All About the Ronald Reagan Freeway (118 Fwy.) in Simi Valley

Real Estate Agent with Top Producing Agent, Pinnacle Estate Properties DRE.#00779926

The 118 Freeway is one of the most important components of the lifeblood of Simi Valley. Without it, drivers would be forced to take the Santa Susana Pass into the San Fernando Valley, and backroads to get into Thousand Oaks and Moorpark. The 118, although so pivotal to the transportation of drivers from and thru Simi Valley, is relatively young. The 118 Freeway didn’t exist in its entirety (with the 8 exits that it has now) until 1980, and it didn’t extend all the way to Moorpark until 1993.


Although the 118 Freeway, in Simi Valley, is only a little over 40 years old, the history of the 118 itself goes back further than that.


According to CA Highways:


“In 1954, route studies were conducted for the Simi Valley Freeway (Route 118) from Desoto Avenue to the proposed Foothill Freeway (public hearing held January 9, 1964); and from the Route 126 Freeway near Saticoy to First Street near Moorpark.


In 1964, a 19.3-mile freeway routing for Route 118 was adopted between six-tenths mile west of La Vista Avenue near Saticoy and a three-tenths mile east of First Street near Simi. A routing was also adopted in 1964 between 0.3 mi W of DeSoto to the future I-210 routing.


Construction of the Simi Freeway required excavation of 8.5 million cubic yards of earth for roadway and over 34,000 cubic yards for structure excavation. Fills ranged up to 220' in-depth, requiring special drainage structures. In some areas, the unique rock strata required a 3-to-1 cut, and the right of way at its widest point is 1,100' from top of cut to top of cut. The summit between Ventura County and Los Angeles County is at 1,568', with the grade being 3.6% on the Ventura side, and 5% on the Los Angeles side.”


Like much of the history of Ventura County and Simi Valley, both are intimately tied to Los Angeles. Because LA is such a spiraling metropolitan area, Simi Valley grew in size partially due to its proximity to it.


According to Wikipedia:


“Before the freeway was built, the route went through Simi Valley on Los Angeles Avenue and Kuehner Drive, then crossed into the San Fernando Valley on Santa Susana Pass Road. The eastern segment used Devonshire Street through the San Fernando Valley, then cut through San Fernando along Brand and Maclay Streets before joining Foothill Boulevard in Sylmar. During the 1932 Summer Olympics, it hosted part of the road cycling event. The SR 118 freeway began construction in 1968 and the last section of the freeway opened in 1979. The segment of freeway between Balboa Boulevard and Tampa Avenue was one of the last freeway segments to be built in the Los Angeles area. As a result of the Northridge earthquake in January 1994, a section of the highway between I-405 and I-210 was closed for over one month while damage to an overpass was repaired. The Porter Ranch Drive interchange is relatively new; before it was constructed, that interchange connected to a closed Winnetka Avenue and a Park and Ride lot.


The freeway portion of Route 118 between Moorpark and Lake View Terrace was originally named the Simi Valley-San Fernando Valley Freeway before it was designated as the Ronald Reagan Freeway in 1994. It was renamed in honor of Ronald Reagan, the 33rd Governor of California and the 40th President of the United States, due to the location of his presidential library in Simi Valley.”


 The 118 Freeway, or the Ronald Reagan Freeway, is driven on by millions of people each year. Without this Freeway, Simi Valley would not be the city that it is now. Plus, drive time within Simi Valley itself would be much greater if it didn’t exist as well.

Celebrating his 41st year in Real Estate, Alex Gandel earned the prestigious awards, “Top Number of Escrows”, “Top Number of Transactions”, and “Top 10 Companywide, Top 1%”, placing him as #1 Agent, Simi Valley and #4 Agent, Companywide for his 2020 Production. "Pinnacle congratulates Alex Gandel on another phenomenal year, far surpassing his own record years. His clients are blessed to have his professional representation, and his uncanny ability to negotiate on their behalf. Alex is the consummate professional!" Stated Dana Potter, Owner, Pinnacle Estate Properties.

Comments (3)

Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

I'm sure the drivers in the overwhelmingly liberal area wince every time they see Ronald Reagan's name on the highway.

Aug 23, 2021 06:25 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Alex. We hear alot about the traffic in California. Nice to hear a little history of a freeway. Thanks. Enjoy your day.

Aug 24, 2021 05:53 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Alex - the California freeway system certainly ties together our very diverse communities.  

Aug 24, 2021 06:53 AM