Routes 273 through 280
Click here for a key to the symbols used. "LRN" refers to the Pre-1964 Legislative Route Number. "US" refers to a US Shield signed route. "I" refers to an Eisenhower Interstate signed route. "Route" usually indicates a state shield signed route, but said route may be signed as US or I. Previous Federal Aid (pre-1992) categories: Federal Aid Interstate (FAI); Federal Aid Primary (FAP); Federal Aid Urban (FAU); and Federal Aid Secondary (FAS). Current Functional Classifications (used for aid purposes): Principal Arterial (PA); Minor Arterial (MA); Collector (Col); Rural Minor Collector/Local Road (RMC/LR). Note that ISTEA repealed the previous Federal-Aid System, effective in 1992, and established the functional classification system for all public roads.
273 · 274 · 275 · 276 · 277 · 278 · 279 · 280
From Route 5 near Anderson to Route 299 in Redding.
From Route 299 in Redding to Route 5 northeast of Redding.
I-5 almost bypassed Redding entirely. Early plans would have had the freeway skirt the town near what is now Redding Municipal Airport. News reports from 1962 say that as many as four routes originally were considered, but residents, city leaders and business owners chose the one nearest to Redding. Cypress Avenue and Hilltop Drive soon became the main pit stops for travelers, leaving many businesses on former Route 99 in south Redding, downtown and the Miracle Mile to wither away.
In 2002, a highway location routing for Route 299 was adopted along Lake Boulevard from Route 273 to I-5. Concurrent with this action, the segment of Route 273 from Route 299 at Market Street to Route 273 at Lake Boulevard will be cosigned Route 273/Route 299.
In 2007, an effort was begun to have this segment signed as "Historic Route 99". The groups hope to have the black-and-white historical Route 99 signs up by October. They'll be placed from North Market Street in Redding down to where Interstate 5 meets Highway 273 south of Anderson.
In January 2017, it was reported that Route 273 is getting another close
look from the California Department of Transportation. Officials have been
talking to local transportation, police, fire and public health departments,
hospitals, schools and the Good News Rescue Mission. They also want to hear
from the public and will hold three workshops to get feedback on how to make
the route better for anyone who drives, walks or bikes. This comes after
preliminary collision figures show 2015 — the most recent available
— was the deadliest year for people who traveled on Route 273. Of 28
reported collisions on the corridor stretching from north Redding to Anderson,
seven people were killed and 37 were injured, according to data compiled by the
University of California, Berkeley Transportation Injury Mapping System.
Alcohol and unsafe speed played a role in more than half of the collisions in
2015. Poor lighting was a factor in a quarter of the cases. Two pedestrians
were killed crossing the street and a third was killed while walking on the
road and its shoulder, perhaps highlighting the lack of sidewalks in parts of
the corridor and the prevalence of pedestrians who dart from one side of the
road to the other, particularly in south Redding. Over the past three years,
three safety projects on Route 273 caught the attention of those who use the
corridor. It started with the reduction in southbound lanes and addition of
bike lanes in downtown Redding. Caltrans also added a crosswalk for pedestrians
trying to get to the Rescue Mission. Last year, crews put in sidewalks on the
east side of the road from Parkview Avenue to Grange Street.
(Source: Redding Record Searchlight, 1/23/2017)
In the right of way for Route 273 in Shasta County is the "CHP Officer George W. Redding Memorial". On August 17, 1988, CHP Officer George W. Redding, died in the line of duty as a result of injuries sustained when struck by a utility pole guy wire while investigating a traffic collision on Route 273. Officer Redding joined the CHP in January 1966, graduated from the patrol academy and was assigned to the San Leandro area on May 25, 1966. He transferred to the Redding area on September 15, 1969. He demonstrated steadfast and selfless dedication to the citizens of the State of California, and was commiteed to the safety of the motoring public. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 86, Chapter 126, on August 21, 2002.
The Sacramento River Bridge (06-0014, SHA 017.08) located on Route 273 as it crosses the Sacramento River into downtown in the City of Redding is named the Redding Police Officer Owen “Ted” Lyon Memorial Bridge. It was named in memory of Police Officer Owen “Ted” Lyon,born in 1931, in Socorro, New Mexico. He graduated from Red Bluff High School in 1949 and went on to junior college for one and one-half years to study electrical engineering. He worked for the Paul Bunyan Lumber Company in Anderson, California, from April 1957 to September 1961, inclusive. On September 7, 1961, he joined the Redding Police Department. Officer Lyon was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 1967. He and his partner, Jon Kelbaugh, had responded to the address of 1047 Gilbert Street in the City of Redding on a domestic violence incident where it had been reported that a drunk man had been fighting with his wife in an apartment and had threatened her with a gun. As both officers approached the front door on foot, a man stepped out from behind the door firing a .32 caliber handgun and Officer Lyon was shot in the abdomen by the suspect and fell to the ground still holding his service weapon and Officer Kelbaugh was also shot in the abdomen and the back. After retreating, Officer Kelbaugh, who survived the assault engaged the suspect in a gun battle using a shotgun and the suspect was killed. Officer Kelbaugh loaded Officer Lyon into a police unit and drove him to the Redding Medical Center where he died approximately 24 hours later. Officer Lyon was 35 years of age, had six years of service with the Redding Police Department. Many officers from the Redding Police Department and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department responded to the hospital to donate blood and nearly 60 pints of blood were collected in an effort to save the life of Officer Lyon. On September 18, 2012, the Redding City Council unanimously approved authorization for the Redding Police Department to proceed with this request to create the Redding Police Officer Owen “Ted” Lyon Memorial Bridge. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 13, August 29, 2013. Resolution Chapter 86.
Some reports indicate that this route was onced signed as Business Route I-5 in its entirety. Recent reports indicate it is signed as Route 273.
Overall statistics for Route 273:
In 1959, Chapter 1062 defined LRN 273 as “[LRN 60] near Huntington Beach to [LRN 179] near Santa Ana”. This is the part of present-day Route 57 from Route 1 near Huntington Beach to Route 22 near Santa Ana.
No current routing. Field reports indicate that the old routing is still signed. The old routing was relinquished in June 2001.
The routing was deleted in 1999 by AB 1650, Ch 724, 10/10/99. It still shows up in the CalTrans photologs in 2001, and a few signs remain. It was once signed as BR US 101.
As signs get replaced on I-5, references to Route 274 are disappearing; however, Route 274 is still well marked upon Balboa.
Overall statistics for Route 274:
In 1959, Chapter 1062 defined LRN 274 as “[LRN 77] near Chino to [LRN 190] near Upland”. This is the part of present-day proposed Route 142 from Route 71 near Chino to I-210 (nee Route 30) near Upland.
Tower Bridge from the west side of the Sacramento River near the City of West Sacramento to the east side of the Sacramento River near the City of Sacramento.
In 1967, Chapter 1350 defined Route 275 as “Route 80 near West Acres Road west of Sacramento to the junction of Capitol Avenue and Ninth Street in Sacramento. No funds in the State Highway Fund shall be used for the construction or maintenance of any further aesthetic improvements on that portion of the route in the City of Sacramento.” This routing of Route 275 was planned as a realignment of Capitol Avenue. When I-80 was built, the old route was removed from the state highway system, except for Route 275, which the legislature specifically asked the highway department to keep until they could decide whether this would be permanent (1966 Senate Concurrent Resolution 17, chapter 94, p. 872).
In 1972, Chapter 1216 changed "West Acres Road" to "Westacre Road".
In 1996, Chapter 1154 deleted the route. According to the maps from District 3, it is not yet decomissioned.
In 2010, Chapter 421 (SB 1318, 9/29/10) added the route back, but just as the Tower Bridge.
The Gribblenation Blog, "Highways in and around Old Sacramento; US 40, US 99W, CA 16, CA 24, CA 70, CA 99, CA 275, and more" provides a detailed history of the various highways (US 40, US 99, Route 16, Route 24, Route 70, Route 99, Route 275, Route 51, I-5, and I-80 in the Old Sac area.
