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State Route 25

Click here for a key to the symbols used. An explanation of acronyms may be found at the bottom of the page.


Routing Routing

Rte 24 Seg 1(a) From Route 198 to Route 101 near Gilroy.

(b) (1) Upon a determination by the commission that it is in the best interests of the state to do so, the commission may, upon terms and conditions approved by it, relinquish to the City of Hollister the portion of Route 25 that is located within the city’s jurisdiction between Sunnyslope Road and San Felipe Road prior to the relocation of that portion of Route 25 through adoption of the proposed new easterly bypass alignment of Route 25, if the department and the city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment.

(2) The terms and conditions imposed pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include a requirement for the City of Hollister to maintain within its jurisdiction signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 25 until such time as the new easterly bypass alignment is adopted and opens to traffic.

(3) A relinquishment under this subdivision shall become effective immediately following the recording by the county recorder of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission’s approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment.

(4) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, both of the following shall apply:

(A) The relinquished former portion of Route 25 shall cease to be a state highway.

(B) The relinquished former portion of Route 25 may not be considered for future adoption under Section 81.

(5) Upon a determination by the commission that it is in the best interests of the state to do so, the commission shall, upon terms and conditions approved by it, adopt into the state highway system the proposed easterly bypass alignment for Route 25 that is located between Sunnyslope Road and San Felipe Road in the City of Hollister. The adoption may occur at any time after the effective date of the relinquishment pursuant to paragraph (3).

In January 2014, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the city of Hollister on Route 25 (Tres Pinos Road, Nash Road, San Benito Street, and San Felipe Road) between Sunnyslope Road and Bolsa Road, under terms and conditions stated in the letter dated December 18, 2013, determined to be in the best interests of the State. Authorized by Chapter 523, Statutes of 2013, which amended Section 325 of the Streets and Highways Code.

Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

In 1963, this route was defined to run "from Route 198 to Route 180 near Paicines", as Route 25 north of County Sign Route J1/Panoche Road was reassigned as Route 180.

In 1984, the route was divided into two segments, "(a) Route 198 to Route 156 in Hollister. (b) Route 156 in Hollister to Route 101 near Gilroy." The portion from Route 25 in Paicines to Route 101 near Gilroy was transferred from Route 180. Originally, Route 180 was to have been much longer, and would have continued from its present terminus to Route 5, and had a segment from Route 5 to Route 25, and the Route 180 would have continued on into Gilroy. This routing for Route 180 was deleted in 1984. There is some discussion of Route 180 being signed as Route 25 (and vice-versa) on the Route 180 pages.

In 2001, the discontinuity in Hollister was removed by SB 290, Chapter 825, 10/12/2001.

In 2013, SB 788 (Chapter 525, 10/9/13) added the language permitting relinquishment to the City of Hollister of the portion of Route 25 that is located within the city’s jurisdiction between Sunnyslope Road and San Felipe Road prior to the relocation of that portion of Route 25 through adoption of the proposed new easterly bypass alignment of Route 25.

Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

This segment was originally LRN 119, and had the same routing. It was defined in 1933. In 1934, Route 25 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 198 near Priest Valley to Jct. US 101 near Gilroy, via Hollister.

LRN 119/Signed Route 25 reached Route 198/LRN 10 via Lewis Creek Road. Even by the standards of the 1930s, the route over Lewis Creek Road was extremely haggard as it forced traffic over numerous earthen fords of Lewis Creek. At the time the much gentler grade via Peach Tree Road through Lonoak and Peach Tree Valley but was available but for unknown reasons it wasn't adopted by the Division of Highways. Lewis Creek essentially acts as the Monterey/San Benito County Line. Route 25/LRN 119 terminating at Route 198/LRN 10 can be seen on the 1935 Division of Highways Maps of San Benito County and Monterey County. The switch from the Lewis Creek Road alignment to the modern route of Route 25 on Peach Tree Road can be seen on the 1955 and 1956 Division of Highways State Maps. None of the California Highways and Public Works Guides from the 1950s state why Route 25 was moved from Lewis Creek Road to Peach Tree Road. It appears that floods in December of 1955 caused numerous washouts along Route 25/LRN 119 and Route 198/LRN 10. These floods and washouts likely rendered Lewis Creek Road unusable as State Highway given that it traversed numerous earthen fords. Route 25/LRN 119 on Peach Tree Road is next referenced in the November/December 1956 California Highways and Public Works Guide as being budgeted for paving operations in 1957-58.
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer): "California_State_Route 25; the Airline Highway")

