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State Route 78

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 78 Seg 1From Route 5 near Oceanside to Route 15 near Escondido.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1963, this segment was defined as the route from “Route 5 near Oceanside to Route 395 near Escondido.”

    In 1969, Chapter 294 changed “Route 395” to “Route 15”.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 78 was signed along the route from Jct. US 101 near Oceanside to Jct. US 99 near Kane Springs, via Ramona. This was once routed along Vista Way, Santa Fe, and Mission Road to Escondido. It was LRN 196, which was originally defined to run from LRN 2 (US 101) to LRN 77 in Vista. LRN 197 was defined to run from LRN 77 in Escondido, so it appears as if the portion between Vista and Escondido was part of the LRN 77 routing. However, in 1947 the definition of LRN 196 was changed to terminate simply at Vista, and in 1951 it was changed to terminate at LRN 77 near Escondido (US 395), making it likely that in 1951, the route between Vista and Escondido was transferred (with no change to LRN 77) from LRN 77 to LRN 196.

    Status Status

    I-5/Route 78 Interchange (11-SD-078 0.0)

    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 #3206: I-5 and Route 78 Interchange Improvements. $4,000,000.

    In June 2015, it was reported that Caltrans is in the process of rebuilding the I-5/Route 78 interchange (11-SD-078 0.0) that spills traffic into a residential neighborhood. Caltrans first shared information on proposed interchange improvements in January 2015, and followed up with additional community briefings since then. This was reolated to a number of planned I-5 corridor improvements, and the necessity to upgrade both ends of Route 78 before future work on I-5 begins. The roadway improvements would be designed to ease expected traffic flow for 30 years out. There was a specific community concern about flyovers; the community wanted flyovers to be eliminated as an idea. Caltrans indicated that a flyover would be studied for traffic, cost and impact on neighborhoods, along with other alternatives. However, they appreciated community feedback, and it provided Caltrans great ideas, including consideration of a roundabout and bike lane. In addition to objections to noise and pollution, residents expressed concern over the lack of progress in Buena Vista Lagoon restoration, which the interchange will cross. Another big concern of residents and city council members was the speed of traffic that exits the interchange and barrels through a South Oceanside neighborhood.
    (Source: The Coast News, 6/10/2015)

    There are plans to construct an eastbound auxiliary lane in Oceanside from the El Camino Real Overcross (~ SD 1.483) to east of El Camino Real Overcross. July 2005 CTC Agenda.

    In May 2012, the Oceanside Planning Commission approved plans to construct an interchange between Route 78 and Rancho Del Oro Drive (~ SD 2.367). The interchange would be for westbound traffic only. Dropped from the plan was a proposal to connect segments of Melrose Drive south of Route 76 to create a link to the highway.

    In January 2007, the CTC considered relinquishment of right of way in the City of Vista, at Melrose Drive, consisting of reconstructed and relocated city streets. The City, by freeway agreement dated February 13, 1996, agreed to accept title upon relinquishment by the State. (~ SD 6.01)

    There are early plans to expand this route in Escondido (~ SD R16.337). The plans could result in either two car-pool lanes or two toll lanes from Oceanside to Escondido by 2020. If car-pool lanes are picked, they would provide designated space for buses, car pools, van pools and solo drivers willing to pay a fee. Toll lanes would be open to everyone... for a fee.The study should be completed in Spring 2012. In 2009, Route 78 handled an average of between 120,000 and 160,000 weekday vehicle trips, according to the California Department of Transportation. Route 78 was built in the 1970s and widened from four lanes to six in 1993.

    Naming Naming

    This segment has often been called the "Anza Freeway".

    Ronald C. PackardIt is officially named the "Ronald Packard Parkway". Ronald C. Packard was congressman from the 48th Congressional District beginning in 1982, serving as the chairperson of the North County Transit District in San Diego County. Ronald Packard was instrumental in obtaining funding for the San Diego Trolley and Coaster Rail systems and receiving needed supplemental funding for numerous highway interchanges throughout San Diego County. He was the primary person responsible for the improvements made to the State Highway Routes 76 and 78. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 165, Chapter 124, September 5, 2000.
    (Image source: Congress.Gov)

