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State Route 33

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


Routing Routing

  1. Rte 33 Seg 1From Route 101 near Ventura to Route 150.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is unchanged from its 1963 definition.

    A 1965 planning map shows this as freeway all the way to Ojai. Never upgraded, although a portion from Route 101 N is freeway.

    Near Route 145, it appears that Coalinga-Mendota Road and Derrick Blvd is an old routing of Route 33 (US 399).

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    This segment was signed as US 399 starting around 1935, and remained signed as US 399 until the 1964 route renumbering. It was was LRN 138. This portion of LRN 138 was defined in 1933. It was resigned as part of Route 33 in 1964.

    This segment was adopted into the California Highway System in 1915. Within the county, this highway crosses terrain that transitions from mountainous in the southern portion to flat and rolling terrain in the northern portion. Route 33 has been designated as a State Highway Terminal Access Route for larger trucks under the Federal Surface Transportation Act of 1982. Route 33, from its junction with Route 101 to its junction with I-5, is a State Highway Extra Legal Load Route and is included in the National Highway System. Route 33 is also a High Emphasis Interregional Route. The route is designated for explosives, hazardous materials (including rocket fuel), and trucks up to 105 feet in length. On a year-around basis, Route 33 is a significant interregional route for agricultural products, and truck traffic accounts for 40 percent of the Average Annual Daily Traffic.

    Tom Fearer has some excellent historical information on this segment in his Gribblenation Blog entry: California State Route 33; US 101 north to I–5 in Santa Nella.

    Status Status

    In August 2011, the CTC approved $313,000 in SHOPP funding for repairs on Route 33 near Oak View, at San Antonio Creek (VEN 007.58), that will rebuild the slope, roadway and drainage system to correct pre-existing condition as required mitigation at one location.

    The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following Collision Reduction item of interest (carried over from the 2018 SHOPP): 07-Ventura-33 PM 18.9/19.1 PPNO 5145 Proj ID 0716000257 EA 33230. Route 33 near Ojai, north of North Fork Matilija Creek Bridge No. 52-450. Widen the roadway by 4 feet, upgrade rock block barrier, and place High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST). Programmed in FY21-22, with construction scheduled to start in July 2022. Total project cost is $6,854K, with $3,144K being capital (const and right of way) and $3,710K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.).
    (Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

    Naming Naming

    Route 33 from Route 101 to Foster Park in Ventura County is named the "Ojai Freeway" (~ VEN 0.000 to VEN 5.995). It was named by its location. The first segment opened in 1956. It was named after the community of Ojai, which was a spelling for the rancheria Aujai is mentioned in mission records. A'hwai is Chumash for "moon."

    This segment is also named the "Bakersfield, Maricopa and Ventura Highway" (~ VEN 0.000 to VEN 11.166). It was named by Resolution Chapter 610 in 1913.

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.3] Entire portion.

    Classified Landcaped Freeway Classified Landcaped Freeway

    The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:

    County Route Starting PM Ending PM
    Ventura 33 0.00 0.47

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.3] Entire portion; the portion from Route 101 to N of Ventura is constructed to freeway standards. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959. There were once plans to have a freeway through Ojai.


  2. Rte 33 Seg 2From Route 150 to Route 5 near Oilfields via the vicinity of Cuyama Valley and Maricopa, and via Coalinga.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment remains as defined in 1963.

    Coming into Coalinga along S Lost Hills Road, Route 33 turns onto Jayne Ave which becomes Polk Street. It then angles off onto 5th Street. Upon reaching Elm Street, it continues Northbound cosigned with Route 198. Note that as of May 2015, Google Maps erroneously shows Route 33 continuing along Polk to Elm.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 33 was signed along the route from Maricopa to Jct. US 50 near Tracy, via Coalinga1. In 1935, the portion between Route 150 and Taft was resigned as US 399. This particular segment was signed as follows:

