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State Route 49

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 49 Seg 1(a) (1) From Route 41 near Oakhurst to Route 140 at Mariposa.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    As defined in 1963, this segment was part of a larger segment running from "Route 41 near Oakhurst to Route 120 near Moccasin Creek." In 1984, Chapter 409 split this into two segments: "(a) Route 41 near Oakhurst to Route 140 at Mariposa. (b) Route 140 at Mariposa to Route 120 near Moccasin."

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    Before 1964, this was a proposed route with routing determined. It was an extension of LRN 65 defined in 1959. This was not part of the original 1934 state signage of Route 49.

    Tom Fearer, on the Gribblenation Blog, has an excellent summary of this historical routings of Route 49. His site includes a lot of maps that I won't reproduce here illustrating past routings as the specific routing of Route 49 has changed over the years.

    Status Status

    In October 2018, it was reported that the CTC approved funding for preventative repair work on the Stockton Creek Bridge (MPA 017.20, Bridge 40-0021) on Route 49.
    (Source: Sierra Sun Times, October 2018)

    Named Structures Named Structures

    William Sell BridgeBridge 40-0048, at the east fork of the Chowchilla River in Mariposa county (MPA 002.87), is named the "William M. Sell Memorial Bridge". It was built in 1972, and was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 22, Chapter 46, the same year. William Martin Sell, Jr., (1882-1971), a lifetime resident of the Sierra and hostler, served on the Madera County Board of Supervisors.
    (Image Source: Mariposa County Historical Sites Interactive Map Tour)

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.4] Entire portion.

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.4] Entire portion. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.


  2. Rte 49 Seg 2(2) From Route 140 at Mariposa to Route 120 near Moccasin.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    As defined in 1963, this segment was part of a larger segment running from "Route 41 near Oakhurst to Route 120 near Moccasin Creek." In 1984, Chapter 409 split this into two segments: "(a) Route 41 near Oakhurst to Route 140 at Mariposa. (b) Route 140 at Mariposa to Route 120 near Moccasin."

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 49 was signed along the route from Jct Route 140 at Mariposa to Jct. Route 24 (now Route 70) near Reno Jct, via Sonora, Jackson, and Nevada City. It was part of a 1933 extension of LRN 65.

    Originally when Route 49 was originally signed in 1934 the southern terminus was in Mariposa at Route 140. In 1960 there appears to have been an adopted alignment extension of LRN 65 (which Route 49 ran on) from Mariposa to Oakhurst which can be seen looking at the 1959 and 1960 State Highway Maps.
    (Source: Tom Feaerer (Max R) on AARoads, June 2017)

    Status Status

    In late May 2018, it was reported that Caltrans has opened northbound and southbound Route 49 from the Tuolumne/Mariposa County line (MPA 48.835/TUO 0.0) to Moccasin/Route 120 (~ TUO R6.427) in Tuolumne County following a long-term closure since violent storms whipped through the region on March 22, causing hillslides and heavy flooding in parts of Tuolumne and Mariposa counties. Route 49 in Tuolumne County will have periodic one-way traffic controls for culvert work through June 2018. Repair work on Route 49 in Tuolumne County is estimated at $2.5 million to $3 million. Severe damage from the storm also forced Route 49 in northern Mariposa County and Route 132 in eastern Stanislaus County to close. While the deluge undercut sections of the roadway and destroyed culverts on both sections of Route 49, it carried away a 60-foot section of Route 132. Route 132 opened Friday, May 18, while Route 49 in Mariposa County (Bear Valley Road (~ MPA 29.509) to Coulterville (~MPA 44.698)) is scheduled to open later in summer 2018.
    (Source: Sierra Sun Times, 5/24/2018)

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.4] Entire portion.

    Named Structures Named Structures

    John C. FremontBetween PM MPA 30.5 and MPA 31.0 is the "General John Fremont Historical Plaque". It was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 145, Chapter 143, in 1994. General John Fremont was born in Savannah, Georgia, on January 21, 1813. He was a teacher of mathematics, and an engineer in the U. S. Topographical Corps. He was involved in many significant explorations and events outside of California. In the mid 1840s, he was exploring the area around the Great Salt Lake. After leaving Great Salt Lake, he explored the upper tributaries of the Columbia, descended the valley of that River to Fort Vancouver, near its mouth, and on 10 November set out on his return. His route lay through an almost unknown region leading from the Lower Columbia to the Upper Colorado, and was crossed by high and rugged mountain chains. Deep snow soon forced him to descend into the great basin, and he presently found himself, in the depth of winter, in a desert, with the prospect of death to his whole party from cold and hunger. By astronomical observation he found that he was in the latitude of the bay of San Francisco; but between him and the valleys of California was a snow clad range of mountains. Fremont undertook the passage without a guide, and accomplished it in forty days, reaching Sutter's Fort, on the Sacramento, early in March with his men reduced almost to skeletons, and with only thirty-three out of sixty-seven horses and mules remaining. He continued, through various expeditions, to explore the great basin and the maritime region of Oregon and California. At one point, he was ordered to leave California by the Mexican authorities, and refused to comply. The Mexican commander, General José Castro, then mustered the forces of the province and prepared to attack the Americans, who numbered only sixty-two. Fremont took up a strong position near Monterey, built a rude fort of felled trees, hoisted the American flag, and, having plenty of ammunition, resolved to defend himself. After four days of siege, General Castro proposed a cessation of hostilities. On 9 May 1846, he met a party in search of him with dispatches from Washington, directing him to watch over the interests of the United States in California, there being reason to apprehend that the province would be transferred to Great Britain, and also that General Castro intended to destroy the American settlements on the Sacramento. In less than a month he had freed Northern California from Mexican authority. He received a lieutenant colonel's commission on 27 May, and was elected governor of California by the American settlers on 4 July. On 13 January 1847, Fremont concluded with the Mexicans articles of capitulation, which terminated the war in California and left that country permanently in the possession of the United States. After even more events, he was elected as Senator from California, and later ran for President against James Buchanan. At the time of the Civil War, he was made a Major General in command of the Western Department.
    (Source: Biography of General Fremont; Image Source: NoeHill Travels, American Battlefield Trust)

    Mormon Battalion Historical PlaqueNear Mormon Creek, there is the "Mormon Battalion Historical Plaque" (TUO 14.737), named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 40, Chapter 95, in 1995. The Morman Battalion was a battalion of 500 Mormons under command of Col. (later General) Stephen W. Kearney, Commander of the Army of the West. They were a key element in the Mexican-American War that resulted in the liberation of California from Mexican Rule. In 1846 this infantry battalion made the longest march in United States Army history, 2.400 miles, from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego, California, to assist in the military defeat of Mexico.
    (Image source: Historical Marker Database)


  3. Rte 49 Seg 3(3) From Route 120 near Chinese Camp to Route 80 near Auburn via the vicinity of Sonora; via Angels Camp, San Andreas, and Jackson; and via the vicinity of El Dorado, Diamond Springs, and Placerville.

    (b) The relinquished former portion of Route 49 within the City of Auburn is not a state highway and is not eligible for adoption under Section 81. For the relinquished former portion of Route 49, the City of Auburn shall maintain within its jurisdiction signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 49. The city may apply to the department for approval of a business route designation in accordance with Chapter 20, Topic 21, of the Highway Design Manual.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    As defined in 1963, this was a single segment running from "Route 120 to Route 20 via Sonora, Angels Camp, San Andreas, Jackson, El Dorado, Diamond Springs, Placerville, and Auburn." Before the year was out, this was split into two segments by Chapter 1698: "(b) Route 120 to Route 80 in Auburn via the vicinity of Sonora; via Angels Camp, San Andreas, and Jackson; via the vicinity of El Dorado, Diamond Springs, and Placerville. (c) Route 80 near Auburn to Route 20."

