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State Route 116

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 116 Seg 1From Route 1 near Jenner to Route 101 near Cotati.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is unchanged from its 1963 definition.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    The portion of this route between Jenner and Sebastopol was signed as Route 12 between the original signage of routes in 1934 and 1964. The entirty between Jenner and Cotati was LRN 104, defined in 1933.

    On AARoads, Scott Parker explained why Route 116 was created: It seems that the 1964 decision to replace Route 12 from Jenner to Sebastopol with Route 116 was because the Bodega Bay-Sebastopol route -- part of the Freeway & Expressway System additions -- as a LRN 51 western extension dating from the system's original 1959 iteration -- was considered to be the more direct and favorable route to reach the coast, as well as serving Bodega Bay, considered to be a more popular tourist destination than Guerneville or Jenner. The avoidance of a Route 12/Route 116 "bump" at Sebastopol was a prime consideration as well, along with the periodic flooding of then-LRN 104 through the Guerneville-Monte Rio area along the lower Russian River canyon. So the renumbering took place and Route 12 signage terminated at CA 116 as it does today -- but plans were afoot to bring the county road (Bodega Highway), which intersected Route 1 near the small community of Bodega, into the state system in short order. But residents in the western part of Sebastopol voiced objections to the state assuming maintenance and signing the road because of the potential for increased traffic through their neighborhoods, preferring (at the time) a realignment to the south. The Division of Highways didn't demur to that request, and Sonoma County elected to not cede the existing route to the state. That situation, dating from around 1970, has never been resolved, and Route 12 continues to terminate in Sebastopol as a result.
    (Source: Scott Parker (Sparker) on AARoads, "Re: CA 116", 1/23/2020)

    Status Status

    In July 2016, it was reported that Caltrans would be replacing the Monte Rio Bridge over the Russian River (~ SON 7.79), which is near Route 116 on Bohemian Way in Monte Rio. The 1934 bridge is nearing the end of its life, and county officials are gearing up to decide how to replace it, as soon as can be feasibly done. Caltrans has set aside about $20 million in federal highway funds for the project, and the Sonoma County Transportation & Public Works Department is expected to award an engineering contract this summer for studies and design work that will guide decision-making over the next year or so. The overall completion time is likely to be five years at least. The existing bridge will still be in service while construction is underway means the new structure can’t be in the same location as the old one, likely raising right-of-way issues requiring negotiation. Special considerations related to the river environment and wildlife habitat protections also will complicate matters. In addition to concerns about the effects of stress on 82-year-old materials, the 772-foot bridge is seismically deficient and vulnerable to erosion and other structural inadequacies. Instead of anchored in bedrock, as the new bridge would be, its piers were built on wooden piles dug into the riverbed, where scouring and erosion have exposed some of the piles. It is vulnerable to collapse in a severe earthquake, and the ground it’s built on is subject to liquefaction, as well. The bridge, located within 15 miles of three major earthquake faults, was identified by the state in 1997 as needing mandatory retrofits. The community would like to salvage the bridge for pedestrians and bicycles, but county officials say it’s not feasible to do so because its not the weight of the cars and trucks that are the problem, it's the underpinnings.
    (Source: Press Democrat, 6/30/2016)

    In June 2015, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project in Sonoma County that will construct a 163-foot retaining wall on Route 116 near the town of Guerneville (~ SON R12.233). The project is programmed in the 2014 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. The estimated cost is $6,616,000 for capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2015-16. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2014 State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

    In January 2013, the CTC authorized relinquishement of right of way along Route 116 from Drake Road to Mays Canyon Road (~ SON R12.425 to SON R12.567) near the town of Guerneville, in the county of Sonoma, consisting of collateral facilities.