    Named Structures Named Structures

    The Twin Oaks Valley Road Bridge (Bridge 57-1033, SD 012.91) in the City of San Marcos, San Diego County is officially named the "Vicente "Vince" Andrade Memorial Bridge". Vicente "Vince" Andrade, originally from Winslow, Arizona was a powerful force both in the City of San Marcos and as a voice for North San Diego County's Latino community. In May 1998, he received the Making A Difference Award, lauding Mr. Andrade's leadership in founding El Grupo Sin Nombre, an umbrella organization aimed at giving 37 Latino groups a unified voice on political and social issues in North San Diego County. He served as Chairperson of the Board of Directors for North County Health Services, President of the Hispanic Advisory Council at California State University, San Marcos, and Chairperson of the Latino Coalition for Education. In 1996, after a three-year term on the planning commission, Vince Andrade was elected to the San Marcos City Council where he served with distinction and represented the city as a SANDAG board member and was instrumental in securing additional funds for construction of the Twin Oaks Valley Road interchange improvements. This outstanding community leader died on January 23, 1999 after a five year courageous battle against recurring cancer. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 9, Chaptered April 30, 2001, Resolution Chapter 46.


  2. Rte 78 Seg 2From Route 15 near Escondido to Route 86 passing near Ramona, Santa Ysabel, and Julian.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    As defined in 1963, this segment was the route from “Route 395 near Escondido to Route 86 near Kane Springs passing near Romona and Santa Ysabel and via Julian.”

    In 1963, Chapter 1698 appears to have corrected a spelling error, changing "Romona" to "Ramona"

    In 1969, Chapter 294 changed “Route 395” to “Route 15”.

    In 1972, Chapter 1216 simplified the routing to be “Route 15 near Escondido to Route 86 near Kane Springs passing near Ramona, and Santa Ysabel, and via Julian.”

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 78 was signed along the route from Jct. US 101 near Oceanside to Jct. US 99 near Kane Springs, via Ramona. It was LRN 197 between Escondido and Ramona (junction Route 67). It was LRN 198 between Ramona and near Kane Springs and the junction with US 99 (LRN 26; now Route 86). Both LRN 197 and LRN 198 were defined in 1933.

    Status Status

    In October 2012, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the county of San Diego along Route 78 at Haverford Road near Ramona, consisting of collateral facilities. (~ SD 33.781)

    Naming Naming

    Ramon Ojeda Memorial HighwayThe segment between Route 67 and Third Street (~ SD 35.535 to SD 36.296) in Ramona is officially named the "Ramon Ojeda Memorial Highway". It was named in memory of Army Specialist Ramon Ojeda, who was killed in action in Baghdad, Iraq on May 1, 2004, at the age of 22, when his convoy was attacked by terrorists. Specialist Ojeda attended school in Ramona, California, and was survived by his wife, Lesliee, who was serving in the United States Army in Iraq, and by his 14-month-old son, Angel. He wrestled at Ramona High School and had a "can do" spirit, and a remarkable ability to disarm and cheer up others with his levity. Specialist Ojeda joined the United States Army and was assigned to the Army's 25th Infantry Division, and was the first Ramona resident killed in action in Iraq. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 47, Resolution Chapter 100, on 8/16/2006.
    (Image source: Find a Grave, LA Times)

    Firefighter Steven Rucker Memorial HighwayThe portion of Rout 78 from the intersection with Route 79 in Santa Ysabel to the intersection with Route 79 in Julian (~ 78 SD 51.126 to 78 SD 58.11) as well as Route 79 from Julian to the intersection with Engineers Road in Cuyamaca in San Diego County (~ 79 SD 12.139 to 79 SD 20.198) is named the Firefighter Steven Rucker Memorial Highway. It was named in memory of Firefighter Steven Rucker of Novato, California. In late October 2003, Southern California experienced several devastating wildfires that exceeded the devastation of any fires in the past century. In San Diego County alone 400,000 acres burned, 2,600 homes where destroyed, and 17 lives were lost. Dedicated firefighters from across California and nationwide responded to the urgent call for assistance and put their lives and personal safety at risk to save the lives and property of the residents of San Diego County. Additionally, members of the Armed Forces courageously met their country's call to duty, providing valuable firefighting assets and assistance to California's emergency response efforts in keeping with the finest traditions of United States military service. Firefighters displayed courage and uncommon bravery in working the fire lines for long hours and with little rest, often while their own homes and families were in jeopardy elsewhere, and many of these firefighters lost their own homes to the fires while defending the lives and property of others. Through the tireless and heroic efforts of California's firefighters, volunteers, and members of the community, the historic town of Julian was ultimately saved from destruction by the wildfires. One of these firefighters, Steven Rucker of Novato, California gave the ultimate sacrifice and lost his life in San Diego County on October 29th, 2003 fighting the advancing fire line as it threatened the town of Julian and neighboring mountain communities. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 53, July 8, 2004, Chapter 114.
    (Image source: Western Sojourns, Find a Grave)

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.5] From Route 79 near Santa Ysabel to Route 86 passing near Julian.