    In 1965, Chapter 1372 changed the wording further to "Route 120 near Chinese Camp to Route 80 in Auburn via the vicinity of Sonora; via Angels Camp, San Andreas, and Jackson; via the vicinity of El Dorado, Diamond Springs, and Placerville." In 1968, Chapter 282 changed the terminus to "Route 80 near Auburn".

    According to Joe Rouse, the segment of Route 49 from Moccasin to Chinese Camp was supposed to be part of a four-lane freeway/expressway facility on Route 120 from Oakdale to (he thinks) somewhere near Groveland. This would have included a replacement of New Priest Grade. Because it's built to two-lane expressway standards, the speed limit is higher. The James Robert Bridge across Lake Don Pedro was built to accommodate four lanes; as a result, the piers are wider than the structure itself with Y-shaped bent caps that now only support one set of lanes.
    (Source: Joe Rouse on AAroad, 9/10/2016)

    In 2008, Chapter 635 (AB 1915, 9/30/2008) authorized the requishment of the portion within the city limits of the city of Auburn, with the usual terms and conditions language:

    (1) The commission may relinquish to the City of Auburn the portion of Route 49 that is located within the city limits of that city, upon terms and conditions the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state, if the department and the city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment.

    (2) A relinquishment under this subdivision shall become effective immediately following the county recorder's recordation of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission's approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment.

    (3) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, the relinquished portion of Route 49 shall cease to be a state highway.

    (4) The portion of Route 49 relinquished under this subdivision shall be ineligible for future adoption under Section 81.

    (5) For the portion of Route 49 that is relinquished under this subdivision, the City of Auburn shall maintain within its jurisdiction, signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 49. The city may apply to the department for approval of a business route designation in accordance with Chapter 20, Topic 21, of the Highway Design Manual.

    The portion within Auburn was relinquished in May 2009.

    In September 2012, AB 2679, Chapter 769, updated the text to recognize that the portion had been relinquished.

    SB 788 (Chapter 525, 10/9/2013) Delted the relinquishment wording to eliminate the requirement for continuity of traffic flow:

    (b) The relinquished former portion of Route 49 within the City of Auburn is not a state highway and is not eligible for adoption under Section 81. For the relinquished former portion of Route 49, the City of Auburn shall maintain within its jurisdiction signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 49 and shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the relinquished portion of Route 49, including any traffic signal progression. The city may apply to the department for approval of a business route designation in accordance with Chapter 20, Topic 21, of the Highway Design Manual.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 49 was signed along the route from Jct Route 140 at Mariposa to Jct. Route 24 (now Route 70) near Reno Jct, via Sonora, Jackson, and Nevada City. Between Chinese Camp and Sonora, a different route is used. Picture a triangle:

    1. One leg is the new route from Route 49/Route 120 to Route 49/Route 108 near Sonora. This is signed Route 49.
    2. Another leg is former LRN 13, and runs from Route 108/Route 120 near 4 mi NW of Chinese Camp to Route 108/Route 49 near Sonora. This is signed Route 108.
    3. The third leg (LRN 40) runs from Route 120/Route 49 near Chinese Camp to Route 120/Route 108 4 mi NW of Chinese Camp). This is signed Route 120.

    Between Route 120 and Route 108 S of Jamestown, this was a new routing for Route 49 defined in 1965. Between Route 108 S of Jamestown and Route 108 near Sonora, this was LRN 13 (1910). Between Route 108 near Sonora and US 50, Route 49 was LRN 65, defined in 1933. The segment between US 50 and I-80 was defined in 1921.

    In a discussion on AARoads, Nathan Edgars (NE2), Scott Parker (Sparker) and Tom Feaerer (Max R) provide more history: Route 49 through Placerville is surprisingly steep and narrow for a route that runs to a downtown area. With all the work it must have taken to get an expressway on US 50 it seemed like it would be an obvious choice to upgrade. It appears that the alignment of Route 49 in Placeville is original as most of the infrastructure would have existed back in 1934. US 50 would have run on Main Street originally which had a brief multiplex with Route 49. The four lane expressway US 50 now takes through Placerville appears to have been complete by 1957 or 1958.
    (Source: AARoads Discussion, June 2017)

    Status Status

    Chinese Camp to Angels Camp

    There appears to be an effort to add a roundabout at Mackey Ranch Road (~ TUO 12.127), as part of a safety project with the Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians. Completion is expected in 2020.
    (Source: D10 Tweet, 7/10/2019)

    In March 2012, the CTC authorized vacation of right of way in the county of Tuolumne near Sonora along Route 49 at Poppy Hills Drive (~ TUO 23.402), consisting of highway right of way no longer needed for State highway purposes. The County of Tuolumne was given a 90-day notice of intent to vacate, without protesting such action.

    In May 2019, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project is located on Route 49 near the town of Tuttletown in Tuolumne County (10-Tuo-49, PM 25.3). The project proposes to widen the southbound side of Route 49 at post mile 25.3. The proposed project addresses the need to provide adequate pavement width to accommodate Surface Transportation Assistance Act design vehicles. The project will also address the need to reduce recurring maintenance repair work on shoulder damage caused by trucks driving off the route pavement edges. The estimated total cost of the proposed project is $2.6 million and is not currently programmed. Construction is estimated to begin in 2021.
    (Source: May 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.2c.(1))

    In August 2011, the CTC approved a locally-administered STIP project for $100,000 in Angels Camp, from Murphy’s Grade Road (~ CAL 8.376) to downtown Angels Camp, that will construct sidewalks and install landscaping.

    Angels Camp to El Dorado

    The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following Collision NEW Long Lead Mobility item of interest: 10-Calaveras-49 PM 8.5/9.1 PPNO 3434 Proj ID 1017000057 EA 1H010. Route 49 in Angels Camp, on Main Street from north of Stockton Road to north of Francis Street; also on Route 49 from 0.2 miles west and east of Main Street (PM R20.9/R21.3). Construct roundabouts, upgrade facilities to
    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, and enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Note: Presence of historic properties and cultural resources require extensive environmental consultations and clearances. A total of 41 parcels are potentially impacted. Programmed in FY24-25, with construction scheduled to start at the end of December 2025. Total project cost is $18,665K, with $12,053K being capital (const and right of way) and $6,612K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.). Only the PA&ED (Planning and Environmental) costs of $1,727K are authorized.
    (Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

    In July 2006, the CTC considered Resolution No. R-3637, relinquishment of right of way near PM CAL 18.6, in the County of Calaveras, at 0.1 mile northerly of Angels Road, consisting of superseded highway right of way.

    In November 2005, the CTC considered relinquishment of right of way in the City of Sutter Creek, at the entrance to the Sutter Terrace Mobile Home Park (~ AMA 4.542), consisting of reconstructed and relocated city streets.

    Amador/Sutter Creek Bypass

    The Amador/Sutter Creek bypass of Route 49 is planned to follow a new, straighter alignment from the Route 104/49 junction in Sutter Hill (~ AMA 6.95) north to Drytown (~ AMA 13.485).

    Between 2002 and 2006, a bypass was constructed of the cities of Sutter Creek and Amador City (~ AMA R7.306 to AMA R10.762). The EIR came back with a negative declaration in May 2002 (CTC May 2002 2.2c.(1)). The bypass was a two-lane expressway that opened in mid-November 2006.