    1. US Highway Shield As US 399 between Route 150 (LRN 151) and Route 166 (LRN 57), from the initial state signage of US highways in the early 1930s to the 1964 route renumbering. This segment was part of the 1933 portion of LRN 138.
    2. US Highway Shield Cosigned as US 399/Route 166 (present-day Route 33/Route 166) between 7 mi N of Ventucopa and Maricopa. This was LRN 57, defined in 1919.
    3. US Highway Shield Cosigned as US 399/Route 33 between Maricopa and Taft. This was part of the portion of LRN 138 defined in 1933. By the 1950 state highway map, the start of signed Route 33 was moved to Route 99 6 mi N of Wheeler Ridge (near the current I-5/Route 99 junction) and the segment from Route 99 to Maricopa was cosigned as Route 33/Route 166 (it was resigned in 1964 as Route 166). That latter routing was LRN 57 (also defined in 1919). The signage of Route 33 N from Maricopa dates to the initial state signage of routes in 1934.
    4. US Highway Shield As Route 33/US 399 between Taft and Route 198 in Coalinga. This was LRN 138, and was part of the portion defined in 1933. At Taft, US 399 continued E, and is present-day Route 119 (LRN 140).
    5. As Route 33 between Coalinga and Oilfields. This was part of LRN 10, defined in 1915. According to a 1935 Division of Highways map, it appears that Route 33 turned from S. Lost Hills Road to W. Lost Hills Road and then turned onto Merced and thence to Polk. In 1963, the routing moved to Jayne Avenue. N of Coalinga, the routing appears to have run along Coalinga-Fresno Road.
    6. As Route 33 from LRN 10 (Route 198) to near Oilfields/Skunk Hollow, where from Coalinga-Fresno Road, the routing went along S Derrick Ave and the Coalinga-Mendota Road. When I-5 was completed around 1971, the routing was changed to stay on Fresno-Coalinga Road to I-5, then up I-5 until I-5 encountered Derrick Ave/Coalinga Mendota Road, and then continued off the freeway N to Mendota. This was part of the 1955 extension of LRN 138, and was county road before that (but still signed as Route 33). See the discussion in the next segment for more details on this.
      (Source for the 1935 to 1963 routing: Email from Tom Fearer and Ray Mullins, 12/24/2017; Sparker on AAroads, 7/25/2018; Tom Fearer on California Historic Highways, 1/1/2019);

    Much of the push for the route came from the large "agribusinesses" that dominate the west side of the San Joaquin Valley: oil, cotton, and cattle along the southern reaches, and fruits/vegetables from Mendota north (Mendota to Los Banos is the center of CA's melon-growing region). After WWII Route 33 multiplexed with Route 166 from Taft to US 99 near Wheeler Ridge (item 3 above); the rationale behind that was to position Route 33 as an alternate to US 99, particularly when the latter route was socked in with "tule fog" in winter months.
    (Source: Sparker on AAroads, 7/25/2018)

    Tom Fearer has some excellent historical information on this segment in his Gribblenation Blog entry: California State Route 33; US 101 north to I–5 in Santa Nella.

    —————
    1: Note that Sparker on AAroads appears to disagree with this, writing in one post: "Both of those were commissioned prior to WWII; the section between Coalinga and Mendota(using Derrick Ave.) remained a county road until about 1957, when it wasbrought into the system as an extension of LRN 138 and signed as Route 33."

    Status Status

    In February 2019, it was reported that the CTC allocated $850,000 for a bridge project on Route 33 in Ventura County: the overall $2.5 million bridge project will paint the steel portion of the North Fork Matilija Creek Bridge (~ VEN 015.52) on Route 33 for preventative maintenance and to extend the life of the bridge.
    (Source: SCV News, 2/6/2019)

    [Rte 46 Interchange Realignment]In April 2007, the CTC considered a routing change for this route where it intersects Route 46 (~ KER 61.02). The proposed route adoption for this segment of Route 33 would improve the safety and the operations at the Route 46 junction. Under the change, Route 33 will be realigned to provide a 90-degree approach to Route 46. The junction will be constructed with exclusive right and left turn lanes, and storage for left turn movements. In addition, Route 46 will be rehabilitated to meet current design standards from the San Luis Obispo County line to 0.8 mile west of Lost Hills Road. The current alignments intersects Route 46 at an angle.

    In October 2013, the CTC considered for future approval of funding a project in Fresno County that will replace the existing Jacalitos Creek Bridge (Bridge 42-0441, FRE 011.00) on Route 33 near the city of Coalinga. The project is programmed in the 2012 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. The total estimated cost is $10,739,000 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.

    In March 2012, the CTC authorized relinquishement of right of way in the county of Kern on Route 33 from 0.4 mile southeasterly of Route 46 to Route 46 (~KER 60.62 to KER 61.02), consisting of superseded highway right of way and collateral facilities. They also authorized vacation of right of way in the county of Kern along Route 33 between 0.5 mile southeasterly (~ KER 60.52 to KER 61.52) and 0.5 mile northwesterly of Route 46, consisting of superseded highway right of way no longer needed for State highway purposes.

