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State Route 74

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Routing Routing

  1. Rte 74 Seg 1(a)(1) From Route 5 near San Juan Capistrano to Route 15 near Lake Elsinore.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1963, this segment was defined as the route from "Route 5 near San Juan Capistrano to Route 71."

    This segment was originally planned as freeway within Orange County and Riverside County in 1965.

    In 1976, Chapter 1354, changed "Route 71" to "Route 15", reflecting the establishment of the route of the real I-15, and the renumbering of the old I-15 as I-15E (Route 194)

    In 1986, Chapter 928 clarified the terminus of this segment to be "Route 15 near Lake Elsinore."

    In 2008, Chapter 635 (AB 1915, 9/30/2008) authorized the relinquishment of the portion within the City of Lake Elsinore with the usual language:

    (1) The commission may relinquish to the City of Lake Elsinore the portion of Route 74 located within the city limits of that city, upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state.

    (2) Any relinquishment agreement shall require that the City of Lake Elsinore administer the operation and maintenance of the highway in a manner consistent with professional traffic engineering standards.

    (3) Any relinquishment agreement shall require the City of Lake Elsinore to ensure that appropriate traffic studies or analyses will be performed to substantiate any decisions affecting the highway.

    (4) Any relinquishment agreement shall also require the City of Lake Elsinore to provide for public notice and the consideration of public input on the proximate effects of any proposed decision on traffic flow, residences, or businesses, other than a decision on routine maintenance.

    (5) Notwithstanding any of its other terms, any relinquishment agreement shall require the City of Lake Elsinore to indemnify and hold the department harmless from any liability for any claims made or damages suffered by any person, including a public entity, as a result of any decision made or action taken by the City of Lake Elsinore, its officers, employees, contractors, or agents, with respect to the design, maintenance, construction, or operation of that portion of Route 74 that is to be relinquished to the city.

    (6) A relinquishment under this subdivision shall become effective immediately after the county recorder records the relinquishment resolution that contains the commission's approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment.

    (7) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, both of the following shall occur: (A) The portion of Route 74 relinquished shall cease to be a state highway. (B) The portion of Route 74 relinquished may not be considered for future adoption under Section 81.

    (9) For relinquished portions of Route 74, the City of Lake Elsinore shall maintain signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 74.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 74 was signed along the route from Jct. US 101 at San Juan Capistrano to Jct. Route 740 at Perris. The portion from Jct. Route 71 (US 395) to Perris may have been signed US 395. Route 740 was later renumbered as an eastern extension of Route 74. It was LRN 64, and was defined in 1933.

    The Ortega Highway built by Orange County and Riverside County beginning in 1929 which concluded in 1933.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog "California State Route 74; the Pines to Palms Highway", a/o 11/23/2019)

    Status Status

    Route 74/I-5 Interchange Improvements

    In December 2005, the OCTA, using Measure M money, authorized widening the I-5/Route 74 (ORA 0.000) interchange and widening at San Antonio Parkway. However, they eliminated from consideration plans to widen Route 55, into which Route 91 feeds, and to widen Ortega Highway (Route 74) in South County.

    In July 2010, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that would construct interchange improvements on Route 74 at I-5 (the I-5/Ortega Highway interchange) near the city of San Juan Capistrano. The project is programmed in the 2010 State Transportation Improvement Program and includes local funds. Construction is estimated to begin in FY 2012-13. Total estimated project cost is $84,514,000 for capital and support.

    In June 2015, it was reported that work on the Interstate 5 (I-5)/Ortega Highway Interchange Improvement Project is 80% complete, and the project is expected to wrap up sometime in late 2015. The $86 million project, which began construction in February 2013, widens the Ortega Highway bridge as well as the existing ramps and adds a loop on-ramp to northbound I-5. The project also realigns Ortega Highway to curve into Del Obispo Street. This will improve traffic flow on Ortega Highway as well as ease regional commutes. The deck for the second half of the new bridge was poured at the end of May 2015. The wood forms supporting the structure are set to be removed by late June or early July. Concrete pours to fill the small gap between the north and south sides of the bridge are scheduled for mid- to late July 2015. In late June, motorists will see crews placing white foam blocks at the southbound I-5 off-ramp to Ortega. These strong, lightweight blocks, known as geofoam, are used as fill for the ramp, taking the place of dirt, which requires time to compact. The northbound on-ramp and the remaining portion of the southbound off-ramp are scheduled to be paved by the end of July, but they won’t open until the bridge opens in late August or early September 2015.
    (Source: OCTA, 6/16/2015)

    In September 2015, it was reported that construction was completed on the Ortega Highway interchange with I-5. The California Department of Transportation and the Orange County Transportation Authority began improvements on the intersection of Ortega Highway and I-5 in February 2013 to relieve traffic congestion around San Juan Capistrano’s primary connection to the freeway. The $81 million project was finished the first week of September 2015 with improved traffic flow and freeway access. Construction included remodeling the bridge over the freeway, widening on- and off-ramps and a new northbound on-ramp loop. The new plans also smoothed out the traffic flow west of the freeway by making Ortega Highway lead into Del Obisbo street and diminishing two intersections to one.
    (Source: OC Register, 9/9/2015)

    In August 2011, the CTC approved $7,130,000 in SHOPP funding for repairs in San Juan Capistrano, from Route 5 to Calle Entradero Drive (~ORA 0.000 to ORA 1.064); also at PM ORA 3.0/13.3 from west of Antonio Parkway to west of Hot Springs Canyon Road, that will rehabilitate 24.6 lane miles of pavement to improve safety and ride quality.

    Lower Ortega Highway Widening (12-Ora-74, PM 1.0/2.1)

    Lower Ortega Highway Widening (12-Ora-74, PM 1.0/2.1)Caltrans also has plans to widen lower Ortega Hwy (Route 74). The existing alignment consists of four through lanes from I-5 to approximately 330 feet (ft.) east of Calle Entradero where it transitions to two through lanes. The proposed project would widen Route 74 from two lanes to four through lanes from Calle Entradero (PM 1.0) in the City of San Juan Capistrano to the City/County line at PM 1.9. Route 74 was constructed circa 1930/32 from plans prepared for Joint Highway District 15. The road was originally designed to be two lanes; each lane being 31 ft. (6.7 m) wide with a maximum grade of 6%, for vehicle speeds of 25 miles per hour (mph) to 40 mph. In 1959, this route was included within the State Freeway and Expressway System. The project would involve some alignment shifts, construction of retaining walls, and clear soundwalls. Detail can be found in the EIR. Construction for this project would be expected to start in mid-2009 and be completed in the winter of 2011. The basic widening would occur primarily on the north side of Route 74 to minimize removal of mature trees and the existing sidewalk on the south side. Currently, there are two 12-ft. lanes in each direction and no median throughout the project area. The construction would provide one additional 12-ft. wide lane in each direction, as well as a 12-ft. wide painted median. A 5-ft.-wide paved shoulder would be provided on each side of the roadway to accommodate striped on-road bicycle facilities, except from Avenida Siega to the City/County limits where it would transition to an 8-ft.-wide shoulder to merge with the County portion of the project. The edge of the pavement would have concrete curbs on each side of the roadway.

    In August and September 2008, the CTC considered splitting the widening in San Juan Capistrano into two projects. As noted above, the project proposes to widen Route 74, in and near San Juan Capistrano, by adding one lane in each direction. This will eliminate traffic bottlenecks between Calle Entradero and the San Juan Capistrano city limits and will improve the general traffic flow within the project limits. The limits of the project extend approximately one mile inside and one mile outside the city limits of San Juan Capistrano. The segment outside the city limits (the Orange County segment) has obtained environmental clearance and is ready for construction as of August 2008. Environmental clearance for the segment within the city limits has been delayed due to the need for additional environmental studies. Orange County would like to proceed with construction of the segment outside the city limits. Therefore, it is proposed to split the project into two segments, a city segment and a county segment, as follows:

    • PPNO 4110 (city segment) – In Orange County, in the city of San Juan Capistrano from Calle Entradero to the San Juan Capistrano city limit – widen from two to four lanes.
    • PPNO 4110A (county segment) – In Orange County, near San Juan Capistrano, from the San Juan Capistrano city limit to Antonio Parkway/La Pata Avenue – widen from two to four lanes.