In December 2003, after much of the route was deleted from the system, CalTrans construction signage at the corner of 3rd Street and West Capitol Avenue advised motorists to "Use SR 275" due to road work on West Capitol Avenue. It is likely that, although unsigned, the route has not yet been relinquished. The Tower Bridge is part of the riverfront revitalization in that area, and will likely be getting significantly wider sidewalks. The goal is to have promenades and trails lining both sides of the river, from Lighthouse Marina to Stone Lock in West Sacramento; from Discovery Park to Miller Park in Sacramento. There would be a deck over I-5 on the Sacramento side to reconnect the city to the riverfront.
According to Chris Sampang, the portion of Route 275 that was part of the West Sacramento Freeway (from US 50/Route 84 east to the Tower Bridge near Raley Field) was reliniquished in 2001, five years after decomissioning, in order to convert several interchanges (3rd Street/West Capitol Avenue, 5th Street/West Capitol Avenue) into intersections. No work has begun on this however. The route, however, remained in the state highway code post-decomissioning (explaining why the lone Caltrans sign on West Capitol near Raley's Supermarkets headquarters mentions the highway). The Capitol (Avenue) Mall portion of Route 275 (from the I-5 overpass east to 9th Street, where US 99W, Route 16, and US 40 used to turn right to hit up N Street) was relinquished in 1999 to the city of Sacramento, and the only signs of former state maintenace are the old gantries for Route 99/Route 70/Route 16 and I-5 present in the area. There are plans for 5th Street to be extended S across the Route 275 West Sacramento Freeway as part of future improvements (and development in the Triangle area, the space between South River Road, Route 275, and US 50 where Raley Field is located). This will likely come with the downgrading of access control for the old freeway.
According to the Sacramento Bee, construction on the downgrading of former Route 275 will likely begin in 2005 with the removal of the Riske Lane interchange (Riske Lane will be renamed Garden Street afterwards); the money used for this project will be from local development funds. The removal of the interchanges at 3rd Street/South River Road and 5th Street will occur in 2008, after the old railroad line at the South River Road exit is removed. This will provide for more access to the Triangle/Raley Field area.
In July 2006, West Sacramento initiated the Tower Street Gateway project. This relates to the two-mile stretch of former Route 275 running through West Sacramento, dividing three neighborhoods and making it a challenge to get around town. The city plans to turn former Route 275 (which acts as a freeway on-ramp connecting Route 50 and Tower Bridge) into an arterial boulevard with three traffic lights. In early August 2006, the city advertised for bids to construct the first phase of the project, involving tearing down the Riske Lane freeway overpass and installing a signal. Construction is expected to begin in Fall 2006. The city believes that by transforming the old highway into a boulevard the city will become more accessible to residents and visitors who might otherwise drive quickly past it.. Route 275 divided three neighborhoods -- Washington, the Triangle, and West Capitol Avenue and the downtown -- from one another. All three areas are in the midst of "aggressive urban revitalization. Work to better link the neighborhoods will begin at Riske Lane. That road will become Garden Street and ultimately link West Capitol Avenue to a future network of streets south of the Tower Bridge Gateway. About half the cost of the first phase of the project, or $3 million, will be paid for by a Community Design Program grant from the region's transportation planning agency, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. The balance will be paid with redevelopment agency money and some federal funds. The project's second, and final, phase calls for stoplights on the Tower Bridge Gateway at the intersections of 3rd and 5th streets. Third Street goes under the gateway and, like Riske Lane, plans call for making that an intersection, too. The second phase is contingent upon funding.
According to Chris Sampang, as of January 2011, construction work has begun on the reconstruction of the Tower Bridge Gateway (former West Sacramento Freeway) - the old overpass crossing 3rd Street near Raley Field has now been demolished.
However, not all has been relinquished yet. In March 2005, the CTC considered relinquishment of a portion of Route 275 right of way in the City of Sacramento. They considered it again in April. And again in July 2005, together with a financial SHOPP project: In Sacramento at the east abutment of the Tower Bridge to 9th Street. Relinquish highway to the City of Sacramento.
In July 2010, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that would convert the Tower Bridge Gateway (formerly Route 275) from a freeway to a city street from the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Underpass to the Tower Bridge, a length of 1,700 feet. The project will remove the Third Street Undercrossing and will provide new, at-grade, signalized intersections at Fifth Street and Third Street. Impacts and mitigation measures related to areas of earth, air quality, water resources, plant life, animal life, noise, light and glare, land use, hazards, circulation, public services, energy, utilities, human health, and aesthetics were implemented by the City. The project is estimated to cost $8,789,000 and is programmed with SLPP ($1,000,000) and Local ($7,789,000) funds. Construction is estimated to begin in fiscal year 2009/10. On June 10, 2010, the City confirmed that the project scope in the MND as modified by the addendum is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission.
According to Joe Rouse, the bridge itself will remain owned and operated by Caltrans. Before Route 275 was re-created in 2010, the notion was that as legislatively Route 275 wouldn't exist anymore, the bridge may not carry a route number (which would make it an anomaly in the system once the relinquishment of the highway on either side is complete). It is unclear if the bridge is currently signed.
In July 2014, it was reported that Caltrans was
looking again to give away the Tower Bridge. As of July 2014, Sacramento owned
the portion of Capitol Mall that leads to the bridge on the east, and West
Sacramento owned the portion of the Tower Bridge Gateway that leads to the
bridge on the west. The state only owned the 737-foot bridge. Giving up the
bridge was actually Caltrans' idea. The organization sent letters to both
cities making the offer, citing permit red tape. Caltrans is offering to
complete an $8.5 million restoration project on the bridge fenders and maintain
it for five years after the cities take control. Sacramento will vote on a
memorandum of understanding to continue negotiations in late July 2014, while
West Sacramento isn't close to anything formal yet. An agreement would have be
reached between both cities to operate and maintain the bridge. The earliest
local jurisdictions would take control of the bridge is 2018, and local funds
wouldn't be needed until at least 2023. Annual operating and maintenance costs
are about $400,000.
(Source: ABC News 10, 7/22/14)
In March 2016, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project in Yolo County that will remove and replace the fender system surrounding Pier 6 and Pier 7 of the Tower Bridge on Route 275 between the cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento. The project is programmed in the 2014 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. The total estimated cost is $10,821,000 for capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2017-18. A copy of the MND has been provided to Commission staff. The project will result in less than significant impacts to the environment after mitigation. The following resource areas may be impacted by the project: biological resources, cultural resources, hazardous materials, and water quality. Avoidance and minimization measures will reduce any potential effects on the environment. These measures include, but are not limited to, the use of sound attenuation devises, environmental awareness training for all construction personnel, new fender replacements matched with the design and appearance of the old fenders, appropriate BMPs for water pollution prevention, and the implementation of an approved Water Pollution Control Program. As a result, an MND was completed for this project.
In October 2018, it was reported that a $6 million
project has started on the Tower Bridge. The 82 year old is sagging: Bridge
inspectors last year noticed the cables that help lift the main span for tall
ships have stretched 14 inches longer than they once were – a sign that
time, weather, and stress have taken a toll. A project has started to replace
the cables. The project, which includes a handful of other upgrades, continues
through December 2018 and is requiring daily traffic-lane reductions and
several full-bridge nighttime closures. The work focuses on cutting and
replacing, one at a time, 96 steel cables that connect the lift deck to two 1
million-pound counterweight blocks that are suspended high inside each of the
span’s twin towers. Those counter-weight blocks slowly lower, via a
second cable system, as the bridge deck rises, providing a weight balancing
role. The state could have let the cables remain as is, but took action partly
because officials feared potential deterioration inside the nearly 2-inch-thick
cables. The project work includes redoing electrical cables and lights, and
upgrading security and communications systems. The bridge is owned by Caltrans
and sits on Route 275, the shortest highway in California, running from one end
of the bridge to the other. The state relinquished the rest of that highway
more than a decade ago to West Sacramento on one side and Sacramento on the
(Source: Sacramento Bee, 10/29/2018)
In the Summer 2019 issue of Mile Marker,
it was reported that Caltrans is also planning repairs to the Tower Bridge,
opened in 1935. In addition to the earlier work, an emergency contract is
awaiting approval to replace the main mechanical drive system, electrical
control system, add back-up controls, and replace worn bearings and balance
chains. Caltrans expects to spend another $5 million overall on the Tower
rehabilitation effort. The Tower Bridge is a verticle lift bridge (one of three
in the system) that sees 16,500 vehicle trips daily (on average).