During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering, Route 25 north of County Sign Route J1/Panoche Road was reassigned as Route 180. This change was made in anticipation of Route 180 being built across the Diablo Range.
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer): "California_State_Route 25; the Airline Highway")

Status Status

Route 198 to Pinnacles National Park

State Route 25 Curve Restoration Project (SBT 18.8/19.1)

Rte 25 Curve RestorationIn March 2016, it was reported that a cave-in of a $2.1 million realignment of Route 25 could keep the new portion of the road closed for two years. The plan was to address safety issues along Airline Highway/Route 25 (officially part of the State Highway Scenic System), just below the Route 146 entrance into Pinnacles National Park (approx SBT 21.159), at a hard left turn that a five-year Highway Patrol study supposedly identified as a site of numerous fatal crashes. When Caltrans began designing a cut across land that was the designated habitat of the California Tiger Salamander, as well as numerous blue oaks, the agency was determined to do the job to protect human lives while doing as little damage to wildlife habitat as possible. A few months later, the new road is closed, and could stay that way for two years or more; the old road is now the new road again; and the California Tiger Salamander will surely lose more of its habitat. After Caltrans engineers designed the new, flatter, slower turn, the $2.1 million contract went to the John Madonna and Company out of San Luis Obispo. The construction company followed Caltrans’ engineering plan to the letter. The only problem was those plans were wrong regarding soil conditions, and soon after the road was completed in December 2015, the slopes began to give way and landslides continually blocked the new road. Caltrans has since instituted an emergency project to open up the old highway again and the old alignment.
(Source: BenitoLink, 3/30/2016)

In August 2017, the CTC approved the following SHOPP addition: 05-SBt-25 18.8/19.1 Route 25: Near Pinnacles National Park, from 0.7 miles north of San Benito Lateral/Old Hernandez Road to 2.4 miles south of Route 146. Improve curve and flatten slope. $363K (R/W) $4,265K (C) $4,788K (Support) PA&ED: 11/13/2018 R/W: 02/19/2020 RTL: 04/06/2020 BC: 10/28/2020. The project was also included in the final adopted 2018 SHOPP in March 2018.

In February 2019, it was reported that Caltrans is gearing up to repair a rerouted portion of Route 25 that collapsed in 2016. The agency expects the new work to be completed by the end of 2022. The State Route 25 Curve Restoration Project has an estimated cost of $9.5 million and is funded through the State Highway Operations and Protection Program. This is the second attempt to remove a dangerous curve in Route 25 in South County. Caltrans previously contracted out work to remove the curve and cut through a hill turned to San Luis Obispo-based John Madonna Company for $2.1 million. Work was completed in 2015, but after three months both sides of the road collapsed from winter storms. That forced the highway to be rerouted back to its previous alignment. The straighter route has been closed since. According to Caltrans, the project will attempt to restore the straight route and remove the old alignment, along with temporary signals and stop signs. The project’s environmental impact on flora and fauna still needs to be considered as Caltrans goes about fixing the road for a second time. The original design for the reroute called for steep-cut slopes to minimize oak tree removal, protect vulnerable California Tiger Salamander habitat and limit land acquisition. Caltrans must complete a yearlong environmental study, after which a new reroute design is expected in December 2021. Construction could commence by March 2022, with the road scheduled to reopen in November 2022.
(Source: BenitoLink, 2/13/2019; Rte25 Curve Restoration Project Fact Sheet)

In March 2019, it was reported that, at a March community input meeting, Caltrans indicated that the project cost was increasing 18.95 percent, from the previously reported $9.5 million to $11.3 million; they also learned that engineering plans were already drawn up. The severe grade of the original cut through a hillside came about because of habitat concerns for the California Tiger Salamander, a grove of large oaks, and a Native American site which federal law prevents Caltrans from publicly identifying out of concern for theft or vandalism. For the new project, environmental studies must be completed, and there is the need to determine the future of a “cultural resource” or Native American site. There are two curve restoration project designs. One had a gentler slope than the present cut, leaving much of the hill still intact. The second was flat, totally removing the hill and whatever may be buried there. The second design could only be used if the cultural resource was exempt from protection. Caltrans engineers designed the original hillside cut and contracted the work out to John Madonna Construction in San Luis Obispo. The cut hill collapsed a few months after it was completed, at which point Caltrans rerouted traffic around the hill along the same path of the original road. According to rancher Steve Taylor, Madonna told him and others that the design was bad, the two slopes were unstable, and that Caltrans would not listen to him. During the March 18 meeting, both Rider and engineer Steve McDonald said the collapse was Caltrans’ fault because engineers did not take deep enough core samples and assumed the hill was made up of similar rock as nearby hills.
(Source: BenitoLink, 3/20/2019)

