SR-71: Corona Freeway / Chino Valley Freeway

ca_71_smallCorona Freeway and Expressway, Future Chino Valley Freeway
Runs from I-10 at the Kellogg Hill Interchange (I-10/SR-57/I-210) to SR-91 near Corona.

Highway 71 is a varied route. It starts as a freeway at I-10, then turns into an expressway, then back into a freeway only to go back to an expressway before finally ending onto SR-91. 71 used to go all the way to Hwy 74 near Mountain Center following SR-91, I-15, SR-79, and SR-371.

SR-71 also had a different routing through Pomona along Garey Avenue. US 60/70/99  ran along the routing of present-day Route 71 from I-10 to Holt Blvd. There, US 70 and US 99 headed east along Holt Blvd. US 60 continued south to Mission Blvd, where it also headed east. Part of that old highway still remains adjacent and even under the freeway of today. The remaining expressway segments are slated to be upgraded within the next few years. In 2017, the last traffic signals were removed from the highway between Mission Blvd and State 60. This greatly improved traffic flow in the area even without widening.

Pomona intersections with Holt Blvd, Pomona Blvd, and Mission Blvd.
1932 San Jose Creek Bridge partly underneath the 1972 freeway bridge. This is the only remaining piece of old US 60/70/99 between I-10 and Holt Blvd.
1932 San Jose Creek Bridge partly underneath the 1972 freeway bridge. This is the only remaining piece of old US 60/70/99 between I-10 and Holt Blvd.
1932 San Jose Creek Bridge in 1965, then carrying only SR-71.
1932 San Jose Creek Bridge in 1965, then carrying only SR-71.
Original junction at Holt Blvd. US 60 (later SR-71), continued south (bottom).
Original junction at Holt Blvd in 1965. US 60 (later SR-71), continued south (bottom).
Interchanges for Pomona Blvd and 2nd St. These bridges and ramps were constructed in 1938. The bridge over the upper set of tracks was originally built in 1926.
Interchanges for Pomona Blvd and 2nd St. These bridges and ramps were constructed in 1939. The bridge over the lower set of tracks was originally built in 1926.
Original Pomona Blvd interchange.
Original Pomona Blvd interchange and the East Spadra OH from 1939.
Older signage for the Pomona Blvd exit.
Older signage for the Pomona Blvd exit from NB 71.
Railing from the 1939 bridge over the SP tracks.
Railing from the 1939 East Spadra OH bridge over the SP tracks.
Old reflector in the 1930's curbing at the Pomona Blvd junction.
Old reflector in the 1930’s curbing at the Pomona Blvd junction.
Curbing at the onramp from 2nd St.
Curbing at the onramp from 2nd St.
Side view of the 1939 bridge. Angled supports are from the 1926 bridge.
Side view of the 1939 West Pomona OH bridge. Angled supports are from the 1926 bridge.

 

Sign at Valley Blvd, a rare sight in California.
Sign on SB 71 near Valley Blvd, a rare sight in California.
NB 71 at Mission Blvd (old US 60 East and SR-57 West)
NB 71 at Mission Blvd (old US 60 East and SR-57 West). This has been replaced with an interchange. It was originally constructed about 1938.
NB 71 just north of the 60.
NB 71 just north of the 60.
Rio Rancho Rd OC. It is a unique bridge without a standard center support.
Rio Rancho Rd OC. It is a unique bridge without a standard center support.
Old alignment of Hwy 71 at Chino Creek. Schaefer Ave bridge is at the middle.
Old alignment of Hwy 71 at Chino Creek. Schaefer Ave bridge is at the middle.
Abutments for the former Hwy 71 Chino Creek Bridge.
Abutments for the former Hwy 71 Chino Creek Bridge.
Former Schaefer Ave Bridge over Chino Creek. The 71 Freeway is in the background.
Former Schaefer Ave Bridge over Chino Creek. The 71 Freeway is in the background.
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12 thoughts on “SR-71: Corona Freeway / Chino Valley Freeway”

  1. It depends on what you define as completed. The grade crossings and traffic signals should be removed in the next few years. After that, it depends on funding in both San Bernardino County (District 8) and Los Angeles County (District 7) to create a “full freeway”.

    Mind you, there is a difference between “planned” and “funded”. Lots of projects have been planned for many years, doesn’t necessarily mean they will get built or in the way they were originally planned. The 71 was originally planned to be an expressway, the Corona Expressway, which it was through its entire length until gradual upgrades to freeway were done.

    1. I happened to drive the 71 today, and the two Pomona signals were either shut off or gone, although southbound exits & entrances are still available. Let’s hope they finally got rid of the stoplights permanently.

      1. I finally got a chance to take State 71 today and yes, the signals are off and the left turns are now fully blocked. The right off/on ramps are still in place, which doesn’t negatively affect traffic. It does appear this is a temporary measure until the roadway is upgraded to a full freeway.

  2. I recently drove on the 71 going in to corona and I’m wondering when are they going to install reflectors and reflective lines on the road right before it merges with hwy 91??? With the rain and no lights it was imposible to even see the left median or the actual lanes, for that matter. So beyond dangerous and has been like this since I’ve been coming down to the area.

    1. Reflectors will most likely be installed once the paving and other construction is complete. Generally, rain can delay such construction, but they may have an interim solution, usually using glued reflector flaps.

  3. With the new addition of the extended toll road from th 15 may help out Corona/ Riverside commuters it makes my commute to Orange County 71 91 Freeway merge horrible!!! Traffic seems to be worse then ever adding a 15min. Longer wait to get on the 91 to Orange County. I see countless accidents of people cutting of others to merge onto the 91! I really hope there are plans in the works to widen or even build a wall to prevent collisions from happening in the near future…meaning yesterday! Traffic is only growing to grow with all the new housing developments popping up in the Inland Empire.

    1. Eventually, yes. According to the General Plan of both the City of Chino and City of Chino Hills, the roadway will be four-lanes divided with an adjacent bicycle path. It looks contingent on both right-of-way purchase and future development.

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