    In March 2006, the CTC considered relinquishment of right of way in the city of Amador City, consisting of superseded highway right of way. The City of Amador City, by relinquishment agreement dated March 20, 2003, and by amendment to agreement dated December 29, 2006, waived the 90-day notice requirement and agreed to accept title upon relinquishment by the State. The CTC also considered relinquishment of right of way in the city of Sutter Creek, consisting of superseded highway right of way and reconstructed city street. The City of Sutter Creek, by controlled access highway agreement dated March 17, 2003, agreed to accept title upon relinquishment by the State. The City by relinquishment agreement dated March 17, 2003, and by amendment to agreement dated December 29, 2006, waived the 90-day notice requirement and agreed to accept title upon relinquishment by the State.

    In December 2007, five segments of right of way in the county of Amador, between PM 9.0 and 11.7, consisting of superseded highway right of way and relocated and reconstructed county roads, were up for relinquishment.

    In August 2014, the CTC authorized vacation of right of way in the county of Amador along Route 49 near its junction with Main Street (this is N of Sutter Creek but S of Amador City), consisting of superseded highway right of way no longer needed for State highway purposes. The County was given a 90-day notice of intent to vacate and did not protest such action (10-Ama-49-PM R10.8).

    Plymouth: Shenandoah Road Interchange (~ AMA 17.226)

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

    • High Priority Project #3321: Improvement of Main Street - Shenandoah Road/Route 49 Intersection, Plymouth. $800,000.

    In July 2017, it was reported that Caltrans is partnering with Plymouth and the Amador County Transportation Commission to convert an intersection with four stop signs into a user-friendly roundabout. The project broke ground Friday, July 14, at the site where Route 49 connects with Shenandoah Road and Main Street. The Route 49 Plymouth Roundabout is expected to have a total project cost of $6 million and be finished in the spring of 2018. George Reed Construction of Modesto is performing the work. Rather than all four vehicles being forced to come to a complete stop, idling their engines and contributing to noise and air pollution, motorists will glide through the roundabout with minimal delay. It will also benefit farm equipment turning east onto Shenandoah Road, and commercial trucks turning west onto Main Street or passing through on the way to Jackson or Placerville. This Route 49 intersection also will be upgraded to the standards of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, providing easier access for large trucks and tractors bringing in supplies and hauling out wine grapes, produce and livestock.
    (Source: Caltrans District 10 Facebook page, 7/14/2017)

    Curve near NashvilleIn March 2012, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that will improve safety by replacing a compound curve with a single radius curve, widening the lanes and shoulders, and removing trees to improve sight distance along Route 49 (~ ED 3.868). The project is programmed in the 2010 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP). The total estimated project cost is $2,601,000 for capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2012-13. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2010 SHOPP.

    [Route 49 near El Dorado]In February 2009, the CTC approved a project to realign, widen and add shoulders on Route 49 near El Dorado (03-ED-49, PM 6.6/8.2). Depending on the availability of funding, it is estimated that the Department will begin construction in Fiscal Year 2008-09.

    Patterson SignalizationIn April 2012, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that is located in the community of Diamond Springs in El Dorado County. The project will signalize and improve the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road (Route 49) and Patterson Drive (~ ED 10.704). Proposed improvements include widening the approaches to the intersection; addition of turn pockets; installation of traffic signals; installation of curbs, gutters, and sidewalks; grading and paving; drainage improvements; and minor landscaping. The project is estimated to cost $4.05 million and is programmed with State ($1,600,000) funds and Local ($2,450,000) funds. Construction is estimated to begin in fiscal year 2013/14.

    In December 2007, the CTC considered relinquishment of right of way in the townsite of Diamond Springs, county of El Dorado, from approximately 213 feet west of the existing intersection of Route 49 and Pleasant Valley Road to 525 feet north of the existing intersection of Route 49 and Pleasant Valley Road and 256 feet east of the existing intersection of Route 49 and Pleasant Valley Road, consisting of superseded highway right of way (~ ED 11.871).

    In May 2016, the CTC authorized $1,000,000 for a project in El Dorado County, on Route 49 from north of the intersection of Route 49 and Fowler Lane (~ ED 11.862) to Bradley Dr. (~ ED 12.364). Outcome/Output: Improve traffic safety and operations by realigning Route 49.

    El Dorado to Auburn

    A new Route 49 alignment is planned between Placerville and Coloma (~ ED 14.832 to ED 23.112) directly paralelling Cold Springs Road.

    South Fork American River Bridge (~ ED 023.99)

    In May 2015, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project in El Dorado County that will replace the South Fork American Bridge on Route 49 near the towns of Coloma and Lotus. The project is programmed in the 2014 State Highway Operation and Protection Program. The estimated cost is $20,817,000 for capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2015-16. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2014 State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

    In June 2016, the CTC approved $16,593,000 for a project in El Dorado County on Route 49 near Coloma, from 0.1 mile east of Marshall Road to 0.3 mile east of Lotus Road. Outcome/Output: Provide seismic standards and structural integrity by replacing South Fork American River Bridge No. 25-0021 on new alignment, constructing retaining walls, installing drainage systems, and relocating utilities

    Although not directly on Route 49, there are plans to retrofit and upgrade the Foresthill Bridge (~ PLA 0.044). The bridge was constructed in 1973 for $13 million as a proposed rerouting of Route 49 to avoid low-lying areas that would be flooded when the Auburn Dam was completed. The dam, however, was cancelled and the connection to Route 49 was never constructed, leaving the bridge orphaned and maintained by Placer County. In February 2010, it was reported that the bridge was up for an estimated $71 million seismic retrofitting. Potential contractors were treated to an up-close view of the bridge and briefed on the scope of work to be done, including the complex job of painting the span without letting original lead-based paint particles drop into the river below. Bids were to be advertised in April 2010, and the contract to be awarded in May 2010. Construction could start in August 2010 and last until 2012.
    (Source: Auburn Journal, February 2010)

    Lincoln Way/Borland Ave Curve Realignment (03-Pla-49, PM 1.8/2.4)

    In October 2016, the CTC amended into the SHOPP the following: 3-Pla-49 2.2/2.4 | Route 49 In Auburn, from 0.3 mile south of Lincoln Way/Borland Avenue to Lincoln Way/Borland Avenue. Realign curves. Allocation: $764K (R/W), $1.697MM (C), Support (PA & ED $732K / PS & E $1.003MM / RW Sup $306K / Con Sup $819K / Total $2.86MM). FY 19/20. The following project was also included in the final adopted 2018 SHOPP in March 2018.

    In June 2019, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project located on Route 49 in the city of Auburn in Placer County (03-Pla-49, PM 1.8/2.4). The project proposes to realign two reverse curves at the Route 49/Borland Avenue/Lincoln Way intersection. The project proposes to construct a roundabout facility and widen shoulder widths to meet the Highway Design Manual standards. The proposed project will address the need to reduce the number of collisions involving loss of control in the reversing curves and trailer off-tracking on narrow shoulders at tight radius curves. The project is currently programmed in the 2018 SHOPP for an estimated total of $8.9 million, which includes Construction (capital and support) and Right-of-Way (capital and support). Construction is estimated to begin in 2020. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2018 SHOPP.
    (Source: June 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.2c.(1))

    Lincoln Way/Borland Avenue Roundabout (03-PLA-49 2.2/2.4)

    In January 2019, the CTC amended the SHOPP as follows: 03-Pla-49 2.2/2.4 PPNO 4785 Proj ID 0316000077. Route 49 In Auburn, from 0.3 0.2 mile south of Lincoln Way/Borland Avenue to Lincoln Way/Borland Avenue. Realign curves roadway and construct roundabout. Total est. cost: $5,324,000 $8,919,000.
    (Source: January 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.1a(1) Amendment Item 6)