In May 2019, the CTC approved the following SHOPP Amendment: 05-SBt-25 18.8/19.1. PPNO 2697. ProjID 0516000164. Route 25 Near Pinnacles National Park, from 0.7 miles north of San Benito Lateral/Old Hernandez Road to 2.4 miles south of Route 146. Improve curve and flatten slope. Update total est. cost to $11,301K and completion to FY20-21. Note: Geotechincal investigations determined flatter slopes than previously assumed would be required. This results in additional impacts to culturally sensitive areas delaying the schedule to perform additional cultural studies. PS&E and R/W support are in current year so a Time Extension to Allocate will be submitted for approval in the June 2019 CTC meeting. Construction capital increase is due to additional earthwork not in original estimate.
(Source: May 2019 CTC Agenda Item 2.1a.(1) Amend Item 48)

In September 2019, it was reported that repairs to an 800-foot stretch of Route 25 just five miles south of Pinnacles National Park have been delayed until at least 2022, according to Caltrans Project Manager Brandy Rider. The delay is primarily because of a Native American site detected near the project. According to Caltrans, “A variety of field tests must be conducted, meetings in the field with Native American partners to better understand the nature of the site, and an eligibility determination can often take 12 to 24 months.” Additionally, the California Office of Historic Preservation requires Caltrans to coordinate with its Native American partners.
(Source: BenitoLink 9/13/2019)

The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following Collision Reduction item of interest (carried over from the 2018 SHOPP): 05-San Benito-25 PM 18.8/19.2 PPNO 2697 Proj ID 0516000164 EA 1H810. Route 25 near Pinnacles National Park, from 0.7 miles north of San Benito Lateral/Old Hernandez Road to 2.4 miles south of Route 146. Improve curve and flatten slope. Programmed in FY21-22, with construction scheduled to start in December 2022. Total project cost is $14,192K, with $9,404K being capital (const and right of way) and $4,788K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.).
(Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

In July 2020, it was reported that Caltrans announced that it is accepting public comments through Aug. 7 on proposals to perform restoration work on the original Route 25 Curve Realignment Project, located 32 miles south of Hollister. This is the second time Caltrans will attempt to realign the two-lane road. The first attempt in 2015 was to address safety issues at a location where the California Highway Patrol had identified it as a site where numerous fatal motorcycle crashes had occurred. The design proved to be too severe and collapsed onto the new road just three months after completion. After the collapse from winter storms, the highway had to be rerouted back to its previous alignment and the straighter route has been closed ever since. Caltrans representatives subsequently admitted the collapse was the state agency’s fault because its engineers did not take deep enough core samples and assumed the hill was composed of similar rock as the nearby hills. The extreme angle of the cut through the hill was made because of Caltrans concerns for the California Tiger Salamander habitat, a grove of blue oaks, and a Native American site. The original $2.1 million price tag increased to $9.5 million, then jumped to more than $11 million. According to the Caltrans project announcement, the newest design would “provide a permanent solution to the failed 2015 realignment project by flattening the cut slopes to reduce erosion, promote revegetation regrowth, and prevent repeated slope failure. The horizontal curves and superelevation (banking of the roadway such that the outside edge of pavement is higher than the inside edge, allowing a vehicle to travel through a curve more safely) will allow speeds up to 51 miles per hour. The project will also improve access to private driveways within the project limits.” The announcement also stated the project includes additional tree planting to replace blue oaks that were removed for the 2015 project. After examining the area, the California Office of Historical Preservation determined the Native American site was found to be eligible for protection as a historical property. The design was changed to move the road toward the north. There will still be a curve, but not as pronounced as before. Caltrans confirmed that it was not a burial site and that archeologists examined it without removing any artifacts.
(Source: Benito Link, 7/5/2020)

Pinnacles National Park to the S limits of Hollister

In March 2017, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project located near Hollister in San Benito County (well, not really, 05-SBt-25, PM 25.9/26.3, which puts it between Pinnacle National Park and Paicines) proposes to correct deficiencies on Route 25. To improve safety and reduce collisions, the proposed project will correct deficiencies in the non-standard curve radius, realign the highway, widen shoulders, construct rumble strips and extend one culvert. This project is programmed in the 2016 SHOPP for $7,069,000 in Construction (capital and support) and Right of Way (capital and support). Construction is estimated to beginning in Fiscal Year 2017-18. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2016 State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

In October 2013, the CTC considered for future approval of funding a project in San Benito County that will realign and straighten a portion of Route 25 near the town of Paicines (approx SBT 39.496). The project is programmed in the 2012 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. The total estimated cost is $4,205,000 for capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2014-15. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2012 State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

Vicinity of Hollister

Hollister Bypass

[Hollister Bypass]This project constructed a 2.7 mil urban arterial with 6 lanes from Sunnyslope Road (approx SBT R49.918) to East Park Street, and a 4 lanes from East Park Street to Bolsa Road. It included grading, paving, traffic signals, bike lanes, signing, striping, and sound walls. The total cost was $43.3 million. Environmental work started in December 2004, and the project was opened in November 2008.

