County Route S18 (California)

County Route S18 (California)

Infobox road

alternate_name=El Toro Road, Santiago Canyon Road, Villa Park Road, Katella Avenue

length_ref=cite web|author=Faigin, Daniel P|url=|title=County Routes "S" - County Route S18||accessdate=2008-05-16]
terminus_a=jct|state=CA|SR|133 near Laguna Beach
junction=jct|state=CA|I|5 in Laguna Hills
terminus_b=jct|state=CA|SR|55 in Orange

County Route S18 (CR S18) is a county highway in the U.S. state of California in Orange County. The route follows in a boomerang-like patternCite map|publisher=Rand McNally|title=The Road Atlas|year=2006|page=29] from State Route 133 in Laguna Beach to State Route 55 near Orange. CR S18 traverses as a loop around the urban areas of Orange County and cuts through the Saddleback Mountains. The road is one of four county routes in Orange County that are signed in areas nearby the route, such as southbound . [cite web|url=|title=Photo of CR S18 from SR 133 Southbound||accessdate=2008-05-17] It is also noted to be the longest county route in Orange County and is the only major route that allows motorists to drive through, in, and out of the Saddleback Mountains. [cite web|author=Bushnell, Bill|url=|title=Orange County|date=1993-04-11|accessdate=2008-05-18]

The Santiago Canyon Road portion of CR S18 in the Saddleback Mountains is planned to become designated as an official scenic highway as part of the State Scenic Highway System. This makes it the second highway to become designated as a scenic road in Orange County, California, despite the impact from the Santiago Fire as part of the wildfires in October 2007.

Route description

El Toro Road

County Route S18 begins at Laguna Canyon Road (SR 133) and follows El Toro Road in a northeast direction as the route immediately leaves the Laguna Canyon. The southernmost segment of El Toro Road between SR 133 and SR 73 is a two-way traffic and two-lane alignment with a broken yellow-line median. [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=State Route 133 to State Route 73|accessdate=2008-05-15|url=,33.582840,-117.761440%3B4405739857155025601,33.590313,-117.752666&saddr=El+Toro+Rd+%4033.582840,+-117.761440&daddr=El+Toro+Rd+%4033.590313,+-117.752666&mra=pe&mrcr=0&sll=33.586575,-117.757055&sspn=0.014086,0.029011&ie=UTF8&z=15] After the interchange with the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road (SR 73), El Toro Road welcomes motorists into the city limits of Aliso Viejo as the road widens into a six-lane street with a divided median until reaching Aliso Creek Road. There, El Toro Road narrows to a four-lane alignment and enters into residential Laguna Woods.cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=State Route 73 to Aliso Creek Road|accessdate=2008-05-15|url=,33.582840,-117.761440%3B15819439562522316403,33.599090,-117.747190&saddr=33.591529,-117.751207&daddr=El+Toro+Rd+%4033.599090,+-117.747190&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=0&sz=15&sll=33.588597,-117.749791&sspn=0.014085,0.029011&ie=UTF8&ll=33.595461,-117.748504&spn=0.014084,0.029011&z=15] The road then navigates to a more east direction as it leaves the residential city and immediately enters one of the oldest incorporated cities in Orange County - Laguna Hills - with restaurants and other public services. [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=Aliso Creek Road to Interstate 5|accessdate=2008-05-15|url=,33.582840,-117.761440%3B9788228466628453981,33.614110,-117.708340&saddr=33.598893,-117.747173&daddr=El+Toro+Rd+%4033.614110,+-117.708340&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=0&sz=14&sll=33.594532,-117.743139&sspn=0.028169,0.058022&ie=UTF8&ll=33.607257,-117.728205&spn=0.028165,0.058022&z=14] El Toro Road also serves some point of interest destinations, such as the Laguna Hills Mall [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=Aerial image of the Laguna Hills Mall|accessdate=2008-05-15|url=,33.611484,-117.723079&saddr=33.611438,-117.706983&daddr=&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=0&sz=16&sll=33.610348,-117.705438&sspn=0.007041,0.014505&ie=UTF8&ll=33.610742,-117.705824&spn=0.007041,0.014505&t=h&z=16] for shopping and the Laguna Hills Golf Club [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=Aerial image of the Laguna Hills Golf Field|accessdate=2008-05-15|url=,33.610140,-117.725310&saddr=33.611456,-117.723055&daddr=&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=0&sz=16&sll=33.613386,-117.725437&sspn=0.007041,0.014505&ie=UTF8&ll=33.614244,-117.725823&spn=0.007041,0.014505&t=h&z=16] for recreation.