    In February 2013, it was reported that there are plans to install a roundabout at Route 116 at Mirabel Road in Forestville (~ SON 19.389). The modern roundabout usually features a one-lane traffic circle in which vehicles move counterclockwise around a center circular island, entering and exiting to the right. The motorist entering the roundabout usually must yield to traffic already circling.
    (Source: Press-Democrat, 2/8/2013)

    Madrone Ave Safety Improvements

    In October 2012, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that will install left-turn pockets in both directions from Route 116 to Madrone Avenue (~ SON 34.287); including widening the roadway, modifying part of the existing unlined drainage gutter, and installing a new longitudinal pipe. The project is programmed in the 2010 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. The total estimated cost is $1,560,000 for capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2012-13. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed in the 2010 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. A copy of the MND has been provided to Commission staff. The project will mitigate potential impacts to biological resources to a less than significant level. Proposed mitigation measures include pre-construction surveys for the California Tiger salamander, a California listed endangered species. A qualified biological monitor will be on site to insure practices are put in place to best protect the California Tiger salamander. As a result, a MND was completed for this project.

    In December 2012, Caltrans wrapped up a six-month safety improvement project on Route 116 and Madrone Avenue (~ SON 34.287) in Cotati. The $690,000 project added 350-foot left-turn pockets in each direction of Route 116 at Madrone Avenue and a 5-foot shoulder on the south side of the intersection.

    Naming Naming

    Merrit W. DeedsThe five-mile segment of Rout 116 immediately south of the junction of Route 1 (presumably SON 0.000 to SON 5.000, but Route 116 doesn't go S from Route 1), in the County of Sonoma, is officially designatedthe "Deputy Sheriff Merrit W. Deeds Memorial Highway". It was named in memory of Deputy Sheriff Merrit W. Deeds,born in 1943 in Rohnerville, California. Deeds grew up in Sonoma County, and graduated from Healdsburg High School in 1960. Merrit W. Deeds joined the United States Army in 1964 and served in Vietnam in the 81st Airborne Infantry Division. Merrit W. Deeds first served with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office in 1970 as a Summer Deputy and was assigned to the Guerneville Substation. After graduating from Sacramento State University, Merrit W. Deeds moved to Alaska to attend the Alaska State Trooper Academy and, upon graduation from the academy, became an Alaska State Trooper. Merrit W. Deeds moved back to California in 1975 with his wife and again became a Summer Deputy for the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on May 23, 1975. On August 23, 1975, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office notified Merrit W. Deeds that he was to become a permanent, full-time Deputy Sheriff with the sheriff’s office. Only hours after this notification, Deputy Sheriff Deeds was patrolling Route 116 near Jenner when he stopped to talk with three men who were parked on the side of the road. The driver of the vehicle fired two shots at Deputy Sheriff Deeds, the second of which was fatal. Reserve Deputy Rex Nance, who was off duty, stopped to assist, and Deputy Sheriff Deeds was able to warn him that the driver had a gun, possibly saving Reserve Deputy Nance’s life. At 32 years of age, Deputy Sheriff Deeds sacrificed his life in meritorious service for the residents of the County of Sonoma and the State of California. It was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 159, Resolution Chapter 177, 9/11/2014.
    (Image source: Patch)

    The portion between the intersection with River Road in Guerneville and US 101 in Cotati is called lots of confusing things. East of US 101 in Petaluma to its terminus at Route 121 near Schellville, the picture is a little clearer. Route 116 is called "Stage Gulch Road" until the intersection with Arnold Drive, then most people call it, and receive mail on it, as "Arnold Drive" until the terminus.

