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State Route 89

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Routing Routing

  1. Rte 89 Seg 1Route 395 near Coleville to Route 88 via the vicinity of Markleeville.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1963, this segment was defined as "(a) Route 395 near Coleville to Route 50 near Meyers via the vicinity of Markleeville."

    In 1986, Chapter 928 split (a) into two parts: "(a) Route 395 near Coleville to Route 88 via the vicinity of Markleeville. (b) Route 88 near Picketts Junction to Route 50 near Meyers." The portion between the two segments was transferred to Route 88.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    This segment was initially created in 1926, but was not not signed as part of Route 89. In fact, the 1926 funded extension from Mono County to near Markeeville does not show as constructed on the state highway map until 1953, and doesn't show as signed as Route 89 until 1957. So, until 1953 (and possibly until 1957), the segment between Markleeville and Woodfords was signed as Route 4, and from 1953 (or 1957) on, it was cosigned as Route 4/Route 89. The Route 4 cosigning was dropped in 1964. Between Markleeville and Woodfords, the segment was constructed, but doesn't appear to have been signed as Route 89. Note that LRN 23 N of US 395 did cover all of what became Route 89, running from Jct. US 395 (one time Route 7) near Coleville to Jct. US 50 near Myers. The portion between US 395 and Markleeville was defined in 1926; the remainder was defined in 1911. In 1963, any co-signage with Route 4 was dropped.

    Naming Naming

    Robert M. Jackson Memorial HighwayThe segment from the Alpine/Mono County line (ALP 0.0) to the junction of Route 89 and Route 4 (~ALP 9.969) is named the "Robert M. Jackson Memorial Highway". This segment was named in memory of Robert M. Jackson, who was born in Sacramento, California on September 21, 1912. His family moved to Markleeville in Alpine County when he was two weeks old and remained there until 1924 when they moved to Los Angeles County. Robert M. Jackson returned every summer to Alpine county to work at the historic Alpine Hotel. In 1942 Robert M. Jackson enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. He was stationed in Texas, Brazil, and finally in the Ascension Islands. After being discharged in 1945, he returned to Markleeville where he built the home he lived in for the rest of his life. In October 1946, Robert M. Jackson began work with the Alpine County Public Works Department, where he spent more than 30 years surveying, engineering, constructing, and realigning many of the county and state highway routes of today. Robert M. Jackson's most significant accomplishment was the completion of Route 89 over Monitor Pass in the early 1950's. This 18-mile span traverses both Alpine and Mono counties, and is a mountainous road reaching elevations in excess of 8500 feet. The original road grade was crooked and steep, as much as 17% in some places. The majority of the survey work done by Robert M. Jackson was on horseback. Alpine County and the Department of Transportation cooperated for 7 years to complete the project, which was dedicated on September 12, 1954. Robert M. Jackson retired from Alpine County in 1973, after 27 years of service. He remained in Alpine County until his death on May 12, 2004. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 57, Resolution Chapter 27, on 4/21/2006.
    (Image source: XBimmers: Robert M Jackson Highway by lennycarl08, on Flickr)

    The segment from Route 4 (~ALP 9.969) to Rout 88 (~ ALP 21.248) is named the "Alpine State Highway". It was named by Resolution Chapter 468 in 1911. This segment also had the historic name of the "Big Trees Highway".

  2. Rte 89 Seg 2Route 88 near Picketts Junction to Route 50 near Meyers.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1963, the first segment of Route 89 was defined as "(a) Route 395 near Coleville to Route 50 near Meyers via the vicinity of Markleeville."

    In 1986, Chapter 928 split (a) into two parts: "(a) Route 395 near Coleville to Route 88 via the vicinity of Markleeville. (b) Route 88 near Picketts Junction to Route 50 near Meyers." The portion between the two segments was transferred to Route 88.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 89 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 7 (US 395) near Coleville to Jct. US 99 (I-5) near Mt. Shasta, via Truckee, Quincy, and Chester. This segment was part of LRN 23, and was defined in 1911.