(Source: Summer 2019 Mile Marker)
Bridge 22-0021, over the Sacramento River between Sacramento and Yolo counties, was called the "Tower Bridge". It was built in 1934. In 2002, a public input campaign was conducted to determine what color to repaint the bridge. The candidate colors were gold, green, and burgundy. More than 42,000 Sacramento residents chose the color gold, and the painting will be completed in 2003.
The portion of former Route 275 that extends from the end of the Sacramento River Bridge in the City of Sacramento to the junction of Capitol Avenue and Ninth Street in Sacramento is officially named the "Capitol Mall". Named by California Government Code §8167. (March 1977)
The freeway (formerly the easternmost segment of the West Sacramento Freeway) has officially been renamed the "Tower Bridge Gateway" although no signs exist yet to this effect. It was probably renamed by local ordinance.
According to research done by Chris Sampang, the name "Capitol Avenue" was first used on October 26, 1940. Previously, the street was "M Street".
This routing was never signed. It is constructed to freeway standards from Route 50 to the Tower Bridge.
The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:
|County||Route||Starting PM||Ending PM|
Overall statistics for Route 275:
In 1959, Chapter 1062 defined LRN 275 as “[LRN 26] to [LRN 190] near Mountain View Avenue” This was a transfer of the former Colton-San Bernardino connection from LRN 26. This was part of the 1963-1965 definition of segment (a) of Route 18, from I-10 to (then) Route 30 (present-day Route 210) near Mountain View Avenue.
From Route 198 near Three Rivers to Oak Grove.
In 1965, Chapter 1372 defined Route 276 as “Route 198 near Three Rivers to Mineral King.”
In 1972, Chapter 1051 changed the terminus: “… to
King Oak Grove.”
This routing was originally considered by the Legislature as a possible toll road to a proposed recreation complex planned by Disney in the Mineral King area near Sequoia National Park (see http://www.yesterland.com/mineralking.html). This route went all the way to Mineral King, but a 13-mile portion of the highway was later rescinded. Much of that segment is now within Sequoia National Park. It was not in the park at the time of adoption, nor at the time of recission. The proposed routing now ends a little west of the park border.
In December 1965, the U.S. Forest Service awarded a preliminary permit to
Walt Disney Productions giving the company three years to complete a
satisfactory plan for the resort, as a prelude to a permanent 30-year permit.
Disney planned a $35 million year-round resort that was estimated to attract
2.5 million visitors annually by 1976, the first full year of operation. The
30-year permit was contingent on an all-weather, 25-mile highway. The route
would go through Sequoia National Park. In 1958, recognizing that Mineral King
had possibly the greatest potential for winter sports anywhere in the Sierra
Nevada mountains, Tulare County asked the State of California to put in an
all-weather road. There was finally progress in 1965 when the state legislature
transferred the county road into the state highway system in anticipation of a
new road. As 1966 progressed, plans for the highway moved ahead. In October,
California Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown announced a $3 million
Federal grant toward the $25 million price tag for the road. His next step
would be to apply for a $9 million Federal loan and to seek the balance from
the California legislature. On December 15, 1966, Walt Disney died, but the
Mineral King resort was destined be one of many lasting reminders of his
vision. The U.S. Forest Service approved Walt Disney Productions’ master
plan for Mineral King on January 27, 1969. Skiers could expect the resort to
open for the Winter 1973 ski season, when the new road would also be ready.
However, during the years leading up to the approval, opposition to the Mineral
King plans and the all-weather road had been growing. There was still the issue
that the road would have go through Sequoia National Park. As far back as March
1967, U.S. Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall expressed opposition to the
road, suggesting that an electric railway or monorail would be better. In May
1972, Walt Disney Productions announced a major revision to its Mineral King
plans, shrinking the resort to a $15 million resort with 10 ski lifts. With
respect to the road, the biggest change was that access to the resort would
primarily involve a 15-mile cog railway to be financed with a $20 million
Tulare County bond and operated by Disney without a profit. The railway would
be nonpolluting, follow the old road, and require a much narrower right-of-way
than the proposed all-weather road. On August 18, 1972, California Gov. Ronald
Reagan signed legislation removing a segment of the all-weather road from the
state’s highway system. By October 1973, the resort appeared doomed. With
the Sierra Club still using the legal system to oppose the project, Mineral
King was expected to be tied up in the courts for years. The legality of the
proposed cog railway was called into question. Most importantly, a new law
meant the project required an environmental impact statement. All work stopped
until the completion of that assessment in 1976. In 1977, the U.S. Forest
Service attempted to revive the resort plan, but by then Walt Disney
Productions had walked away from the Mineral King environmental fight in favor
of an entirely different ski resort location on private land at Independence
Lake, north of Lake Tahoe. In 1978, Congress removed the 16,200 acres of
Mineral King from the National Forest and annexed it to Sequoia National Park.
The bill even had language prohibiting downhill ski facilities at Mineral
(Source: Yesterland - Walt Disney's Mineral King, 11/11/2018, focusing on the sections related to the development of the roadway to the resort; MousePlanet 6/10/2019)
This routing is unconstructed, but a route has been adopted. The portion to Mineral King was adopted in 1967. The portion between Oak Grove and Mineral King was rescinded in 1972. The existing road (Mineral King Road, MTN 375 (a county designation)) is inadequate (narrow, winding, steep grades), and it is not recommended that the state adopt the road.
[The "MTN" designation is part of a whole system of county roadways in the
Sierras. They cross county lines and use Caltrans style postmile markers. For
instance, Mineral King Road is MTN 375, and the Great Western Divide Road, that
heads south through Sequoia National Monument, is MTN 107, while MTN 99 gets
into Kern County all the way to Route 178. You can see some of them on Google
Maps as road names. There is a USFS map that references a few of them, though
it uses a state highway marker for MTN 107: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sequoia/recreation/?cid=fsbdev3_059482.
It appears that almost every little road in the Sierras falls into this system
and has a number, even when they lack milemarkers. You can sometimes find the
numbers on, of all places, Zillow. The MLS entry will often list the Mountain
Road number on some of the more random roads.]
(coatimundi @ AAroads, Topic: ""MTN" Milemarkers", 6/28/2016 and 7/5/2016)
Overall statistics for Route 276:
In 1959, Chapter 1062 defined LRN 276 as “[LRN 78] east of Riverside to [LRN 193] south of Devore”. This was Route 81 from Route 215 E of Riverside to I-15 south of Devore. This routing was proposed, but never constructed. It seems to be approximately Van Buren Blvd in Riverside for the E/W routing, and Sierra Ave for the N/S routing.
This number is not assigned to a post-1964 route.
In 1959, Chapter 1062 defined LRN 277 as [LRN 78] east of Temecula to [LRN 65] east of Anza. This was originally all part of Route 71 from Route 79 E of Temecula to Route 74 E of Anza. In 1974, as a side effect of the creation of I-15 S of I-10, all of Route 71 S of Route 91 was renumbered. The original eastern section, between Temecula and Route 74 E of Anza, was divided into two routes. The portion from what had been US 395 (now I-15) near Temecula to Aguanga was renumbered as part of Route 79 (previously, this stretch had been cosigned as Route 71/Route 79); this stretch was part of LRN 78. The stretch between Aguanga and Route 74 was renumbered as Route 371; this is LRN 277.
This number is not assigned to a post-1964 route.
This number is not assigned to a post-1964 route.
In 1963, Chapter 385 defined Route 280 as “Route 680 near San Jose to Route 480 in San Francisco via Daly City. Joint Highway District No. 10 is dissolved in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 20 of Part 1 of Division 16 of the Streets and Highways Code, and all property, assets, and liabilities of said district are the property of the State.”
In April 30, 2009, the Mary Avenue Bicycle Footbridge was opened in the city
of Cupertino. The 503-foot (153.3-meter)-long bridge, which crosses over
Interstate 280 and connects the north and south sections of the Stevens Creek
Trail, has the distinction of being the Golden State’s first cable-stayed
bridge for bicycle and pedestrian traffic that is located above a freeway. The
city of Cupertino received a Helen Putnam Award for Excellence from the League
of California’s Cities for the design and construction of the bridge.