    In June 2019, the CTC approved the following SHOPP support phase allocation: $1,500,000 03-Placer-49 2.2/2.4 PPNO 4785 ProjID 0316000077. Route 49 In Auburn, from 0.2 mile south of Lincoln Way/Borland Avenue to Lincoln Way/Borland Avenue. Realign roadway and construct roundabout. PS&E $1,150,000 R/W Support $350,000. (Concurrent consideration of funding under Resolution E-19-50; June 2019.) (As part of this allocation request, the Department is requesting to extend the completion of the R/W Sup phase an additional 5 months beyond the 36 month deadline.)
    (Source June 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.5b.(2a) Item 13)

    In May 2009, the CTC relinquished right of way in the city of Auburn on Route 49, under terms and conditions as stated in the relinquishment agreement dated April 14, 2009, determined to be in the best interest of the State. Authorized by Chapter 635, Statutes of 2008, which amended Section 349 of the Streets and Highways Code. (~ 3-Pla-49-PM 2.52/3.0)

    Route 49 in AuburnIn February 2012, the CTC adopted a routing for Route 49 in the city of Auburn (~ PLA 3.09 to PLA 3.276). The purpose of this route adoption is to address the lack of continuity of Route 49 through the City of Auburn. On August 30, 2008, the Governor signed Assembly Bill 1915 which amended Section 349 of the Streets and Highways Code and provided the authority to relinquish a portion of Route 49 within the City of Auburn. On May 14, 2009, at the request of the City of Auburn and the California Department of Transportation (Department), the California Transportation Commission (Commission) relinquished a portion of Route 49 to the City of Auburn. The relinquished portion extended from the I-80 interchange, along south Grass Valley Highway, east on Lincoln Way and east on High Street to the intersection with Elm Avenue. This stretch of highway is the main thoroughfare through downtown Auburn and was part of a revitalization project proposed by the City called Streetscape Project for Lincoln Way and High Street. Phase 1 of this project was completed on June 28, 2010. The City also wanted control over future projects proposed for construction and to limit the amount of traffic and speed within the downtown area. The City’s General Plan identifies this route as a city street with multi-purpose mixed use. This route adoption as a conventional highway will allow Route 49 to reconnect to I-80 via Elm Avenue. The portion of Elm Avenue to be adopted is 0.3 mile long and is classified as an urban minor arterial. It is a four-lane arterial with a 12-foot median, 5-foot shoulders with curb, gutter and sidewalks on both sides of the road. Access to Elm Avenue between Tuttle Street and the westbound I-80 on ramp is controlled and the median is used as left turn lanes. East of Tuttle Street to the intersection of High Street / Route 49, the 12-foot median becomes a two-way left turn lane and there are several driveways serving local businesses. This section does not have any shoulders, but continues the curb, gutter and sidewalks from the previous section. The portion of Elm Avenue from the I-80 on ramp to the intersection with Route 49 is not included in this adoption, thus maintaining a gap in Route 49 continuity, albeit a smaller gap. Continuity can be obtained through the designation of I-80 between the Elm Avenue and the Grass Valley Highway interchanges as I-80/Route 49. Elm Avenue currently serves as the preferred truck route for truck traffic travelling along Route 49 through the City of Auburn. Trucks travelling south from Grass Valley predominately turn left on Elm Avenue to avoid downtown and then another left on High Street to get back on Route 49. Trucks travelling on I-80 predominately take the Elm Avenue off-ramp to access southbound Route 49. To access northbound Route 49 from I-80, trucks may either use Elm Avenue or Route 49 (Grass Valley Highway). For trucks travelling north from El Dorado County, the preferred truck route diverges from Route 49 once they enter the city due to a tight turning radius that exists at the corner of existing Route 49 and Elm Avenue. Currently, at this location, there are “Truck Route” signs placed by the City to direct trucks to turn left on Lincoln Way and then right on Elm Avenue. On December 12, 2011, the City of Auburn passed Resolution No. 11-123 approving the proposed Route 49 Route Adoption along Elm Avenue.

    Naming Naming

    Much of this route is named the "Gold Country Highway" or the "Golden Chain Highway". It was named for its location, because it links historic towns and points of interest in California's gold country..

    The portion of this route between Sonora and Auburn (~ TUO 17.969 to PLA 1.256) is officially named the "Mother Lode Highway", per Chapter 839 in 1921. It was named for its location. The "Mother Lode Highway", named in 1921, connects towns and points of interest in California's gold country.

    David P. GrantThe portion of Route 49 one mile before and after its intersection with Parrott's Ferry Road, in Tuolumne County (~ TUO 19.394 to TUO 21.394)is officially named the "Deputy Dave Grant Memorial Highway". This segment was named in memory of Deputy David P. Grant, a 15 year veteran of the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department with more than 26 years of law enforcement experience. During the late morning of May 31, 2004, Deputy Grant suffered fatal injuries responding to a "plane down" call near the town of Columbia. While responding to the call at a high rate of speed, Deputy Grant's vehicle swerved to avoid colliding with two other vehicles, left the roadway, and struck a tree. Deputy Grant was critically injured and transported to the Sonora Regional Medical Center where, surrounded by family and fellow deputies, he succumbed to his injuries. This was the first loss for the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department in more than 37 years. At the age of 16, David P. Grant served as an Explorer Cadet with the Sonora Police Department; and was sworn in as a Sonora police officer in 1978. Desiring to broaden his experience in a larger department, Deputy Grant accepted an appointment with the Oceanside Police Department in 1981 and served the City of Oceanside with distinction for eight years. He was sworn in as a Tuolumne County Deputy Sheriff on October 9, 1989. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 132, Resolution Chapter 105, on 8/16/2006.
    (Image Source: Officer Down Memorial Page)

    John C. BegovichThe segment from the southern city limit of the City of Jackson to the intersection of Route 88 (~ AMA 2.266 to AMA 4.013) is officially named the "John C. Begovich Memorial Highway". John Begovich was an elected public official from Amador County. He was born on January 17, 1916, in Jackson Gate, California. He graduated from Sutter Creek High School and attended Sacramento Junior College and was a champion athlete at both institutions. In 1942, he enlisted in the United States Army where he rose to the rank of second lieutenant and earned 13 decorations, including the silver star, the bronze star, and three purple hearts. In 1945, he returned to Amador County and was selected to be the county Veterans Service Officer and County Civil Defense Director. In 1955, he was appointed judge in the Amador County Judicial District while retaining his position as Veterans Service Officer. In 1960, he was elected as Senator from the 9th Senatorial District serving Amador and El Dorado Counties and worked on numerous issues important to his constituents and the state, including the bistate park system within the Tahoe Basin, highway improvements, the creation of a second department of the Superior Court for El Dorado County, and a $250,000,000 veterans bill. In 1966, he was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as one of four United States Federal Marshals in the State of California, serving in that capacity until 1970. In 1976, he was elected Supervisor of District 1, Amador County, where he made care of the elderly residents of the county one of his primary concerns. He was reelected as supervisor in 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992. He died on November 2, 1999. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 139, Chapter 120, August 30, 2000.
    (Image Source: Claritage Press Blog, 1/7/2018)

    America's Heroes - Veterans Memorial HighwayThe portion of Route 49 from Valley View Way PM AMA R7.298 to approximately PM AMA R10.560 before the Jay-D Ornsby-Adkins Bridge (bridge number 26-0043), located at post mile R10.576, in the County of Amador is named the "America’s Heroes–Veterans Memorial Highway". It was designated to appreciate, admire, and honor the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America to protect and defend our country and the freedom, rights, and privileges enjoyed by all Americans. Nearly two million veterans reside in the State of California, and the County of Amador is home to many of these brave and honorable individuals. This was an indication that the state assembly intends to make it a priority to fully support our state’s veterans in ways that commemorate their great sacrifice. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 165, Chapter 125, Statutes of 2016, on August 16, 2016.
    (Image source: Ledger Dispatch)