    In March 2020, the CTC approved the 2020 STIP, which included programmed funding for PPNO 4110 "Ortega Hwy, Calle Entradero-City/Co line, widen (RIP)" of $8,540K in FY24-25.
    (Source: March 2020 CTC Agenda, Item 4.7, 2020 STIP Adopted 3/25/2020)

    In June 2020, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding 12-Ora-74, PM 1.0/2.1 Route 74 Lower Ortega Highway Widening Project. Widen Route 74 from two lanes to four lanes in Orange County. (FEIR) (PPNO 4110) (STIP). The project is located in the City of San Juan Capistrano in Orange County and would widen Route 74 by adding one through lane in each direction, east and west bound, from Calle Entradero to the eastern City of San Juan Capistrano City limits. This project is currently programmed in the 2020 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for $8,540,000 for Plans, Specifications & Estimate only. Specifically, the project proposes to widen Route 74 from two lanes to four lanes from Calle Entradero (Post Mile [PM] 1.0) to 150 feet (ft.) east of the City/County boundary (PM 1.9) with restriping from 150 ft. east of the City/County boundary to Reata Road (PM 2.1). The project will provide one additional 12 ft. lane in each direction, and a 12 ft. painted median at the western portion within the project limits. In addition, a paved 5 ft. and 8 ft. shoulder will be provided on each side of the roadway to accommodate Class II (striped on-road) bicycle facilities. The shoulder will be 8 ft. wide from Avenida Siega to the City/County boundary limits to merge with the completed county portion.  The total estimated project cost is $75,713,000. Depending on the availability of funding, construction is estimated to begin Fiscal Year 2023-2024. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2020 STIP. Due to the time lapse between the original EIR and the current request for future funding, a revalidation of the EIR was also required. Resources that may be impacted by the project include community character, and visual and aesthetics.
    (Source: June 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.2c.(14))

    In March 2014, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project in Orange County near Laguna Niguel (12-Ora-74, PM 2.93/5.06) that will widen shoulders, install rumble strips, construct turn-outs, and install guard rails at various locations along a portion of Route 74.

    Ortega Hwy Safety ZoneIn 2007, work was begun on the Caltrans Ortega Highway Safety Improvement Project, which involves a three-mile section from San Juan Hot Springs and the Orange County line (~ ORA 12.482 to ORA 16.579). This stretch of road has a section of narrow lanes, limited turn-out areas and high accident rates. The project will add 4-foot shoulders to each side of the highway, add safety enhancements to reduce road closures due to rock slides, place rumble strips in the median, improve sight distances by removing protruding rock walls, widen the existing 10-foot lanes to standard 12-foot lanes, improve drainage facilities into San Juan Creek, and improve turnouts and add two new turnouts, one in each direction. This project was completed in 2008.

    There are regional transportation improvement plans to widen the portion of Route 74 in Orange County. There are also rumors that a tunnel might be constructed to replace Route 74 (or supplement it) to improve transportation in the Orange-Riverside County corridor. Current discussions propose a triple tunnel, dug for 10 to 14 miles beneath the Santa Ana Mountains - and the Cleveland National Forest - north of Camp Pendleton. The estimated cost would be $3.6 Billion. See Route 91 for more information. (~ ORA 12.689 to RIV 11.468)

    Ortega Highway Widening (Riverside County - 08-Riv-74, PM 0.0/5.8)

    In October 2019, the CTC had on its agenda the following project for future consideration of funding: 08-Riv-74, PM 0.0/5.8 Route 74 in Riverside County. Construct roadway improvements on a portion of Route 74 near Lake Elsinore in Riverside County. (PPNO 0050P). This project is located on Route 74 near Lake Elsinore, in Riverside County. This project proposes to widen the roadway to standard lane widths and shoulders, and construct ground in rumble strips. Widening the shoulders would require constructing retaining walls with concrete barriers, cutting the rock slopes, and installing fill slopes. This project is fully funded and currently programmed in the 2018 SHOPP for construction capital and construction support. Construction is projected to begin in 2018. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2018 SHOPP.

    The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following Collision Reduction item of interest (carried over from the 2018 SHOPP): 08-Riverside-74 PM 5.7/11.8 PPNO 3016R Proj ID 0819000090 EA 1K690. Route 74 in and near Lake Elsinore, from west of Monte Vista Street/Vista Road to Grand Avenue. Widen roadway to provide a two-foot median buffer and four-foot shoulders, install rumble strips, upgrade guardrail, and regrade side slopes. Programmed in FY23-24, with construction scheduled to start in December 2024. Total project cost is $115,474K, with $95,261K being capital (const and right of way) and $20,213K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.).
    (Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

    Leach Canyon Bridge Reconstruction (RIV 13.2)

    In October 2018, it was reported that the CTC authorized funding (as part of a larger package of bridge funding) to upgrade Bridge 56-0750 (RIV 13.23, built in 1977) at Leach Canyon. This work is set to begin in January 2021
    (Source: Press Enterprise, 10/25/2018)

    In May 2020, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding the Bridge Replacement and Bridge Rail Upgrade project (08-Riv-74, PM 13.2, 33.9; 08-Riv-79, PM 9.3; 08-Riv-371, PM 65.4), which will replace one bridge and make improvements to other bridges in Riverside County. (PPNO 3002C). The project is located in the City of Lake Elsinore on Route 74, among other locations, in Riverside County. The Department plans to widen Leach Canyon Bridge on Route 74 to provide standard shoulder width and upgrade the bridge rail, as well as make improvements to other bridges. The purpose of the project is to improve the safety of the traveling public by upgrading bridge rails to meet current crash and safety standards. This project is fully funded and currently programmed in the 2018 SHOPP for a total of $12,880,000 which includes Construction (capital and support) and Right of Way (capital and support). The total estimated project cost is $14 million. Construction is estimated to begin fiscal year 2020-2021. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2018 SHOPP.
    (Source: May 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.2c.(1))

    In August 2020, the CTC approved the following financial allocation for construction and construction support:  $9,969,000. 08-Riv-74 PM 13.2/34.0. Route 74 In and near the cities of Lake Elsinore, Perris, Menifee and Hemet, at Leach Canyon Channel Bridge No. 56-0750 and Blue Ridge Wash Bridge No. 56-0257; also on Route 79 and Route 371, at Arroyo Seco Bridge No. 56-0189, and Cahuilla Bridge No. 56-0490. Outcome/Output: Upgrade bridge rail on three bridges, replace one bridge, and extend one culvert. This project will upgrade bridges to meet current crash and safety standards.
    (Source: August 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5b.(1) #39)

    Relinquishment to Lake Elsinore (08-Riv-74 PM 17.35/19.62)

    There are plans to relinquish this route in Lake Elsinore and Perris to give the city more control over the roadway. In June 2008, the state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee unanimously approved AB 1915, a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore. The vote sends the relinquishment bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee, after which it will be voted on by the full Senate and then Gov. Schwarzenegger. Lake Elsinore has sought to control a portion of Route 74 from just east of I-15 to Grand Avenue since 2006, after Caltrans denied the city's request to put a traffic signal at a corner where a 9-year-old girl died in 2004. By acquiring the roadway, which runs along portions of Central Avenue, Collier Avenue and Riverside Drive, the city would be able to complete about $8 million in road improvements. Perris wants to control a portion of the highway between Redlands Avenue and Seventh Street to make similar improvements. (source)

    In January 2017, it was reported that Lake Elsinore has been trying to pry the highway from state hands for years. Though legislation in 2008 set the stage for negotiations, the two agencies couldn’t agree on what the state should pay the city for maintenance and liability. In 2015, state Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, a former Lake Elsinore city councilwoman, authored AB 218. It authorized the state to negotiate with the county for the relinquishment of the section between Perris and Lake Elsinore. The bill passed and was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The Caltrans and county discussions gave impetus for reopening talks with Lake Elsinore over the segment running east from I-15. Caltrans has agreed to provide the county $5.8 million and Lake Elsinore $2.2 million for the takeovers. The City Council was scheduled to approve the agreement Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, but postponed it until Jan. 24 — which is when county supervisors are expected to act on their pact. Lake Elsinore City Manager Grant Yates said state officials requested the delay to make some minor modifications to the agreement, but it should not stop it from reaching by the transportation commission. Local control will enable the city to do its own street improvements, maintenance and development reviews without Caltrans involvement.
    (Source: Press Enterprise, 1/12/2017)

    In March 2017, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the city of Lake Elsinore on Route 74 from Dexter Avenue to the easterly city limits (08-Riv-74 PM 17.35/19.62), under terms and conditions as stated in the relinquishment agreement dated February 13, 2017, determined to be in the best interest of the State. Authorized by Chapter 635, Statutes of 2008, which amended Section 374 of the Streets and Highways Code. The SHOPP amendments showed that the cost of relinquishment was $2.2M for the portion in Lake Elsinore.