Four local residents on bicycles had the honor of being the first individuals
to cross the new bridge. These individuals included avid bicyclist Don Burnett,
a one-time mayor of Cupertino who had staunchly pushed for construction of the
bridge. In 2011, the structure was renamed the Don Burnett Bicycle-Pedestrian
Bridge in his honor.
(Source: Transportation History Blog, 4/30/2019)
Northern Portion (near San Francisco)
The map below shows some of these changes. The former routing of I-280 ran into San Francisco proper along Route 1, and US 101 ran along what is now the Route 280 routing (as the current US 101 was the Bypass 101 route).
Interesting factoid: Bids were opened on April 8, 1964 for a bridge to carry
I-280 over the two-mile Stanford Linear Accelerator. Although I-280 wasn't
scheduled to be built in that area for a while, the bridge construction needed
to be coordinated with the AEC. Sparker elaborated on the subject on
(Source: Sparker on AAroads, "Re: I-280", 3/10/2019)
There is one historic oddity regarding I-280: the bridges over SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), on Stanford University land, were constructed between 1965 and 1967, some 4 years before the remaining construction on that segment of freeway commenced -- but in conjunction with the western extension of the accelerator (a long continuous structure that extends under the freeway). This advance construction was done as a joint project between the Division of Highways and Stanford in order to ensure that any vibrations emanating from the bridge structure would not affect SLAC operations and experiments. The bridge bents on either side of the accelerator building are double-isolated, with vibration-absorbing pads between the bridge beams and the vertical bents -- and the bents themselves are sitting in a "sheath" of sand and clays to dissipate any remaining vibrations that might be transmitted to the ground; the entire bridge structure therefore "floats" above the surrounding ground rather than terminating there. It is held in place by its own weight; connected to the remainder of the freeway by a series of short metal bars over which traffic passes (driving it, one feels a series of minor "bumps" at the connecting bars as well as a bit of a "dip" in the middle of the bridge itself -- a deliberately designed "sag" due to the irregular hillside that was carved out to accommodate the accelerator structure. The unusual design of this road-to-structure isolation interface was a condition imposed by Stanford University as part of the agreement to route I-280 through the back of campus property; there are seismometers installed in the ground underneath and adjacent to the bridge to measure the continuous effectiveness of the isolation measures; when particularly precise SLAC experiments are undertaken, I-280 has on rare occasion been closed for the duration of such an experiment. This is a one-of-a-kind accommodation by Caltrans and its predecessor agency made necessary by the nature of this particular atom-smashing device.
1968, this routing ended at Route 480 (present-day US 101) in San Francisco --
but this was Route 480 right at the connection with the Golden Gate Bridge --
what today is where Route 1 and US 101 meet. In 1968, Chapter 282 swapped Route
280 off of Route 1 to reflect a realignment of the freeway plans in San
Francisco, moving Route 280 to the E of I-80, instead of the W. This made the
definition: “Route 680 near Story Road to
Route 80 near First Street in San Francisco via Daly City. Joint Highway
District […] Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 89 of Chapter
1062 of the Statutes of 1959, construction of all or any portion of Route 280
from Route 101 near Alemany Boulevard to Route 480 near Harrison Street in San
Francisco may be commenced at any time, if the City and County of San Francisco
has conveyed or does convey to the State of California, without charge, all
real property presently acquired by it for the construction of said subdivision
(b) of this route or such portion thereof.”. This rewording was the
result of a number of route swaps that occured in 1968:
Good information on the history of the design of I-280 may be found in the Sep/Oct 1964 issue of CHPW.
The section between Route 85 and Route 17 was built around 1964; the peninsula section was finished in the early 1970s. Before the section east of Route 17 opened in the early 1970s, I-280 was routed north along Route 17 (present-day I-880) to US 101 in San Jose. The portion between El Camino and US 101 in South San Francisco was formerly an extension of CA 82. The 1989 Loma Priata quake closed the decked portion (north of US 101 in San Francisco) for six years.
In the Los Altos area, according to the Los Altos Town Crier, Los Altos had been hearing plans with regards to a long-range extension of the Junipero Serra Highway/Boulevard as early as 1946; in response, the Business Association declared that any routing through the center of town via Southern Pacific right of way would be rejected. This may be why I-280 tends to be very rural in the area. There may also have been state involvement at least 10 years before Junipero Serra Boulevard became LRN 237. The proposed route was from Loyola Corners (Fremont Avenue at Miramonte) to Arastradero Road. This actually seems to correspond with existing Foothill Expressway.
In the San Bruno area, it appears that an early plan was to have I-280 run along Skyline Blvd from near Crystal Springs Road (former Route 117) to near Sneath, and then move NE to the current Serra routing. This shows on some 1967 maps. More information on this can be found on Route 117's entry.
There is a lot of history on the "freeway revolt" in the Glen
Park area, just N of the current I-280 routing near San Jose Avenue. The
original plan was that “The Circumferential Expressway would be built
along the Seventh Avenue - Woodside - O’Shaughnessy route ... It would
connect directly into the Alemeny freeway by way of Bosworth street ...
Eventually it should be extended across Golden Gate Park to Park-Presidio
boulevard for access to the Richmond district and the Golden Gate
Bridge.” According to the Glen Park History page, Mrs. Hermini "Minnie"
Straub Baxter started working against the proposed freeway in 1958. In January
1959, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously against the
city-wide freeway plan . From an editorial by the San Francisco Examiner, "The
Board of Supervisors correctly reflected public sentiment when it killed
several proposed San Francisco Freeways last week." Reports surfaced in 1959
and 1960 that the DPW still planned to widen Bosworth and tunnel under Portola
Drive, claiming that traffic along Bosworth and O’Shaughnessy would
double by 1980 because of the new redevelopment project called Diamond Heights.
Glen Park residents labeled the plan as “the Crosstown Freeway plan in
disguise”.By 1965, DPW had purchased and razed nearly 20 structures along
the north side of Bosworth. The widening of Bosworth to four lanes would not be
completed until 1970. DPW then set its sights on O'Shaughnessy Boulevard by
threatening to straighten the hairpin curve exiting from Glen Park and
extending the widened road further up the hill towards Portola Drive.
Concurrently, plans were underway to also widen Elk Street running along the
eastern border of Glen Canyon Park between Bosworth and Sussex Streets. In the
early 1960s, 2 young moms - Zoanne Theriault and Joan Seiwald - had become new
residents of Glen Park. They had first met on one of their frequent outings to
Glen Canyon Park to entertain their young children. Soon, they would also meet
lifelong Glen Park resident Geri Arkush and quickly became fast friends.
Zoanne, Joan, and Geri called the first meeting of their new Save Glen Park
Committee to order on October 19, 1965. During the meeting, they shared the
mission of the committee: To investigate the plan for the rerouting of
O’Shaughnessy over the recreation area, and to see what could be done to
save Glen Park. The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department had believed
that a freeway hovering over the western baseball diamond and recreation center
would not impair the enjoyment of recreation. The second Save Glen Park
Committee meeting to discuss these issues attracted a reported 175 concerned
residents on November 9, 1965. At the meeting, George Moscone, in attendance
with three other supervisors, assured Glen Park and Diamond Heights residents
that, "The Department of Public Works isn't so much at fault, but they have
been acting on a resolution passed a long time ago by another Board of
Supervisors. Now we have a new board and I'll give you a guarantee: we come a
lot closer to serving your wishes than any board of highway engineers!" The
Transportation Committee of the Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed: Glen
Park should be saved The last attempt at the freeway plan was in 1970. Finally,
again with a unanimous vote, the Transportation Committee of the Board of
Supervisors rescinded authorization for the widening of O'Shaughnessy.
(Source: Condensed and summarized from "Wonder Women! Glen Park's Gum Tree Girls, Minnie Straub Baxter, and the San Francisco Freeway Revolt", part of the "Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project")
I-280 was intended to snake under the Bay Bridge approach, connect with I-480, and provide access to I-80 and the bridge. The "Junipero Serra" and "Park Presidio" freeways would roughly parallel 19th Avenue to the east. This was part of a 1951 Trafficways Plan, supposedly eliminated in a 1959 rework; however, a 1963 plan shows I-280 going north along 19th Street through Golden Gate Park to US 101 and I-80 ending at I-280. The CalTrans 1969 map confirms this proposed route. In any case, these plans were formally abandoned by CalTrans in 1990.
