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State Route 44

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 44From Route 299 at Redding to Route 36 west of Susanville, via the vicinity of Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

In 1963, Route 44 was defined as "(a) Route 5 at Redding to Lassen Volcanic National Park. (b) Lassen Volcanic National Park to Route 36 west of Susanville."

In 1964, it was reported that a new Route 44 bypass alignment of Palo Cedro east towards Millville was completed in October 1964.  A new freeway alignment of Route 44 originating from US 99/Market Street in Redding eastward over the Sacramento River was cited to be under construction.  This was completed and opened in 1969, seemingly concurrent with the completion of I-5 in the area.
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer), "California State Route 44 and California State Route 440", September 2020)

In 1988, Chapter 106 combined these into a single segment ("Route 5 at Redding to Route 36 west of Susanville, via the vicinity of Lassen Volcanic National Park.")

In 1999, the routing was changed from starting at Route 5 near Redding to starting at Route 299 at Redding (AB 1650, Ch. 724, 10/10/99).

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. The former Route 299 segment from Route 299 at Market Street to I-5 will be designated as Route 44.

Chris Sampang noted that before the extension of Route 44 into downtown Redding (and the removal of the Route 299/I-5 multiplex from Route 44 north to Lake Boulevard), Route 44 east began at the cloverleaf ramp where Route 299 east merged onto I-5 north; Route 44 west ended when the ramps from I-5 merged onto the Route 299 freeway. Now that Route 44 has been extended on the former Route 299 freeway, the legislative definition (of Route 44 beginning at Route 299) has not changed, but the streets leading from the former Route 299 freeway onto Route 273 do not directly connect to the current Route 299/Route 273 multiplex. Based on Google Street View, Route 44 is co-signed with Route 273 along Market Street from Eureka Way south to Shasta and Tehama Streets (the ramps leading to the freeway) (i.e., it still begins at Former Route 299).

Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

Pre-1964 State Shield US Highway Shield The history of what would become Route 44 starts in 1909, when the portion of LRN 20 between Weaverville and Redding was defined. In 1915, the portion of LRN 20 between US 101 and Weaverville was added. This connected in Redding with LRN 28 (defined in 1909), and ran to Alturas. This is now US 299 (and more history is on that page), but the original signage plans in 1934 were for route from US 101 to Alturas to be Route 44. However, the designation of that route as US 299 changed those plans. That designation occurred at the same time as the redesignation of Route 7 to US 395; US 299 meets US 395 in Alturas.

The history of what would become the current Route 44 starts when in 1933, when LRN 20 was extended east from Redding to Lassen Volcanic National Park.  This route was to be signed as Route 440. This extension of LRN 20 was meant to reach the northern terminus of Lassen Park Highway which had been completed through Lassen Volcanic National Park in 1931.
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer), "California State Route 44 and California State Route 440", September 2020)

When US 299 was signed in 1935, Route 44 was resigned to the new routing for LRN 20. It ran between US 99 (LRN 3) in Redding and Manzanita Lake.

Route 440 originated on the outskirts of Redding near the east bank of the Sacramento River at US 299.  The original alignment of Route 440 split from US 299 east of the 1908 Redding Free Bridge near what is now the intersection of Parkview Avenue and Hartnell Avenue.  From US 299 the route of Route 440 followed modern, Cypress Avenue, Church Creek Road, Hartnell Avenue and Old 44 Drive to east to Millville. 
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer), "California State Route 44 and California State Route 440", September 2020)