    Jame E. MachadoThe intersection of Route 49 and Elm Avenue in the City of Auburn (~ PLA 2.526) is named the "James E. Machado Memorial Intersection". It was named in memory of James E. Machado, a deputy sheriff with four years of service with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, who was shot and killed on July 13, 1978, with his own service weapon, in a struggle with an escaped mental patient. The altercation occurred on the shoulder of the northbound lanes of State Highway Route 49 at Elm Avenue in the City of Auburn. With the help of citizens who witnessed the shooting, the suspect was quickly located by officers of the California Highway Patrol and an officer of the Auburn Police Department. The suspect confronted the responding officers with Deputy Machado’s service weapon, and was subsequently killed when the officers fired several rounds at the suspect. Law enforcement officers from throughout the state attended Deputy Machado’s funeral, and he was posthumously awarded the Placer County Sheriff’s Purple Heart. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 114, Resolution Chapter 102, on August 7, 2014.
    (Image Source: YouTube video of Dedication; PlacerCounty Sheriff's Dept. via SacBee)

    Named Structures Named Structures

    [Stevenot Plaque]Bridge 32-0040 over the Stanislaus River in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties (~ R027.28) is named the "Archie Stevenot Bridge". It was constructed in 1976, and was named by Senate Resolution 338, Page 4758, in 1988. Archie Stevenot (d. 1968), miner, cowboy, rancher, postmaster, and ox team swamper, helped found the California State Chamber of Commerce and was officially named "Mr. Mother Lode" by the California legislature. He was also the founder of the "Mother Lode Association" in 1919, which was the first highway association and promoted the assignment of the number "49" to Route 49.

    Jan D Ornsby-AdkinsThe Route 49 Amador Creek Bridge, Bridge No. 26-0043 (AMA R010.56), is named the "Jay-D Ornsby-Adkins Bridge." This bridge was named in memory of Jay-D Ornsby-Adkins, born on December 9, 1985, in Middle Swan, Western Australia. He attended Ione Elementary School in Ione, Amador County, and graduated from Independence High School in Sutter Creek, Amador County, in 2005. He pursued a career in the United States Army and graduated from basic training on December 8, 2006, at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. He was assigned to the Delta Company 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he continued to train, advance his skills, and prepare for combat, and earned the expert badge for grenade, rifle sharpshooter, and pistol marksman. On March 9, 2007, Jay-D Ornsby-Adkins was deployed to Iraq as a member of the Delta Company 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment; and on April 28, 2007, while on patrol, Private First Class Ornsby-Adkins and three other members of his unit died in combat. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 84, Resolution Chapter 86, on 7/10/2008.

    Bridge 26-0017, PM AMA 012.14, commonly known as the "Rancheria Creek Bridge", was officially named the "Amador County Veterans Memorial Bridge". Named by Senate Concurrant Resolution 43, Chapter 106, in 1997.

    This route also had the following Safety Roadside Rest Areas:

    • Carson Hill, in Calaveras County, 4 mi S of Angels Camp (~ CAL 3.712), which is no longer in the state inventory of safety roadside rest areas.

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.4] Entire portion.

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.4] From Route 108 south of Jamestown to Route 108 near Sonora; and from Route 88 near Jackson to Route 50 near Placerville. These segments were added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

    Alternate Routes Alternate Routes

    The following cities within this segment sign the route to make distinction between "Historic" Route 49 and "Bypass" Route 49:

    • San Andreas (~ CAL 19.379)
    • Mokelumne Hill (~ CAL 27.773) [although the "historic" routes points to the business district, which wasn't historically part of the route]

    The following communities do not have historic or bypass signage, but do have streets named "Old Highway 49" (or something similar):

    • Sutter Creek
    • Amador City

  4. Rte 49 Seg 4(4) From Route 80 near Auburn to Route 20 in Grass Valley.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    As defined in 1963, this was a single segment running from "Route 120 to Route 20 via Sonora, Angels Camp, San Andreas, Jackson, El Dorado, Diamond Springs, Placerville, and Auburn." Before the year was out, this was split into two segments by Chapter 1698: "(b) Route 120 to Route 80 in Auburn via the vicinity of Sonora; via Angels Camp, San Andreas, and Jackson; via the vicinity of El Dorado, Diamond Springs, and Placerville. (c) Route 80 near Auburn to Route 20."

    In 1984, Chapter 409 changed the wording of the terminus to "Route 80 near Auburn to Route 20 in Grass Valley."

    The very high Foresthill Bridge for Foresthill Road over the American River was built in the 1970s as part of construction for the abandoned Auburn Dam project; the bridge was built in the case that Old Foresthill Road and Route 49 would be flooded out by the then-forthcoming Auburn Reservoir (which never came to fruition). According to Travis Mason-Bushman, after the construction of the dam, Route 49 would've been placed on the bridge, but as construction halted in 1976, this never materalized (although some officials in Auburn still hope for the dam to be built). Currently, this bridge (located about a half mile from Route 49 on Foresthill Road) is the third-highest in the United States.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 49 was signed along the route from Jct Route 140 at Mariposa to Jct. Route 24 (now Route 70) near Reno Jct, via Sonora, Jackson, and Nevada City. It was LRN 17, and was defined in 1909.

    In a discussion on AARoads, Nathan Edgars (NE2), Scott Parker (Sparker) and Tom Feaerer (Max R) provide more history: The Foresthill Bridge (which is accessible for free so long as you tell the people at the ranger station all you want is a picture or two) was constructed from 1971 to 1973 and was intended to be a realignment of Route 49 for the Auburn Dam Project. The Auburn Dam Project was stopped in 1975 after an earthquake due to the design of the dam being deemed insufficient to withstand a similar magnitude with the concrete gravity arch design. The Auburn Dam was supposed to the tallest dam in the United States and would have flooded the confluence of the North Fork and Middle Fork American River where Route 49 traverses. The original alignments of Route 49 through Grass Valley and Nevada City would have probably been: Auburn Street, Main Street, Nevada City Highway, Sacramento Street, and Broad Street. With Grass Valley,Route 20 would have come in to meet Route 49 via the Rough and Ready Highway at the intersection of Main Street and Auburn Street. Route 20 would have multiplexed Route 49 all the way to Nevada City where it continued over Sacramento Street onto Nevada Street. LRN 25 would have met Route 20 and Route 49 in Grass Valley at Bennett Street, which would have become Route 174 during the 1964 renumbering. The modern freeway alignment of Route 20/Route 49 can be seen in development from 1966 to 1969 State Highway Maps. Route 20 seems to have been realigned off the Rough and Ready Highway to the south to meet Route 49 at Empire Street sometime between 1982 and 1986.
    (Source: AARoads Discussion, June 2017)

    Status Status

    In December 2014, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the city of Auburn along Route 49 at Fulweiler Avenue (~ PLA 3.469), Palm Avenue (~ PLA 3.782), and Persimmon Drive (~ PLA 3.927), consisting of collateral facilities. The City, by cooperative agreement dated April 26, 2004 and by letter signed June 26, 2013, agreed to waive the 90-day notice requirement and accept title upon relinquishment by the State. The County, by cooperative agreement dated June 8, 2004 and by letter signed September 19, 2013, agreed to waive the 90-day notice requirement and accept title upon relinquishment by the State.