In response to a question as to why I-280 narrowed upon entry to San
Francisco, Mr. Roadshow (Gary Richards) noted "At the current I-280/Highway 1
junction, I-280 was originally planned to continue north along the current
Route 1/Junipero Serra alignment. The southern Embarcadero Freeway was planned
to branch off on the right side in the northeast direction along the current
I-280 alignment. Under that original plan, people wanting to continue heading
north on I-280 would have stayed to the left. Then the San Francisco freeway
revolt happened. The plan for the I-280 freeway along the current Route
1/Junipero Serra alignment was eliminated, although the connection to Junipero
Serra was retained. The southern Embarcadero Freeway was redesignated to be
I-280. However, this meant that the right exit to southern Embarcadero would be
forced to become the main alignment for I-280. Due to the number of lanes in
this segment, there was concern that vehicles wanting to head north on I-280
would be inadvertently trapped to take the Junipero Serra exit on the left,
which would result in vehicles making last-minute lane changes. The lane
reduction and subsequent lane addition is intended to try to mitigate this
situation. The lane addition occurs on the left side so that at that point
vehicles are in the right five lanes. Vehicles that had been in the No. 1
(fast) lane find themselves in the No. 2 lane after the lane addition. This
means that anyone wanting to continue north on I-280 would need to move over
one lane to the right. If the lanes had been configured normally without the
lane reduction/addition, these vehicles would have had to move over two lanes
(San Jose Mercury News, 3/8/13)
I-280 currently runs along the route of the original "Southern Freeway". In 1961, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors endorsed the current I-280 route to meet I-80 at the Bay Bridge. In 1965, this route became part of the interstate system, and the Park Presidio route was withdrawn. In October 1969, the city asked the state to stop work on the I-280/I-480 connection. Work on the connection to I-80, however, was allowed to continue. In 1973, I-280 was completed to 3rd street. [Thanks to Scott "Kurumi" Oglesby for much of this information]
Note that, although the freeway portion of Route 280 does not reach I-80, the route is allocated to a series of surface streets between the freeway terminus at 4th Street/King Street and I-80. According to CalTrans, 53,000 vehicles used the non-freeway portion of I-280 in 2002.
In 2013, Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco announced his office would consider
ideas for potential
redevelopment upon removal of the I-280 stub, plus shrinking or removing
the CalTrain yard. Could San Francisco be made anew by the removal of I-280 as
it runs through the city north of 16th Street? That’s what the Center for
Architecture + Design asked in a 2013 contest. For a cash prize of $10,000, the
competition ”encouraged artists, academics, architects, planners,
landscape architects and designers to submit concepts for public art,
buildings, landscape treatments, public amenities and infrastructure, or other
urban design interventions made possible through the replacement of Highway
(Source: SF Gate, 9/10/13)
Before the 1964 signed/legislative route alignment, I-280 was made up of the following legislative routes:
As early as 1913, local jurisdictions (San Mateo County) were working on the construction of the original Junipero Serra Highway.
In 1956, the Interstate system established the rough routing of I-280, which likely prompted the creation of LRN 239 in 1957.
In 1958, it was reported in CHPW that planning studies on the Southern Freeway have been completed and a route adopted for an eight-lane freeway following generally along the old Southern Pacific Railroad locations and Alemany Boulevard between Orizaba Avenue, near. the south city limits of San Francisco, and the James Lick Memorial Freeway (Bayshore). Route location west of Orizaba Avenue is dependent on future location of the Junipero Serra Freeway. Further S, in 1957 LRN 239 was created by the legislature in 1957, and the short segment along Moorpark Ave in San Jose from Saratoga Ave to signed Route 17 was adopted as freeway.
I-280/I-880 Interchange (~ SCL L5.346)
According to the Mercury News, there are plans for a major overhaul of the I-280/I-880 interchange, that will cost at least $109,000,000 and won't commence until at least 2011. The original plan was to simply redesign the ramp from north I-280 to north I-880 and Stevens Creek Boulevard, including redesigning the exits from Route 17 and I-280 onto Stevens Creek and north I-880, where drivers must now merge into a single lane, creating backups on I-280 and I-880 that extend for miles. However, it turned out that the primary problem is the intersection at Monroe Street and Stevens Creek, the first entrance into Westfield Valley Fair, where one in three cars coming off I-880 is headed. Cars exiting from south I-880 must jam onto Stevens Creek before they reach Monroe; planners realized that until this problem is addressed, other fixes will do little good. So a more comprehensive plan was developed that includes:
Note that about 85% of traffic from north I-280 is headed to Stevens Creek, while 15% is going to I-880 on weekends and during the afternoon commute. During the early hours of the weekday morning commute, three out of five vehicles are going toward Stevens Creek compared to I-880, changing to an 80/20 split by 10:00 am.
A later report on the construction in January 2009 noted that construction could be under way in 2010, and, at about $150 million, the price tag will top the $135 million spent to rebuild the Route 85/US 101 interchange in Mountain View, the previous Northern California record for such work. Gone will be the many cloverleaf ramps and dangerous merges, replaced by longer exit lanes, much wider ramps and a wider Stevens Creek Boulevard. The issue is the source of funding. About $21 million is in hand as of January 2009, enough to complete the first phase from south I-880 onto Stevens Creek. State and federal highway funds, future bond money and some federal stimulus dollars also could also be earmarked for this project.
In June 2009, the CTC received notice of the preparation of the EIR for the I-280/I-880/Route 17 interchange project. The project will modify the Route 17 / I-280 / I-880 freeway, as well as two adjacent interchanges at Interstate 880/Stevens Creek Boulevard and I-280 / Winchester Boulevard. The project is not fully funded. Likely funding sources include federal earmark, as well as local funding from the City of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency. The total cost of the project is estimated between $130,000,000 and $150,000,000. Assuming the availability of funding, construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2010-11.
In April 2011, Gary Richards noted plans are being scaled back. Work should be under way late in 2012 to build a flyover ramp from north I-280 to north I-880 -- a good thing as it will separate that traffic from drivers trying to go from I-280 to Stevens Creek and the shopping areas west of the interchange. The exit from south I-880 to Stevens Creek will also be widened to two lanes, along with improvements to the Stevens Creek overpass. But plans to add a new exit from north I-280 to Winchester Boulevard to serve as a back entrance to Santana Row have been scrapped.
In October 2011, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project to construct improvements at the Route 17/I-280/I-880 Interchange and I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Interchange. The project will be done in phases. Phase 1 will construct northbound I-280 to NB I-880 direct connector, reconfigure northbound I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Interchange quadrant, widen I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Overcrossing and construct soundwall along Parkmoor Avenue. Phase 2 will reconfigure southbound I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Interchange quadrant, construct Monroe Street dedicated lane and construct soundwall along S. Daniel Way. Phase 1 can proceed without Phase 2. Phase 1 is programmed in the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account and includes local funds. The total estimated cost of Phase 1 is $54,400,000, capital and support. Phase 2 is not currently programmed. The total estimated cost of Phase 2 is $10,200,000, capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2012-13. The scope as described for the preferred alternative is consistent with the project scope set forth in the proposed project baseline agreement. A copy of the FEIR has been provided to Commission staff. Resources that may be impacted by the project include; noise, hazardous waste, biological resources, visual and aesthetics, water quality and stormwater runoff, and traffic. Potential impacts associated with the project can all be mitigated to below significance through proposed mitigation measures. As a result, a Final Environmental Impact Report was prepared for the project.
In November 2012, groundbreaking occured for the updates to the I-280/I-880 interchange. There will be a new flyover ramp from N I-280 to N I-880. SB I-880 will get a second lane to exit onto Stevens Creek, and then the offramp will widen to four lanes at this busy street. It will also be possible to exit from SB I-880 directly onto Monroe Street and into the Valley Fair parking lot. Bicycle lanes and sidewalks will be added on Stevens Creek.