In the 1938 timeframe, there was a three phase project to improve US 99/US 299/LRN 3 north of downtown Redding and the Sacramento River.  Phase 1 included the completion of the 795 foot long plate girder 1935 Sacramento River Bridge.  The 1935 Sacramento River Bridge likely played a huge factor in why the original Route 44 was reassigned as US 299 during 1935. Phase 2 included a new direct alignment of US 99/US 299/LRN 3 on Market Street from the north bank of the Sacramento River to Sulpur Creek, which was completed in December 1935.  Phase 3 was completed during July 1937 between Sulpur Creek and Boulder Hill.  The Phase 3 project included a new interchange where US 299/LRN 28 split towards Alturas.  The shift in US 299 extended Route 440 west over the 1908 Redding Free Bridge via what is Smile Place and Parkview Avenue to US 99/Market Street south of downtown Redding. It was during the transition to US 299 that Route 440 was resigned as Route 44.
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer), "California State Route 44 and California State Route 440", September 2020)

The 1908 Redding Free Bridge remained in service until 1951 when it was closed.  The 1908 Redding Free Bridge was condemned in 1955 and removed during 1956.  The 1908 Redding Free Bridge was a 320 foot long through truss design that also was part of very early LRN 3 during the Pacific Highway era.  The 1908 Redding Free Bridge was a replacement for the 1884 Smile Place Bridge which washed out in 1906.
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer), "California State Route 44 and California State Route 440", September 2020)

In 1947, it was announced that construction of a 1.5 mile new route for Route 44 east of US 99 along with a new bridge over the Sacramento River was budgeted for 1948.  This new alignment of Route 44 is what is now modern day Cypress Avenue in Redding east over the Sacramento River to Hartnell Avenue. 
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer), "California State Route 44 and California State Route 440", September 2020)

In 1959, Legislative Chapter 1062 extended LRN 20 eastward with the following two new segments, the first of which became part of Route 44:

  1. LRN 83 (Route 89) near Old Station to LRN 29 (US 395) W of Susanville
  2. LRN 29 (US 395) near Susanville to LRN 73 (US 395) near Ravendale.
From the Old Oregon Trail exit in east Redding through Palo Cedro and Millville, there is an "Old 44 Drive" that apparantly was bypassed when the Route 44 freeway and expressway were built (~ SHA R3.619 to SHA R10.777). The newer portion of Route 44 includes a Super-Two type interchange at Deschutes Road south of Palo Cedro.

Status Status

Currently Route 44 begins a freeway at Route 299 (SHA L0.0R), traveling east until reaching Old Oregon Trail (SHA R4.286, note R0.00 is at I-5). Freeway status ends at that intersection.

Redding Improvements

In August 2005, the CTC considered improvements to Route 44 in Shasta County to increase capacity and improve operations and safety in Redding.

In his 2006 Strategic Growth Plan, Governor Schwartzenegger proposed improvements to the Route 299/Route 44/Route 36 area. These would complete "Buckhorn" to allow STAA trucks to travel direct from I-5 at Redding to US 101 near Eureka and into the Port of Humboldt, now prohibited due to the existing curvilinear alignment that causes truck off tracking. This is the only viable alternative to get STAA trucks into the north coast. STAA trucks cannot access the Port on US 101 north due to environmental restrictions at Richardson's Grove that pre-empt major improvements to the route. Route 44 widening reduces congestion in the Redding urbanized area and also improves inter-regional through movement for people and goods.

In 2007, the CTC considered a number of requests for funding from the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA). None were recommended for funding. These requests were: widening the route to 6 lanes from Dana to Downtown, and extending the four lane freeway to Palo Cedro (Stillwater) (~ SHA R0.157 to SHA R6.986).

In June 2017, the CTC authorized SHOPP funding for the following project: Shasta 02-Sha-44 R4.6/R6.4 $5,770,000 Route 44: Near Palo Cedro, from Clough Creek bridge to 0.6 mile west of Deschutes Road overcrossing. Outcome/Output: Improve at-grade intersection operations and safety by constructing an overcrossing at Stillwater Road with right-turn-only in and out movements to Route 44. Future consideration of funding approved under Resolution E-05-14; August 2005.

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

In June 2016, the CTC authorized $2,700,000 for a project on Route 44 in Shasta County (PM 44.9/45.5) near Viola, from 1.7 miles to 1.1 miles west of North Battle Creek Reservoir Road. Outcome/Output: Provide standard shoulders, and improve roadway alignment, cross slope, and clear recovery zone to increase safety and reduce the number and severity of collisions.