    Willard F. LibbyRoute 116 in Sonoma County from Sebastopol to Forestville is named the "Willard F. Libby Memorial Highway". Dr. Willard Frank Libby (December 17, 1908 – September 8, 1980), a native of the Sebastopol area. He was a nuclear scientist and member of the Atomic Energy Commission. He was an American physical chemist noted for his role in the 1949 development of radiocarbon dating, a process which revolutionized archaeology and palaeontology. For his contributions to the team that developed this process, Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960. A 1927 chemistry graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, from which he received his doctorate in 1933, he studied radioactive elements and developed sensitive Geiger counters to measure weak natural and artificial radioactivity. During World War II he worked in the Manhattan Project's Substitute Alloy Materials (SAM) Laboratories at Columbia University, developing the gaseous diffusion process for uranium enrichment. After the war, Libby accepted professorship at the University of Chicago's Institute for Nuclear Studies, where he developed the technique for dating organic compounds using carbon-14. He also discovered that tritium similarly could be used for dating water, and therefore wine. In 1950, he became a member of the General Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). He was appointed a commissioner in 1954, becoming its sole scientist. He sided with Edward Teller on pursuing a crash program to develop the hydrogen bomb, participated in the Atoms for Peace program, and defended the administration's atmospheric nuclear testing. Libby resigned from the AEC in 1959 to become Professor of Chemistry at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a position he held until his retirement in 1976. In 1962, he became the Director of the University of California statewide Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP). He started the first Environmental Engineering program at UCLA in 1972, and as a member of the California Air Resources Board, he worked to develop and improve California's air pollution standards.  Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 149, Chapt 128 in 1984.
    (Image source: Wikipedia)

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.6] Entire portion.

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.6] From Route 181 near Forestville to Route 101 near Cotati. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.


  2. Rte 116 Seg 2From Route 101 near Petaluma to Route 121 near Schellville.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is unchanged from its 1963 definition.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    This was LRN 104, defined in 1933. It does not appear to have been a signed route prior to 1964.

    Status Status

    In May 2014, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project project in Sonoma County that will repair embankment on a portion of Route 116 near the city of Petaluma. The project is programmed in the 2014 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. The total estimated cost is $2,420,000 for capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2014-15.

    Lakeville Highway. Intersection Improvements (04-Son-116 39.3)

    In June 2020, the CTC amended the following project into the SHOPP: 04-Son-116 39.3. PPNO 2028S. ProjID 0419000047. EA 2Q770. Route 116 near Petaluma, at the intersection with Lakeville Highway. Intersection improvements. PA&ED $1,877K; PS&E $2,065K; RW Sup $435K; Con Sup $1,954K; R/W Cap $755K; Const Cap $5,144K; Total $12,230K. BC: 9/2/2024.
    (Source: June 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.1a.(5a) #7)

    In June 2020, the CTC approved the following support allocation for this project: 04-Son-116 39.3 PPNO 2028S ProjID 0419000047 EA 2Q770. Route 116 near Petaluma, at the intersection with Lakeville Highway. Intersection improvements. Allocation: PA&ED $1,877,000 (Concurrent Amendment under SHOPP Amendment 18H-018; June 2020.)
    (Source: June 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5b.(2a) #28)

    In February 2012, the CTC authorized $2,999,000 to provide Environmental Mitigation for the Stage Gulch Road Curve Correction and Realignment project near Petaluma, from Adobe Road to west of Arnold Drive (~ SON 42.504). EA 04-28381, PPNO 0832 to meet the requirements of permits issued by the regulatory agencies.

    In February 2013, it was reported that there are plans to install roundabouts at Arnold Drive at Agua Caliente Road (~ SON 44.799) at the entrance to the Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma. A roundabout also is being considered for the three-way intersection of Route 116 and Route 121/Route 12 in Carneros, south of Sonoma. The modern roundabout usually features a one-lane traffic circle in which vehicles move counterclockwise around a center circular island, entering and exiting to the right. The motorist entering the roundabout usually must yield to traffic already circling.
    (Source: Press-Democrat, 2/8/2013)

    Route 116/Route 121 Roundabout (~ SON 46.741)