    Highway 49 Rehabilitation Project (~ PLA 3.26 to PLA 7.426)

    Rte 49 Auburn Gap ClosureIn February 2019, it was reported that the Highway 49 Gap Closure Project will close the gaps between sidewalks in the approximately 4.4-mile Route 49 corridor between I-80 and Dry Creek Road (~ PLA 3.26 to PLA 7.426), creating a continuous sidewalk on at least one side of the highway. This project is just one of several on-going efforts to improve Route 49 by constructing sidewalks, bike lanes, and operational improvements. In spring of 2017, Caltrans was scheduled to repair sections of Route 49 within the greater Auburn area. During the planning process, Caltrans acquired additional funding to add bike lanes in both directions and sidewalks in certain segments, creating what’s known today as the “Highway 49 Rehabilitation Project.” While the additional money expanded the scope of improvements to Route 49, sidewalk gaps would still remain in the corridor, even after the Route 49 Rehabilitation . In 2018, Placer County constructed approximately one-half mile of sidewalks on Route 49 in front of the Bel Air Shopping Center between New Airport Road and just north of Willow Creek Drive. At the request of the City of Auburn and Placer County, PCTPA agreed to lead a multi-agency effort to determine where and how to fill in the remaining sidewalk gaps. The Route 49 Sidewalk Gap Closure project creates a “shelf ready” project by completing the required environmental and design work. This project was originally incorporated into the Placer County Measure M transportation sales tax measure that failed back in November 2016. The Measure M sales tax measure would have constructed sidewalks, incorporated traffic signal synchronization, landscaping, and operational improvements throughout the corridor. Without the passage of Measure M, PCTPA looked to other funding opportunities such as the extremely competitive Statewide Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant to deliver a scaled down version of the original project. At the California Transportation Commission’s (CTC) January 26, 2019 meeting, the CTC approved a $14.4 million dollar grant to construct approximately 2.8 miles of sidewalk. The grant also included funding to develop and implement a Safe Routes to School program at six area school in partnership with the Placer County Department of Public Health. The schools in the corridor include Rock Creek Elementary, Auburn Elementary, E.V. Cain Middle School, Maidu High Independent Study, Confluence High School and Placer High School.
    (Source: Hwy 49 Gap Closure Project Page)

    In June 2019, it was reported that Caltrans will begin construction in mid-June 2019 on the $40.5 million project in Auburn, with funding provided by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The project, which stretches 4.4 miles from the I-80/Route 49 interchange to Dry Creek Road, will rehabilitate existing pavement and drainage, improve operational features and upgrade pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Class II bicycle lanes will be installed northbound and southbound on Route 49 between Elm Avenue and Dry Creek Road, with bike timing loops at each signal to assist bicyclists traveling the four-mile stretch. The project has been awarded to Flatiron West, Inc. In addition to improving the highway’s durability and ride quality with 21 lane miles of a Hot-Mix Asphalt (HMA) overlay, construction crews will install new traffic signals at Locksley Lane and Shale Ridge Road. Highway shoulders and pedestrian facilities will also be upgraded to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Construction is anticipated to be completed in summer 2020.
    (Source: YubaNet.Com, 6/4/2019)

    In December 2014, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the county of Placer along Route 49 from Marguerite Mine Road (~ PLA 4.554) to Bell Road (~ PLA 6.382), consisting of collateral facilities.

    Auburn to Grass Valley Roundabout Plan (03-Placer-49 PM R8.7/R10.6)

    Auburn to Grass Valley Roundabout Plan (03-Placer-49 PM R8.7/R10.6)In August 2017, it was reported that Caltrans had presented a concept — emphasis on the concept part — called the Highway 49 roundabout plan. That concept envisions a center barrier from North Auburn (~ PLA 4.676) to Grass Valley (~ NEV R14.318). It would feature roundabouts, placed every 1¼ to 1½ miles, enabling drivers to leave the highway or change direction on the road. Traffic lights wouldn't exist. The roundabouts would take their place. Left-hand turns from a driveway onto the highway could no longer occur. Instead motorists would turn right and follow the road to the nearest roundabout, where they could turn around. The concept permits creation of a center median that many people want. There is no price tag on this idea, nor has there been any engineering work.
    (Source: The Union, 8/15/2017)

    In October 2017, the roundabout notion reappeared, when Caltrans presented initial design graphics and a more in-depth look at the proposed plan. Roundabouts on Route 49 would allow drivers prevented from turning left by the proposed concrete median barrier to reverse course "in an efficient and safe manner as well as address a frequently voiced community concern — speeding motorists," the department said in a news release. Ten safety improvement projects on Route 49 are planned by Caltrans over the next six years, Whitmore said, in addition to increased funding for California Highway Patrol enforcement of traffic laws. Those projects include installing flashing beacons at Alta Sierra Drive (~ NEV 9.213), upgrading intersection lighting at Brewer Road, installing radar speed feedback signs at various locations, and widening shoulders in some areas, among others.
    (Source: The Union, 10/5/2017)

    In August 2019, the CTC amended the following project into the 2018 SHOPP: 03-Pla-49 R8.7/R10.6. PPNO 4787. Proj ID 0319000004. EA 4H600. Route 49 Near Auburn, from 0.3 mile south of Lorenson Road/Florence Lane to 0.3 mile north of Lone Star Road. Construct concrete median barrier and two roundabouts. Total Cost: $26,340K. Begin Const 9/5/2022.
    (Source: August 2019 CTC Agenda/Minutes, Agenda Item 2.1a.(1) Item 47)

    In August 2019, the CTC approved the following allocation: 03-Pla-49 R8.7/R10.6. PPNO 4787 Proj ID 0319000004 EA 4H600. Route 49 Near Auburn, from 0.3 mile south of Lorenson Road/Florence Lane to 0.3 mile north of Lone Star Road. Construct concrete median barrier and two roundabouts. (Concurrent amendment under SHOPP Amendment 18H-011.) PA&ED $1,500,000.
    (Source: August 2019 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5b.(2a) #11)

    The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following Collision Reduction item of interest (carried over from the 2018 SHOPP): 03-Placer-49 PM R8.7/R10.6 PPNO 4787 Proj ID 0319000004 EA 4H600. Route 49 near Auburn, from 0.3 mile south of Lorenson Road/Florence Lane to 0.3 mile north of Lone Star Road. Construct concrete median barrier and two roundabouts. Programmed in FY21-22, with construction scheduled to start in September 2022. Total project cost is $26,340K, with $20,500K being capital (const and right of way) and $5,840K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.).
    (Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

    In May 2019, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the county of Nevada (County) along Route 49 at Woodridge Drive (03-Nev-49-PM 1.9, 1 segment), consisting of a collateral facility. The County by letter signed March 28, 2019, agreed to waive the 90-day notice requirement and accept title upon relinquishment by the State.
    (Source: May 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.3c)

    There are also plans to build a controlled access highway route; a segment from NEV PM 6.9 to PM R11.0 has been adopted.

    In October 2019, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the county of Nevada (County) along Route 49 on Dalewood Way, Braemer Way, Allison Ranch Road, La Barr Meadows Road and Golden Star Road, consisting of collateral facilities (03-Nev-49-PM 9.9/11.0) The County by relinquishment agreement dated March 12, 2009, agreed to accept the relinquishment and by resolution dated May 14, 2019, agreed to waive the 90-day notice requirement and accept title upon relinquishment by the State.
    (Source: October 2019 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.3c)

    La Barr Meadows Widening (NEV 11.11/3.3)

    La Barr MeadowsIn 2007, the CTC recommended funding $18.568M from the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA) for the La Barr Meadows widening. In January 2008, the CTC approved the mitigated negative declaration. This project in Nevada County will make roadway improvements that include widening from two lanes to four lanes and construction of a new interchange along a portion of Route 49 near Grass Valley. The project is fully funded in the 2006 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The total estimated project cost, capital and support, is $40,500,000. The project is funded from $10,966,000 Regional Improvement Program, $10,966,000 Interregional Improvement Program, and $18,568,000 Corridor Mobility Improvement Account. It is estimated that construction will begin in Fiscal Year 2008-09. The project will involve construction activities in an area that is habitat to federally protected migratory birds. The project will also involve acquisition of new right-of-way and residential relocations.