In October 2017, the CTC added the following into the SHOPP: 02-Sha-44 51.6/52.2: On Route 44 in Shasta County: Near Viola, from 0.4 mile east to 1.1 mile east of Bridge Creek Road. Improve curve.

In December 2006, the CTC considered a resolution to vacate right of way in the county of Shasta, about 4.3 miles northeasterly of the junction of Route 44 and Route 89, consisting of right of way no longer needed for State highway purposes. (approx SHA 52.767)

Hat Creek Bridge (02-Sha-44, PM 59.4/59.8)

Rte 44 Hat Creek BridgeIn May 2018, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project for which a Negative Declaration (ND) has been completed: Route 44 in Shasta County. Replace existing bridge on Route 44 near the community of Old Station. (PPNO 3843) (02-Sha-44, PM 59.4/59.8) This project is located on Route 44 near the community of Old Station in Shasta County and proposes demolition and removal of the Hat Creek Bridge. The project also proposes roadway widening and culvert, guardrail, and sign installation. The project proposes to address various issues regarding the deterioration of the bridge and its current design standards which could lead to permit load limitations and/or bridge closure. The proposed project is estimated to cost $5.2 million in construction capital. The project is fully funded and is currently programmed in the 2018 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) for an estimated total of $9.8 million which includes Construction (capital and support) and Right-of-Way (capital and support). Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the California Transportation Commission (Commission) in the 2016 SHOPP.
(Source: CTC Agenda, May 2018 Agenda Item 2.2c(1))

In October 2018, the CTC approved a request for an additional $1,178,000 for the State Highway Operation Protection Program (SHOPP) Bridge Rehabilitation project (PPNO 3483) on Route 44, in Shasta County, to award the construction contract. This project is located on Route 44 in Shasta County, in and near Old Station. The project limits extend from 0.1 mile west to 0.3 mile east of Sugar Loaf Drive at Hat Creek Bridge. The project will replace the existing three-span Hat Creek Bridge with a new, single-span bridge, and realign the existing highway to connect with the new bridge. The performance measure is a one bridge replaced. The contract award status is pending approval of this request for supplemental funds by the Commission. If the Commission approves this request, construction would begin in November 2018; the anticipated working time is 85 working days, to be completed in one construction season.

The project was programmed in the 2016 SHOPP for $5,180,000 for Construction Capital and $1,530,000 for Construction Support. The Engineer’s Estimate (EE) was completed on March 9, 2018 using available historical and current market trend data at that time and resulted in a higher estimated construction cost. In May 2018, the Commission approved project funds based on the higher EE and allocated $5,397,000 for Construction Capital and $1,670,000 for Construction Support. The project was advertised on May 14, 2018 and bids were opened on July 24, 2018. Five bids were submitted, and the lowest of the five bids was significantly higher than the allocated funds. The amount needed to award the contract, based on the lowest responsible bidder, is $6,575,000 for Construction Capital. This bridge will be constructed using Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques to reduce impacts to the environment and the traveling public, and to ensure completion of the project in one season. For a successful ABC at this limited access location, the bridge was designed as a pre-cast concrete box girder that can be prefabricated off-site, then installed at the site quickly. For this scenario, the project was estimated accordingly. However, the lowest biddor came in with a higher bid for two reasons: (1) The bid was higher due to the limited bridge site access, and the specialized equipment and labor force needed to install it; (2) The bid was higher because of the shortage of pre-cast concrete girder suppliers. At the end of June 2018, the Department was experiencing higher bidding prices throughout Northern California due to the limited pool of contractors bidding on Department and other non-Department contracts. In addition, there has been a decreasing number of subcontractors available to prime contractors for specialized construction items. While this was factored in the EE when it was updated in March 2018, it can be concluded that the estimate was still undervalued as the current trends were beyond expectations. The Department has reviewed the bid results for possible mathematical or material unbalancing in accordance with 23 CFR 635.102, and 23 CFR 635.114. The bid appears to be mathematically balanced and there is no evidence of material unbalancing of the low bid.
(Source: October 2018 CTC Agenda Item 2.5e.(2))