    In 2005, about 8,900 cars a day used the route, with traffic expected to swell to 28,700 cars a day by 2025, according to Caltrans.

    Double Fine Zones Double Fine Zones

    Between Route 5 and the Riverside-Orange County Line. Authorized by Senate Bill 155, Chapter 169, on July 23, 1999.

    Naming Naming

    This segment has been historically named the "Ortega Highway".

    The segment is also named the "California Wildland Firefighters Memorial Highway". On August 8, 1959, the Decker Canyon fire was ignited on when a car drove off a Route 74 embankment, crashing through brush to the canyon floor, some 200 feet below. The vehicle burst into flames, and winds whipped the flames into a firestorm racing uphill toward firefighters battling the blaze from above. Six firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving the people of California by battling the Decker Canyon fire; twenty-seven other firefighters were injured in the fire. California experiences hundreds of wildland fires every year, and thousands of firefighters from local, state, and federal agencies fight these fires to protect lives and property. These men and women of the wildland firefighting services are dedicated in their efforts to save lives and property from destruction, and nearly every year wildland firefighters are injured and killed fighting wildland fires across the State of California. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 71, Chapter 22, Chaptered March 26, 2002.


  2. Rte 74 Seg 2(a) (2) From Route 15 near Lake Elsinore to Route 215 near Perris.

    (c) (1) The commission may relinquish to the City of Lake Elsinore the portion of Route 74 located within the city limits of that city, upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state. (2) Any relinquishment agreement shall require that the City of Lake Elsinore administer the operation and maintenance of the highway in a manner consistent with professional traffic engineering standards. (3) Any relinquishment agreement shall require the City of Lake Elsinore to ensure that appropriate traffic studies or analyses will be performed to substantiate any decisions affecting the highway. (4) Any relinquishment agreement shall also require the City of Lake Elsinore to provide for public notice and the consideration of public input on the proximate effects of any proposed decision on traffic flow, residences, or businesses, other than a decision on routine maintenance. (5) Notwithstanding any of its other terms, any relinquishmen agreement shall require the City of Lake Elsinore to indemnify and hold the department harmless from any liability for any claims made or damages suffered by any person, including a public entity, as a result of any decision made or action taken by the City of Lake Elsinore, its officers, employees, contractors, or agents, with respect to the design, maintenance, construction, or operation of that portion of Route 74 that is to be relinquished to the city. (6) A relinquishment under this subdivision shall become effective immediately after the county recorder records the relinquishment resolution that contains the commission's approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment. (7) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, both of the following shall occur: (A) The portion of Route 74 relinquished shall cease to be a state highway. (B) The portion of Route 74 relinquished may not be considered for future adoption under Section 81. (8) The City of Lake Elsinore shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the relinquished portion of Route 74, including any traffic signal progression. (9) For relinquished portions of Route 74, the City of Lake Elsinore shall maintain signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 74.

    (e) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the commission may relinquish to the County of Riverside the portion of Route 74 that is located within the unincorporated area east of the City of Lake Elsinore and west of the City of Perris, upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state, if the department and the County of Riverside enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment. (2) A relinquishment under this subdivision shall become effective immediately after the county recorder records the relinquishment resolution that contains the commission’s approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment. (3) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, both of the following shall occur: (A) The portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision shall cease to be a state highway. (B) The portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision may not be considered for future adoption under Section 81. (4) For portions of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision, the County of Riverside shall maintain signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 74.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1963, this segment was defined as “Route 71 to Route 395 near Perris”

    In 1969, Chapter 294 changed "Route 395" to "Route 15", reflecting the renumbering of US 395 as I-15.

    In 1976, Chapter 1354, changed "Route 71" to "Route 15", and "Route 15" to "Route 194", reflecting the establishment of the route of the real I-15, and the renumbering of the old I-15 as I-15E (Route 194)

    In 1982, Chapter 681 changed "Route 194" to "Route 215", reflecting the approval of former US 395 (a/k/a I-15E, Route 194) as non-chargable I-215.

    In 1986, Chapter 928 clarified the origin of the segment to be “Route 15 near Lake Elsinore”.

    In 2008, Chapter 635 (AB 1915, 9/30/2008) authorized the relinquishement of the portion within the City of Perris with the usual language:

    (1) The commission may relinquish to the City of Perris the portion of Route 74 located within the city limits of that city between Seventh Street and Redlands Avenue, upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state.

    (2) Any relinquishment agreement shall require that the City of Perris administer the operation and maintenance of the highway in a manner consistent with professional traffic engineering standards.

    (3) Any relinquishment agreement shall require the City of Perris to ensure that appropriate traffic studies or analyses will be performed to substantiate any decisions affecting the highway.

    (4) Any relinquishment agreement shall also require the City of Perris to provide for public notice and the consideration of public input on the proximate effects of any proposed decision on traffic flow, residences, or businesses, other than a decision on routine maintenance.

    (5) Notwithstanding any of its other terms, any relinquishment agreement shall require the City of Perris to indemnify and hold the department harmless from any liability for any claims made or damages suffered by any person, including a public entity, as a result of any decision made or action taken by the City of Perris, its officers, employees, contractors, or agents, with respect to the design, maintenance, construction, or operation of that portion of Route 74 that is to be relinquished to the city.

    (6) A relinquishment under this subdivision shall become effective immediately after the county recorder records the relinquishment resolution that contains the commission's approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment.

    (7) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, both of the following shall occur: (A) The portion of Route 74 relinquished shall cease to be a state highway. (B) The portion of Route 74 relinquished may not be considered for future adoption under Section 81.

    (8) The City of Perris shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the relinquished portion of Route 74, including any traffic signal progression.

    (9) For relinquished portions of Route 74, the City of Perris shall maintain signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 74.

    The right of way in the city of Perris was relinquished in August 2009.

    In 2012, Chapter 769 (AB 2679, 9/29/2012) updated the relinquishment languge to reflect that the portion in Perris had been relinquished (see next segment).

    In 2015, Chapter 553 (AB 218, 10/7/2015) authorized relinquishment to the County of Riverside that portion of Route 74 located in the unincorporated area east of the City of Lake Elsinore and west of the City of Perris by adding section (e): "(e) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the commission may relinquish to the County of Riverside the portion of Route 74 that is located within the unincorporated area east of the City of Lake Elsinore and west of the City of Perris, upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state, if the department and the County of Riverside enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment. (2) A relinquishment under this subdivision shall become effective immediately after the county recorder records the relinquishment resolution that contains the commission’s approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment. (3) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, both of the following shall occur: (A) The portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision shall cease to be a state highway. (B) The portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision may not be considered for future adoption under Section 81. (4) For portions of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision, the County of Riverside shall maintain signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 74."

    In October 2016, the CTC relinquished right of way in the city of Perris on Route 74 between Seventh Street and Redlands Avenue, under terms and conditions as stated in the relinquishment cooperative agreement dated July 9, 2009, determined to be in the best interest of the State. Authorized by Chapter 635, Statutes of 2008, which amended Section 374 of the Streets and Highways Code. Also relinquishes right of way along Route 215 between San Jacinto Avenue and 4th Street, consisting of collateral facilities. The City, by freeway agreement dated November 13, 1995 agreed to accept title upon relinquishment by the State. The 90-day notice period expired September 7, 2016.

    In March 2017, the CTC relinquished the portions of Route 74 in Lake Elsinore and unincorporated Riverside County.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 74 was signed along the route from Jct. US 101 at San Juan Capistrano to Jct. Route 740 at Perris. Route 740 was later renumbered as an eastern extension of Route 74. This segment was established in 1931 as LRN 78, and was renumbered as part of LRN 64 in 1951 by Chapter 1562. Until 1950, this was also signed as US 395. It appears the US 395 signage started around 1935.

    Status Status

    Relinquishment between Lake Elsinore and Perris (08-Riv-74 PM 17.72/25.76)

    In January 2017, it was reported that all 10 miles of Route 74 between Interstates 15 and 215 will come under local government control if a state panel acts on the recommendations of transportation officials. Perris already possesses the 1½-mile section of the state highway west of I-215 in that city. The California Transportation Department is now poised to turn over the 8½-mile stretch between Perris’ western border and I-15 over to Riverside County and Lake Elsinore. Ultimately, the decision hinges with the California Transportation Commission. “This is important to us,” county Transportation Director Patricia Romo said. “We’re looking at that (transfer) to have local control. As businesses develop (along that corridor) it makes more sense, so they don’t have to go to Caltrans for permits. It just makes it much more business friendly to have to deal with one government agency rather than two.”
    (Source: Press Enterprise, 1/12/2017)

    In March 2017, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the county of Riverside on Route 74 from the Lake Elsinore city limits to the Perris city limits (08-Riv-74 PM 17.72/25.76), under terms and conditions as stated in the relinquishment agreement dated February 13, 2017, determined to be in the best interest of the State. Authorized by Chapter 553, Statutes of 2015, which amended Section 374 of the Streets and Highways Code. The SHOPP amendments showed that the cost of relinquishment was $5.8M for the portion in unincorporated Riverside county between Lake Elsinore and Perris.