    In March 2009, the CTC adjusted the funding on this due to increased cost. Delays in acquisition of some of the right of way parcels have led to delays in the delivery of design. Some of this was due to problems with ROW acquisition. Another problem was that the need to relinquish four new frontage roads to the County was not originally anticipated, requiring added effort in processing relinquishment activities, including a cooperative agreement, relinquishment agreement, and field surveys. These changes updated the End Design date to April 1, 2009 and the Begin Construction date to July 15, 2009.

    In mid-May 2011, ground was broken on this project, which was now a $29 million project. The project will widen a 1.5-mile stretch to four lanes between Little Valley Road, just north of Alta Sierra, and Cornette Drive, south of Grass Valley. The project also includes the construction of frontage roads, right-turn projects, wider shoulders and the installation of traffic signal at La Barr Meadows Road intersection with the highway. Soundwalls will be constructed at three locations. The project is planned for completion in the fall of 2012.

    In March 2013, the CTC adjusted the funding again, allocating an additional $840,000 in State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funds. The increase is due to a new Construction General Permit (CGP) for storm water discharges, drainage system modifications, increased traffic handling and a low asphalt price index at time of contract award plus a few miscellaneous issues.

    In August 2015, it was reported that Caltrans is studying the feasability of a project to widen Route 49 to a four-lane highway, with 10-foot shoulder upgrades, from Nevada County’s section of the highway from miles 11.1 to mile 13.3. The project does not have a definitive time line for completion, but the transportation department has secured $6 million in funds for the feasibility and design plan. Caltrans will seek the additional funds for construction of the project once the design has been vetted and developed.
    (Source: The Union, 8/4/2015)

    The 2018 STIP, approved at the CTC March 2018 meeting, does not appear to allocate anything for this in the 2018 STIP, but does appear to show $6M allocated: $3M in prior years, and $3M in FY19-20 for Env. and Planning and PS&E.

    In March 2020, the CTC approved the 2020 STIP which adjusted the programmed funding for PPNO 4117 "La Barr - McKnight widening" from $6,000K to $6,900K.
    (Source: March 2020 CTC Agenda, Item 4.7, 2020 STIP Adopted 3/25/2020)

    Route 49 is a currently signed freeway from approximately 1 mile south of the Route 49/Route 20 interchange near Grass Valley, and runs for a length of 5 miles until reaching the Route 49/Route 20 interchange north of Nevada City (~ NEV R14.318 to NEV 15.15). This section of freeway was built in the late 60's. There are currently studies under to plan upgrading Route 49 to 4 lanes between Auburn and Grass Valley.

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.4] Entire portion.

    Naming Naming

    Much of this route is named the "Gold Country" Highway.

    Hansen BrothersThe Route 20/Route 49 NE-bound frontage road in Grass Valley from its intersection with South Auburn Street to its intersection with Bennett Street (~020 NEV R12.856 to 020 NEV R13.12) is named "Hansen Way." This segment was named in honor of the Hansen family of Grass Valley, for their contributions to the community and for their building supply company, Hansen Brothers, that was established in 1953. The Hansen family historically has been very civic minded and has contributed community service and philanthropic gifts to the community. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 10, Resolution Chapter 104, on 9/6/2005.
    (Image source: Grass Valley Downtown Assn)

    Chinatown Historical Plaque mentioning the Tinloy family The Route 20/Route 49 SW-bound frontage road in Grass Valley from the intersection with South Auburn Street to Bennett Street (~020 NEV R12.856 to 020 NEV R13.12) is officially named "Tinloy Street." This segment was named in honor of the Tinloy family of Grass Valley. The Tinloy family has Chinese roots and its presence in Grass Valley dates back to the 19th century. John Tinloy was born to Kan Tinloy who immigrated to Nevada County from the Canton Province in China during the Gold Rush in the 1880's and owned and operated a store offering Chinese traditional food and artifacts, and this store evolved into a social place, bank, and an employment bureau. He married Alice Chen Shee, and together they raised one daughter and three sons, and the family opened and operated a fine women's apparel store and a grocery store in Grass Valley. The Tinloy family was active in the Methodist Church in Grass Valley. The Tinloy family, stemming from the community activism of John Tinloy, has historically been very civic minded and contributed community service and philanthropic gifts to the community. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 11, Resolution Chapter 121, on 9/14/2005.
    (Image credit: Historical Marker Database)

    Named Structures Named Structures

    Lt Col Bruce Allen JensenBridge 17-0049 on Route 20, at the Route 20/Route 49 separation and Empire Street (020 NEV R012.24), is named the "Bruce Allen Jensen, Lt. Col., USAF, Bridge". It was built in 1969, and was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 43, Chapter 220, in 1971. Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Allan Jensen was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Air Force, LTC Jensen served our country until August 27th, 1967 in Laos. He was 38 years old and was married. Bruce died when his plane crashed into the land.
    (Image Source: Virtual Vietnam Veterans Wall of Faces)

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.4] Entire portion. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.


  5. Rte 49 Seg 5(5) From Route 20 at Nevada City to Route 89 near Sattley via Downieville.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is as defined in 1963.

    The route between Route 20 near Grass Valley and Route 20 near Nevada City is signed as Route 49, although it is legislatively Route 20.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 49 was signed along the route from Jct Route 140 at Mariposa to Jct. Route 24 (now Route 70) near Reno Jct, via Sonora, Jackson, and Nevada City. It was LRN 25. The portion from Route 20 to Downieville was defined in 1909; the portion from Downieville to Route 89 was defined in 1933.

    In a discussion on AARoads, Nathan Edgars (NE2), Scott Parker (Sparker) and Tom Feaerer (Max R) provide more history: With respect to Route 49 from Sierra City north to Route 70, it would seem that much like Route 180, Route 49 was actually signed on roadways in Sierra County that were not under state maintenance (at least in 1938). The alignment doesn't appear to be very different than modern Route 49. The 1935 Sierra and Pulmas County Maps shows that the alignment between Sierraville and modern Route 70 was county maintained at the time.By 1940,Route 49 is not shown as existing between Sierraville and modern Route 70. The map is not detailed enough to tell if Route 49 still ended in Sierraville or was cut back to Yuba Pass at Route 89. By 1954 an implied new alignment of LRN 233 appears on the State Highway Map running from Sierraville to modern Route 70. The implied aligmment is much straighter than the existing roads or how Route 49 turned out to be. By 1958 the new alignment appears to have been abandoned and the State Highway Map shows that Route 49 is officially state maintained on the previous county roads it occupied.
    (Source: AARoads Discussion, June 2017)

    Status Status

    The route between Sattley and Sierraville is signed as Route 49, although it is legislatively Route 89. This results in signs for 49 North and 89 South ... and the reverse of this going the other way.

    In August 2011, the CTC approved $18,800,000 in SHOPP funding for repairs in and near Downieville, from 0.3 mile south of Downie River Bridge to 0.2 mile north of Yuba Pass camp ground (~ SIE 16.301 to SIE 40.918) that will rehabilitate 25.2 lane miles of roadway to improve the ride quality, prevent further deterioration of the road surface, minimize the costly roadway repairs and extend the pavement service life.