    Near Luther Pass (ED 0.027, N of jct. with Route 88), the route (as LRN 23) first appears on a state highway map south of Lake Tahoe on the 1918 State Highway Map over Luther Pass as a special appropriations road. The original alignment of LRN 23 and (Sign) Route 89 through Luther Pass was on Upper Truckee Road. The original alignment through Luther Pass used part of the modern Route 89 alignment but was on the west bank of the Upper Truckee River as opposed to the east bank. This alignment is shown on the 1935 California Division of Highways Maps of Alpine and El Dorado Counties. By 1960, Route 89 was shifted east of the Upper Truckee River. Tom Fearer's blog post (from which this paragraph is condensed) has some good maps showing these routings, and linking to the historical state highway maps.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog: California State Route 89 through Luther Pass, 10/13/18)

    50toLutherPass-adoption.jpg" ALT="Rte 89: U.S. 50 to Luther Pass Adoption" TITLE="Rte 89: U.S. 50 to Luther Pass Adoption" class="hwymap">In 1955, the California Highway Commission adopted a revised routing for 8.5 mi of the Luther Pass Highway (Route 89) between US 50 and the Alpine County Line. This section is on the Federal Forest Highway System. Southerly from US 50, the route generally parallels the existing highway but runs on the E side of the Upper Truckee River whereas the northerly portion of the present highway is to the W of the stream. About midway between US 50 and the county line, the adopted route takes a wide southerly loop to avoid a particularly winding section of the existing highway to the Alpine county line. The present highway is narrow and winding and includes many steep pitches. The relocation eliminates the sharp curves and provides easier grades. The original article indicated that plans were to construct a modern 2-lane highway for 7.1 miles from US 50 to Grass Lake.
    (Source: Auburn Journal, 5/30/1957 via Joel Windmiller, 1/27/2023)

  3. Rte 89 Seg 3Route 50 near May's Junction to Route 80 via Tallac, Emerald Bay, McKinney's, Tahoe City, and the Truckee River.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is the original (b) from 1963.

    See the "FREEWAY" section below for information on proposed freeway routings for this section.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 89 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 7 (US 395) near Coleville to Jct. US 99 (I-5) near Mt. Shasta, via Truckee, Quincy, and Chester. This segment was part of LRN 38, defined in 1911. Originally, Route 80 (I-80) was US 40.

    In June 2017, it was reported that a late 1955 massive rock and earth slide that engulfed Route 89 and tumbled all the way down to Emerald Bay, forcing an 11-month road closure, prompted Tahoe business leaders to push for highway improvements to to expand the Tahoe year-round economy. Some talked of a San Francisco-sized population in the basin. “It became evident,” a state Division of Highways analyst wrote, “that a better route would have to be found to get past Emerald Bay (~ ED 14.802 to ED 18.625). The present road is narrow and crooked and impossible to keep open during the winter.” Their notion: An Emerald Bay Bridge. The state Division of Highways, the precursor to today’s Caltrans, hired geologists, studied alignments, drew up engineering plans, and built a scale model of an arched bridge, low to the water, to show at community meetings. Officials even commissioned a serene watercolor artwork of the bay fronted by a bridge that looked almost dainty on the landscape. The debate was instantaneous, with strong arguments on both sides. Proponents pointed to the Golden Gate Bridge, which was called beautiful and tourists flocked to it. The Sacramento Bee and others were aghast. In a 1956 editorial, The Bee called the bridge “a tragic mistake bordering on a crime.” State parks officials said the bridge express road would mar not only Emerald Bay State Park but also would slice through nearby D.L. Bliss State Park. The bridge was not the only major road change officials considered at the time. The state also proposed a wider and straighter mountain road above the bay that would run through a long mountain tunnel. The debate – and the planning – continued into the mid-1960s. But the idea was beginning to lose its footing. Bridge opponents got an assist from an unlikely source, new Gov. Ronald Reagan. Reagan appointed William Penn Mott Jr. as state parks chief. Mott came out against the bridge. Two events were pivotal in its demise. In 1968, a regional planning group formed by California and later joined by Nevada, now called the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, put together its first Tahoe growth plan that year and declined to include the state’s Emerald Bay Bridge project in it. Soon after that, a state committee assembled by Reagan with Mott as a key member shelved the plan. The following year, Emerald Bay was designated a National Natural Landmark.
    (Source: Sacramento Bee, 5/28/2017)