    Naming Naming

    Peter Aquirre Jr Memorial HighwayThe portion of Route 33 in the County of Ventura from West Ojai Avenue at VEN 11.21 to Fairview Road at VEN 12.8 is named the "Ventura County Deputy Sheriff Peter Aguirre, Jr. Memorial Highway". Deputy Sheriff Peter Aguirre, Jr. studied for six years in college and planned to become a schoolteacher, but shortly before his death, switched to law enforcement studies. He served with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department for two years and ten months. On July 17, 1996, when Deputy Sheriff Peter Aguirre, Jr. was 26 years old, he responded to a domestic violence call at a home in the Ojai Valley community of Meiners Oaks in Ventura County. As Peter was approaching the home, he was ambushed and shot, and died as a result of the injury. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 142, Res. Chapter 83, Statutes of 2016 on July 11, 2016.
    (Image source: Vent. County Sheriff's Facebook Page, Vent. County Sheriff's Office Memorial Page)

    The portion of this segment between Route 150 and Route 119 (~ VEN 11.21 to KER 17.985) is named the "Bakersfield, Maricopa and Ventura Highway". It was named by Chapter 610 in 1913.

    Petroleum HighwayThe portion of Route 33 in Kern County between Route 166 and Route 46 (~KER 11.898 to KER 61.02) is named the Petroleum Highway. It was named in recognition of the petroleum industry, which has made an important economic contribution to Kern County and other parts of the state. The heart of oil country in Kern County is in the western part of the county adjacent to Route 33, where oil has been produced for more than 100 years. In fact, this region of Kern County produces 50 percent of California's oil production; and the largest gas field in the west, Elk Hills, is within sight of Route 33. Travelers on Route 33 can visit the only oil boomtowns in California and the West Kern Oil Museum in Taft. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 185, July 16, 2004, Chapter 128.
    (Image source: Bertrand Celce)

    The portion of this route N of Route 166 (~KER 11.898) has historically been called El Camino Viejo. More information on El Camino Viejo, which was an interior route used to avoid the more patrolled coast El Camino Real, may be found on the Wikipedia page (although it doesn't give a detailed map). It looks like this historical reference relates to the proximity to the former Bitter Creek and Lake Buena Vista, which used to run near Maricopa.

    Named Structures Named Structures

    Tunnels 52-068, 52-070, and 52-072 in Ventura county, built in 1931, are unofficially named the "Matilija Tunnels" (~ VEN 015.52 to VEN 18.84).

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.3] From Route 150 to Route 166 in Cuyama Valley; and from Route 198 near Coalinga to Route 198 near Oilfields.

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.3] From Route 150 to Route 166 near Maricopa; not constructed to freeway standards. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.


  3. Rte 33 Seg 3From Route 5 to Route 152 via the vicinity of Mendota.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment remains as defined in 1963.

    The portion between Route 5 near Oilfields to 12 mi N (i.e., the break between segments) is cosigned I-5/Route 33.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 33 was signed along the route from Maricopa to Jct. US 50 near Tracy, via Coalinga. This particular segment was signed as follows:

    1. Present-day Route 33 is signed along I-5 between Oilfields and the Route 33 exit. This is post-1964 legislative Route 5, but was LRN 238, defined in 1959. Pre-1964 Route 33 used a S Derrick Ave and Coalinga-Mendota Road, but was part of the 1955 LRN 138 extension.
    2. Between Oilfields and Route 180 in Mendota, the route was signed as Route 33, but was also part of the LRN 138 1955 extension.
    3. Between Mendota and Route 152, the route was signed as Route 33, but was LRN 41 (defined in 1933).

    Prior to the 1955 extension, it appears that S Derrick Ave and Coalinga-Mendota Road were county roads, but were still signed as Route 33. The old Division of Highways was a bit more flexible about signage than the current Caltrans; a few county roads, including Derrick Avenue, got signage pre-state-adoption or maintenance; they tended to be receptive to state and/or local power brokers regarding this practice. According to a number of accounts, Getty Oil, which had several small fields in and around Coalinga but was not satisfied with the frequency of service Southern Pacific was supplying to that area to move loaded tank cars out from the loading areas outside of town along Route 198 and wanted to supplement it with tanker trucks, somewhere around 1945 pressed the state senator representing much of western Kings and Fresno Counties to ask the Division of Highways to deploy a state highway north from Coalinga to Merced, where there was an oil loading facility along competing Santa Fe; they wanted a facility on which to "convoy" several tank trucks at a time to make it worthwhile for Santa Fe to handle the loads. The Division already had much of the pathway covered by LRN 41/Route 33 from Mendota to Dos Palos Wye, LRN 32/Route 152 east for several miles from there, and LRN 123 the rest of the way into Merced (it wasn't signed as Route 59 until at least 1960). But the Division was reluctant to take on the most direct route from Coalinga to Mendota, Derrick Road (named as such because it passed through Getty oilfields in the hills north of Coalinga, featuring numerous oil derricks), primarily because the oiled-earth facility was a county maintenance nightmare due to consistent rutting by the small but stout oilfield trucks with exceptionally heavy per-axle loading. But politics prevailed, and the Division worked out deals with Fresno County to split the maintenance costs -- and the road was signed as Route 33 by mid-1946. Eventually an asphalt overlay was done on the road, and the state assumed maintenance and ownership in 1957 [Ed - perhaps authorized by the 1955 extension].
    (Source: Sparker on AAroads, 7/25/2018; Sparkeron AAroads, 7/25/2018;