    Relinquishment in Perris

    In August 2009, the CTC approved relinquishment of right of way in the city of Perris on Route 74, under terms and conditions as stated in the relinquishment cooperative agreement dated July 9, 2009, determined to be in the best interest of the State. Authorized by Chapter 635, Statutes of 2008, which amended Section 374 of the Streets and Highways Code.

    In October 2016, the CTC authorized relinqishment of right of way in the city of Perris on Route 74 between Seventh Street and Redlands Avenue, under terms and conditions as stated in the relinquishment cooperative agreement dated July 9, 2009, determined to be in the best interest of the State. Authorized by Chapter 635, Statutes of 2008, which amended Section 374 of the Streets and Highways Code. Also relinquishes right of way along Route 215 between San Jacinto Avenue and 4th Street, consisting of collateral facilities. The City, by freeway agreement dated November 13, 1995 agreed to accept title upon relinquishment by the State. The 90-day notice period expired September 7, 2016.

    Route 74/Route 215 Interchange

    The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, provided the following expenditures on or near this route:

    • High Priority Project #3209: Route 74/I-215 Interchange Project. $800,000. (~ RIV 27.405)

    There are plans to improve the interchange of Route 74 and I-215 in Perris. In August 2009, it was reported that the non-shovel-ready status of a project to revamp Van Buren Boulevard's connection with Route 91 in Riverside meant that the $16 million in federal ARRA funds of that project could be reallocated to the next regional priority: the crossing of westbound Route 74 and I-215. The almost $40 million project at westbound Route 74 would also widen a freeway overcrossing to four lanes instead of two, as well as widen freeway on- and off-ramps.

    Double Fine Zones Double Fine Zones

    Between Route 15 and 7th Street in Perris. Authorized by Senate Bill 1526, Chapter 446, September 14, 2000.

    Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

    While in Perris, you really should visit the Orange Empire Railway Museum, (now the Southern California Railroad Museum) on "A" Street. It is the west's largest operating railroad museum; you can see the trollycars that use to run in Los Angeles.


  3. Rte 74 Seg 3(a) (3) From Route 215 near Perris to the southern city limit of Palm Desert.

    (b) The relinquished former portions of Route 74 within the City of Palm Desert and Perris are not state highways and are not eligible for adoption under Section 81. For the relinquished former portions of Route 74, the City of Palm Desert and Perris shall maintain within its jurisdiction signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 74 and shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the relinquished portions of Route 74, including any traffic signal progression.

    (d) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the commission may relinquish to the City of Hemet the portion of Route 74 that is located within the city limits of the City of Hemet, upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state, if the department and the City of Hemet enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment. (2) A relinquishment under this subdivision shall become effective immediately following the recordation by the county recorder of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission’s approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment. (3) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, both of the following shall occur: (A) The portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision shall cease to be a state highway. (B) The portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision may not be considered for future adoption under Section 81. (4) The City of Hemet shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision, including any traffic signal progression. (5) For portions of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision, the City of Hemet shall maintain signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 74.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    As defined in 1963, this segment ran from “Route 395 near Perris to Route 111.”

    Unconstructed In 1965, Chapter 1372 extended this segment to terminate at “Route 10 near Indio.” Note that the portion from Route 111 to Route 10 remains unconstructed.

    In 1969, Chapter 294 changed "Route 395" to "Route 15", reflecting the renumbering of US 395 as I-15.

    In 1976, Chapter 1354 changed "Route 15" to "Route 194", reflecting the establishment of the route of the real I-15, and the renumbering of the old I-15 as I-15E (Route 194)

    In 1982, Chapter 681 changed "Route 194" to "Route 215", reflecting the approval of former US 395 (a/k/a I-15E, Route 194) as non-chargable I-215.

    In 1986, Chapter 928 clarified the terminus of the segment to be “Route 10 near Thousand Palms via Hemet and Palm Desert”. Under this current routing, Monterey Avenue may be Route 74 between Route 111 and I-10.

    In 2005, Chapter 594 authorized relinquishment of the portion in Palm Desert. This segment was relinquished in February 2008:

    The commission may relinquish to the City of Palm Desert the portion of Route 74 that is located within the city limits of that city, upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state, if the department and the city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment. A relinquishment under this subdivision shall become effective immediately following the county recorder's recordation of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission's approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment. On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, the relinquished portion of Route 74 shall cease to be a state highway. The portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision shall be ineligible for future adoption under Section 81. For the portion of Route 74 that is relinquished under this subdivision, the City of Palm Desert shall maintain within its jurisdiction signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 74. [SB 186, 10/6/2005, Chapter 594]. The Palm Desert segment was relinquished in February 2008.

    In 2010, Chapter 421 (SB 1318, 9/29/10) changed the terminus of this segment as follows: "to Route 10 near Thousand Palms via Hemet and Palm Desert the southern city limit of Palm Desert., and added a new segment on the other side of Palm Desert.

    In 2013, Chapter 525 (SB 788, 10/9/13) added words to the relinquishment text:

    "(b) The relinquished former portions of Route 74 within the Cities of Palm Desert and Perris are not state highways and are not eligible for adoption under Section 81. For the former portions of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision, the Cities of Palm Desert and Perris shall maintain within their respective jurisdictions signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 74 and shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the relinquished portions of Route 74, including any traffic signal progression."

    Chapter 525 also added segment (d): "(d) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the commission may relinquish to the City of Hemet the portion of Route 74 that is located within the city limits of the City of Hemet, upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state, if the department and the City of Hemet enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment. (2) A relinquishment under this subdivision shall become effective immediately following the recordation by the county recorder of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission’s approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment. (3) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, both of the following shall occur: (A) The portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision shall cease to be a state highway. (B) The portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision may not be considered for future adoption under Section 81. (4) The City of Hemet shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the portion of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision, including any traffic signal progression. (5) For portions of Route 74 relinquished under this subdivision, the City of Hemet shall maintain signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 74. "

    Chapter 525 also deleted segment (4): "Route 111 in Palm Desert to Route 10 near Thousand Palms.", which had been created in 2010 as a split from segment (3) by Chapter 421, 9/29/10, SB 1318. Monterey Avenue provided a route between (former) Route 111 and I-10, but most of the route was annexed by the Cities of Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. Rancho Mirage was not in favor of adoption of this route as a state highway. Further complicating matters was the 4-lane bridge over the Whitewater River along Monterey Avenue.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    This segment was originally signed as Route 740 in the initial state signage of routes in 1934. This was later changed (sometime between 1939 and 1956) to Route 74. It was LRN 64, and was defined in 1933.

    This segment is traditionally known as the Palms-to-Pines Highway. What became the Pines to Palms Highway was constructed in a joint project by Riverside County and the National Forest Service in the 1920s. The Pines to Palms Highway was officially designated by Riverside County in 1930. The Pines to Palms Highway opening ceremony was held on June 18th 1932 according to a July 1932 Department of Public Works Publication. On a 1934 Department of Public Works Guide Route 74 was announced as a highway running from US 101 near San Juan Capistrano east on the Ortega Highway to Route 740 in Perris. Route 740 was added as a Signed State Route from US 60 in Riverside east to Route 111 in Coachella Valley. US 395 was officially extended into California during a June 1934 AASHTO meeting. US 395 annexed what was to have been Route 740 on LRN 78 between Riverside and Perris. It also multiplexed Route 74 west of Perris before turning south towards Temecula on what previously had been Route 71. Route 740 east of Perris wasn't immediately consolidated into Route 74 as it appears east of Route 74/US 395 on a 1935 Goshua Highway Map of California. Route 740 east of Perris was annexed into Route 74 no later than 1938, as Route 74 appears as a singular route between San Juan Capistrano and Coachella Valley on the 1938 Division of Highways State Map.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog "California State Route 74; the Pines to Palms Highway", a/o 11/23/2019)

    Status Status

    Mid County Parkway Project

    Plans are underway for a major rerouting of a segment of Route 74 (or perhaps a new segment) to improve regional transportation between Corona and San Jacinto. Information can be found at http://www.rctc.org/, which is the agenda for the Riverside County Transportation Commission. More information can also be found at the Riverside County Improvement Project pages, www.rcip.org.