  3. Rte 78 Seg 3From Route 86 near Brawley to Route 10 near Blythe.

    Note: Upon relinquishment of Route 86 in Brawley, the portion of Route 86 from 0.5 mile south of Fredricks Road to the north junction of Route 78 shall be redesignated as a part of Route 78.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    As defined in 1963, this segment was:

    Route 86 near Brawley to Route 10 near Blythe.

    Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 89 of Chapter 1062, Statutes of 1959, the department shall proceed with the construction of the unconstructed portion of said route described in subdivision (c) between the easterly junction of Route 115 and the Imperial-Riverside county line with the lowest practical cost for a hard surfaced road and as an interim project pending the later construction of the route to proper limited access standards; provided, that prior thereto the County of Imperial enters into a co-operative agreement with the department wherein the county agrees to maintain the road between the easterly junction of Route 115 and the Imperial-Riverside county line until a limited access highway is constructed by the department between said points. Upon the completion of construction of said interim road, and pursuant to said agreement, the county shall assume jurisdiction and all responsibilities of maintenance for the period above provided. The road shall be known and designated as the "Ben Hulse Highway."

    In 1965, Chapter 1371 seems to have just changed "co-operative" to "cooperative".

    In 1968, Chapter 281 removed the following text about county maintenance: "; provided, that prior thereto the County of Imperial enters into a co-operative agreement with the department wherein the county agrees to maintain the road between the easterly junction of Route 115 and the Imperial-Riverside county line until a limited access highway is constructed by the department between said points. Upon the completion of construction of said interim road, and pursuant to said agreement, the county shall assume jurisdiction and all responsibilities of maintenance for the period above provided."

    In 1976, Chapter 1354 removed all conditions.

    In 2013, Chapter 525 (SB 788, 10/9/13) permitted relinquishment of Route 86 in Brawley, and added the language "(d) Following the relinquishments authorized in subdivision (b), the portion of Route 86 from 0.5 mile south of Fredricks Road to the north junction of Route 78 shall be redesignated as a part of Route 78."

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    The small portion of this route within Brawley (from Route 86 to Route 115) was part of LRN 187, defined in 1933.

    Cty Rte S78 / Rte 78The remainder of this segment was not part of the 1934 definition of signed Route 78. The portion from Palo Verde to Blythe was LRN 146, defined in 1933. The remainder was a proposed county route between Brawley and Palo Verde. It was constructed only between Palo Verde and Blythe. With the advent of the 1934 signage, the segment from Palo Verde to the Calfornia/Nevada border was signed as Route 195 (which continued to the California/Nevada border along LRN 146). After US 95 was signed in 1940, the portion N of Blythe to the Calfornia/Nevada border was signed as US 95, and the portion S of Blythe to Palo Verde, although part of LRN 146, was apparantly unsigned. The portion between Brawley and Palo Verde was added to LRN 146 in 1959, although as it was constructed, it was signed as a county route. A 1967 map shows the routing between Midway Well and Route 115 as County Sign Route S78, with Route 78 signed with Route 115 between the Brawley area and US 80.

    Status Status

    Brawley Bypass

    It appears there are plans to convert at least part of this to freeway. The April 2003 CTC had on its agenda the route adoption of a Freeway location for Route 78, northwest of the City of Brawley, to Route 111, southwest of the City of Brawley, in Imperial County. [11-Imp-78 KP R14.6/R24.8 (PM R09.1/R15.4) and 11-Imp-111 KP R33.0/R39.7 (PM R20.5/R24.7)]. There was also an item related to a negative environment impact for the project.

    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 #926: Construct highway connecting Route 78/Route 86 and Route 111, Brawley. This is likely the route being explored by the CTC back in April 2003. $7,600,000.

    In his 2006 Strategic Growth Plan, Governor Schwartzenegger proposed completing stages 2 and 3 of the Brawley Bypass. In November 2007, bids went out for construction of a 4-lane divided expressway and interchange on Route 78 near Brawley from 0.6 Km East of Hovley Road to 0.4 Km North of the Route 78/Route 111 Junction

    2007 CMIA. The Brawley Bypass on Route 78 was submitted to the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account for funding ($46.1 million). It was not recommended for funding.

    In February 2009, the CTC was noticed that Caltrans and the Imperial Valley Association of Governments (IVAG) recommended that Brawley Bypass projects programmed in the 2008 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) be reprogrammed as a corridor, with funding levels to be based on the state funds previously allocated by the California Transportation Commission (Commission) and available local and federal funds: (a) Route 78 Brawley Bypass — Stage 2 project (PPNO 0021F) (b) Route 78 Brawley Bypass — Route 86 to Route 111 project (PPNO 0021).