In June 2012, Gary Richards explained the reason that there are only three lanes on I-280 at the I-880/Route 17 underpass. This lane drop is there because of the limited width available with existing column locations under the bridge; opening a fourth lane at this pinch point would involve extensive and costly improvements between the Winchester Boulevard overpass and the I-880 overcrossing. Additionally, it allows drivers coming north on Route 17 to have their own lane for a short distance and not be forced to immediately merge with I-280 traffic. This is also related to the cloverleaf interchange ramp connecting NB Route 17 to NB I-280 in San Jose. It originally had two lanes, but was re-striped for only one lane. This was done to enable drivers heading on I-280 to Stevens Creek to enter into their own lane and avoid merging with traffic trying to get to NB I-880.
In July 2014, an update was provided on the
I-280/I-880 interchange construction. The framework for the $62.1 million
interchange adjacent to the busy shopping centers at Valley Fair and Santana
Row is in place. Before Christmas 2014, many new lanes will be installed.
Workers are demolishing the pedestrian walkway and replacing it temporarily
with an asphalt pathway. A permanent sidewalk should be in place after Labor
Day 2014. This will permit crews to build an offramp from southbound I-880 to
Stevens Creek Boulevard. By Thanksgiving, this new offramp will be open
featuring four lanes to Stevens Creek, three of which will be righthand turn
lanes toward the two shopping centers. Another lane feeding freeway traffic
directly onto Monroe Street and into the Valley Fair parking lot will open in
Spring 2015. Additionally, before Christmas and before the large shopping
crowds bring the area to its usual gridlock, the north Route 17/I-280 ramps to
San Carlos Street should complete construction. Lanes on north I-280 will also
be realigned so cars in the far right lane will exit toward Oakland instead of
Los Gatos — a much more logical layout than what's there now. This
reconstruction is a scaled-back version of what had been planned. There will be
no exit from north I-280 onto Winchester Boulevard to allow for a back way into
Santana Row, as VTA wanted, nor will there be a second lane for traffic going
south on I-880 to reach north I-280. Caltrans feared that this ramp would be
too close to the new interchange and create more problems than it would
(Source: San Jose Mercury News, 7/8/14)
In September 2014, it was reported that
construction was nearly complete on the I-280/I-880 interchange project. In
September, three new on- and offramps to Stevens Creek Boulevard opened, and by
Thanksgiving 2014 a special lane feeding traffic onto Monroe Street and
bypassing Stevens Creek Boulevard was anticipated to be ready. Motorists
driving south on I-880 will use a new signalized offramp to turn onto Stevens
Creek. There will be three lanes turning right toward Valley Fair and Santana
Row and one lane turning left toward downtown San Jose. Drivers on Stevens
Creek headed to southbound Route 17 and southbound I-280 will use a new onramp
located closer to the freeway than the current one. Motorists traveling to
Stevens Creek from northbound Route 17 and northbound I-280 will see a new
signalized intersection. Traffic from these ramps will no longer cross
underneath the Stevens Creek Bridge and loop onto the busy street. Instead,
they will make a left-hand turn through a new intersection with traffic lights.
Of the $62.1 million cost, $39.2 million came from state bonds approved by
voters in 2006. The federal government chipped in $19 million, and the
remainder came from local tax dollars. The reconstruction is a scaled-back
version of what had been planned. There will be no exit from north I-280 onto
Winchester Boulevard to allow for a back way into Santana Row, as VTA wanted,
nor will there be a second lane for traffic going south on I-880 to reach north
I-280. All that would have run the cost up to $150 million, and Caltrans feared
that this ramp would be too close to the new interchange and create more
problems than it would ease.
(Source: SJ Mercury News, 9/28/2014)
In June 2015, it was
again reported that work was nearly complete on the I-280/I-880 interchange
project. Motorists were already driving easier, thanks to the $63 million worth
of new ramps and the wider overpass to serve the growing shopping meccas at
Valley Fair and Santana Row. Some ramps need finishing, and signs updated. The
most significant upgrade is the exit from south I-880 directly onto Monroe
Street. When plans were first hatched to begin revamping the Valley Fair
interchange, Caltrans, the Valley Transportation Authority and city engineers
thought the solution was obvious and not overly challenging: Redesign the exits
from Route 17 and I-280 onto Stevens Creek.
(Source (including image): SJ Mercury News, 6/16/2015)
The San Jose Mercury News has received reports of
problems with the new I-280/I-880 interchange. There are reports of poorly
marked embankments, missing reflectors, and badly marked transitions. There
have been numerous accidents or near accidents. Caltrans is looking at what can
be done to make the interchange safer, as too many drivers have reported
(Source: SJ Mercury News, 3/21/2016; 4/5/2016)
In September 2016, it was reported that more work
was coming to the Stevens Creek interchange (~SCL 7.43) in October, when the
Apple spaceship-related project swings into a new phase when work on a new lane
on the I-280 north off-ramp at Lawrence is set to begin. This should last nine
months. Caltrans will add a right-turn lane onto Stevens Creek and the city of
Santa Clara will adjust the Stevens Creek signal after work wraps up; Apple
will chip in toward the project costs. They’ll add a second
left-turn-only lane from the north I-280 exit ramp onto Stevens Creek for a
total of four lanes approaching Stevens Creek. Additionally, the I-280
southbound off-ramp at Wolfe Road will be widened to two lanes back to the
freeway; the I-280 north off-ramp at Wolfe will be widened to two lanes and an
additional lane will be added at Wolfe, resulting in a double left and double
right turn; and a third northbound lane will be constructed on Wolfe north of
the loop on-ramp to Pruneridge .Calvert is down to one lane, but a second lane
is coming as well as new signals at Stevens Creek/Calvert and
(Source: East Bay Times, 9/6/2016)
In November 2017, it was reported that the Valley Transportation Authority
will release a study in early 2018 of what drivers say is needed on I-280 from
San Jose to San Mateo County — and adding a fourth southbound lane near
Magdalena surely going to be at the top of the wish list. The lane would need
to be extended for several miles to south of Magdalena Avenue (~ SCL 14.173)
and at least a half-mile beyond the beginning of the carpool lane. The shoulder
area cannot be used for traffic lanes particularly for this length because of
state and federal standards.
(Source: Mercury News, "Mr Roadshow" 11/6/2017)
On NB I-280 in San Mateo County, just after the Edgewood Road exit (~ SM 6.645) and another exit for a vista point, a few miles before the Route 92 exit, there is a ramp that always has a barrier with the words "road closed" on it. This appears to be a closed vista point; the reason for the closure was reportedly drug dealing as well as, ahem, usual vista point activities.
In September 2018, the governor signed legislation
authorizing the Santa Clara Transportation Valley Transportation Authority
(VTA) to apply to the commission pursuant to the provisions to conduct,
administer, and operate HOT lanes or other toll facilities on US 101 and a
specified portion of Route 280 in the City and County of San Francisco if the
San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) approves the facilities
before VTA submits an application to the commission for approval. The bill
would require VTA to conduct, administer, and operate the facility in
coordination with SFCTA. The bill would require SFCTA, in collaboration with
the department and VTA, to develop the expenditure plan and would require the
governing board of SFCTA to review and approve the expenditure plan and any
(Source: AB 2865, Chapter 501, 9/18/2018)
San Mateo (Route 92) to Daly City (Route 1)
In March 2016, it was reported that San Mateo County was considering new
billboards along I-280 and US 101. Later reports clarified that the county was
never seriously thinking of billboards on I-280 because they are not allowed,
and that any new billboards would have to be on county land.
(Source: San Mateo Daily Journal, 3/28/2016)
San Francisco (East of I-80)
This routing is unconstructed from 2 miles south of I-80 to I-80. Currently, I-280 is undergoing a seismic retrofit. This will add an on-ramp at 4th and Townsend. Caltrans is also building new ramps from I-280 near 6th street to the newly widened King Street. They are also dismantling all the old I-280 roadway from 3rd Street to these new ramps, shortening I-280 by 3 blocks. The Caltrans mid-1980s "Route Concept Reports" projected a 2005 need for 14-16 lanes for I-280 between Route 85 and I-880; and for 14 lanes for I-880 from US 101 to Route 237.