    Tom Fearer has some excellent historical information on this segment in his Gribblenation Blog entry: California State Route 33; US 101 north to I–5 in Santa Nella.

    Naming Naming

    This segment has historically been called El Camino Viejo.

    Sixto Maldonado JrThe portion of Route 33 between Bullard Avenue and Douglas Avenue in the City of Firebaugh (~ FRE R67.31 to FRE 72.813) in Fresno County is named the "Officer Sixto Maldonado, Jr., Memorial Highway". Named in memory of Sixto Maldonado, Jr., born on April 9, 1952, in Fresno. He attended Arthur E. Mills Elementary School and Riverview Junior High School in Firebaugh, followed by Dos Palos High School. Mr. Maldonado was a member of the newly-formed Firebaugh Youth Group, served as its president for a number of years while in high school, and was a role model student who was highly respected in his community. He worked in the fields as a farm laborer at a very young age to help his parents provide for their family. Mr. Maldonado worked in a variety of different jobs to help offset costs of his extended education, and in 1972, enrolled and attended 4 C's Business College with a major in business administration. He started his law enforcement career as a Firebaugh Police Department Reserve/Dispatcher in 1973, and was also an emergency medical technician for the City of Firebaugh where he drove and assisted on ambulance runs. Officer Maldonado was tragically slain in the line of duty as a Firebaugh police officer on August 19, 1975, at the age of 23, leaving behind his wife and son; and a legacy of his distinguished service to law enforcement, with three brothers and a nephew following in his footsteps by becoming peace officers for the County of Fresno. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 128, Resolution Chapter 75, on 7/3/2008.
    (Image source: Find a Grave)


  4. Rte 33 Seg 4From Route 152 west of Los Banos to Route 5 near Santa Nella.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    As defined in 1963, Route 33 included a segment running from "Route 152 to Route 140." The starting point on Route 152, however, was 10 mi west of where the original Route 33 branched off of Route 152 (Ingomar Grade and Henry Miller Road). A portion of that routing became Route 207 in the 1963 renumbering.

    In 1970, the segment was shortened to "Route 5 near Santa Nella to Route 140", deleting the post-1963 routing of Route 33 between Route 152 and I-5 from the highway system.

    In 1972, the former routing of Route 207 was transferred back to Route 33, creating this segment.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 33 was signed along the route from Maricopa to Jct. US 50 near Tracy, via Coalinga. The 1963 routing was signed as Route 33 (but was LRN 121) from approximately 10 mi W of Los Banos to the junction with LRN 41, approximetly where I-5 is today. The original routing, which was LRN 41, ran from Los Banos for 6 mi NW to Volta, and then 5 mi W to the junction with LRN 121, near the present I-5 (which was LRN 238). According to someone familiar with the area, this routing approximates with Henry Miller Avenue (the EW portion between Santa Nella and Volta) and the Ingomar Grade to Los Banos. That routing became Route 207, which later went back to being Route 33.

    Tom Fearer has some excellent historical information on this segment in his Gribblenation Blog entry: California State Route 33; US 101 north to I–5 in Santa Nella.

    Naming Naming

    This segment has historically been called El Camino Viejo.

    Status Status

    Note: The break between segments is cosigned Route 152/Route 33.

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.3] Portion (4); not constructed to freeway standards. This was added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1965.


  5. Rte 33 Seg 5From Route 5 near Santa Nella to Route 140.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    As defined in 1963, Route 33 included a segment (Henry Miller Road from Route 152 to Route 33) running from "Route 152 to Route 140." The starting point on Route 152, however, was 10 mi west of where the original Route 33 branched off of Route 152 (Ingomar Grade and Henry Miller Road). That original routing became Route 207 in the 1963 renumbering.

    In 1970, the segment was shortened to "Route 5 near Santa Nella to Route 140", deleting the post-1963 routing of Route 33 between Route 152 and I-5 from the highway system. That is the source of the current segment (e).

