California State Route 125 is a 22.30 mile freeway in the San Diego Metro Area. California State Route 125 begins at California State Route 52 in Santee and terminates at California State Route 905/California State Route 11 in Otay Mesa of the City of San Diego. California State Route 125 between California State Route 52 south to California State Route 54 is part of the Ramona Freeway corridor. California State Route 125 south of California State Route 54 is a tolled segment known as the South Bay Expressway.
Part 1; the history of California State Route 125
What is now California State Route 125 ("CA 125") first entered the State Highway System as part of Legislative Route Number 198 ("LRN 198") during 1933 between LRN 200 in Spring Valley north to US Route 80/LRN 12 in La Mesa via Palm Avenue. The original definition of LRN 198 defined by 1933 Legislative Chapter 767 was as follows:
"LRN 12 near El Cajon to Descanso-Temecula Road near Santa Ysabel", and "Julian to LRN 26 near Kane Springs"
Although not spelled out in the original 1933 definition LRN 198 can be seen connecting US Route 80/LRN 12 south to LRN 200 on the 1934 Division of Highways Map.
In the August 1934 California Highways and Public Works Guide the Sign State Routes were announced. LRN 198 from Spring Valley to Ramona was not assigned one of the initial Sign State Routes.
During 1935 LRN 198 was codified with the following defined route segments:
1. LRN 200 near Spring Valley to LRN 12 near La Mesa
2. LRN 12 near El Cajon to LRN 78 near Santa Ysabel
3. Julian to LRN 26 near Kane Springs
LRN 198 between LRN 200 north to US Route 80/LRN 12 can be seen on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Diego County.
LRN 198 on Palm Avenue between CA 94/LRN 200 north to US Route 80/LRN 12 appears in detail on the 1938 Division of Highways Map. LRN 198 can be seen reaching US Route 80/LRN 12 at La Mesa Boulevard
The February 1940 California Highways & Public Works notes construction of a new alignment of US Route 80/LRN 12 spanning from El Cajon east to La Mesa had been completed during 1939.
The new divided alignment of US Route 80/LRN 12 bypassing much of La Mesa on El Cajon Boulevard appears on the 1940 Division of Highways Map. LRN 198 is shown to be rerouted over former US Route 80/LRN 12 on La Mesa Boulevard.
CA 67 appears for the first time on 1952 Division of Highways Map. The initial alignment of CA 67 spanned from US Route 80/LRN 12 in El Cajon via LRN 198 north to CA 78 in Ramona.
The November/December 1955 California Highways & Public Works notes a new freeway corridor alignment of LRN 198 had been assigned as an extension of CA 67. The new freeway segment of LRN 198 was under construction between CA 94/LRN 200 and US Route 80/LRN 12 in the vicinity of La Mesa. The article stub notes two contracts already in progress, a third contract advertised, a fourth contract set to be advertised during the 1956-57 Fiscal Year and a fifth contract to be advertised as soon as freeway right of way could be made available. The CA 67/LRN 198 freeway corridor in La Mesa is stated to be part of a larger major east/west freeway which connected to downtown San Diego via CA 94/LRN 200.
The May/June 1957 California Highways & Public Works notes the two mile CA 67/LRN 198 freeway in La Mesa was recently completed between CA 94/LRN 200 north to US Route 80/LRN 12.
The 1957 Division of Highways Map shows the new freeway alignment of CA 67/LRN 198 in La Mesa.
The September/October 1957 California Highways & Public Works notes the CA 67/LRN 198 freeway in La Mesa was dedicated on March 12th, 1957.
1959 Legislative Chapter 1062 defined LRN 282 as a new State Highway with the following definition:
1. (a) LRN 281 near United States Auxiliary Air Station, Brown Field to LRN 198 (CA 67) near La Mesa
2. (b) LRN 198 near La Mesa to LRN 277
The planned route of LRN 282 can be seen for the first time on the 1960 Division of Highways Map. Note; LRN 277 originated near Aguanga at CA 79 and is just outside the San Diego insert.
1961 Legislative Chapter 1146 changed the north terminus of planned LRN 282 to LRN 278. This change to LRN 282 can be observed on the 1962 Division of Highways Map.
The September/October 1963 California Highways & Public Works notes 2.3 freeway miles of LRN 282 originating from planned LRN 280 north to Blossom Lane in Lemon Grove had been adopted by the California Highway Commission.