Proposal to Demolish Northern End of I-280
In May 2011, it was reported that the northernmost stretch of I-280 could be demolished and turned into an Octavia Boulevard-like parkway under options being considered by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The freeway currently ends around Fourth and King streets, near AT&T Park. According to the San Francisco Examiner, it could be removed north of 22nd Street to accommodate high-speed rail, which is expected to travel through the Peninsula along Caltrain’s route. City officials proposed removing the freeway to avoid tunneling several roads beneath the tracks of the proposed rail system. Caltrain now runs beneath I-280 for about five blocks north of 18th Street. The rail authority wants to follow that path, burying a second set of tracks beneath Caltrain’s route. That would yield a total of four tracks, two buried and two at street level. If there is not enough room to fit four parallel tracks between the underground pilings that support I-280, a length of I-280 would be removed and reconstructed as a parkway from 18th Street north.
In January 2013, the mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, floated the idea of tearing down the stub end of I-280 in San Francisco in hopes of creating a new neighborhood and speeding up the arrival of high-speed rail service downtown. The notion is to knock down I-280 before 16th Street - eliminating the ramps both at Sixth and Brannan streets and at Fourth and King streets. It would be replaced by a street-level boulevard akin to those built after the Embarcadero and Central freeways were knocked down. The plan also calls for clearing out the adjacent rail yard to make way for a high-speed rail line.
The idea was floated
again in May 2015. His current goal is to to tear down Interstate 280 at
Mission Bay and build an underground rail tunnel through the area —
complete with a station between the proposed Warriors arena and AT&T Park.
This is part of an effort to bring Caltrain — and, one day, high-speed
rail — into downtown and the new Transbay Terminal while opening up a
whole new area of the city for development. As an added bonus, moving
Caltrain’s current station a couple of blocks to the southeast —
from Fourth and King streets to a site roughly opposite Pier 50 on Third Street
— would help Lee sell the argument that he can keep a Warriors arena from
creating huge traffic problems. Lee first proposed the idea in 2013 of of
knocking down I-280 north of Mariposa Street and replacing it with a
street-level boulevard like those built after the Embarcadero and Central
freeways were torn down. Since then, the city has been awarded $1.7 million in
grants from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and others to study the
idea. Caltrain’s first reaction to the idea was tepid at best. No comment
(Source: SFGate, 5/11/2015)
In February 2016, it was reported that the city of
San Francisco had started briefing the initial findings from the first phase of
a long-range study dubbed the Rail Yard Alternatives and I-280 Boulevard
Feasibility Study (RAB). This study investigating how San Francisco can most
efficiently and cost-effectively connect all of these public transit
investments locally and regionally. A minor portion of the study focused on the
idea of razing a 1.2-mile portion of I-280 and turning the connection into a
boulevard South of Market. Four other categories have been studied in more
depth and will be examined further over the next year. Those areas are
realigning the downtown rail extension to bring high-speed rail system to the
future Transbay Transit Center, creating a loop that ensures both Caltrain and
high-speed rail do not dead-end at the future transit hub, reconfiguring or
relocating the Fourth & King railyard and the resulting public benefits if
parcels of public land were freed of transportation infrastructure. With
respect to I-280, the city planned to continue to work with Caltrans, SFMTA and
the San Francisco County Transportation Agency to study the feasibility of
razing the last 1.2 miles of the freeway, potentially ending it as far back as
Mariposa Street in Mission Bay. This could be done all at once or in pieces and
there will be a large public discussion focused on this aspect down the
(Source: Hoodline, 2/25/2016)
In March 2016, the San Francisco Examiner unearthed
two sets of blueprints related to I-280 and the rail tunnel. One set of
blueprints, drawn in 1969, planners say shows evidence that to build a new
Caltrain extension, I-280 must come down — no questions asked. The other
set of plans, two decades old, purportedly shows a road not taken — how
the Caltrain extension could be built without the need to tear down I-280. In
the 1969 blueprints, there is one glaring issue: I-280 is too narrow to bore a
tunnel underneath. The blueprints show I-280’s pylons are 24 feet apart.
That’s smaller than any train tunnels that could be dug up beneath the
freeway. Even though the pylons are 24-feet on centerline, “inside
spacing — or the width between the edge of a piling to another piling
— is less than that.” “Big Alma,” the main boring
machine used in 2014 to dig the hole for the Central Subway in Chinatown, has a
diameter of 22-feet. However, a single tunnel bore is at least 28 feet in
diameter — too wide to fit. With respect to tunneling two bores around
the pilings, you wouldn’t be able to ‘bring them together’ in
the space that you have before entering the downtown extension. On the other
hand, a set of drawings labeled with the Muni “worm” logo, titled
“Phase 1 Design Conceptual Engineering Drawing,” last redrawn Nov.
5, 1993, show Caltrain tracks to the Downtown Extension depressed only five
feet below the surface, instead of tunneling underground . To join Mission Bay
with the rest of The City, the blueprints feature a construction nowhere else
in San Francisco — an underground roadway, and accompanying pedestrian
(Source: SF Examiner, 3/27/2016)
In December 2017, it was reported that San Francisco was exploring creating
HOV/HOT (Express) lanes on SB I-280 from 5th St to US 101, and on NB I-280 from
18th St to 5th St.
(Source: SF Examiner, 12/27/2017)
The portion of this route from the I-280/US 101 junction to Route 17 (~ SCL R0.162 to SCL L5.278) is named the "Sinclair Freeway". Joseph P. Sinclair was District Engineer for the District 4 Division of Highways (now Caltrans) from 1952 to 1964. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 104, Chapt. 168 in 1967. His son, Mike Sinclair, provided more information regarding his father: This stretch of I-280 and I-680 provided San Jose with its first freeway service. The concept for the freeway took shape during the tenure of Joseph Sinclair as District Engineer in charge of District IV, California State Division of Highways (now Caltrans), from 1959 to 1964. Route location studies were initiated in 1955, and adopted as part of the Interstate System in 1962. Much planning and research went into the design of this freeway in order to provide both a beautiful and functional facility. The City of San Jose and the Division of Highways negotiated a cooperative agreement for the development of park and recreational facilities within the freeway right-of-way at six locations along this route in a precedent-setting Freeway/Parks concept. To make the freeway more compatible with the adjacent residential properties, the first noise barrier in the Bay Area was installed. The freeway passed through an old Olive orchard. Many of the trees were removed and replanted within the freeway right of way to preserve these old trees. The freeway was landscaped and was officially designated as a "landscape freeway". When a freeway gets this official designation it eliminates the possibility of outdoor advertising being placed adjacent to the freeway. Sinclair was a pioneer in the design and routing of the state's freeway system. Born in Minnesota in 1910, he joined the Division of Highways in 1932 as rodman on a survey party, after graduation from the University of Southern California as a civil engineer. Subsequently, he filled positions of increasing responsibility as a freeway planner, designer, and builder in San Diego and Los Angeles, prior to coming to San Francisco in 1952. During World War II he served as Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Seabees, stationed in the South Pacific. At the time of his death in 1964 he had become nationally known in his profession. In designating a freeway in his honor, the legislature for the first time named a highway after a civil engineer.
The portion of this route from the Junction of Route 17/Route 880 in San Jose to the Junction with Route 1 in Daly City (~ SCL L5.278 to SM R25.233) is named the "Junipero Serra Freeway. Junipero Serra founded the missions of California in the 18th and 19th centuries. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 140, Chapter 208 in 1967.
The Vista Four safety roadside rest area, also known as the Crystal Springs Rest Stop, on I-280, between Exits 34 and 36, north of Route 92, in the County of San Mateo (~ SM R13.505) is named the "Officer Dale M. Krings Memorial Rest Area". It was named in memory of Officer Dale M. Krings, who was a traffic officer with the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Krings joined the CHP in 1956 and upon graduation from the CHP Academy, he was assigned to the West Los Angeles area. Officer Krings transferred to the Redwood City CHP area on May 29, 1957, and was assigned to patrol duties within San Mateo County. Officer Krings was well-recognized as an outstanding employee of the CHP, who dedicated himself to providing the highest levels of service, safety, and security to the people of California. Many times, Officer Krings, through his own initiative, went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety and well-being of those with whom he came into contact. On May 22, 1962, Officer Krings was on duty in San Mateo County when he was attacked by a gunman who opened fire upon him. Mortally wounded, Officer Krings returned fire, killing the gunman and saving numerous innocent persons in the immediate area. Officer Krings was a friend to many and one who honorably served the people of California, and who personified the values of the CHP leaving a legacy of excellence for future generations of CHP officers to follow. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 100, Resolution Chapter 109, on September 4, 2012.