    Rte 116/Rte 121 RoundaboutIn December 2014, it was reported that the state is moving ahead with plans that call for a possible two-lane roundabout or traffic signal at the intersection of Route 116 and Route 121. Officials are still assessing environmental and other impacts, such as a noise, for both options before they can move ahead with designs. They’re also meeting with business and vineyard owners, who could see some encroachment if a roundabout is built. If approved, construction could start around 2019-2020. It’s taken so long to deal with the crossing at Route 116 and Route 121 in part because of the number of government agencies involved. The plans also call for sidewalks up to 10 feet wide, which would accommodate both pedestrians and bicyclists. An existing park-and-ride lot could be relocated and the nearby bridge over Yellow Creek replaced.
    (Source: Press-Democrat, 12/21/2014; Image source: Adapted from Sonoma County Gazette, 5/15/2020)

    The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following NEW Mobily item of interest: 04-Sonoma-121 PM 6.5/7.0 PPNO 2031J Proj ID 0412000557 EA 3G900. Route 121 near Schellville, at the intersection of Routes 121 and 116. Construct roundabout. Programmed in FY22-23, with construction scheduled to start in March 2023. Total project cost is $18,869K, with $16,819K being capital (const and right of way) and $2,050K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.).
    (Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

    In May 2020, it was reported that CTC approved the 2020 SHOPP, which included funding in the amount of $19M to complete improvements at the intersection of Route 116 and Route 121 southwest of the City of Sonoma. The money will become available in 2022. Measure M, the ¼-cent sales tax for transportation, was used to leverage the state dollars in order to fully fund the improvements. Measure M is contributing $5M. The project will improve traffic circulation and safety for all users and reduce congestion by removing the current stop sign-controlled intersection and installing a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 121 and 116. The project will also widen the roadway to allow for turn lanes into and out of existing commercial uses. The Park and Ride lot will be relocated; the parking capacity will remain the same in the new location. SCTA serves as the project sponsor and Caltrans will build the project. The current cost estimate for this project is $24 million, and construction is currently scheduled to start in early 2023. The environmental documentation for compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act / California Environmental Quality Act (NEPA/CEQA) and project approval was completed in April 2018. Design and right of way phases are underway and will be completed by 2022.
    (Source: Sonoma County Gazette, 5/15/2020)

    The roundabout is part three of a five-part Sonoma County Transportation Authority 'local streets' project to improve traffic conditions along Arnold Drive (Route 116, and continuation of the street N of the point Route 116 turns off onto Stage Gulch Road), funded by Measure M, the quarter-cent sales tax for transportation improvements passed by county voters in 2004. The first part of the Arnold Drive project was widening the two-lane road's shoulders just south of Glen Ellen (off the state highway system, near Route 12), which was completed in 2012. The second part was the Hap Arnold Roundabout at the intersection of Agua Caliente Road (off the state highway system), completed in 2014. Note that the SHOPP grant for this project won't become available until 2022, when Sonoma County Transportation Authority supplies the additional $5 million in sales tax revenues to reach the $24 million mark. The project approval and environmental review were finished in spring 2018, setting up design of the roundabout and negotiating for adjacent property by 2022, when the state funding will be available. Construction is expected to begin in early 2023 and completed by the end of 2024.
    (Source: Sonoma Index Tribune, 5/18/2020)

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.6] Entire portion. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.


Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

Route 116 was not defined as part of the initial state signage of routes in 1934. It is unclear what (if any) route was signed as Route 116 between 1934 and 1964.

Interregional Route Interregional Route

[SHC 164.15] Between Route 1 and Route 12.

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 116:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

In 1933, Chapter 767 defined the route from "Santa Cruz to [LRN 42] near Waterman Gap" as a state highway. In 1935, it was codified in the highway code as LRN 116 with that definition.

In 1961, Chapter 1146 changed the origin to "[LRN 5] near Santa Cruz".

This route runs from Route 17 near Santa Cruz to Route 9 near Waterman Gap, and is present-day Route 9.


Acronyms and Explanations:


Back Arrow Route 115 Forward Arrow Route 117

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