roy Rodgers can be found at the Roy Rodgers-Dale Evens Website. The Roy Rodgers Museum was located in Victorville, CA, until March 2003.

    Business Routes Business Routes

    This route appears to have a business route on Sierra Way in San Bernardino, N of Route 210. Cameron Kaiser reports that, as of May 2009, Business Route 18, appears to be quite alive. There has been some evidence of sign replacement on Sierra Way, including a brand-new Rourte 18 and BUSINESS banner just past the bridge at Sierra and 30th.

    The old routing of Route 18 through the Village in Big Bear is signed both officially and unofficially as Business Route 18.

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.3] From Route 138 near Mt. Anderson to Route 247 near Lucerne Valley.


  3. Rte 18 Seg 3From Route 15 near Victorville to Route 138 near Pearblossom.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1963, this segment was part of the larger Route 18 that ran "from Route 10 near San Bernardino to Route 138 via San Bernardino, near Mountain View Avenue and via Waterman Canyon, Big Bear Lake, Baldwin Lake, and near Victorville." This definition was relaxed in 1965 to "Route 10 near San Bernardino to Route 138 via San Bernardino, Waterman Canyon, Big Bear Lake, Baldwin Lake, and near Victorville."

    Scott Parker on AARoads noted: The western extension of Route 18 from I-15 to Route 138 in L.A. County was, prior to its adoption into the state highway system in late '67, a well-used county facility. Bringing that road into the system at that particular time was prompted by Southern Pacific's construction of their Palmdale-Colton "cutoff" line enabling freight traffic to bypass central L.A. The tracks would have crossed that road at a very sharp angle, generally considered the most dangerous crossing type; San Bernardino County was reluctant (and short of available funds) to pay for a road overpass, so they petitioned the Division of Highways to adopt the road; it was close to the unadopted Route 18 extension -- but at the time the Division preferred a new-terrain alignment a bit to the north of that road. But the county was persistent, so in late 1965 the Division "caved" and agreed to take the road into the system and construct an overpass over the new SP line. When the bridge was completed in the fall of '67, the adoption was formalized. But even then signage was sporadic, mostly clustered at I-15 and Route 138 as well as the US 395 "crossroads" in west Victorville; reassurance shields were, for the most part, absent apart from those junctions.
    (Source: Scott Parker on AARoads, "Re: CA 18", 10/2/2019)

    In 1984, Chapter 409 split the definition into two parts: (a) Route 10 near San Bernardino to Route 15 via San Bernardino, Big Bear Lake, and Victorville. (b) Route 15 to Route 138.

    In 1986, Chapter 928 tightened the language for this segment: "Route 15 near Victorville to Route 138 near Pearblossom."

    This segment was planned as freeway in 1965; never upgraded. It may be part of the High Desert Corridor.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    This segment was not signed as part of Route 18 until 1967. It was LRN 268, and was defined in 1959. It wasn't constructed until after 1967.

    Status Status

    In April 2019, it was reported that construction on a new raised curb median along Palmdale Road (Route 18) between Cobalt Road in Victorville and US 395 (~ SBD 99.451 to SBD 100.984) was starting in May 2019. The $15 million project will construct a raised curb median and include the reconfiguration of left turn pockets to enhance safety and help eliminate cross-median collisions. The project is expected to be complete in summer 2020. Weather conditions may affect the completion date of this project. Construction on the project began 7/15/2019
    (Source: Victorville News, 4/24/2019; CaltransCommuter Alert, 7/3/2019)

    Route 18 Rumble Strip Project (08-SBd-18, PM 101.5/115.9)

    Rte 18 Rumble Strip ProjectIn March 2018, a Draft EIR was released for a proposed safety project to widen the shoulders and install rumble strips on Route 18. The project would occur between SBD 101.5 in the City of Adelanto (0.5 mi W of US 395) and SBD 115.9 on the northern edge of unincorporated Pinon Hills (this is the LA County Line, near the point where Route 138 and Route 18 meet). The eastern 2.4 miles of this highway segment are located within the City of Adelanto and the remaining 12.0 miles of this roadway segment is situated within unincorporated San Bernardino County. The project proposes to build a 4 foot median buffer, widen existing shoulders to 8 feet, and add centerline and shoulder rumble strips to both sides of the roadway. The project will also replace existing dikes, install new guardrail as necessary, and extend or replace existing culverts. The purpose of the proposed project is to warn and/or alert distracted motorists about the imminent potential for crossing the centerline into oncoming traffic and/or crossing onto the shoulder. The centerline rumble strip and shoulder rumble strip will generate an audible noise and rumble effect when tires pass over it to warn drivers to take corrective action to bring the vehicle back in the lane. Replacing the existing pavement markers and re-striping will enhance the visibility and delineation of the pavement. The proposed project is expected result in a reduction of cross-centerline and run-off road collisions along this segment of Route 18. The purpose of the proposed project is also to upgrade the existing shoulders to comply with the Caltrans Highway Safety Improvement Guidelines (CHSIG). The annual average daily traffic on Route 18 (2013) is 8,600. The opening year (2020) traffic is 8,900 and year 2040 traffic is expected to reach 10,000.
    (Source: Route 18 Initial Study with Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration, March 2018)