Route 25 Rerouting in Hollister (~ SBT R49.937 to SBT R52.275)

In March 2014, the CTC considered a route adoption in the city of Hollister. The purpose of the route adoption was to restore the connectivity of Route 25 by establishing a new alignment for a portion of Route 25 east of downtown city of Hollister. A portion of Route 25 through the City was relinquished by the California Transportation Commission (Commission) on January 29, 2014. Senate Bill 788, approved by the Governor on October 3, 2013, allowed the relinquishment to precede the bypass route adoption by amending Section 325 of the Streets and Highways Code. Route 25 traverses the entire north-south length of San Benito County.

From the southern county boundary at the junction of Route 198 near King City, Route 25 extends north through the unincorporated communities of Paicines and Tres Pinos, and through the City to the northern county boundary near Gilroy where it connects to US 101. This route is classified as a minor arterial, and it is primarily a rural facility. Within the City, the relinquished portion of Route 25 is a two-lane facility with no shoulders except for a section through downtown Hollister. The one-mile long section along San Benito Street and San Felipe Road between 7th Street and Bolsa Road is four lanes wide and the shoulders are used for parking. Speed limits range from 25 mph to 40 mph and increases to 55 mph when Route 25 connects to Bolsa Road north of downtown.

The City, through the Council of San Benito County Governments (SBtCOG), initiated and built a bypass and requested that the Department adopt the bypass as the new location of Route 25. Additionally, the City desired to control the existing Route 25 within the city limits and accept relinquishment of the route through downtown Hollister (per City Council of City of Hollister Resolution No. 2013-180). In 2006, the Department and SBtCOG entered into a cooperative agreement for the construction of the Route 25 City of Hollister bypass with the intention of transferring it to the Department through a future Transfer of Highway Location Commission action item. The agreement indicated that SBtCOG would design and construct the bypass in accordance with state highway standards, policies and practices.

The route transfer would consist of two actions: 1) the adoption of the newly constructed bypass facility as the new Route 25 and 2) the relinquishment of the existing Route 25 within the city of Hollister to the City. The bypass project construction was completed, and the roadway opened to travel in February 2009. The bypass was constructed as an urban arterial 2.63 miles long with five at-grade intersections. It begins at the intersection of Sunnyslope/Tres Pinos Roads and Airline Highway (Route 25) and extends north as a six-lane facility with signalized intersections at Sunnyslope/Tres Pinos Roads and East Park Street. North of East Park Street, the bypass continues as a four-lane facility with signalized intersections at Hillcrest Road, Meridian Street, and Santa Ana Road. North of Santa Ana Road, the four-lane facility turns westward to intersect with San Felipe Road and connect to the two-lane Bolsa Road (Route 25). The bypass provides an improved level of service and better serves regional traffic than the existing Route 25, which is located in a congested downtown and commercial area.

However, this facility presents a number of deficiencies that do not comply with Department standards. The Route Transfer Report (RTR) approved on April 2, 2012, identified these deficiencies and did not recommend the route transfer until corrective action was taken. The bypass non-standard features included deficiencies with the hydraulic-drainage systems (improper construction of drainage inlets, type of dike used, etc.), roadway geometrics (super-elevation rate is insufficient for the posted speed), storm water management (the project did not comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit), roadway pavement (longitudinal cracks in the shoulder section and concrete dikes), soundwall (separation along the expansion joints), and signal loops (advance loops at the signals are at the wrong locations).

With the proposal from the Department to program a SHOPP project to address the deficiencies, the City agreed to accept relinquishment of the existing Route 25 within the city limits at no cost to the Department. The City pursued enabling legislation to allow the Commission to approve the relinquishment of Route 25 to the City. In June 2013, the Project Study Report (PSR) was approved to allow the Department to program the SHOPP project and address the deficiencies identified in the RTR. The estimated cost of the project is approximately $ 9,235,000, which includes construction and Right of Way costs escalated to the year of construction. The project is scheduled to begin construction in Fiscal Year 2017-18.