1963 Legislative Chapter 1698 shortened the name of Brown Field but the definition of LRN 282 was overtaken by the new definition of CA 125 as part of the 1964 California State Highway Renumbering. CA 125 was defined as a highway originating from Route 75 near Brown Field to Route 56 passing near La Mesa. Planned CA 125 can be seen for the first time on the 1964 Division of Highways Map. Notably the CA 67 freeway in La Mesa can be seen legislatively assigned as part of CA 125. CA 67's new definition had it truncated to Interstate 8 near El Cajon.
The January/February 1965 California Highways & Public Works announced two freeway segments of CA 125 had been adopted by the California Highway Commission. The first segment began at Interstate 8 in La Mesa and extended north to Mission Gorge Road to a planned junction with CA 52. The second adopted freeway segment of CA 125 extended north from the Otay River.
The March/April 1965 California Highways & Public Works announced a freeway alignment of CA 125 north of Blossom Lane connecting to Interstate 8 in La Mesa had been adopted by the California Highway Commission.
The July/August 1965 California Highways & Public Works announced the California Highway Commision had adopted a freeway routing of CA 125 from CA 75 north to the previous adopted segment at the Otay River.
The September/October 1965 California Highways & Public Works announced the California Highway Commission had adopted a freeway routing of CA 125 from Mission Gorge Road northward 10.8 miles to planned CA 56 in Poway.
1965 Legislative Chapter 1371 segmented the definition of CA 125. The new definition of CA 125 along with the adopted freeway segments appear on the 1966 Division of Highways. Despite the numerous freeway alignment adoptions made during 1963 and 1965 the construction of CA 125 beyond the existing two miles in La Mesa stalled for decades.
The 1970 Division of Highways Map was first to not display CA 67 signed on the CA 125 freeway in La Mesa.
1972 Legislative Chapter 1216 extended the origin of CA 75 to "The international border southerly of Brown Field." The extension of planned CA 125 to the Mexican Border can be seen for the first time on the 1975 Caltrans Map.
CA 125 south of CA 54 is shown downgraded to "routing not determined" on the 1977 Caltrans Map.
1986 Legislative Chapter 928 transferred the 1972 border extension of CA 125 to CA 905. The truncated planned route of CA 125 first appears on the 1988 Caltrans Map.
Environmental Impact Studies began on the corridor of CA 125 south of CA 54 during 1987. During 1990 the Caltrans proposed building CA 125 south of CA 54 as a tolled facility. Much of the new routing of CA 125 south of CA 54 was determined by March 1997 but progress towards construction stalled due to numerous environmental concerns. CA 125 south from CA 94 to CA 54 was opened to traffic during May 2003 via an interim non-freeway alignment following Sweetwater Road. Construction of the South Bay Expressway commenced during September 2003. CA 125 from Interstate 8 north to CA 52 was fully completed by mid-year 2004. CA 125 south of CA 94 to CA 54 was brought to full freeway standards during 2005. CA 125 on the South Bay Express was opened to traffic during November 2007 operated by the South Bay Expressway Company.
Traffic on the South Bay Expressway segment of CA 125 hovered around 30,000 vehicles a day which was below projections. The South Bay Expressway Company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy during March 2010. Ultimately the South Bay Expressway was purchased by the San Diego Association of Governments ("SANDAG") for $345,000,000. Recently ramps from the southern terminus of CA 125 to CA 905 and CA 11 were completed during December 2021.
The last proposal to extend CA 125 to planned CA 56 in Poway was discussed by a SANDAG advisory group during 2003. Presently the extension of CA 125 north CA 56 is not part of SANDAG's 2050 Regional Transportation Plan.
Part 2; Roadwaywiz on California State Route 125
During October of 2020 Dan Murphy of the Roadwaywiz Youtube Channel featured real-time drives on CA 125. Below CA 125 can be viewed northbound from Exit 1 to Exit 12 on the South Bay Expressway.
CA 125 northbound can be viewed between Exit 12 to Exit 18 below.
CA 125 northbound can be viewed between Exit 18 to Exit 22 below.
CA 125 southbound can be viewed from Exit 22 to Exit 15 below.
CA 125 southbound can be viewed from Exit 15 to Exit 12 below.
CA 125 southbound can be viewed on the South Bay Expressway from Exit 12 to Exit 1 below.
During April of 2020 Roadwaywiz featured CA 125 as part of the San Diego Area Webinar. Panelists Dan Murphy, Tom Fearer and Scott Onson discuss CA 125 from 39:54- 44:33.