    The Union Pacific Overpass, Bridge № 19-0033 (03-ED-089 08.48), in Truckee is called the “Mousehole”. It was built in 1928, and is shaped like an hourglass. Four lanes of northbound and southbound traffic quickly narrow into a single lane in each direction through the tunnel, then widen again to four lanes on the other side. The tunnel is bookended by stoplights that regulate two major intersections, and roundabouts to the north and exit ramps off I-80 further complicate traffic leading into the Mousehole. During ski season, it is a significant traffic problem. The Mousehole was built as a roadway under-crossing of the railroad tracks in the late 1920s, so it was designed to accommodate the types of vehicles and the amount of traffic that existed in that era. One of the prerequisites for any project that would alter the Mousehole is mandated by the landowner, Union Pacific Railroad. Those railroad tracks are part of a major cargo route that connects West Coast ports with eastern destinations. The railroad tracks must remain passable throughout the duration of any construction; that’s part of why the Mousehole still stands the way it was built nearly nearly 100 years ago, even though so much of the infrastructure around it has changed. Not for lack of trying. Of particular concern was pedestrian traffic through the tunnel. Motivated by the safety hazard for pedestrians and cyclists in the late 1990s, the town of Truckee started a conversation about improving the Mousehole. The project didn’t go far, until $2.5 million in transportation funding was secured that allowed the design phase for a Mousehole revamp to proceed. During those preliminary planning stages, several alternatives were on the table. Engineers considered building a temporary bridge that would realign the railroad tracks and allow them to widen the road underneath. They also thought about building a second tunnel for vehicle traffic, separating northbound and southbound lanes. But the costs were enormous, ranging from $30 million to $50 million. So instead of widening the Mousehole to accommodate more lanes of vehicle traffic, the town chose to build a smaller tunnel to the east of the Mousehole with sidewalks and a bike lane passing through. The mini Mousehole, as it was soon dubbed, was a project that took about 20 years from concept to completion. It cost more than $13 million, sourced through a medley of federal, state and local funding. To build the mini Mousehole, crews had to freeze the dirt beneath the railroad tracks to maintain the integrity of the ground beneath the railroad tracks, so train travel wouldn’t be compromised during construction. They built the pedestrian tunnel on the side of Route 89 and then, using industrial hydraulic jacking equipment, they pushed the newly built pedestrian tunnel into the frozen arch of soil. The process was push the tunnel a couple of feet, dig the soil out from the base of the tunnel, push the tunnel a couple more feet, go in and dig the soil out from the base of the tunnel. It took about seven or eight days of solid pushing and digging to secure the pedestrian tunnel all the way into the frozen archway of dirt beneath the train tracks. Now that the pedestrian tunnel is complete — it was unveiled in 2016 — the town of Truckee has shelved the Mousehole project. Ut’s still possible to build a secondary tunnel for cars to pass through, but ultimately, that project would be so expensive and complex, it’s far beyond the scope of Truckee’s Public Works Department. The Mousehole is structurally sound, so it is not high on Caltrans’ statewide list of priorities for infrastructure improvements.
    (Source: SF Gate, 1/21/2022)

    Freeway Freeway

    [SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

    Rte 89 Freeway Adoptions near Lake TahoeIn March 1963, the CHC approved freeway routings for Route 89 and Route 28, and non-freeway adoptions along Route 89.
    (Source: Joel Windmiller/California's Historic Highways (FB), 6/2/2020)