Curve Improvement Near Bridge Creek Road (02-Sha-44 51.6/52.2)

Curve Improvement Nr. Bridge Creek Road (02-SHA-44 51.6/52.2)In January 2019, the CTC approved the following support allocation: 02-Sha-44 51.6/52.2 PPNO 3673. Proj ID 0217000045. Route 44 Near Viola, from 0.4 mile east to 1.1 miles east of Bridge Creek Road. Curve improvement. Allocation: PS&E $810,000.
(Source: January 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.5b.(2a) Item 3)

In May 2020, the CTC was informed about the following allocation: $3,564,000 02-Sha-44 51.6/52.2. PPNO 02-3673 ProjID 0217000045 EA 2H990. On Route 44 near Viola, from 0.4 mile east to 1.1 miles east of Bridge Creek Road. Outcome/Output: Improve safety by realigning curves and correcting cross slope, widening lanes and shoulders, increasing clear recovery zone and sight distance, and replacing drainage systems. This project will reduce the number and severity of collisions. (As part of this allocation request, the Department is requesting to extend the award of the construction contract an additional 6 months beyond the 6 month deadline.) Allocation Date: 03/13/20.
(Source: May 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5f.(3) #2)

Worley Ranch Curve Improvement near Susanville 02-Las-44 31.9/32.6

Rte 44 Curve Improvement nr SusanvilleThe following project was included in the final adopted 2018 SHOPP in March 2018: PPNO 3609. 02-Lassen-44 31.9/32.6. On Route 44. Near Susanville, from 0.3 mile west to 0.4 mile east of Big Springs Road. Curve improvement. Begin Con: 10/23/2018. Total Project Cost: $5,175K.

In August 2018, the CTC approved $3,755,000 in SHOPP funding for Lassen 02-Las-44 31.9/32.6 Route 44: Near Susanville, from 0.3 mile west to 0.4 mile east of Big Springs Road. Outcome/Output: Improve safety by realigning roadway curves, improving roadside clear recovery zone and sight distance, and modifying drainage and fencing. This project will reduce the number and severity of collisions.
(Source: August 2018 CTC Agenda Item 2.5f.(3) Item 3)

In September 2019, Caltrans District 2 reported that work has been completed on the Worley Ranch Curve Improvement Project on Route 44 in Lassen County (approx. 6 mi. west of the junction with Route 36). The project improved a half mile of curve, added clear recovery area, and modified/added drainage and culverts.
(Source: Caltrans District 2 Tweet, 9/16/2019)

Naming Naming

Portions are the "Feather Lake Highway". This is named by location.