On October 3, 2013, the Governor approved Senate Bill 788, allowing the relinquishment to precede the bypass route adoption by amending Section 325 of the Streets and Highways Code. On January 29, 2014, the Commission approved relinquishment of a portion of Route 25 to the City. The relinquished alignment through downtown Hollister runs along Tres Pinos Road and San Benito Street, to the intersection of San Felipe Road and Bolsa Road (Route 25). The bypass benefits to the state include: a new facility with access control between intersections, no parking allowed, and a striped bike lane within the eight-foot wide shoulder. All bypass intersections are projected to be at Level of Service (LOS) C or better in 2025, with the exception of the intersection at San Felipe Road. It will be at LOS D, but improved from the existing condition of LOS F. In comparison, the relinquished Route 25 route serves local traffic at lower levels of service, allows parking, functions as a minor arterial with multiple access points between intersections, and does not provide for a bike lane. The expected ten-year bypass maintenance cost is comparable to the maintenance cost for the relinquished Route 25. The route adoption has the support of all local agencies. Resolutions requesting the Department to transfer Route 25 to the bypass have been passed by the City, the County of San Benito, and SBtCOG.

Rte 25 Hollister Bypass ImprovementsIn June 2015, it was reported that Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez was fed up with the long-running standstill regarding a planned Route 25 widening. He’s at the point where he’s willing to consider a locally built alternative if Caltrans doesn’t find a way to get the project moving soon. Velazquez suggested that building a county road along the current highway route (with a truck ban), from Hollister to the county line, might solve the problem. He hoped that local government leaders could work with Caltrans to widen the two-lane commuter highway, a primary gateway to and from Hollister where two Hollister men recently died in vehicle accidents; but he was unsure whether the county could count on Caltrans to provide the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to accomplish the widening project, which has been discussed locally for more than a decade due to safety issues and fatalities. The San Benito COG expressed some optimism and said there had been “a lot of progress” on the widening issue in the past six to eight months at the COG board level. Since September the agency and its board have been taking steps needed to pursue an amendment to a regional transportation plan to place Route 25 on a list of constrained projects, viewed as a necessary precursor to receive significant state funds for the road. The proposed plan to widen Route 25 to a four lanes from the San Benito County line to Hollister would cost about $300 million. Santa Clara County is responsible for the portion of the highway from the San Benito County line to US 101 and its officials are examining possible solutions for that section in their plans as well.
(Source: Free Lance, 6/23/2015)

In May/June 2019, it was reported that Caltrans initiated construction on a roadway safety improvement project to correct the super elevation and widen the existing shoulders along Route 25 from Sunnyslope/Tres Pinos Rd. to San Felipe Road in Hollister. Caltrans notes that the state-funded project will improve alignment consistency, traffic flow, and safety. Improvements will include: constructing a curve correction, widening shoulders, flattening and seeding embankment slopes, improving drainage facilities, adding sidewalks and reconstructing curb ramps, and replacing signal loop detectors. The project is expected to be complete in December 2019. Specifically, the work between Santa Ana and Sunset Drive includes the following:
(Source: San Benito Live, 6/6/2019)

Northern End of Hollister to Gilroy/US 101

Gilroy to Hollister Highway (05-SBt-25, PM 51.5/60.1, 04-SCl-25, PM 0.0/2.6)

Holister to Gilroy Route AdoptionIn August 2016, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding the following project for which a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) has been completed: Route 25 (05-SBt-25, PM 51.5/60.1, 04-SCl-25, PM 0.0/2.6) in San Benito and Santa Clara Counties that will select a corridor for Route 25 near the cities of Hollister and Gilroy. This project in San Benito and Santa Clara counties is for route adoption only, for portions of Route 25 near the cities of Hollister and Gilroy. The project is locally funded for the Project Approval and Environmental Document phase only for approximately $7,000,000.

In October 2016, the CTC approved a resolution to adopt a new corridor for Route 25, to enhance interregional system connectivity and regional traffic operations. This new corridor will run from US 101 to San Felipe Road, where it will connect with the Hollister Bypass approved in 2014. The existing Route 25 will become a frontage road. The route adoption map makes it appear that an intersection with Route 156 will be removed; if the new route is freeway, there could be an interchange there. A California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) - Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which serves as a planning document, was signed on June 6, 2016. The Project Report recommending the route adoption was approved on July 8, 2016. The approved Project Report scoped constructing Route 25 on a new alignment that will be near parallel to the existing Route 25 alignment. Nearly all of the existing Route 25 conventional highway alignment witihin the project limits will be relinquished upon construction of the four-lane expressway, thereby separating terminal access (farmland, business and residential) trips from interregional trips. Relinquishment of the existing Route 25 would not occur until the pavement is brought to a state of good repair. The Project Report recommending the controlled access highway route adoption was approved on July 8, 2016. The environmental document for the Route Adoption Study was approved at the August 2016 Commission meeting with Resolution E-16-60. Controlled access highway agreements will be executed with the City of Hollister, San Benito and Santa Clara Counties.