After interchanging with Interstate 5, El Toro Road enters in Lake Forest. The segment between I-5 and Muirlands Boulevard widens to four lanes since its renovation in 2006. [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=Interstate 5 to Muirlands Boulevard|accessdate=2008-05-16|url=,33.615070,-117.707159%3B7705533425144892439,33.623000,-117.697327&saddr=El+Toro+Rd+%4033.615070,+-117.707159&daddr=33.622946,-117.697477&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=15&sll=33.61973,-117.701983&sspn=0.01408,0.029011&ie=UTF8&ll=33.619372,-117.701941&spn=0.01408,0.029011&z=15] The road continues in this manner until its intersection with Trabuco Road, where the El Toro Road starts to curve while maintaining its general northeast-southwest alignment until reaching the underpass with the Foothill Toll Road (SR 241) near the Saddleback Church. [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=Trabuco Road to State Route 241|accessdate=2008-05-16|url=,33.637000,-117.679990%3B10244064121898725106,33.661604,-117.638700&saddr=33.637346,-117.679882&daddr=El+Toro+Rd+%4033.661604,+-117.638700&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=0&sz=14&sll=33.627913,-117.689753&sspn=0.028158,0.058022&ie=UTF8&ll=33.649922,-117.653961&spn=0.056302,0.116043&z=13] North of SR 241, El Toro Road decreases its number of lanes into a two-lane highway, [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=Aerial image of El Toro Road at Glenn Ranch Road|accessdate=2008-05-17|url=,-95.677068&sspn=27.504711,59.414063&ie=UTF8&ll=33.670265,-117.626088&spn=0.001759,0.003626&t=h&z=18] and curves its direction to the north before its intersection with Live Oak Canyon Road (CR S19), which marks the northern terminus of El Toro Road. [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=State Route 241 to County Route S19|accessdate=2008-05-16|url=,33.637197,-117.679723%3B18412111285315366663,33.683330,-117.620650&saddr=33.662353,-117.636108&daddr=CR-S18%2FEl+Toro+Rd+%4033.683330,+-117.620650&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=0&sz=13&sll=33.651208,-117.649841&sspn=0.056301,0.116043&ie=UTF8&ll=33.674069,-117.621088&spn=0.028143,0.058022&z=14]

antiago Canyon Road

CR S18 now follows Santiago Canyon Road, a potential scenic highway. The majority of Santiago Canyon Road for convert|15.4|mi|km|0 traverses through the scenic Saddleback Mountains, with the Santiago Canyons on the west side of the road and the Modjeska Canyons on the east side. [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=Map of Santiago Canyon Road|accessdate=2008-05-16|url=,33.683330,-117.620650%3B7437420784907550346,33.792350,-117.761200&saddr=CR-S18%2FSantiago+Canyon+Rd+%4033.683330,+-117.620650&daddr=33.811245,-117.795582&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=13&sll=33.802972,-117.786655&sspn=0.056201,0.116043&ie=UTF8&ll=33.755744,-117.679367&spn=0.224929,0.464172&z=11] Two major intersections along this route are Silverado Canyon Road and Modjeska Canyon Road, which serves the Silverado and Modjeska Canyons, respectively. [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=CR S18 at Silverado Canyon Road|accessdate=2008-05-16|url=,33.748640,-117.673060&saddr=33.748197,-117.673166&daddr=&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=0&sz=16&sll=33.748376,-117.669861&sspn=0.00703,0.014505&ie=UTF8&z=16] To the north of the Santiago Mountains and west of the Irvine Lake, Santiago Canyon Road interchanges with the Eastern Toll Roads - State Route 241 and the northern terminus of State Route 261. [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=CR S18 at SR 241 and SR 261|accessdate=2008-05-16|url=,33.683600,-117.620660&saddr=33.782429,-117.749577&daddr=&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=0&sz=13&sll=33.738616,-117.660828&sspn=0.128332,0.222988&ie=UTF8&ll=33.783,-117.743397&spn=0.064133,0.111494&z=14] After this point, Santiago Canyon Road continues northwest until it returns to the urban areas of Central Orange County.

