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State Shield

State Route 119

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

Routing Routing

Rte 119From Route 33 at Taft to Route 99 near Greenfield.

Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

The definition of this route is unchanged from 1963.

Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

US Highway Shield Current Route 119 was LRN 140 (defined in 1933), and was signed as part of US 399 starting in 1935.

Proposed Rerouting of U.S. 399 in TaftIn 1952, a freeway alignment was adopted for US 399 (now Route 33 and Route 119) through Taft. The plan was to widen US 399 through Taft to a point 1.3mi N of the town's city limits. Project plans were under study  The bypass was eventually constructed. US 399 originally entered Taft from the S along the Westside Highway (now Route 33), and turned towards Bakersfield at 6th Street, continuing along 6th as it turned into Harrison, rejoining the Taft Highway (possibly to the E of Elk Hills Road). Subsequent discussion on the Facebook post where this map was posted indicated that the final adopted routing differed slightly from the routing shown. Specifically, the proposed route seems to show the new routing running along Monroe St, whereas the actually routing runs about 6-7 blocks to the E, running straight to the N and curving back after passing what is shown as the US Navy land in the diagram.
(Source: Art Moore on FB, 12/22/2022, sharing map from the Bakersfield Californian, 12/23/1952)

Sign Route 119 was not defined as part of the initial state signage of routes in 1934. It is unclear what (if any) route was signed as Sign Route 119 between 1934 and 1964.

Status Status

In October 2011, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that will construct a four-lane bypass near the city of Taft (~ KER 0.017). The project is not fully funded. The project is programmed in the 2010 State Transportation Improvement Program for Project Development only. The total estimated cost is $67,716,000 for capital and support. Depending on the availability of funding construction can begin as early as Fiscal Year 2015- 16. The scope as described for the preferred alternative is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2010 State Transportation Improvement Program. A copy of the MND has been provided to Commission staff. The project will mitigate potential impacts to biological and paleontological resources to a less than significant level. Potential impacts to biological resources in the project area will be mitigated in accordance with the Biological Opinion rendered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Potential impacts to paleontological resources would be mitigated by implementing a paleontological resource plan. As a result, an MND was completed for this project.

The state is planning a $70 million upgrade along seven miles of Route 119 E of Taft, as phase one of a $250 million, 30-year road-widening project (~ KER 0.017 to KER 7.000).

In August 2019, it was reported that SB1 will contribute $940,000 to construct left turn lanes on Route 119 from north of Gardner Field Road (~ KER 0.041) to south of Ash Street (~ KER 1.061) in the city of Taft. The total cost of the project is $5.2 million.
(Source: Sun Gazette, 8/21/2019)

Truck Passing Lanes - Tupman Road to Elk Hills Road (06-Ker-119 R10.0/R13.3)

In August 2015, the CTC authorized 6,814,000 for a project along Route 119 (06-Ker-119 R10.0/R13.3) near Dustin Acres, from Elk Hills Road to Tupman Road. Outcome/Output: Construct truck climbing lanes to reduce congestion and improve highway operations and mobility.

In April 2016, it was reported that construction was starting on the new truck passing lanes on Route 119. More information was provided in an article from Bakersfield Now. The construction project will add an additional "truck climbing" lane on westbound Route 119 from Tupman Road to Elk Hills Road, that will connect with two lanes currently in the area. Shoulders will be widened on the north side of Route 119, an eastbound passing lane will be extended to Elk Hills Road, and Caltrans will add a rumble strip along the center line. Engineers say that will give trucks more space to climb the hills, and give other drivers more room to pass. The entire project will take about 7 months. As part of the construction, a 3½ mi long, bright orange fence has been erected along the north side of the road. The purpose of the fence is to protect three endangered species: the San Joaquin antelope squirrel, the Giant kangaroo rat, and San Joaquin kit fox. The long, fabric fence was installed a foot below ground, and 2-and-a-half feet above. It also has an 8-inch flap ("lip") that folds over away from the highway side. Both the giant kangaroo rat and antelope squirrel are pretty good climbers, and the lip may keep them from getting into the construction zone. On the other hand, the barrier actually helps the kit fox get over the fence. The kit fox can likely jump over the fence on its own, but Caltrans has added ramps to provide additional access to the other side of the fence if a kit fox finds itself in the construction zone at night-- when the species is most active.
(Source: Taft Midway Driller, 4/7/2016; BakersfieldNow, 4/14/2016)

In May 2016, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that will construct a roundabout at the intersection of Route 43, Route 119, and Enos Lane near the city of Taft (~ KER 18.037). The project is programmed in the 2014 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. The total programmed amount is $9,761,000 for capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2017-18. 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. A copy of the MND has been provided to Commission staff. The project will result in less than significant impacts to the environment after mitigation. The following resource area may be impacted by the project: biological resources. Avoidance and minimization measures will reduce any potential effects on the environment. These measures include, but are not limited to, environmentally sensitive areas will be established for the Giant kangaroo rat, Tipton kangaroo rat, San Joaquin kit fox, and the Blunt-nosed leopard lizard, pre-construction field surveys will be conducted, and ESA fencing will be used.