Richard (Dick) Dickerson Memorial HighwayThe portion of Route 44 from East Street to Victor Avenue (~ SHA L0.315R to SHA R1.242) in the City of Redding is named the "Richard “Dick” Dickerson Memorial Highway". It was named in memory of Richard “Dick” Dickerson, who had an exemplary career in law enforcement and as a government leader with service both in the California State Assembly and the Redding City Council. Dickerson served in the Assembly from 1998 to 2002, inclusive, representing the 2nd Assembly District, which included the northern California Counties of Colusa, Glenn, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, and parts of the Counties of Butte and Yolo. As a result of redistricting, the County of Shasta, which includes the City of Redding, is now in the 1st Assembly District. Dickerson, a former 30-year law enforcement officer, brought commonsense experience to the office and became a voice for crime victims during his first term as vice chair of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. Dickerson served as vice chair of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife during both of his terms in the Assembly. In negotiations with the Governor during his first term, Dick Dickerson secured $20 million to complete studies on aboveground water storage as a major concession for the legislative passage of water bond legislation. Dickerson was a staunch supporter of the proposed Sites Reservoir in Colusa County and raised awareness among the Members of the Legislature that additional storage was needed to meet the water supply needs of a growing state. Along with the Northern California Water Association, he successfully pushed forward the audit of California’s land acquisition policies. While in the Assembly, Dickerson retained a seat on the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and authored legislation to remove vegetation that had become hazardous fuel so it could be used as energy-producing biomass. As a member of the Assembly Committee on Budget specializing in the resources area, Dick Dickerson obtained $4.58 million for the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, known at the time as the Department of Corrections, to pay for the reactivation of fire crews composed of nonviolent inmates from 17 conservation camps throughout California. These inmates were utilized for assistance with fighting fires, emergency flood work, and environmental restoration, with seven of the camps located in northern California and five located within Assembly Member Dickerson’s district. During his time in the Assembly, Dickerson sat on more committees than any other Republican member. His committee assignments throughout his term in office included chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs, vice chair of the Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife, and member of the Committees on Natural Resources, Public Safety, Budget, Governmental Organization, Insurance, Health, and Energy Costs and Availability. In the wake of the September 11, 2001, tragedy, Dick Dickerson was appointed to the Task Force on Terrorism. Dickerson served on nine select committees, including CALFED, Juvenile Justice, Air and Water Quality, California Indian Nations, California Wine, Protection of Inland Waterways, Rural Economic Development, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Gun Violence. Dickerson authored 20 bills that were enacted during his time in the Assembly. During the 2001 legislative year, he had seven bills signed into law by Governor Gray Davis, including legislation to increase the presence of deputies and firefighters on our streets and in our communities, to enhance the protection of children from molesters, and to provide assistance for olive growers in their battle against the olive fruit fly. Legislation authored by Dickerson also established a rice industry certification system that allowed California farmers to compete globally. Also through legislation authored by Dickerson, local transportation dollars were returned to counties that incurred savings on their construction projects. Dickerson was an negotiator in the 2001 budget discussions, securing $8 million for the economic recovery in the Klamath Basin, a permanent sales tax exemption on agriculture and forestry equipment and parts, a permanent tax exemption on propane and agricultural diesel, $500,000 of ongoing funding for rural county sheriff’s departments, $70 million on tax relief for senior citizens, and $40 million in school equalization funding. The numerous awards and commendations Dickerson received throughout his tenure in the Assembly attest to his stellar record of public service, including Awards of Appreciation from the Far West Equipment Dealers Association, Klamath Water Users Association, and Rice Producers of California. After serving in the Assembly, Dickerson served on the Redding City Council from 2004 to 2012, inclusive, serving twice as mayor of the City of Redding. Dickerson passed away on September 28, 2014. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 53, Res. Chapter 134, Statutes of 2015, on August 11, 2015.
(Image source: Twitter, ANewsCafe)

Officer Jack PolenThe portion of Route 44 between SHA R27.882 at Wilson Hill Road and SHA 35.930 at Airport Way in the County of Shasta is named the "Officer Jack Polen Memorial Highway". It was named in memory of Officer Jack Polen, who was born in November 1957. Officer Polen knew he wanted to become a California Highway Patrolman at a young age. He joined the ROTC program at Enterprise High School, where he graduated in 1975, and went on to earn an A.A. degree in Criminal Justice from Shasta College and a B.A. in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento. Officer Polen graduated from the California Highway Patrol Academy in 1980, and was stationed in the areas of Redwood City, Woodland, and Redding before being assigned to the Route 44 beat in 2002. Officer Polen’s attitude, work ethic, and professionalism showed in his dedication to making Route 44 as safe as it could be. During his four years patrolling Route 44, Officer Polen drove 126,251 miles, wrote 3,436 citations, and made 125 DUI arrests, saving many lives and earning himself the nickname “The 44 Enforcer”. Officer Polen lost his battle with cancer on December 9, 2013, at the age of 56. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 135, Res. Chapter 121, Statutes of 2016 on August 16, 2016.
(Image source: Record-Searchlight)