    In 1973, Caltrans was directed by the CHC to prepare a report on whether to rescind or retain the Route 89 and Route 28 freeway adoptions. The action was prompted by lack of funds that indicated highway construction would be over 20 years away. The routing around Emerald Bay was excluded because a freeway routing had not been adopted in this area.
    (Source: Sacramento Bee, 8/12/1973 via Joel Windmiller, 2/23/2023)

    Status Status

    Route 50 near Mays Junction to the Northern End of Lake Tahoe (Route 28)

    US 50/Route 89 Roundabout (03-ED-89, PM 8.592)

    Rte 50 Myers RoundaboutIn March 2017, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project located in El Dorado County near the town of Meyers (03-ED-89, PM 8.592; 03-ED-50 PM 70.62) that proposes to convert the US 50/Route 89 intersection into a three-leg roundabout. The proposed roundabout will have single lane approaches on all three legs to reduce the number and/or severity of collisions. This project is programmed in the 2016 SHOPP for $5,240,000 in Construction (capital and support) and Right of Way (capital and support). Construction is estimated to beginning in Fiscal Year 2017-18. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope programmed by the Commission in the 2016 State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

    In May 2018, it was reported that a three-year, $56.9 million project (2018 is the second year) involves rebuilding a 2-mile stretch of U.S. 50 from the "Y" with Route 89 (03-ED-89, PM 8.592; 03-ED-50 PM 70.62) to Trout Creek Bridge (ED 077.33). The rebuilding includes widening the roadway to provide 6-foot shoulders for bike lanes in both directions, replacing traffic signals, rebuilding curbs, gutters and sidewalks, and improving the pavement cross slope, according to Caltrans. Aside from aesthetic improvements, the project also is designed to help lake clarity by building drainage systems to treat stormwater runoff. It is part of the larger Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program, a multi-agency effort created to protect and improve the natural and recreational resources of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Work in summer 2018 will stretch from Winnemucca Avenue to Silver Dollar Avenue, in addition to repaving the Y intersection, according to Caltrans. Work will start at Winnemucca and move east.
    (Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune, 5/2/2018)

    In June 2018, the CTC was informed of the following allocation: 2.5f(3) Item 2: $4,973,000 03-ED-50 70.6. PPNO 3303. US 50 Near Myers, at the intersection with Route 89 South. Outcome/Output: Improve safety by constructing a 3-leg roundabout with a bypass lane in the westbound direction at a two-way stop controlled intersection. This project will reduce the number and severity of collisions.

    In November 2018, it was reported that in the 2018 construction season, Caltrans completed Phase Two of the three-phase "Y to Trout Creek Bridge Project" that is reconstructing US 50 from the "Y" intersection with Route 89 to the Trout Creek Bridge. Phase Two focused on the stretch of highway from Winnemucca Avenue to Silver Dollar Avenue. As part of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program, this project was designed to protect Lake Tahoe's water quality by rebuilding underground storm drain systems. Now, storm water runoff is captured and filtered to keep dirt, oil and litter from reaching the lake. Additional community benefits include widening the highway to provide 6-foot shoulders for safer bike access as well as new traffic signals at the intersection of Lodi Avenue and US 50. Sidewalks on both sides of the highway have also been reconstructed. In 2019, the final phase of the Y to Trout Creek Bridge Project will focus on Phase Three, from Silver Dollar Avenue to the Trout Creek Bridge, with a projected completion date of winter 2019. 2019 will also bring work in Meyers, where Caltrans will replace the existing T-intersection at Route 89 and US 50 with a three-leg roundabout. Currently, the junction just past the weigh-in station does not have traffic stops controlling vehicle flow. This project was designed to improve safety and reduce the number of collisions at the intersection.
    (Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune, 11/11/2018)

    In April 2019, it was reported that the project will also include a westbound bypass lane, and should be completed in Fall 2019.
    (Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune, 4/23/2019)

    In September 2019, it was reported that the Caltrans contractor working on the roundabout at the intersection of Route 89 and US 50 has completed concrete work on the bypass lane. The $4.1M project converted a T-intersection into a three-leg roundabout with a bypass lane.
    (Source: South Tahoe Now, 9/6/2019)

