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California State Route 79

This past month I drove a segment of California State Route 79 from Interstate 15 in Temecula east to CA 371.  Given that CA 79 was one of more common routes of travel circa 2011-2013 in Southern California I figured it be a good opportunity to discuss the history of the highway.


Excluding recent relinquishments CA 79 is a 107 mile highway counting 1995 era mileage.  CA 79 begins at I-10 near Beaumont of Riverside County and travels generally southward to I-8 near Los Terrenitos of San Diego County.




Part 1; The History of California State Route 79

CA 79 was one of the original Sign State Route Highways announced in a 1934 Department of Public Works Guide.  CA 79 was originally aligned from US 395 in Temecula southward to US 80 near Descanso.


CA 79 in it's original configuration was entirely aligned on Legislative Route 78.   LRN 78 was defined by the State Legislature in 1931 as an inland route between San Diego and Temecula.  LRN 78 was clarified in 1933 to include two segments; one from Riverside to Temecula, the second segment from Temecula to Descanso.

The original alignment of CA 79 from US 395 in Temecula south to US 80 can be seen on the 1935 Goshua Highway Map of California.


At some point between 1938 and 1940 CA 79 was realigned northward over what was first CA 83 through Hemet to US 60 in the Moreno Valley Badlands.  The original CA 83 was aligned on Legislative Route 194 between CA 79 near Aguanga north to US Route 60 in the Moreno Valley Badlands.  CA 83 was not one of the original run of Signed State Routes and first appeared on the 1938 Division of Highways State Map.

  
LRN 194 was added to the State Highway System in 1933 according to CAhighways.org.  LRN 194 as originally defined beginning at the Descanso-Temecula Road and ending to the north at LRN 19 which was US 60 at the intersection of what is now Gillman Springs Road and Jack Rabbit Trail.  When US 60 was extended into California in 1932 it utilized Jack Rabbit Trail and Gillman Springs Road west from Beaumont to cross the Moreno Valley Badlands.  In 1934 US 70 was co-signed with US 60 over Jack Rabbit Trail and Gillman Springs Road in the Moreno Valley Badlands which can be seen on the 1935 Goshua Highway Map of California above.


CA 79 is shown routed to US 60 for the first time on the 1940 Division of Highways State Map.  CA 71 was extended east through Temecula to the new route of CA 79.


In 1959 CA 79 on Gillman Springs Road was designated as LRN 186.  LRN 194 was rerouted onto a planned alignment north of Gillman Hot Springs to Beaumont.  CA 79 was realigned onto what had been the planned rerouting of LRN 194 from Gillman Hot Springs north to Beaumont via Beaumont Avenue through Lamb Canyon in 1964 which can be seen on the Division of Highways State Map from said year.


The previous route of CA 79 on Gillman Springs Road to US 60 became the short lived original CA 177.  The first CA 177 was deleted in 1965 according to CAhighways.org but still appeared on the 1966 Division of Highways State Map.  1966 was also a significant year for CA 79 as it was realigned from heading directly south of Hemet to new southwesterly alignment to US 395 in Temecula.  This led to CA 79 returning to it's original alignment through Temecula eastward.  What had been CA 79 south of Hemet towards Agunaga was designated as Signed County Route R3 either in 1966 or 1973. 


By 1974 CA 71 had been truncated in favor of I-15 through Temecula.  This led to CA 371 being created and CA 79 being signed solely between I-15 and CA 371.  The stand along alignment of CA 79 east of I-15 can be seen on the 1975 Caltrans State Map.


In recent years a significant number of portions of CA 79 have been relinquished.  The following segments of CA 79 have been noted by CAhighways.org as being legislatively relinquished:

-  CA 79 surface segments within the City of Temecula were relinquished in 2004.
-  CA 79 within San Jacinto between CA 74 north to Ramona Expressway was relinquished in 2007.
-  CA 79 north to the western split in Ramona Expressway within San Jacinto was relinquished in 2010.

CA 79 from the San Jacinto River southwest to Newport Road near Winchester is up for a possible upgrade to a expressway on a new alignment.  The numerous project alternatives can be viewed on CAhighways.org on their CA 79 Page.


Part 2; Driving CA 79 from I-15 east to CA 371

My path of travel on CA 79 from I-15 to CA 371 is illustrated below.


My approach to CA 79 south was from I-15 south in Temecula.  I-15 south picks up CA 79 on a multiplex at Exit 61 at Winchester Road.



CA 79 south multiplexes I-15 south to Exit 58 at Temecula Parkway.











CA 79 south "technically" doesn't exist on Temecula Parkway in the City Limits of Temecula.  At Post Mile RIV 15.74 State maintenance of CA 79 begins again on Temecula Parkway near Anza Road.  State Maintained CA 79 on Temecula Parkway is easily distinguished when the highway becomes two-lanes.











At the Anza Road intersection CA 79 south traffic is advised against using 30 foot or longer vehicles on the highway.  CA 79 south is also signed with a "End Truck Route" sign assembly.




CA 79 south past Anza Road is signed as a Safety Corridor.



CA 79 south continues through mountainous terrain for several miles before intersecting Sage Road/Signed County Route R3 (former CA 83/CA 79) at Post Mile RIV 5.804.  The R3/Sage Road turnoff from CA 79 is located in a small community known as Radec.
























CA 79 south continues through rolling hills until the turnoff for CA 371 at Post Mile RIV 2.267 in Aguanga.












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