    In August 2018, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding the following project for which a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) has been completed: Route 18 in San Bernardino County (08-SBd-18, PM 101.5/115.9). Construct roadway improvements to a portion of Route 18 near the city of Adelanto. (PPNO 0191G) This project is located on Route 18 in and near the city of Adelanto in San Bernardino County. The project proposes to widen shoulders and add centerline and shoulder rumble strips. This project is expected to reduce the incidence and severity of cross centerline accidents. The proposed project is estimated to cost $49.0 million. This project is fully funded and is currently programmed in the 2016 SHOPP for approximately $48.5 million which includes Construction (capital and support) and Right-of-Way (capital and support). The project is estimated to begin construction in funding Fiscal Year 2018-19. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2016 SHOPP.
    (Source: August 2018 CTC Agenda Item 2.2c(1))

    In August 2018, the Department allocated $28,848,000 to the following SHOPP project: San Bernardino 08-SBd-18 101.5/115.9. Route 18 In and near Adelanto, from 0.5 mile west of Route 395 to 0.9 mile west of Oasis Road. Outcome/Output: Widen shoulders and add centerline and shoulder rumble strips. This project will reduce the number and severity of collisions.
    (Source: October 2018 CTC Agenda Item 2.5f.(3) Item 9)

    In July 2019, Caltrans advised that they were beginning a safety operation on Route 18 in and near the city of Adelanto from the US 395 junction to 263rd East Street. This project will include the widening of existing shoulders to state standards and the installation of center line and shoulder rumble strips.
    (Source: Caltrans Commuter Alert, 7/1/2019)

    In March 2016, the CTC approved additional funding for a project located in Los Angeles County on Route 18, near the city of Palmdale (a bit W of the Route 138 junction), at Overhead No. 53-2331 (LA 000.19). It will replace the bridge deck, joint seals and bridge railing.

    Naming Naming

    This route is named "Palmdale Road".


Freeway Freeway

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

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 18:

Interregional Route Interregional Route

[SHC 164.11] Between the north urban limits of San Bernardino-Riverside and Route 15.

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

The route that was to become LRN 18 was roughly defined in 1895 by Chapter 96, with the words "...a free wagon road from the town of Mariposa in Mariposa County to the Yosemite Valley...". However, this act was for surveying the route only, no construction (and that act was repealed in 1935). In 1909, the First Bond Act funded construction from Merced to Mariposa. In 1915, Chapter 396 brought the "Big Oak Flat State Highway" into the system, which also added potential mileage to the route. In 1916, the Second Bond Act extended the route to El Portal ("an extension of the Mariposa county state highway lateral to or near the railway station El Portal in Mariposa County;"). Portions of this were "Old Highway"; this is explored in the Gribblenation Blog Old Highway; Mariposa County (Old Legislative Route Number 18).

In 1929, the route definition was amended by Chapter 537:

"That all that certain highway in Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties known as the Big Oak Flat and Yosemite road, beginning on the Sonora lateral, [LRN 13], and running thence in a general E-ly direction through Big Oak Flat and Buck Meadows to the Yosemite national park boundary at Crane Flat is hereby declared a state highway..."

By 1935, the route was codified into the highway code as:

[LRN 18] is from:

  1. Merced to Yosemite National Park near El Portal via Mariposa.
  2. [LRN 40] to the Yosemite National Park Boundary at Crane Flat.

The portion from Merced to Yosemite National Park was primary highway.

In 1943, Chapter 964 deleted the second segment of the route from the highway system. This left the definition as "Merced to Yosemite National Park near El Portal via Mariposa".

This was signed as Route 140 between Merced and Yosemite, and was defined in 1909.

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Acronyms and Explanations:


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© 1996-2020 Daniel P. Faigin.
Maintained by: Daniel P. Faigin <webmaster@cahighways.org>.