Naming Naming

This route is part of the "Bakersfield, Maricopa, and Ventura Highway".

Taft Highway/William Howard TaftThis route is currently named the "Taft Highway". It was named for its terminus in Taft, CA. According to Wikipedia, a display at the West Kern Oil Museum indicates that local residents asked the Southern Pacific Railroad if the station could be named Moro when the rails arrived in about 1900, but a railroad official declined because the name would be too easily confused with the coastal town of Morro Bay. Instead, the railroad directed the station be called Moron, a word which as yet had no association with lack of intelligence. Pictures of local businesses, including the Moron Pharmacy, hang in the museum. After a fire burned much of the town, the name was changed to Taft in honor of William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the US.
(Image source: US Ends; Whitehouse.Gov)

Corporal Luis Carlos RuanThe portion of Route 119 between between E Kern Street (KER 0.34) and Cedar Street (KER 1.300) in the County of Kern is named the “Corporal Luis Carlos Ruan Memorial Highway”. It was named in memory of  Luis Carlos Ruan, who was born in January 1997, in Long Beach, California. Luis moved to Taft, California, when he was eight years of age where he attended Jefferson Elementary, Roosevelt School, and Lincoln Junior High, and graduated from Taft Union High in 2015. Luis volunteered to serve his country, enlisting in the United States Army in the summer of 2016, which he hoped would help him achieve his goal of going to school and joining the California Highway Patrol. Luis left for the United States Army in August 2016, and was sent to boot camp in Fort Benning, Georgia. After graduating from boot camp in December 2016, Luis was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas. Luis worked for B Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Luis was in a military training accident on January 22, 2019, in which two other young men passed away, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury and he was sent to different hospitals while he and his family started their journey to his recovery. Luis was returned to El Paso, Texas, where he passed away on April 20, 2020. Named by Assembly Resolution ACR 211, Res. Chapter 172, 09/06/22.
(Image source: Tribute Archive)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial HighwayThe portion of Route 119 between Enos Lane and Route 99 (~ KER 18.222 to KER 31.198), and continuing along Taft Hwy/Panama Road to Route 184, in the County of Kern is officially designated the "Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway". It was named to recognize the strong commitment and courage demonstrated by veterans of the Vietnam War. It was spearheaded by The Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. and The Veterans Coalition, who welcome members from all branches of service, Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force or Coast Guard, from all eras, wars and conflicts. The Bakersfield Post of The Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. was established in 1993 and the first Commander was Barney Cadena and The Bakersfield Post of The Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. was named in his honor in April 2004. The members of The Bakersfield Post of The Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. have been involved in the Kern County Honor Guard for veteran's funerals and have attended over 750 funerals in 2005. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 68, Resolution Chapter 95, on 8/15/2006.
(Image source: Gribblenation)

Deputy Daniel Lee ArchuletaThe interchange of Route 99 and Route 119 (~ KER 31.198) is named the "Deputy Daniel Lee Archuleta Memorial Interchange". Named in memory of Daniel Lee Archuleta, who was born in Huntington Beach, California. Daniel Lee Archuleta attended Golden West College, where he received an Associate of Arts degree on October 20, 1996, and subsequently attended California State University at Long Beach, where he received a bachelor's degree on May 28, 1999. Daniel Lee Archuleta attended, and graduated from, the academy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at East Los Angeles College on February 20, 2001, and began employment with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in February of 2001. Archuleta was hired by the Kern County Sheriff's Department on October 5, 2002, and was assigned to the Support Services Bureau, the Training Division, and the Resource Pool, and also worked temporarily in the Court Services Division. Daniel Lee Archuleta transferred to the Law Enforcement Bureau, South Area Substation Division, Taft Court on November 2, 2002, and on May 27, 2003, he entered the Field Training Officer Program and was promoted to Deputy Sheriff II on October 4, 2003. Daniel Lee Archuleta was killed on September 12, 2004, when his patrol vehicle rolled over on Tupman Road, just north of the west Kern County town of Tupman, while he was traveling south on Tupman Road responding to an emergency call. A deputy from the Kern County Sheriff's Department driving north on Tupman Road found the battered patrol vehicle in the southbound lane of Tupman Road, and Daniel Lee Archuleta was found dead at the scene. California Highway Patrol investigative units from Bakersfield and Fresno were called to the scene but were unable to ascertain the cause of the accident. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 50, Resolution Chapter 86, on August 24, 2012.
(Image source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund)

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 119:

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

In 1933, Chapter 767 defined the route from "State Highway near Gilroy to [LRN 10] in Priest Valley" as part of the state highway system. In 1935, it was codified in the highway code as LRN 119 with that definition. In 1953, Chapter 1836 changed the definition to clarify the origin and relax the terminus, making it "[LRN 2] near Gilroy to [LRN 10]".

The route ran from US 101 near Gilroy to Route 198, and is present-day Route 25.

Acronyms and Explanations:

Back Arrow Route 118 Forward Arrow Route 120

© 1996-2020 Daniel P. Faigin.
Maintained by: Daniel P. Faigin <>.