    In short, the Route 74 Realignment project is a Measure "A" project from Dexter Avenue in the City of Lake Elsinore to 7th Street in the City of Perris. The project will be constructed in two segments. Segment 1 is from Dexter Avenue in Lake Elsinore to approximately 1640 feet east of Wasson Canyon Road. Segment 2 is from approximately 1640 feet east of Wasson Canyon Road to 7th Street in Perris.

    According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, this proposal may have been the subject of some rerouting. Although Route 74 was not mentioned by number, the article discussed how the push for a new thoroughfare between Corona and Hemet has created trouble in Lake Elsinore, where there was an earlier proposal (i.e., the Route 74 propsoal) which would make the Lake Elsinore the western terminus of the route. Evidently, the RTCT originally supported a route north of Lake Mathews, but that ran into pricy homes and strong opposition from residents. The alternative would send the 40-mile, $700-million road south of the lake, through an endangered-species reserve, which naturally creates problems for environmentalists. The route now favored would expand the existing two-lane Cajalco Road through the nature preserve south of the lake. However, in Lake Elsinore, they are upset because the originally plan was a 22-mile route that would connect I-15 near Lake Elsinore to Route 79 near Diamond Valley Lake. However, because of the possibility of someday linking the route near Lake Mathews to a new thoroughfare running into Orange County, support for the Lake Elsinore-Diamond Valley Lake roadway declined.

    Mid Valley WestOne alternative is the Mid-County Parkway. In October 2008, a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIR/EIS) was released evaluating the alternatives for the Mid County Parkway, a proposed 32-mile corridor designed to stretch from San Jacinto through Perris to Corona to meet regional transportation needs through 2035. The Draft EIR/EIS compiled environmental studies analyzing the effects of the alternatives on the human and natural environment. Public information open houses and public hearings were held in October and November 2008 to collect comments on the Draft EIR/EIS. Comments submitted on the Draft EIR/EIS raised environmental and community concerns regarding the portion of the project between I-15 and I-215 and funding concerns about the entire project. In the short term, the County of Riverside is proceeding with its plans to improve Cajalco Road. The Riverside County General Plan Circulation Element designates Cajalco Road from I-15 to I-215 as a four to six-lane major roadway. The Mid-County Parkway was refocused on the Eastern segment. The modified project does not eliminate the need for a future route that will one day connect I-15 to I-215, as identified as a part of the Community Environmental Transportation Acceptability Process (CETAP). RCTC is maintaining that long term vision but RCTC is focusing its near term project approval efforts on the vitally needed eastern 16 miles between I-215 and Route 79.

    Eastern Segment Mid County ParkwayWith respect to the Eastern Segment: An option favored by the city to build a stretch of the proposed Mid County Parkway next to Perris Dam is considered to be is unsafe because of seismic dangers. Officials hope the future freeway will help relieve east-west traffic congestion in the rapidly growing corridor between San Jacinto and Corona. The project is expected to cost $2 billion and would extend 32 miles from Corona to San Jacinto. The six- to eight-lane parkway would serve as an alternate east-west freeway to Route 60 and Route 91. Construction is scheduled to start in 2011. State officials say routing the parkway via the dam ("North Perris Option") is out of the question, because of the risk of earthquakes and liquefaction of soils beneath the dam's eastern foundation. The RCTC would like the City of Perris to instead pick one of three remaining parkway routing options: via Placentia Avenue, via Rider Street, or via the city's storm drain canal. The storm drain route, however, would be the most expensive of the four options, for the drain passes through an area of town prone to flooding and the parkway would thus have to be elevated there to protect motorists from rising waters. The problem with the Rider Street option is it could require the construction of a road connecting Rider to Cajalco Road or Placentia Avenue on the west side of I-215 -- depending on if the parkway goes up along Cajalco or Placentia. The fourth option of routing the parkway through Perris along Placentia Avenue east of I-215 would be the cheapest and straightest through the city, but would require moving a state-of-art fire station out of the way, which city officials only dedicated in early 2007.

    In October 2009, it was reported that comments on the draft EIR had led RCTC to focus the project so the RCTC can make the best use of limited transportation dollars while addressing the most immediate traffic needs. The Mid County Parkway project is now a proposed 16-mile transportation corridor to relieve local and regional traffic congestion in the San Jacinto and Perris areas and surrounding Riverside County communities. Focusing on the eastern stretch of the Mid County Parkway between I-215 and Route 79 will allow RCTC to make the best use of limited transportation dollars while providing immediate traffic and safety benefits where they are needed most. Modifying this project will allow RCTC to move more quickly to provide improvements where the need is greatest and avoid time-consuming delays tied to environmental constraints and community challenges affecting the portion of the original project proposed between I-15 and I-215.

    Updated Mid-CountyIn March 2014, the CTC received notice of the circulation of an EIR regarding the Mid-County Parkway. It noted that the proposed project is located in western Riverside County and will construct a 16 mile transportation corridor between Interstate-215 (I-215) and Route 79 connecting the Cities of San Jacinto and Perris with a divided highway including on and off ramps and interchanges at I-215 and Route 79. The alternatives evaluated in the RDEIR/RDEIS include three Build Alternatives and two No-Build Alternatives. Riverside County has a project in the words to construct a 16 mile west-east transportation corridor between I-215 and Route 79 connecting the Cities of San Jacinto and Perris. The project will consist of a divided highway including three lanes in each direction with on and off ramps as well as freeway-freeway type interchanges at I-215 and Route 79. This project is currently at the EIR stage.

    In October 2017, it was reported that another appeal has been filed against the Mid County Parkway, a proposed 16-mile east-west highway corridor that would link Perris and San Jacinto between I-215 Freeway and Route 79. On Tuesday, Oct. 10, conservation groups filed an appeal in state court challenging the $2 billion project, claiming it would cut through low-income neighborhoods, threaten wildlife preserves and worsen air pollution. In separate cases, both federal and superior court judges upheld the project, saying it meets environmental requirements. The appeal was filed with the 4th District Court of Appeal in Riverside by the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society and Friends of the Northern San Jacinto Valley against the Riverside County Transportation Commission, which is overseeing the project. They claim the six-lane road would fragment the San Jacinto Valley, opening the door to sprawl and traffic in a rural area. The road would be an alternative to the Ramona Expressway, which currently links San Jacinto and Perris. The Mid County Parkway proposal dates to 1999 and initially was to reach 32 miles from San Jacinto to I-15 in Corona. It was cut in half in 2009 after it faced a steep price tag and stiff opposition from residents west of I-215. The project would be paid for partially through Measure A, a half-cent sales tax approved by Riverside County voters.
    (Source: Press-Enterprise, 10/11/2017)

    Rte 215 Placentia Ave InterchangeIn October 2018, it was reported that $65 million in funding (including $7.1MM in SB1 funds) was finally in place for the first interchange of the Mid-County Parkway (potential future realignment of Route 74). As planned, it will start at an interchange on I-215 at Placentia Avenue and stretch eastward, eventually taking over the thoroughfare currently traversed by the Ramona Expressway. The plan is to add an entrance and exit to I-215, improve a frontage road, widen the existing Placentia Avenue bridge and widen Placentia between Harvill and Indian avenues, a news release states. It will provide an alternative to Route 60 to the north and Route 74 to the south. As of October 2018, however, only a small portion of the approximately $1 billion project is funded: the interchange on I-215 near Placentia Avenue. When completed, the freeway will be a designated state route with three lanes in either direction. A handful of homes north of Paragon Park in Perris will have to be demolished to make way for the new freeway. But that's several years away and that part of the project isn't even funded yet. The interchange is scheduled to begin construction in 2020. The remainder of the freeway will begin construction afterward, depending on the availability of funding. The Parkway came out of the Riverside County Integrated Project, a three-pronged planning effort launched around the turn of the century to identify new highway corridors, design a habitat preservation plan and update the county’s blueprint for growth. Originally, the freeway was to run 32 miles from I-15 in Corona to Route 79 in San Jacinto. In 2009, the county transportation commission scrapped the western half between I-15 and I-215 amid escalating costs and concerns about environmental constraints in the Lake Mathews area and Gavilan Hills. The original concept was to run it down Route 74, but the Perris City Council fiercely opposed that route because downtown Perris was in the path. For the western section, the county plans to widen Cajalco Road to four lanes between I-15 and I-215.
    (Source: ABC7, 10/24/2018; Press-Enterprise, 10/24/2018)