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 33 was signed along the route from Maricopa to Jct. US 50 near Tracy, via Coalinga. This segment was signed as Route 33 between LRN 121 (near the present-day I-5) and Route 140, but was LRN 41, defined in 1933.

    Status Status

    Although technically the route between (5) and (6) is legislatively Route 140, it is signed and named as Route 33. This segment is LRN 122, and was defined in 1959.

    Naming Naming

    This segment has historically been called El Camino Viejo.


  6. Rte 33 Seg 6From Route 140 to Route 5 near Vernalis.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment was defined in 1963 as "(e) Route 140 to Route 205 near Tracy." In 1970, it was split into two segments: "(e) Route 140 to Route 5 near Vernalis. (f) Route 5 near Vernalis to Route 205 near Tracy." The act also stated that "the portion of this route described in subdivision (f) shall cease to be a state highway when Route 5 Freeway is constructed from Route 33 near Vernalis to Route 205."

    In 1976, segment (f) was deleted by Chapter 1354.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 33 was signed along the route from Maricopa to Jct. US 50 near Tracy, via Coalinga. This segment was also part of LRN 41, defined in 1933.

    Naming Naming

    This segment has historically been called El Camino Viejo.

    Corporal Ronil SinghThe portion of Route 33 from post mile MER 29.730 in the County of Merced to post mile STA 2.060 in the County of Stanislaus is named the Corporal Ronil Singh Memorial Highway. It was named in memory of Corporal Ronil Singh, who, after immigrating to the United States from the island nation of Fiji, settled in the County of Stanislaus, where he studied criminal justice at Modesto Junior College in 2005 and fulfilled his dream of becoming a police officer. Corporal Singh began serving his fellow Californians when he started his law enforcement career as a cadet with the Turlock Police Department, and through his law enforcement work as a reserve officer with the sheriff’s department in the adjacent County of Merced. In 2011, Corporal Singh joined the Newman Police Department, a tight-knit law enforcement agency in the City of Newman, a still-rural central valley community where 13 sworn officers continually seek to prevent crime and injustice, enforce the law fairly, and defend the rights of the citizenry. These duties spoke to Corporal Singh’s innate desire to do good in the world as a peace officer by providing committed, unstinting, and consequential service. He was a well-respected seven-year veteran of the Newman Police Department who was frequently accompanied by his trained K-9 partner, Sam. While working in the early morning hours of December 26, 2018, Corporal Singh, 33 years of age, a much-loved husband, father, and peace officer with the Newman Police Department, was killed in the line of duty. Named By Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 128, Res. Chapter 42, 09/14/20.
    (Image source: The PineTree.Net)


Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

Post-1964 Legistlative Route Graphic In 1976, an additional segment that ran from Route 5 to Route 205 near Tracy was deleted [see above] (that deleted segment was also part of "El Camino Viejo". This segment was the remainder of 1933 LRN 41, and had been signed as Route 33. It appears to have been Ahern Road and Bird Road.

Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

In 1934, Route 33 was signed along the route from Maricopa to Jct. US 50 near Tracy, via Coalinga.

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 33:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

The routing that become LRN 33 was first defined in the 1916 Second Bond Issue as "an extension connecting the San Joaquin valley trunk line at or near Bakersfield with the coast trunk line in San Luis Obispo county, through Cholame pass, by the most direct and practical route;". In 1933, the routing was extended "[LRN 56] near Cambria to [LRN 2] near Paso Robles" (i.e., to the coast route). It was codified in the highway code in 1935 as:

  1. [LRN 4] near Bakersfield to [LRN 2] near San Luis Obispo County via Cholame Pass
  2. [LRN 56] near Cambria to [LRN 2] near Paso Robles

This routing remained unchanged until the 1963 renumbering. It was signed as follows:

  1. LRN 4 (US 99; now Route 99) near Bakersfield to LRN 2 (US 101) in San Luis Obispo County via Cholame Pass. This was signed as US 466 E of Shandon; it is present-day Route 46 between Paso Robles and Shandon; signed Route 41 (but post-1964 legislative Route 46) between Shandon and Cholame; and Route 46 between Cholame and Route 99. It appears the portion between Paso Robles and Shandon was signed as part of US 466 between the late 1950s and 1964.
  2. LRN 56 (Route 1) near Cambria to LRN 2 (US 101) near Paso Robles. This was signed as Route 41, but is present-day Route 46. Present-day Route 41 is what was US 466 between US 101 and Morro Bay.

Acronyms and Explanations:


Back Arrow Route 32 Forward Arrow Route 34

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