I-280 from the San Mateo/San Francisco County line to 6th Street (end of Freeway) (SF 0.000 to SF T7.332) is named the "John F. Foran Freeway". It was named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 73, Chapter 49 in 1986. John Francis Foran was a California Senator (1977-1985), a leader in transportation planning and author of the legislation that created the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
The portion of this route from the San Jose Avenue/Sickles Avenue onramp to the San Jose Avenue Overcrossing (~ SF R0.772 to SF R1.065) is designated the "CHP Officer Hugo Olazar Memorial Highway". On September 2, 1989, while investigating a solo vehicle traffic collision on the right shoulder of I-280 S of the San Jose Avenue overcrossing with his partner, Officer Javier Rocha, Officer Olazar's patrol car was hit by a drunk driver travelling very fast. The impact caused the patrol car to buckle, jamming the doors shut. The car then burst into flame, trapping both officers inside. Officer Rocha was able to escape by shooting out a side window. He tried to pull his unconscious parter out, but was dirven away by intense flames. Officer Rocha sustained second- and third-degree burns, but Officer Olazar died at the scene. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 35, Chapter 127, on 9/21/1999.
The portion of I-280 between US 101 and Sixth Street in San Francisco (~SF R4.275R to SF T7.332) is commonly called the "280 Extension".
Historically, this route is close to the original "El Camino Real" (The Kings Road). The portion of this route from Route 1 to San Francisco has officially been designated as "El Camino Real by Assembly Bill 1769, Chapter 1569, in 1959.
Portions of this route were named "Skyline Blvd" by Resolution Chapter 46 in 1919.
The interchange of I-680, I-280, and US 101 in the City of San Jose (~ SCL R0.209) is named the "Joe Colla Interchange." This interchange was named in memory of Joseph Anthony Colla, who actively served the San Jose community during the 1970s as a pharmacist, bike racer, bike race promoter, and San Jose City Council Member. Councilman Joe Colla worked in the 1970s alongside future mayors Norman Mineta and Janet Gray Hayes to help the City of San Jose develop economically and culturally and become described as "San Jose, a City with a Future". Colla is best known for a stunt involving the US 101/I-680/I-280 interchange. Construction started on that interchange, and then stopped as then-Gov. Jerry Brown suspended most highway building in the state in a cost-cutting measure. Road crews disappeared and what remained was a 200-foot ramp suspended in the air with rebar sticking out of both ends. The ramp was dubbed San Jose's "Monument to Nowhere." In the pre-dawn hours of a sunny but chilly January day, Colla got a crane operator to lift a Chevy on top of the unfinished ramp. Then the feisty councilman and drugstore owner jumped in a helicopter, which dropped him off next to the car. A photograph was snapped of Colla with arms outstretched and the caption: "Where Do We Go From Here?"As a direct result of Councilman Joe Colla's exploits, including posing the question, "Where do I drive from here?" from atop the unfinished interchange, and identifying the monolith as "A Monument to Nowhere." This made Colla a true urban legend. After the car stunt, he organized a 300-car caravan to Sacramento to push for the interchange's completion. Eventually the City of San Jose received the necessary funding and the interchange project was completed. Named by Assembly Concurrant Resolution (ACR) 102, August 30, 2010, Resolution Chapter 107.
The bicycle and pedestrian bridge that crosses Route 280 at Mary Avenue (~ SCL 10.431) between the cities of Cupertino and Sunnyvale in the County of Santa Clara is officially designated the "Don Burnett Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge". It was named in memory of bicycle advocate Don Burnett. April 2009 marked the official opening of the bicycle-pedestrian bridge presently known as the Mary Avenue Bridge, over Route 280 between the cities of Cupertino and Sunnyvale. The concept for the bridge was originated in the early 1990s by bicycle advocate Don Burnett. For many years, Burnett led, encouraged, and supported efforts to construct and finance the bridge. The construction and finance efforts began in 1993 when Don Burnett began eight years of service as a Cupertino City Councilman and as Mayor of the City of Cupertino from 1995 through 1996. Don Burnett's initial work identified the importance of alternatives to the automobile. Don Burnett was recognized for his past bicycling and pedestrian activities by the City Council of the City of Cupertino in a proclamation on May 18, 2010, which noted his efforts in forming the City of Cupertino's first Bicycle Advisory Committee, now called the Bicycle Pedestrian Commission. The proclamation recognized him as "an unsurpassed bike advocate who was the key author of the city's bicycle plan and pedestrian plan". Burnett served in an active role in leadership and support of recreational bicycle rides for the Western Wheelers Bicycle Club, Almaden Cycle Touring Club, and Skyline Cycling Club, and was the recipient of many awards from those organizations. Burnett served on the board of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and received the 2005 Advocate of the Decade Award "for years of bicycle commuting, followed by years of advocacy... and trails watchdog for the Santa Clara Valley Water District". Burnett served the Valley Transportation Authority as a volunteer on the Citizens Advisory Committee and Citizens Watchdog Committee from 2004 through 2008. Following his death on September 11, 2010, the Board of Directors of the Valley Transportation Authority adjourned their regular meeting on October 7, 2010, in memory of Don Burnett. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 35, Resolution Chapter 61, on July 19, 2011.
Bridge 35-0199, at Crystal Springs Road and San Mateo Creek, just north of Route 92 (SM R012.73), is named the "Eugene A. Doran Bridge". Eugene Doran was a Hillsborough Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on the morning of August 5, 1959. It was built in 1967, and was named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 34, Chapter 173 in 1969. This beautiful, award-winning bridge must be seen from below to be appreciated.
In August 2004, Senate Concurrent Resolution 65 redesignated Bridge 35-0199, SM R012.73, the Eugene A. Doran Memorial Bridge on I-280 at San Mateo Creek, north of Route 92, in the County of San Mateo as the Officer Eugene and Marine Lance Corporal Patrick M. Doran Memorial Bridge. It was named additionally in memory of Marine Lance Corporal Patrick M. Doran, who died in the line of duty on February 18, 1967, in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. (August 12, 2004, Chapter 138).
The large retaining wall on I-280 between Army/25th Street and Mariposa (~ SF R5.795L to SF R6.685) is named the "Commander Isiah Nelson Memorial Hanging Gardens". Commander Nelson was a highly regarded officer of the San Francisco Police Department. He was killed in a motorcycle accident on I-280 near this location. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 75, Chapter 10 in 1994.
This route also has the following Safety Roadside Rest Areas:
Approved as chargeable Interstate on Sept. 1955; rerouted in San Francisco (gaining 2 miles) in August 1965; Segment between 6th St and the bridge removed as chargeable interstate in July 1981. The section between US 101 to 6th Street in SF is the section that failed in the 1989 earthquake. This later routing was rescinded in 1991.
In the first attempt to number urban routes, the California Department of Highways proposed this as I-3. The first proposal as a 3-digit route was as I-109. Once the numbering scheme for 3-digit interstates was finalized, the proposal changed to I-180. AASHTO finally approved this as I-280.
In the city and county of San Francisco, there were HOV lanes from S of the Sixth Street on-ramp to S of Army Street, for 1.6 miles. These were opened in 1975, but closed by the Loma Prieta earthquake.
In Santa Clara County, there is a southbound HOV lane from the Magdalena Avenue on-ramp to N of Meridian Avenue, for a length of 11.2 mi. There is a northbound HOV lane from S of Leland Avenue to the Magdalena off-ramp, for a length of 10.7 mi. These were opened in December 1990, require two or more occupants, and are in operation weekdays between 5:00am and 9:00am and between 3:00pm and 7:00pm.
A 2001 Caltrans survey showed that use of the HOV lane dropped near the Highway 17 interchange, from 4,256 vehicles in 1996 to 2,561 in 2001. This freeway continues to rank as the least-used HOV lane in the San Jose Valley.
The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:
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This route was designated as a "Blue Star Memorial Highway" by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 50 in 1996 (according to the Caltrans web pages, although the Caltrans naming log gives the date as 1970).
This route is part of the De Anza National Historic Trail.
Overall statistics for Route 280:
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