There are also attractions and points of interest along Santiago Canyon Road. Notable examples include the Irvine Lake, the Santiago Canyon College, and the Santiago Oaks Regional Park. [cite web|title=Attractions, Entertainment, and Points of Interests|url=||accessdate=2008-05-18] Santiago Canyon Road is also popular for its tourism with the scenic views of the Saddleback Mountains and the road itself, as well as the the access to the Santiago Truck Trail - one of the scenic bike trails in Orange County. [cite web|title=Orange County California Bike Trails - Santiago Truck Trail|url=||accessdate=2008-05-18]

Villa Park Road and Katella Avenue

Upon entering Villa Park, CR S18 turns west and widens into a regular city street and follows Villa Park Road, immediately before the road also follows the most eastern segment of Katella Avenue. [cite web|title=Santiago Time Trial|url=|publisher=UC Irvine cycling|accessdate=2008-05-18] There, CR S18 interchanges with State Route 55, which marks the northern terminus of CR S18 as Katella Avenue continues to the west, serving populous cities such as Anaheim in the central region of Orange County. [cite map|publisher=Google Maps|title=Villa Park Road and Katella Avenue|accessdate=2008-05-16|url=,33.811130,-117.796194%3B2115437321847948069,33.810320,-117.830080&saddr=E+Santiago+Canyon+Rd+%4033.811130,+-117.796194&daddr=33.810389,-117.830858&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=14&sll=33.811601,-117.812233&sspn=0.028098,0.058022&ie=UTF8&ll=33.810817,-117.810774&spn=0.028098,0.058022&z=14]


El Toro Road landscape renovation

Eighteen years later since the formation of CR S18 in 1970, the Orange County Board of Supervisors officially declared the El Toro Road segment in 1988 and named it after the unincoporated community El Toro (present day Lake Forest). During the 1970s and 1980s, El Toro progressed a period of commercial growth and development of land areas near the road over time. The county board left the road alone for traffic use, thus leading to the congestion and the need for landscape improvement. During the late 1990s, the call to "fix El Toro Road" resulted in renovating El Toro Road and eliminate the traffic congestion.cite web |url=|title=Clearing the Road|author=Rombouts, Christine|accessdate=2007-05-30|date=2008-01-01|publisher=Public Works Online]

Prior to the year 2005, the El Toro Road segment between Interstate 5 and Muirlands Boulevard initially caused traffic congestion due to its narrow alignment. On September 14, 2004, the USD $33 million project was planned to renovate and beautify its landscape, while hoping to alleviate traffic congestion. [cite news|url=|title=El Toro Road ready to roll|author=Ritchie, Erika I|publisher=Orange County Register|date=2006-07-16|accessdate=2008-05-15] cite web|url=|title=The Arbor on El Toro Road...||accessdate=2008-05-16] The El Toro Road project consisted of adding additional lanes, decorating the median, and widening the intersections. [cite web|url=|title=El Toro Road revamp|author=Freeman, Rita|publisher=Saddleback Valley news|date=2005-06-24|accessdate=2008-05-17] The arbor structures that now lie on the sides of the road dubbes it as The Arbor theme. [cite news|url=|title=A gateway into El Toro|author=Freeman, Rita|publisher=Orange County Register|date=2006-12-08|accessdate=2005-05-18] The entire project was completed by the winter of 2006, with its intended goal of to create better access to retail shops and other services along this strech of the road.

Potential scenic highway

In April 2008, Bill Campbell called a meeting with representatives from the Intercanyon League, the Saddleback Canyon Conservancy, and the Silverado Modjeska Park District. Their intended goal is to designate the Santiago Canyon Road segment of CR S18 as a scenic highway,cite news|url=|title=Canyon residents seek to preserve scenic roadway|author=Eades, Mark|publisher=Orange County Register|date=2008-04-23|accessdate=2008-05-15] [cite web|url=|title=SILVERADO-MODJESKA CANYONS INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY|accessdate=2008-05-31] as the road lies within the scenic corridor in the valley between the Santiago Canyons and the Modjeska Canyons. [cite web|url=|title=Drive to Oakley - via Santiago canyon road..|publisher=Flickr|accessdate=2008-05-30] Despite the canyons being burned in the Santiago Fire from the October 2007 wildfires,cite web |url=|title=Santiago Incident|accessdate=2007-05-17|date=2007-10-27|publisher=Orange County Fire Authority] [cite news|author=Anton, Mike and Barboza, Tony|url=,0,815322,full.story|title=In Silverado Canyon, a new cliffhanger|publisher=Los Angeles Times|accessdate=2008-06-25] [cite news|author=Wilson, Janet|url=,0,5815329.story|title=Modjeska Canyon is on the mend|publisher=Los Angeles Times|accessdate=2008-06-25] flowers and green plants blossomed in the canyons and along the roadway from the recent rainstorms over Orange County; therefore increasing the chances of that portion of CR S18 becoming a scenic roadway. [cite news|url=|title=Canyons are alive with color, activity|author=Sudock, Joshua|publisher=Orange County Register|date=2008-03-06|accessdate=2008-05-17] In addition, an Adopt-a-Highway program is considered to be implemented along the route in order to maintain its safety with the local environment.

Major intersections

The entire route is in Orange County.


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