    In June 2019, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding the Midway Parkway Project. The Project will construct a 16-mile west/east transportation corridor known as the Midway Parkway between I-215 and Route 79, including full or partial access control with grade separations at local intersections, a mix-flow lane to the Van Buren Boulevard interchange, an additional mix-flow lane from Nuevo Road to the Cajalco-Ramona Expressway, a new interchange at Placentia Avenue, and modifications to the existing interchange at the Cajalco Road/Ramona Expressway. The Project is located in western Riverside County between I-215 in the west and Route 79 in the east, Riverside County. On April 8, 2015, the Riverside County Transportation Commission adopted the Final Environmental Impact Report, including the Statement of Overriding Considerations. The Project is estimated to cost $1,321,042,000 and is fully funded with Local Measure A Funds ($263,700,000), Riverside County Bond Funds ($932,000,000), Riverside County Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee Funds ($118,300,000), and Local Partnership Program Funds ($7,042,000). Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2019-20.
    (Source: June 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.2c.(9))

    Route 74 Segment 3 - I-215 to Hemet

    As of August 2009, work is underway to transform the I-215/Route 74 EB interchange (RIV 74 27.553). Freshly raked dirt and still-bundled palm trees are the first signs of a $1 million facelift for the highway crossroads. The upgrade will bring reclaimed water lines to feed the new landscaping -- a drought-tolerant mix of palm, plum, pear trees, deer grass, and rocks that should be in place by November 2009. Although they look new with fronds still tied, the palm trees are the original trees from the property, which were pruned and moved. The property's old eucalyptus trees and shrubbery are long gone. The landscaping overhaul is the first of three phases for the Romoland Beautification Project, which has been seven years in the making and would, if completed, cost a total $3 million in redevelopment funds. The next two phases would improve an almost 2-mile stretch on eastbound Route 74 between Trumble and Palomar roads, adding sidewalks, trees, curbs and gutters to the highway's north side. New stoplights would be installed at the highway's intersection with Sherman and Antelope roads, where traffic has injured and killed pedestrians trying to cross.
    [Based on an article in the Riverside Press Enterprise, "Work started to create interchange oasis", 2009-08-19]

    Raised Median Work - Route 74 to Valle Vista (~ RIV 27.56 to RIV 37.7)

    In October 2019, it was reported that additional raised median work was starting. In addition to the raised curb median work well underway from Valle Vista to Hemet by its contractor Autobahn, the other half of the $20 million safety project contracted out to Granite Construction Co. will begin construction on Route 74 from Acacia Avenue in Hemet to I=215 was starting. The project is estimated to be complete in February 2021.
    (Source: My Valley News, 10/25/2019)

    In March 2012, the CTC authorized SHOPP funding on Route 74 in Riverside County, 08-Riv-74 29.6/30.0 Near Perris, at Menifee Road. $1,229,000 to widen intersection; modify traffic signals; construct sidewalks; make Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements; install curb, gutter and bus stop to improve operations and safety of the intersection.

    Blue Ridge Wash Bridge Reconstruction (RIV 33.89)

    In October 2018, it was reported that the CTC authorized funding (as part of a larger package of bridge funding) to upgrade Bridge 56-0257 (RIV 33.89, built in 1941, widened in 1971) at Blue Ridge Wash. This work is set to begin in January 2021
    (Source: Press Enterprise, 10/25/2018)

    In May 2020, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding the Bridge Replacement and Bridge Rail Upgrade project (08-Riv-74, PM 13.2, 33.9; 08-Riv-79, PM 9.3; 08-Riv-371, PM 65.4), which will replace one bridge and make improvements to other bridges in Riverside County. (PPNO 3002C). The project is located in the City of Lake Elsinore on Route 74, among other locations, in Riverside County. The Department plans to widen Leach Canyon Bridge on Route 74 to provide standard shoulder width and upgrade the bridge rail, as well as make improvements to other bridges. The purpose of the project is to improve the safety of the traveling public by upgrading bridge rails to meet current crash and safety standards. This project is fully funded and currently programmed in the 2018 SHOPP for a total of $12,880,000 which includes Construction (capital and support) and Right of Way (capital and support). The total estimated project cost is $14 million. Construction is estimated to begin fiscal year 2020-2021. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2018 SHOPP.
    (Source: May 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.2c.(1))

    Raised Median Strip - Hemet (~ RIV 37.777 to RIV 44.678)

    In June 2016, it was reported that Caltrans held a meeting in Hemet to talk about plans to construct a raised median along the city’s main thoroughfare, and they met a lot of resistance. Many in the crowd of more than 70 people at the Simpson Center were opposed to adding a raised, curbed median along Route 74, which is Florida Avenue through the city. They stated concerns about traffic, the effect on business and aesthetics. But Haissam Yahya, a Caltrans engineer, said the effort is for safety, with the stretch of highway meeting state parameters that require the median. The $7.4 million project will add a raised median to an 8-mile stretch of Route 74 from west of Cawston Avenue east to the Ramona Expressway. It is part of a larger project that will see a median on Route 74 all the way to Lake Elsinore.
    (Source: Press Enterprise, 6/21/2016)

    In April 2017, it was reported that Florida Avenue merchants, Chamber of Commerce members and city officials were surprised in the spring of 2016 (see previous paragraph) when Caltrans District 8 announced plans had been made to install a raised curb median on Hemet’s Route 74 from west of Acacia Avenue to the Ramona Expressway in Valle Vista (~ RIV 37.777 to RIV 44.678) at a cost of over $9 million. City engineers and some Florida Avenue merchants, after looking at the project plan, discovered the raised median would cut off some left turns leading to their businesses possibly affecting their customer base. According to Caltrans, the median project was strictly a safety project based on the data from Caltrans Annual Multilane Cross Median Collision Monitoring Report that identified the Hemet portion of Route 74 for safety improvements to prevent cross-median collisions. Part of the collision problem has been brought about by motorists driving into the painted median islands or making illegal U-turns. Hemet officials said Caltrans should have discussed the plans with them before proceeding. As a result, Caltrans did conduct a meeting in June 2016 with city officials and the affected merchants hearing their comments and requests for changes. In response, Caltrans engineers made some of the suggested changes and agreed the city could landscape the medians as desired. With the changes shown on a series of artist rendering panels in the hall, the recent changes brought both compliments and more criticism from a few of the merchants who saw no changes that would help or even maintain their businesses. Hemet’s landscaping plans for the medians have yet to be reviewed with the Caltrans engineers and some “plan tweaking” may still take place before construction begins in 2018. No traffic studies that would address the latest traffic volumes on Route 74 are being planned, according to Caltrans, although they believe it will be better than it is now.
    (Source: Valley News, 3/31/2017)

    In October 2017, it was reported that Caltrans plans to construct an 8-mile-long raised median along Route 74, which is Florida Avenue in the city, stretching from near Hemet’s western border into the unincorporated Valle Vista neighborhood to the east. City leaders don't like it, but they are resigned to the fact that a raised-curb median will be installed through the middle of the city; and so, Hemet council members want to ensure it is functional and attractive. City leaders blanch at the thought of a string of concrete running through the middle of town, stating that since the project will “impact the look and feel of the main business corridor through the city,” Caltrans is being asked to provide “an aesthetically pleasing project that incorporates median landscaping.” Caltrans, which controls the state highway, doesn’t usually provide landscaping in medians, but under a proposal, the agency would pay $500,000 to install landscaping and irrigation utilities. Hemet would cover the cost of upkeep of the drought-tolerant and low-maintenance plants, shrubs and trees. Hemet Public Works Director Kris Jensen estimates it would cost the city $55,000 to $60,000 annually for maintenance, money that would come from gas taxes and not the city’s general fund, the city says. City and business leaders remain dissatisfied with the median project, which Caltrans is installing from Acacia Avenue east to New Chicago Avenue to make the road safer. The state agency has held a number of community meetings and altered the plans to address some of the concerns. Among the concessions are additional median breaks; $1.5 million for signal coordination and provision of protected lefts and U-turns where possible; median breaks for emergency access; and a median break for left turns into the Hemet mall entrance. But the city wants more. Many of the issues center on access being cut off to some businesses. The city is asking for left-hand turn pockets into the KPC Towne Center east of Kirby Avenue and the Target Center west of Sanderson Avenue. Caltrans anticipates construction of the Hemet median to start in mid-2018 with completion by early 2019. Hemet has until Nov. 25 to come to a landscape agreement with Caltrans or the median will be built with cobblestone and stamped concrete. [Note: Although Route 74 has been relinquished legislatively, the CTC has not completed the relinquishment process and so it remains a state highway. This is likely part of the reason behind this median mess -- it wouldn't be surprising in the median was done as part of preparing the highway for relinquishment.]
    (Source: Press Enterprise, 10/14/2017)