    In February 2010, the CTC approved some funding changes regarding the Brawley Bypass. Specifically, they amended the project agreement to reprogram $1,909,000 of Federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Border Infrastructure Program (BIP) funds to the right of way phase on the Brawley Bypass (Stage 3) project (PPNO 0021G) in Imperial County. The purpose was to fund right of way activities related to additional impacts to agricultural land within the project vicinity. It should be noted this is a long project; the schedule shows environmental started in March 1993, and project closeout is expected to finish in January 2013 (construction should finish in February 2012). 

    In May 2012, the CTC amended the the Trade Corridor Improvement Fund (TCIF) baseline agreement for Project No. 77 – Brawley Bypass (Route 78/Route 111 Expressway) – Stage 3 Project (PPNO 0021G) in Imperial County. The amendment revised the project schedule and split off a follow-up landscape mitigation project (PPNO 0021Y). The approved baseline schedule was been revised to update the end of construction and closeout phases. The original construction schedule was developed assuming minimal structural construction on the project. However, during the design phase, a bridge was added to allow for canal maintenance, triggering an extended construction period.

    In December 2014, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the county of Imperial along realigned Route 78 between existing Route 86 (IMP R9.324) and New River (~ IMP R12.564) and along Route 86 between Fredericks Road and Gardner Road, consisting of a collateral facilities. The County, by controlled access highway agreements dated December 17, 1991 and May 6, 2003, agreed to accept title upon relinquishment by the State. The 90-day notice period expires December 1, 2014.

    In October 2012, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the city of Brawley on Route 78 (Main Street) between existing Route 86 and realigned Route 111, consisting of superseded highway right of way (~ 11-Imp-78-PM 13.2/15.5).

    In January 2012, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the city of Brawley along realigned Route 78 from Best Road (~ IMP R13.92) to Route 111 (~ IMP R15.464), consisting of collateral facilities.

    In December 2011, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the county of Imperial along Route78 between Route 111 and the realigned 111, and along Route 111 between Mead Road and Route 78, consisting of superseded highway right of way and collateral facilities. (11-Imp-78-PM 15.0/15.7, 11-Imp-111-PM 20.5/22.2)

    In May 2018, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the city of Brawley (City) along Route 78, 0.1 mile west of its intersection with Route 111, consisting of collateral facilities (11-Imp-78-PM 15.4/15.5). The City, by letter dated February 8, 2018 confirmed that the City Council, at their November 21, 2017 meeting, agreed to waive the 90-day notice requirement and accept title upon relinquishment by the State.
    (Source: CTC Minutes, May 2018 Agenda Item 2.3c)

    Naming Naming

    Ben HulseThe portion of this part of the route between the junction of Route 78 and Route 111 (formerly Route 86, changed by Senate Concurrent Resolution 70, July 16, 2004, Chapter 121) upon its construction near Brawley and Route 10 near Blythe (~ IMP 20.486 to RIV 15.629) is officially designated the "Ben Hulse Highway". It was named by Assembly Bill 2499, Chapter 1387 in 1961 (for LRN 146); the name was transferred to Route 78 in 1963. California State Senator Ben Hulse served the people of Imperial County from 1933 to 1958.
    (Image Source: East Side of the West, Imperial Unified School District)

    Victor V. Veysey ExpresswayThe portion of Route 78 "Brawley Bypass" from Route 86 near Brawley to the Highline Canal east of Brawley, in the County of Imperial (~ IMP 20.486 to IMP 027.28) is named the Victor V. Veysey Expressway. It was named in honor of Victor Vincent Veysey, who was born in Los Angeles in 1915, and earned degrees at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard University. After 11 years of teaching at the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University, he moved to the County of Imperial to begin a career in farming. In 1955 he was elected to the Brawley School District Board of Directors, and later in 1960 was elected to the Imperial Valley College Board where he served until 1962. From 1963 to 1971 he served in the California Assembly, as the last resident of the County of Imperial to serve in the Legislature. He was a Congressman in the United States House of Representatives from 1971 to 1975, representing the 38th and 43rd Districts of California. He then went on to serve in President Ford's administration as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works until 1977, where he played a major role in the negotiations that eventually led to the agreement on the Panama Canal. Governor Deukmejian appointed Mr. Veysey to serve as the California Secretary for Industrial Relations in 1983; and he went on to serve as Director of the Industrial Relations Center and Lecturer in Business Economics, at the California Institute of Technology. He passed away on February 13, 2001, in Hemet, California. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 70, July 16, 2004, Chapter 121.
    (Image source: AARoads, Wikipedia)