In July 2017, Mr. Roadshow noted that the sales tax approved by Santa Clara County voters last year will pay for new ramps at the Route 25-US 101 interchange, which some day will be the start of a four-lane freeway on Route 25 to that would hook north near Route 152 or Route 156. The current two lanes of Route 152 from US 101 to Casa de Fruta would likely remain as a frontage road. The cost of this isn’t known, but it’s not going to be cheap. However, the gas and car fee hikes approved by Gov. Brown and the state Legislature this year include $500 million annually for congested corridors and truck routes.
(Source: Mercury News, 7/2/2017)

Note: There is a major project to improve the Route 101/Route 25 corridor. See the detailed discussion with US 101.

Rte 25 Holister-Gilroy AlternativesIn March 2019, it was reported that instead of just adding two lanes to the existing Route 25 between Hollister and Gilroy, state officials are proposing the construction of a new four-lane expressway, using the current two-lane highway as a parallel frontage road. Caltrans revealed in detailed maps in March 2019 they are proposing the eventual replacement of 11.2 miles of the existing Route 25 two-lane highway with a four-lane expressway in San Benito and Santa Clara counties. The project would ease a big strain on the commuting route for the more then 12,000 San Benito residents who commute daily on Route 25 to Santa Clara County. The Route 25 project is a shared responsibility between state and federal transportation agencies and San Benito County. The $241 million cost will be shared with Santa Clara County. Traffic impact fees charged to new construction will pay a portion of the project cost, up to $88 million. The plan includes a future new interchange at the Route 25 / Route 156 intersection, would require widening Route 156 between just northwest of Hollister, and would involve the construction of a new bridge over the Pajaro River. Caltrans is the lead agency for this project under the California Environmental Quality Act. The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), completed in June 2016 evaluated a proposed route adoption and includes a route adoption study (a broad Tier I environmental analysis), according to CalTrans.
(Source: SanBenito.Com 3/20/2019; Hollisterto Gilroy State Route 25 Route Adoption, 05-SBt-25 (PM 51.5/60.1), 04-SCl-25 (PM 0.0/2.6),Final Environmental Impact Report, Volume I of II, June 2016)

According to the 2016 FEIR, both of the route adoption alternatives—Alternatives 1 and 2—are 11.2 miles long and share the same alignment from ½ mile south of Shore Road in San Benito County to US 101 in Santa Clara County. Between ½ mile south of Shore Road and the southern end of the proposed project at San Felipe Road, the two proposed route adoption alternatives separate. Alternative 1 proposes to align the future four-lane expressway generally to the east of the existing highway. Alternative 2 would be aligned mostly to the west of the existing two-lane highway. Both alignments would be wide enough to accommodate a future four-lane expressway. Alternative 1 would be 342 feet wide including the median, but not including the frontage roads on one or both sides. Alternative 2 would be 240 feet wide, including the median, but not including frontage roads. The alignments would also be wide enough to accommodate an interchange near the existing intersection of Route 25 and Route 156 and a replacement Route 25/US 101 interchange north of the existing interchange.

Both route adoption alternatives would accommodate the following in the future:

Alternative 1 would be 342 feet wide including the median, but not including the frontage roads on one or both sides. This alternative would provide Flynn Road with direct access to the expressway. The alignment of Alternative 1 would begin at San Felipe Road and follow the existing alignment of Route 25 to the northern intersection of Briggs Road and Route 25. The new alignment would remain east of the existing route from that point until just past Hudner Lane, where it would cross the existing Route 25. The new alignment would be west of the existing highway for only a short distance before crossing the highway again between Hudner Lane and Shore Road. From that point, the new alignment would stay east of the existing Route 25 until just past Carnadero Creek where it would realign with the existing Route 25 until reaching US 101.