    In December 2017, it was reported that the City of Hemet has gone above and beyond -- the Caltrans project manager, that is. A letter written in the strongest terms with supporting data objecting to Caltrans plans to erect a median strip on Florida Avenue is being sent to the state transportation department by the Hemet City Council, following a contentious council discussion Tuesday, Nov. 14. The issue with Caltrans plans to build the median strips in the middle of Florida Avenue from West Acacia through the downtown area and to the eastern city limits has been the subject of controversy between Caltrans District 8 project manager and engineers and the city for months. The Tuesday evening meeting discussion led by Mayor Linda Krupa focused on a meeting the council had with Caltrans officials earlier at the Hemet Public Library that ended with the state agency declaring the median strips will be built even it the city does not want it. A letter from the council totally opposing the project went to Caltrans in October. Caltrans has been planning the median strip along Hemet’s Route 74 for more than five years, claiming it is a “safety issue” that needs to be resolved. Since Florida Avenue is a state highway, it is maintained by Caltrans who has the final say on its care and maintenance, technically without any city input. What is different in this situation than many other state highways is that Florida Avenue runs through Hemet’s busy downtown business area, whose merchants depend on Florida Avenue to allow customer’s access to their services and shopping needs. Cars park parallel on both sides of the highway in the downtown area to get to the shops. Delivery trucks use the open left-hand turn lanes to enter parking lots and drop off areas. Police, fire and ambulances, in sometimes very heavy traffic, often use the open median areas to get around traffic to rush to accidents, fires and other emergencies. Parker said Caltrans decided a median strip was needed because of increasing cross median collisions in a 2011 traffic study they made on Florida Avenue. Following up on the Caltrans study, the Hemet Police Department, working with the California Highway Patrol, put together a 15-month traffic enforcement program between 2013 and 2014 that resulted in reducing the traffic accidents on Florida Avenue by more that 50 percent. The police department concluded that better traffic enforcement, not a median strip would be better for the highway’s safety. “They (Caltrans) wouldn’t listen to that,” Parker said. Caltrans, until the median strips engineering plans were completed last year, did not notify the city about the project and when it was to begin. It took the city engineers and council completely by surprise. The city demanded meetings with the state agency who did offer a series of public meetings to illustrate how and where the median would be constructed. Caltrans learned at the meetings that the city merchants and public safety agencies wanted Caltrans to either modify the median plans or stop it completely through the downtown area. Caltrans, after listening to some of the objections, modified their median plans allowing longer left turn lanes, a traffic signal system that would give green lights to emergency vehicles, roll-over areas for crossover emergency vehicles and a few more breaks for motorists to access businesses. Caltrans also offered to put landscaping on portions of the median strip with responsibility of maintaining the landscaping left to the city. It still did not satisfy the city council, city engineers, businessmen and merchants of the community who now want the project stopped completely.
    (Source: My Valley News, 12/3/2017)

    In August 2018, the CTC approved $10,982,000 in SHOPP funding for Riverside 08-Riv-74 37.7/44.7 Route 74 In and near Hemet, from 0.1 mile west of West Acacia Avenue to Ramona Expressway. Outcome/Output: Improve safety by constructing raised curb median, left turn pockets, and widening outside shoulders. This project will reduce the number and severity of collisions.
    (Source: August 2018 CTC Agenda Item 2.5f.(3) Item 9)

    In July 2019, it was reported that a project to install a roughly five-mile median on Route 74 through Hemet and Valle Vista will get underway in early July 2019, and motorists were advised to expect delays in the construction zone. The $13.1 million Route 74 Raised Curb Median Safety Project will involve placing a divider between the east- and westbound sides of the four-lane road, which is also known as Florida Avenue. According to Caltrans, one lane on each side of the state highway, between West Acacia Avenue and the Ramona Expressway, will be closed to traffic at intervals over the yearlong project, which is slated to wrap up in Summer 2020.
    (Source: My News LA, 7/4/2019)

    Route 74 Segment 3 - Hemet to Palm Desert

    Winter 2018/Spring 2019 Storm Damage (~ RIV R47.108 to RIV 59.196)

    Winter 2018 Storm ClosuresIn February 2019, it was reported that an emergency contract for $8 million was awarded to Ames Construction to make the repairs to Route 243 and Route 74 near Lake Fulmor to repair roadway damage from the Winter 2019 storms. In mid-February, it was noted that there was a new collapse on Route 74, and Route 243 washed out about a mile from where a waterfall destroyed the road the day before, north of Lake Fulmor. The only way into Idyllwild is from Palm Desert along Route 74, known as the Palms to Pines Highway, Caltrans said. Even then, that path is open only to residents and business owners/employees.
    (Source: Press Enterprise, 2/15/2019)

    In March 2019, it was reported that it may be Summer 2019 before Route 74 and Route 243 completely reopen to the general public due to the extensive repair work required to restore the corridors, both of which were severely damaged during a mid-February storm event, Caltrans announced. "There are over 25 locations on Route 243 with damage, including two locations with complete road loss," according to a Caltrans statement. "Route 74 has over 40 locations that will require repairs. At this time, Caltrans is estimating at least four months before public access or reopening of both highways can take place." The worst of the damage was in the area of Lake Fulmor, between Pine Cove and Banning, where Route 243 completely collapsed and disappeared amid torrential downpours and mud flows on Feb . 14. Another segment of the two-lane, 30-mile corridor, which is the primary north-south artery through the southern half of the San Bernardino National Forest, also gave way south of Idyllwild. The entire highway is out of service between I-10 and Idyllwild, while the southern half between Mountain Center and Idyllwild is accessible to residents and business owners. A 15-mile segment of Route 74 is out of service because of the storm damage, which caused washouts and sinkholes. A portion of the highway at the Strawberry Creek crossing, roughly three miles west of Mountain Center, collapsed after it was compromised by runoff. The highway is closed from Valle Vista, just east of Hemet, to Mountain Center. As of March 28, 2019, it was reported that Ames Construction is continuing the $8 million emergency repairs to roadbeds, slopes, culverts and other items of work on both Route 74 and Route 243, working twenty-four (24) hour shifts to rebuild the routes. It was estimated that by May 2019, Caltrans will provide access to motorists on Route 74 under escort for three hours in the morning (4 a.m. to 7 a.m.) and three hours in the late evening (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.). In late April 2019, Caltrans expected to open Route 243 from Idyllwild to Lake Fulmor. The contractor will continue work to prepare for full access to motorists on Route 243 with flagging conditions in the coming months.
    (Source: Palm Desert Patch, 3/12/2019; CaltransDistrict 8 Commuter Alert, 3/28/2019)

    In March 2019, it was reported that the main washout was near RIV 51.0. By the middle of the month, most of the excavation has ended at this site and now it is being rebuilt. In the past, even light rain storms have eroded the soil sufficiently for rocks and boulders to roll onto or pummel the highway. Based on its geotechnical consultants, CalTrans is also reducing the steepness, which often was almost vertical, along many portions of the highway. This work is extensive and the dirt and rocks being removed fall below, blocking the lane next to the hill, until that debris can be removed. Much of this dirt has and will be transported to the work on Route 243 near Bay Tree Springs.
    (Source: Idyllwild Crier, 3/14/2019)

    In May 2019, it was reported that additional May rains that further damaged the already crumbling roadways shattered by heavy rains on Feb. 14. Caltrans officials said work on Route 74 was delayed at least two months and reconstruction on Route 243 has no time frame for completion. Initial estimates indicated Route 74 would reopen by Memorial Day and Route 243 perhaps by year's end.
    (Source: Desert Sun, 5/30/2019)

    In June 2019, the CTC approved the following amendment to the SHOPP: :Major Damage Restoration Item 20: 08-Riv-243 0.0/28.0 PPNO 3013N ProjID 0819000058. Route 243 Near Banning, from Route 74 to 0.3 mile south of Wesley Street; also on Route 74 from Willowbrook Road to 0.1 mile east of Devils Ladder Road (PM R47.0/70.0). Repair roadway washouts, damaged pavement, embankment, guardrail, and culverts. PA&ED $200K; PS&E $200K; R/W Sup $10K; Con Sup $1,200K; R/W Cap $200K; Const Cap $7,950K; Total $9,760K.
    (Source: June 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.1a.(1) MDR Item 20)

    In June 2019, the CTC was informed of the following emergency allocation: $32,650,000 for 08-Riv-243 0.0/28.0 PPNO 08-3013N. ProjID 0819000058. Route 243 Near Banning, from Route 74 to 0.3 mile south of Wesley Street; also on Route 74, from Willowbrook Road to 0.1 mile east of Devils Ladder Road (PM R47.0/70.0). On February 14, 2019 intense rainfall caused flooding, erosion, and undermining at various locations along Route 243 and Route 74. This project will excavate and backfill damaged roadway, remove debris, reconstruct slope embankment, and repair guardrail and damaged drainage systems. After the receding of flood water that then allowed assess to all damaged areas, supplemental funds became necessary to address expanded damaged locations. This supplemental is the same scope of work but is required to complete the project due to the increased magnitude of the damaged roadway. R/W Cap. $200,000. Const. $29,950,000 Const. Engr. $2,700,000.
    (Source: June 2019 CTC Minutes Agenda Item 2.5f.(1) Item 21)

    Naming Naming

    In Hemet, this is "Florida" Avenue in Hemet, and is "Idyllwild National Forest Highway" between Hemet and Route 243.