Named Structures Named Structures

Shasta Deputy Dennis (Skip) SullivanThe Bear Creek Bridge in Shasta County, located on the portion of Route 44 between post mile R14.445 (facing westbound) and post mile R14.489 (facing eastbound), as the "Deputy Dennis "Skip" Sullivan Memorial Bridge". It was named in memory of Deputy Sheriff Dennis "Skip" Sullivan, of the Shasta County Sheriff's Office, who was killed in a traffic collision on Route 44, on October 10, 1987, while on his way to negotiate with a reportedly armed woman barricaded in a Mountain Gate home. Deputy Sullivan had been performing duties as a dedicated member of the Sheriff's Office Hostage Negotiation Team for four years. Deputy Sullivan served 11 years with the South San Francisco Police Department, where as a sergeant he supervised the operations division and the community relations and crime prevention programs. Deputy Sullivan continued to exemplify professional commitment and leadership during his assignment by designing and implementing the South San Francisco Police Department's field training program. Continuing his tradition of honorable and faithful service in law enforcement, in 1981, Deputy Sullivan joined the Shasta County Sheriff's Office. He served first as a resident deputy sheriff in the Shingletown area of Shasta County and then as a patrol deputy sheriff at the Palo Cedro substation. Deputy Sullivan, who was 41 years of age when he died, was survived by a son and two daughters. Deputy Sullivan was an avid fisherman and hunter who loved the Shasta County area and the people. Deputy Sullivan was killed when his vehicle collided with a semitruck on Route 44 east of Shingletown. As Deputy Sullivan was responding to the report of shots fired, heading west near Inwood Road, the trailer of an eastbound truck tipped over onto his small pickup. Witnesses report that Deputy Sullivan tried to avoid the trailer by moving to the extreme right of the road. The impact of the collision sheared off the top of the pickup and forced the pickup off the highway onto the north side of Route 44. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 39, Resolution Chapter 40, on June 27, 2011.
(Image source: California Police Officers Memorial Foundation)

This route also has the following Safety Roadside Rest Areas:

Scenic Route Scenic Route

[SHC 263.4] From Route 5 near Redding to Route 89 near Old Station.

Classified Landcaped Freeway Classified Landcaped Freeway

The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:

County Route Starting PM Ending PM
SHA 44 L0.37 L1.00
SHA 44 L1.61 L1.81
SHA 44 R0.00 R1.56

National Trails National Trails

trvolcanic.png This route is part of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway All American Road, between Route 36 and Route 89, and between Route 44 and Route 89.

Freeway Freeway

[SHC 253.1] Entire route (not completly constructed). Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

Exit Information Exit Information

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 44:

Interregional Route Interregional Route

[SHC 164.12] Between the east urban limits of Redding and Route 36.

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

The routing that was to become LRN 44 was first defined in 1917 by Chapter 703, which added to the state highway system "...that certain road situated in Boulder Creek township, county of Santa Cruz... Beginning at the intersection of Main and Lorenzo Streets in the town of Boulder Creek, thence running in a NW-ly direction over the present traveled road to the Sequoia schoolhouse, thence running over the road known as the Boulder Creek and state park road to the E-ly boundary of the California Redwood Park..." This was captured in the 1935 state highway codes as:

From the intersection of Main and Lorenzo Streets in Boulder Creek to [LRN 42] at Governor's Camp in the California Redwood Park, via the Sequoia Schoolhouse and Bloom's Mill.

In 1937, Chapter 841 simplified the definition to "[LRN 116] near Boulder Creek to [LRN 42] at Governor's Camp in the California Redwood Park".

This route was signed as Route 9, but is present-day Route 236 between Boulder Creek and 8 mi N of Boulder Creek.


Acronyms and Explanations:


Back Arrow Route 43 Forward Arrow Route 45

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