Alternative 2 would be 240 feet wide, including the median, but not including frontage roads. With this alternative, Briggs Road would be extended westward to a T-intersection with the expressway. The median would widen to 86 feet at the unsignalized crossroads (Wright Road, a connector at Grant Line, and the new Bolsa Road intersection) to allow room for large trucks to stop in the middle of the expressway before turning left into the stream of traffic. The alignment of Alternative 2 would begin at San Felipe Road and run west of and parallel to the existing Route 25 before crossing the route south of Shore Road. From that point, the new alignment would be the same as for Alternative 1, remaining east of the existing Route 25 until just past Carnadero Creek where it would realign with the existing Route 25 until reaching US 101. For Alternative 2, some of the proposed frontage roads have been eliminated or reconfigured in response to public comments. In some locations, instead of new frontage roads, 40-foot-wide private access easements are planned to provide access to farm fields. Southeast of the Route 25/Route 156 intersection, the proposed west side frontage road was eliminated; instead, two private access easements are now proposed. A new west side frontage road would have a cul-de-sac south of Hudner Lane instead of extending to McConnell Road, and would run northwestward to a point approximately 1.7 miles south of Shore Road. The segment of the east side frontage road between the Grant Line and Shore Road is no longer proposed; a short private access easement would provide farm field access. North of Shore Road, the east side frontage road would be replaced by private access easements.

Note that the Final EIR selected the Alternative 2 as the preferred alternative for route adoption. In October 2016, Caltrans submitted documentation to the California Transportation Commission for the route adoption of the preferred route adoption alignment, which was subsequently approved.
(Source: Hollister to Gilroy State Route 25 RouteAdoption, 05-SBt-25 (PM 51.5/60.1), 04-SCl-25 (PM 0.0/2.6),Final Environmental Impact Report, Volume I of II, June 2016)

In March 2020, it was reported that Caltrans was implementing a six-month trial beginning at the end of March 2020 that would prevent left turns from Bolsa Road onto the Route 25 (SCL 0.637) during the afternoon rush hour. Specifically, the left turn from Bolsa Road onto Route 25 will be restricted on weekdays from 3-7 p.m. California Highway Patrol will enforce the new rule and monitor the intersection with cameras, which will also allow the transit agencies to collect data. Caltrans has identified the intersection—which motorists use to circumvent traffic at the US 101/Route 25 onramp—as one of the main causes for congestion and collisions on Route 25. Designs to rework the problematic US 101/Route 25 are still being discussed. One of the options presented in March 2020 prohibits access to southbound US 101 from Route 25. Instead, motorists would be required to get on northbound US 101 and exit at Monterey Road to take the onramp for southbound US 101. Phase 1 construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2021 and will be funded by Santa Clara County’s allocation of SB 1 funds. In the meantime, proposed short-term solutions for the gridlock include constructing an auxiliary lane between Castro Valley Road and the Route 25 onramp. Costs vary between $1 million and $2 million. In May 2020, the Mobility Partnership expects to identify a possible trade corridor route from four alternatives. Before choosing a route, the partnership needs to define criteria such as costs, environmental impacts, right of way acquisitions and a wildlife corridor. One issue that needs to be weighed is whether it’s worth selecting options closer to San Benito County’s commercial areas that would connect to Route 25 further into the county. The more portions of Route 25 the new trade corridor uses, the more funds (including grants) would be available to fund the widening project.
(Source: BenitoLink, 3/9/2020)

Safety Improvements (~ SBT R52.33 to SCL 2.413)

There have been a number of changes made to this route to improve safety. In 2000, a dozen people were killed on the flat, two-lane 11-mile stretch between Gilroy and Hollister. By 2003, Caltrans had installed a four-foot median rumble strip flanked by double yellow stripes; widened the shoulders with more rumble strips placed there; banned passing; and set the speed limit at 55 mph. This has made it safer: 97 people on the stretch from 2000 to 2002, 56 have been injured from 2003 to 2006. Crashes have fallen 39%.

The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, provided the following expenditures on or near this route:

In 2010, work continued on making Route 25 safer. The first phase of construction included work on the western side of Route 25 and the project area. The primary work that was completed includes paving the western roadway shoulders and construction of private driveway access roads. The second phase of construction included work on the eastern side of Route 25. Phase II work included excavation, grading, and shoulder widening. The net goal is driveway consolidation.