    Historically, the entire segment (from Perris to Route 111) has been named the "Pines to Palms Highway".

    CHP Officer Michael Allen Brandt Memorial HighwayThe portion of Route 74 between RIV 91.00 and RIV 96.00 in the County of Riverside is named the "CHP Officer Michael Allen Brandt Memorial Highway". It was named in memory of Officer Michael Allen Brandt, who was born November 14, 1952, to Robert and Evelyn, in Bellingham, Washington. In 1980, Officer Michael Allen Brandt, graduated from the California Highway Patrol Academy with the Cadet Training Class IV-79 and was assigned to the El Centro area and later transferred to the Indio area, where he spent the remainder of his career. Throughout his career with the CHP, Officer Brandt held several titles, some of which included a Field Training Officer, Physical Methods of Arrest Instructor, Physical Performance Program Coordinator, and cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructor. On April 6, 1987, Officer Brandt was killed in the line of duty. While pursuing a reported drunk driver, he lost control of his vehicle and struck a boulder, which caused his patrol vehicle to overturn. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but succumbed to his injuries while in transport. Officer Brandt was admired for his passion for life, loyalty to others, love for his job as a California Highway Patrolman, dedication to his family and friends, integrity, honesty, and quiet voice. He had a competitive nature about him, both in sports and in his personal life, and never turned down a challenge. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 100, Resolution Chapter 109, on September 4, 2012.
    (Image source: Gribblenation Blog, Find a Grave)

    Roy Wilson Memorial HighwayThe portion of Route 74 beginning four miles west of the entrance to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument visitor center to the entrance of the visitor center, , in the City of Palm Desert and Riverside County (~ RIV R88.34 to RIV R92.34) is named the "Roy Wilson Memorial Highway". This segment was named in memory of Supervisor Roy Wilson, who was best known for his role as Riverside County Supervisor for the 4th District, where his commitment to serving his community greatly advanced the quality of life in Coachella Valley until his death in 2009. Roy Wilson was known to his constituents, colleagues, neighbors, and friends as an exceptional leader and a selfless, dedicated public servant in the Coachella Valley. Roy Wilson was also a strong advocate for conservation of the scenic lands along Route 74, including the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Roy Wilson was involved in ongoing efforts to protect the scenic beauty and improve the safety of Route 74 as well as promote involvement of the communities along Route 74 in its betterment. As Riverside County Supervisor for the 4th District, Roy Wilson was also instrumental in the successful effort to prepare and implement the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan, which will result in the establishment of a comprehensive and coherent Multiple Species Reserve System including lands along Route 74 in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains. Roy Wilson also served on the governing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District for 22 years Named by Assembly Concurrant Resolution (ACR) 109, 6/2/2010, Resolution Chapter 31.
    (Image sources: Walkabout With Wheels, Palm Springs Life)


Status Status

There is currently work underway to explore some realignments of this route, in particular, the portion from Hemet to Corona/Lake Elsinore.

Freeway Freeway

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

National Trails National Trails

De Anza Auto Route This route is part of the De Anza National Historic Trail.

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 74:

Scenic Route Scenic Route

[SHC 263.1] Entire route.

Interregional Route Interregional Route

[SHC 164.14] Entire route.

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

The route that was to become LRN 74 was first defined in 1931 by Chapter 82 as the route from Vallejo to [LRN 8] (although the April 1931 CHPW describes the route as being from LRN 8 near Cordelia via American Canyon to LRN 14). This eventually became part of signed Route 29. The situation in 1931 was that traffic between the Sacramento Valley and the bay cities could not find the direct and most advantageous passage from LRN 8 to LRN 14 over connected state highways. LRN 7 (roughly today's I-580) was available via the Martinez Ferry, but a better road and bridge facility implied almost exclusive use of a county highway from the Napa Wye to the Carquinez Straits. It was felt that a state route should be established to service the through traffic which was forced onto county roads. The route proposed for LRN 74 was a favorable route from Cordelia south to LRN 14 by way of American Canyon. This route was 5 miles shorter than the route using the Napa Wye and 9 miles shorter than the routing through Martinez. The new route avoided the disadvantageous passage over steep intersecting streets in Vallejo. It was considered appropriate to add it to the state highway system as it would serve a very large volume of state traffic now carried over a county highway.

In 1935, it was codified into the highway code as "Vallejo to [LRN 8]", but was quickly amended by Chapter 274 to be the following:

"A point on [LRN 8] near the Napa Y to Cordelia via Vallejo and Benecia"

In 1947 during the 1st executive session, Chapter 13 added a branch to the ferry in Benicia: "...including a connection from Vallejo to [LRN 7] near the Carquinez Bridge."

In 1953, Chapter 1737 made the clause about the Benecia Ferry contingent on the acquisition by the Department of Public Works of the ferry system operated across the Carquinez Straights between the cities of Benecia and Martinez. This was done because the city of Martinez was about to close down the ferry system across the straights, and it was necessary to keep the ferry in operation to serve numerous refineries, chemical plants, steel companies, and other industries necessary for national defense, workers commuting both to and from such industries, and the extremely important Benecia Arsenal.

In 1959, Chapter 1062 extended the route to begin at [LRN 6] near Napa, and removed the contingency.

This route was signed as Route 29 between Vallejo and Napa, and was defined in 1931.

The segment between Benicia and Vallejo appears not to have been signed as a state route (at least on the state highway maps), and is present-day I-780.

Sparker on AAroads noted the following:
(Source: Sparker on AAroads, "Re: Interstate 780 and California State Route 141", 2/22/2019)

LRN 74 was unusual in that it was U-shaped, consisting of Pre-1964 Route 29 from Pre-1964 Route 12/LRN 8 at Napa Junction south to the intersection of present Route 29 and Maine Street in Vallejo; there it split into the main stem which extended east on Maine to Benicia-Vallejo Road, then utilized that into Benicia; the surface street was never signed as a pre-1964 route prior to 1964. However, Pre-1964 Route 29 south from the intersection in Vallejo to I-80 just north of the Carquinez Bridge(s) was a LRN 74 spur. Once in Benicia, it spawned another spur to the ferry terminal to Martinez, across the Carquinez Strait; this, and the remainder of LRN 74 north to Cordelia Junction (old US 40/LRN 7) were signed as part of Pre-1964 Route 21, which utilized the ferry to get to its southern section in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. By late 1962 the initial section of I-680 from the present I-80/780 interchange in Vallejo east toward Benicia had opened, and LRN 74 was rerouted over that freeway; two years later Route 141 subsumed the section of LRN 74 between Route 29 and I-80, although the east end had been shunted south to the NW end of (then) I-680, which entailed about a 2-3 block right-angle shunt south of Benicia-Vallejo Road. Route 141 received signage circa 1968; this involved trailblazers and an initial reassurance shield on EB Maine, directional changes where the route shifted to Benicia-Vallejo Road, and I-680 (later 780) trailblazers at the shunt down to the end of that freeway about a quarter-mile west of I-80. The sole Route 141 indication WB was at the stub-end of the I-680/780 freeway, which was originally planned to continue on to Route 37 via Mare Island. That freeway routing was deleted from the system in 1976 along with a batch of others statewide as part of then-Caltrans director Adriana Gianturco's orders to slash as much urban proposed freeway mileage as possible (with legislative concurrence). Signage remained on the surface segment of Route 141 until that too was relinquished circa 1982. One "straggler" Route 141 sign remained at the Maine/B-V Road intersection until about 1989, but it disappeared about that time.


Acronyms and Explanations:


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