    Named Structures Named Structures

    Douglas B. Dunaway Memorial BridgeThe New River Bridge on the Route 78 Bypass (Bridge 58-0337, IMP R012.48) in Imperial County is officially named the "Douglas B. Dunaway Memorial Bridge". This structure was named in memory of Douglas Brian Dunaway, who was born in Walsingham, England at Sculthorpe Air Base in 1959 to a military family serving abroad, who enlisted in the United States Army in 1977, and who was honorably discharged after four years of service. Upon discharge from the Army, Mr. Dunaway attended Oregon State University and earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. Mr. Dunaway began his career with the Office of Structures Construction of the Department of Transportation in 1991. Mr. Dunaway was an exemplary employee who received numerous awards, including three superior accomplishment awards recognizing his ongoing efforts to deliver the highest quality product to the customers of the department, and for delivering specialized training and mentoring for staff. Mr. Dunaway gained the respect of supervisors, management, and peers for his commitment to high professional standards, and excelled as a mentor to all employees. Mr. Dunaway was one of the most experienced structure representatives in District 11 of the Department of Transportation, serving Imperial and San Diego Counties, and was named the Structure Representative of the Year in 2008. Over his 19-year career, Mr. Dunaway worked on some of the most complex structures throughout the state, including structures on Route 5, Route 14, Route 15, Route 78, Route 86, Route 94, and Route 905. Mr. Dunaway's passion was bridge building and he volunteered for several assignments in Imperial County over his career, where he enjoyed living and working. As a humanitarian, Mr. Dunaway was an avid supporter of Feed the Children, Toys for Tots, various battered women's shelters, and local shelters for the homeless. Mr. Dunaway passed away unexpectedly on March 5, 2010, while working on the Brawley Bypass as the structure representative, and is interred at the Dallas Cemetery in Dallas, Oregon. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 116, Resolution Chapter 128, on 9/7/2010.
    (Image source: AAroads, Find a Grave)


Exit Information Exit Information

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Freeway Freeway

[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Part (1) and the portion of part (2) from Route 15 to Escondido are constructed to freeway standards. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

Classified Landcaped Freeway Classified Landcaped Freeway

The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:

County Route Starting PM Ending PM
San Diego 78 0.00 0.73
San Diego 78 1.17 1.50
San Diego 78 3.20 3.62
San Diego 78 4.28 4.47
San Diego 78 6.76 7.05
San Diego 78 7.60 7.84
San Diego 78 8.96 9.24
San Diego 78 10.84 11.45
San Diego 78 11.82 12.40
San Diego 78 12.81 13.14
San Diego 78 R15.64 R16.91

National Trails National Trails

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

Interregional Route Interregional Route

[SHC 164.14] Entire route.

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 78:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

The route that was to become LRN 78 was first defined in 1931 by Chapter 82 as part of “(l) Riverside to San Diego (Inland Route)”. The Inland route from Riverside to San Diego was an old established county routing that passed through many settlements and towns in plains and in narrow valleys lying in a semimountainous district between Riverside and San Diego. Riverside and San Diego counties had paved this route in the past, making a serviceable road for light traffic. The state still needed to improved the alignment, and the length of the ultimate State routing would be 20 miles shorter than the existing highway. It was added to the state highway system based on the volume of intercounty and intrastate traffic it carried, and by reason of relief it will afford to existing heavily traveled State roads and as an advantageous component of a comprehensive State system.

In 1933, it was extended with a segment from [LRN 12] near Descanso to [LRN 77] near Temecula. In 1935, it was codified into the highway code as:

  1. Riverside to [LRN 77] near Temecula
  2. [LRN 12] near Descanso to [LRN 77] near Temecula

This definition remained until the 1963 renumbering. It was signed as follows:

  1. From Riverside to LRN 77 near Temecula.

    This was originally signed as US 395, and is present-day I-215 (for a short while, this was I-15E).

  2. From LRN 12 (US 80; present-day I-8) near Descanso to LRN 77 (US 395; present-day I-215 and I-15) near Temecula.

    This was/is signed as Route 79 between Descanso (US 80; present-day I-8) and Aguanga (present-day Route 79/Route 371 junction). Between Aguanga and Temecula, it was originally signed as Route 79, then resigned as Route 71 until 1974; it is present-day Route 79.


Acronyms and Explanations:


Back Arrow Route 77 Forward Arrow Route 79

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