Route 25 / Route 156 Roundabout (~ SBT 54.035)

Rte 25 / Rte 156 RoundaboutIn August 2018, it was reported that Caltrans plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156, scheduled for completion in August 2021. It will eventually get replaced by an interchange when the Route 25 expansion project moves forward at an undetermined time. The roundabout project with a $7.7 million construction cost, to go with $3 million in “support costs”, will be funded by the state as a safety improvement project through the State Highway Operations and Protection Program, or SHOPP. The project remains in initial planning stages. There is “concept layout” and it is heading into the design and then construction phases, said roundabout Project Manager Brandy Rider. Plans presented to the local COG board in recent months show Caltrans will be ready to list the roundabout project for bidding in late August 2020, and it is set for a target end construction date at the end of October 2021. The roundabout is separate, however, from the Route 25 expansion. The timing and financing of that will depend on whether San Benito County taxpayers approve a 30-year, 1 percent sales tax on the November ballot. Under long-term Route 25 expansion plans, the roundabout would be replaced by an interchange. That replacement would happen many years down the road, and Rider said it could be 15 years or so until such a change might occur. While Caltrans is paying for the roundabout, the state has made it clear local taxpayers would have to cover the majority of the expansion funding, which would come from the ballot measure if approved. The nearly $300 million expansion would result in a four-lane, 11.2-mile commuter highway from Hollister to Santa Clara County.
(Source: San Benito Live, 8/15/2018)

In August 2018, the CTC amended the SHOPP to add the following project: 05-SBt-25 54.0 PPNO 2746, Project 0517000185, EA 1J480. Route 25 Near Hollister, at the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156. Improve safety by constructing a roundabout. Est. cost: $10,628,000. Est. construction start: 10/28/2021.
(Source: August 2018 CTC Agenda Item 2.1a.(1))

In June 2019, it was reported that Caltrans District 5 will hold a public information meeting/open house about a proposed safety roundabout project for the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156.
(Source: BenitoLink, 6/20/2019)

In December 2019, it was reported that the roundabout planned for the Route 25/Route 156 intersection at Hollister’s north end is moving forward and is on schedule. According to Caltrans, the project is fully funded, its environmental review is completed and final designs and right-of-way acquisitions are scheduled for August 2020. The $10.7 million project aims to make the busy intersection safer. Roundabouts are increasingly common in new residential developments, as a substitute for four-way stops. The state has begun using them at busy traffic-signaled intersections that have had high accident rates. New, successful roundabout projects in Tracy and Palmdale match Hollister’s traffic patterns, according to the state. The plan is a short-term fix, however, as the state’s long-term vision is to realign and widen Route 25 to four lanes and build an interchange at its connection to Route 156. No date or funding has been set for that new highway replacement for the jammed two-lane commuter route that Route 25 has become. The proposal to place an interchange at this location will not be finalized, under best case scenarios, until 2028, according to Caltrans. Construction on the roundabout could start as early as the summer of 2021 with a winter 2021 completion date. The roundabout is a 2-lane design, and state planners said it will be able to handle big rigs.
(Source: San Benito.Com, 12/20/2019)

The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following Collision Reduction item of interest (carried over from the 2018 SHOPP): 05-San Benito-25 PM 54.0 PPNO 2746 Proj ID 0517000185 EA 1J480. Route 25 Near Hollister, at the intersection of Route 25 and Route 156. Improve safety by constructing a roundabout. Programmed in FY20-21, with construction scheduled to start in June 2021. Total project cost is $10,628K, with $7,663K being capital (const and right of way) and $2,965K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.).
(Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Naming Naming

"Bolsa Road"

Scenic Route Scenic Route

[SHC 263.3] Entire portion.

Freeway Freeway

[SHC 253.3] From Route 180 near Paicines to Route 156 in Hollister, and from Route 156 in Hollister to US 101. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

Business Routes Business Routes

Portions of the route through Hollister are signed as Business Route 25.

National Trails National Trails

De Anza Auto Route This route is part of the De Anza National Historic Trail.

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 25:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

The route that would become LRN 25 was first defined in the 1909 First Bond Act as running from Nevada City to Downieville. In 1933, it received two extensions: [LRN 37] near Colfax to [LRN 17] near Grass Valley, and [LRN 25] at Downieville to Blairsden-Truckee Road near Sattley. In 1935, it was codified into the state highway code as:

  1. [LRN 37] near Colfax to [LRN 17] near Grass Valley
  2. Nevada City to [LRN 83] near Sattley via Downieville.

The portion from Nevada City to Downieville was considered a primary route. This definition remained unchanged until the great renumbering in 1963.

Signage on the route was as follows:

  1. From LRN 37 near Colfax to LRN 17 near Grass Valley.

    This signage of this segment pre-1964 is unclear, but it is currently signed as Route 174.

  2. From Nevada City to LRN 83 (Route 89) near Sattley via Downieville.

    This is currently signed as Route 49, and runs between Route 20 (LRN 15) and Route 89 (LRN 83).


Acronyms and Explanations:


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Maintained by: Daniel P. Faigin <webmaster@cahighways.org>.