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From the northerly boundary of the Federal Port of Entry near Calexico to Route 8 near El Centro.
In 1963, Route 7 was defined as "from Route 11 [Present-Day Route 110] in San Pedro to Route 210 in Pasadena via Long Beach and including a bridge, with at least four lanes, from San Pedro at or near Boschke Slough to Terminal Island."
In 1982, Chapter 914 extended the definition to include that portion of the freeway between Route 1 and the northern end of Harbor Scenic Drive, that portion of Harbor Scenic Drive to Ocean Boulevard, that portion of Ocean Boulevard west of its intersection with Harbor Scenic Drive to its junction with Seaside Boulevard, and that portion of Seaside Boulevard from the junction with Ocean Boulevard to Route 47. It was noted that this extension didn't become operative unless the commission approves a financial plan.
In 1984, this route was transferred to Route 710 as it was approved as non-chargable interstate.
In 1990, the current incarnation of Route 7 was defined as "from a new International Border crossing near Calexico to Route 8 near El Centro." (Chapter 1187)
In 1994, the definition was changed to "from the northerly boundary of the Federal Port of Entry near Calexico to Route 8 near El Centro." (Chapter 1220). Note that the route appears to continue N of Route 8 as Imperial County Sign Route S32 to Route 78, although County Sign Route S32 was defined well before Route 7. Route 7 becomes Orchard Road. N of I-8.
In 1934, Route 7 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 3 (US 101A, later Route 1) at Torrance to the California-Nevada state line north of Coleville, via Mojave, and from the Nevada-California State Line near Reno Jct. to the California-Oregon State Line at New Pine Creek via Alturas. Starting in 1935, the portion of this route N of former state signed Route 95 at the Inyo-Kern County Line was renumbered as US 395. In that routing, it began at the Oregon border, and consisted of the following segments:
As the San Diego Freeway was constructed, it ran along the San Diego Freeway. This was signed as Route 7 until the I-405 signage took over; it was the original segment of LRN 158 added in 1933. Sepulveda Blvd was named for the Sepulveda family of early Los Angeles.
Interesting historical note: There was once a reservoir in Sepulveda Canyon operated by the Santa Monica Water Company. It failed in 1914.
The Sepulveda Tunnel opened on September 27, 1930. Sepulveda Pass was paved and became a state highway route in 1935. In the November 1935 issue of CHPW, there is an interesting article on the Sepulveda Tunnel construction and dedication. Although the tunnel was constructed in 1930, the state highway between Ventura and Sunset was opened and dedicated on October 20, 1935. The article noted that the first steps to a modern Sepulveda came in 1922, as the the Indian footpath was transformed into a highway of commerce. The section opened in 1935, 7.6 mi in length, was from Ventura Blvd to Sunset. It was surfaced with 30-foot asphalt concrete pavement bordered on each side by oil-treated rock shoulders, costing $300K, and financed out of the state gasoline tax. Grading was previously completed in 1930. The tunnel is 665' long, and bored through the mountains 130' under Mulholland Drive. The 1935 project involved the completion of 2.1 mi of new road, and the improvement of 3.3 mi of existing road.
For information on the 1964-1984 Route 7, see I-710.
A controlled access highway routing has been adopted from Route 98 (~ 007 IMP 1.164) to I-8 (~ 007 IMP 6.695), per the August 2000 CTC Agenda. It was under construction as of October 2002, according to Don Hagstrom. It was open as of March 2012, giving trucks a full expressway route to the interstate, and allowing then to avoid the narrow 2-lane Route 98. A future extension of Route 7 north may be constructed as a routing of a new Route 115 expressway as well, although this is far off.
In September 2009, the CTC relinquished right of way in the county of Imperial along Route 7 from Heber Road to Hunt Road (11-Imp-7-PM 3.7/6.3), consisting of relocated or reconstructed county roads, and frontage roads. This is likely roadway bypassed or modified by the expressway construction.
In September 2019, it was reported that there is an effort underway to
remove trucks from Orchard Road (County Sign Route S32) N of I-8. As part of this effort,
Caltrans proposes to install signage along Route 7 advising drivers of
large trucks going north to avoid Orchard Road and use alternate routes.
Route 7 becomes Orchard at Interstate 8 south of Holtville. As part of a
mid-range proposal, Caltrans is looking to develop a package of guidance
signs to provide directional information for trucks as a part of its
Traffic Investigative Report. The city of Holtville will eventually need
to cooperate with the removal of truck-route designations at Orchard and
Fourth Street, the north terminus of Orchard. Caltrans is looking at a
number of guidance signs, the first at the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
Facility at the East Port of Entry. There would be another sign on Route 7, midway up, for further notification to truck drivers, and, just south
of I-8 on Route 7, a different sign that indicates the truck route ends in
a half mile. Wording on the signs would read, “Trucks to SR 115 use
I-8 West to SR 111 North.” This would direct trucks northbound from
Mexico to Los Angeles. Also, signs would guide trucks southbound. The
southbound sign would be at the intersection of Route 78 and Route 111 in
Brawley. The sign would read, “Trucks to Route 7 Use Route 111 South
to I-8 East.” A third sign near Holtville for trucks southbound on
Route 115 would read, “Trucks to Route 7 Use Route 115 South to I-8
(Source: Holtville Tribune, 9/12/2019)
Note: Apparently, a 2007 episode of the TV program "24" featured a Route 7 that ran from the central part of Los Angeles (Florence and something) to Newhall. Although Pre-1964 Route 7 ran to Newhall, it was only from the top of the San Fernando Valley (Sepulveda Blvd), not from Central Los Angeles.
[SHC 253.1] Entire route.
In November 1957, the California Department of Highways proposed the designation I-7 for what is now I-505. This was part of an approach to number current I-5 as I-11, and use the single odd digits for what are now loop routes in the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas.
Overall statistics for Route 7:
The route that would become LRN 7 was defined in the 1909 first bond act, running from Tehama Junction to Benicia.
In 1931, it was extended by the addition of the secondary routing from [LRN 14] near Crockett to American Canyon Route near Vallejo. The rationale was that the route would provide a connection from the proposed American Canyon Route to [LRN 14] near Crockett. In doing so, it would provide a complete through road for trafficc from the inland valleys to the bay area.
By 1935, the route was codified as:
It was then quickly amended by Chapter 274 to the simpler:
[LRN 14] near Crockett to Red Bluff
This amendment closed the gap between Vallejo and Red Buff, and included the  portion of the route that had been part of LRN 104. However, that portion was not removed until 1939.
By 1935, this was all considered a primary route. In 1957, Chapter 36 extended the route to Albany, simplifying the definition to “[LRN 69] in Albany to [LRN 3] near Red Bluff”. LRN 69 was signed as Route 17, and is approximately I-580 today. LRN 7 was signed as US 40, and is approximately I-80 today (thus, LRN 7 began near what is now the I-80/I-580 interchange). It continued NNE signed as US 40 (approximately today's I-80) until just SSW of Davis.
Acronyms and Explanations:
Route 6 Route 8
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