    Downieville Side Hill Viaduct (~ SIE 16.823)

    In June 2019, the CTC approved the following SHOPP scope amendment: 03-Sie-49 Var PPNO 7809 ProjID 0318000176. Route 49 Near Downieville (~ SIE 16.823), at various locations. Permanent embankment restoration by reconstructing the existing lane adjacent to river as a side hill viaduct placing Rock Slope Protection (RSP). Project scope and description have changed to simplify project construction and traveler impacts. A side hill viaduct will now be constructed instead of placing 8-ton rock slope protection, which would have required the use of a large crane resulting in roadway closure and detour of 42 days. Due to the change in scope, the construction support has increased and R/W capital has decreased. Updated total cost: $15,625K.
    (Source: June 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.1a.(1) Scope Item 35)

    In June 2019, the CTC approved the following support phase allocation: $1,189,000 03-Sierra-49 Var PPNO 7809 ProjID 0318000176 Route 49 Near Downieville, at various locations. Permanent embankment restoration by reconstructing the existing lane adjacent to river as a side hill viaduct. PS&E $1,099,000 R/W Support $90,000. (Concurrent amendment under SHOPP Amendment 18H-010.)
    (Source June 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.5b.(2a) Item 16)

    In May 2020, the CTC was informed of the following SHOPP Safety Allocation that was made in March 2020: $2,576,000 03-Sie-49 44.1/44.4. PPNO 03-7807 ProjID 0317000341 EA 3H400. Route 49 near Sierraville, from 2.9 miles to 3.2 miles north of Yuba Pass Campground. Outcome/Output: Improve safety by realigning roadway, correcting cross slope, and widening shoulders. This project will reduce the number and severity of collisions. Allocation Date: 03/23/20.
    (Source: May 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5f.(3) #5)

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.4] Entire portion.

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.4] Entire portion. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.


  6. Rte 49 Seg 6(6) From Route 89 near Sierraville to Route 70 near Vinton via Loyalton.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is as defined in 1963.

    The route between Satley and Sierraville is signed as Route 49, although it is legislatively Route 89.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 49 was signed along the route from Jct Route 140 at Mariposa to Jct. Route 24 (now Route 70) near Reno Jct, via Sonora, Jackson, and Nevada City. Route 70 was Alternate US 40 before 1964, and at one point was signed as Route 24.

    In a discussion on AARoads, Nathan Edgars (NE2), Scott Parker (Sparker) and Tom Feaerer (Max R) provide more history: With respect to the segment from Route 89 to former LRN 36/Route 194, Yuba Pass is probably one of the easier passes of the Sierras in the current state highway system. The pass was only showing 5% grades, and is only 6,709 feet which is on the lower side of the mountain passes. LRN 36 was part of the original state highway system and terminated at Saddleback Mountain. Apparently LRN 36 was meant to service the mining district north of Downieville which is odd considering the town had long since declined well before the 1930s. LRN 36 was briefly renumbered to CA 194 in 1964 before being deleted from the state highway system which is first reflected on the 1966 state highway map. Route 194 was deleted in 1965 along with several other short routes and urban connectors, including the original Route 215 along Garey Ave. in Pomona. Ironically, when I-15E was commissioned in 1973, Caltrans re-used the CA 194 designation as a "placeholder" for the suffixed route -- and 9 years later both designations (signed suffix and legally defined state highway) were dropped in favor of I-215. The original intended purpose of LRN 36 was to connect Downieville to Mount Pleasant on the old road between Quincy and Marysville (Port Wine Ridge Road), giving Downieville another outlet to the rest of the world. But Port Wine Ridge Road was never taken over by the state, and neither was much of LRN 36. The concept of LRN 36 intersecting a route to Quincy (originating in 1907) was laid to rest two years in 1909 later when a subsequent state bond issue authorized LRN 30, which took a more northerly route beginning in Oroville rather than Marysville. Part of that route is the easternmost portion of present Route 162, which terminates east of Lake Oroville. LRN 30 itself was short-lived; the Division of Highways opted to extend LRN 21, then simply a Richvale-Oroville connector, up the Feather River canyon via what was mostly the then-WP service road, as LRN 30 featured severe grades and treacherous canyon-side perches, whereas the Feather River alignment more or less mimicked the rail line's relatively benign 1% gradient. LRN 30 was deleted by the 1930's and its alignment east of Quincy subsumed by an extended LRN 21; the entire route east of Oroville was signed as Route 24 and redesignated as Alternate US 40 in 1954-55 after a couple of severe winters caused long closures of US 40 over Donner Pass. Another factor in why LRN 36 really never was fully completely was the plunge in population in Sierra County in the 20th Century. Sierra County would have had about 4,000 residents between 1900 to 1910 and only somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,500 by the time the Signed State Highway era began in the 1930s. Given the population barely moved from that point through the rest of the 20th century really would have put LRN 36 low on the totem pull considering the diminishing stature of Sierra County after the mining heyday was long over. Really though, Yuba Pass and Route 89 turned out to be a very viable route to get to Quincy from Downieville not to mention that now there is also the Gold Lake Highway which cuts out some mileage northbound. According to rail historians, much of the labor force that built the WP line up the Feather River and across northern Nevada was composed of former miners laid off from played-out diggings in the northern Sierra; their experience with often dangerous underground situations paid off when the line had to tunnel through obstacles. One particular problem was the long (a bit over a mile) Spring Garden tunnel, which bored beneath a ridge separating two branches of the upper Feather River between Quincy and Blairsden. Since tunnel construction, even in the early 1900's, was still a labor-intensive (dig, blast, clear, repeat) process, problems that may have vexed the line's engineers were "old hat" to many of these former miners -- the Spring Garden dig encountered several underground streams that had to be either diverted or channeled -- usually the latter, where the tunnel was made wide enough to accommodate "gutters" on each side of slightly raised track bed to deal with the runoff (a common practice in Sierra gold mines and adapted for this purpose). That tunnel is still in service today -- significantly enlarged to handle double-stack container traffic that won't fit under Donner snowsheds -- but still experiences occasional water issues during very rainy seasons. LRN 36 remained in the state system until the widespread deletions of 1965, although its purpose had essentially evaporated over the previous half-century. LRN 36 was always a bit of an "outlier" in the network; but for a long time there were recurring local rumblings about the need for a direct route north to Quincy and the upper Feather River area independent of a ridge-bound E-W facility; these kept the concept on "life support" -- but after decades of inaction, the Division of Highways finally decided to pull the plug and delete the successor Route 194.
    (Source: AARoads Discussion, June 2017)

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.4] Entire portion. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

    Interregional Route Interregional Route

    [SHC 164.12] Between Route 41 and Route 89.


Classified Landcaped Freeway Classified Landcaped Freeway

The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:

County Route Starting PM Ending PM
Nevada 49 R13.26 R13.45
Nevada 49 R13.54 R14.47

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

Route 49 was signed as part of the initial state signage of routes in 1934.

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 49:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

The route that would become LRN 49 was first defined in the 1919 Third Bond Act as running from Calistoga to Lower Lake. It was extended in 1933 from [LRN 8] near Napa to [LRN 49] near Calistoga. It was codified in the 1935 state highway code as:

"[LRN 8] near Napa to [LRN 15] via Calistoga and Lower Lake"

It remained unchanged until the 1963 renumbering. This was signed as Route 29 in two segments:

  1. Between Calistoga and Middletown, it was signed as Route 29, and is present-day Route 29.
  2. Between Calistoga and Middletown, it was signed as Route 53. It is present-day Route 29.

Acronyms and Explanations:


Back Arrow Route 48 Forward Arrow Route 50

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