    In May 2018, it was reported that, following backlash in its first summer of use and input from partner agencies, the pedestrian stoplight at Camp Richardson is on indefinite hiatus. The device was installed in 2016 as part of a Caltrans construction project. It was mostly used in the summer of 2017 as a means to help address traffic and pedestrian issues. However, the light, which displayed a red signal to motorists when pedestrians activated it to cross Route 89, was scrutinized by residents and others who blamed the signal for worsening vehicle congestion. The light was deactivated around the Fourth of July holiday (presumably in 2017, unless the author had time travel), when, according to Caltrans, a significant increase in motorist and pedestrian activity led to congestion in the area. Caltrans "decided to discontinue" the light "indefinitely" after meeting with staff from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and U.S. Forest Service. The light will remain off until the Route 89 Recreation Corridor Management Plan is completed in 2019.
    (Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune, 5/20/2018)

    El Dorado ImprovementsThere are plans to construct roadway improvements between the El Dorado County Line (~ ED 27.8/PLA 0.0) to Route 28 (~ PLA 8.276). This project is fully funded in the 2006 SHOPP. The total estimated project cost is $85,300,000. Construction is estimated to begin in FY 2007-08. The project will involve the removal of mature vegetation and the disturbance of existing wetlands. In addition, changes in the visual character of the area in the form of new lighting resulted in a Mitigated Negative Declaration being completed for this project.

    Water Quality Improvement

    In October 2011, the CTC approved $40,413,000 for a project in Tahoe City from 0.2 mile south of the El Dorado/Placer County Line (~ ED 27.181) to the Truckee River Bridge (~ PLA 008.48). The project will construct water quality collection and treatment facilities to meet the requirements of California Regional Water Quality Control Board. (Construction will take more than 3 years due to permit restriction on grading and soil disturbances between May1 to October 15 each year. Also, traffic restrictions are reduced between June 15th and Labor Day during the peak tourist season. Construction is estimated to begin Summer of 2012 and be completed by December 2015. As a result, the California Department of Transportation is also requesting 39 months to complete construction.)

    In January 2012, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project in El Dorado County will implement water quality improvement measures on Route 89 from US 50 to Cascade Road in and near South Lake Tahoe. These improvements will comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit requirements and implement elements of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program. The project is programmed in the 2010 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP). The total estimated project cost is $30,023,000 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.

    In April 2016, it was reported that work was resuming on a multi-year Route 89 project. The $70.1 million water-quality improvement project is building new drainage facilities to collect and treat stormwater runoff, adding curbs and gutters, widening the highway and repaving an eight-mile section of Route 89 between Tahoma and Tahoe City. Work in the 2016 construction season focuses on the remaining four miles of the project between Eagle Rock and Granlibakken Road. Caltrans has two other water-quality improvement projects on Route 89 that will be in construction in 2016 as part of the multi-agency Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program (EIP). A $24.4 million project from the “Y” intersection with US 50 in South Lake Tahoe to Cascade Road, north of Camp Richardson, is in its second season of construction and will be completed in fall 2016. Picking up where that project ends, the final segment of Route 89 to be rebuilt for drainage improvements will be from Cascade Road to just north of the Eagle Falls Viaduct over Emerald Bay. The $13 million project will take two seasons to construct. In addition to the EIP projects, Route 89 from Tahoe City to Alpine Meadows Road will be repaved this summer as part of ongoing preventive maintenance.
    (Source: Tahoe Roads, April 2016)

    Fanny Bridge Project (Jct Route 89/Route 28) (~ PLA T8.542)

    Fanny Bridge ImprovementsIt was also reported in September 2011 about plans to reconstruct the Fanny Bridge. The bridge was constructed in 1920 and spans the Truckee River, Lake Tahoe's sole outlet, near the at-times very congested pedestrian intersection at the Wye intersection in Tahoe City. The project would rehabilitate Fanny Bridge, while simultaneously addressing traffic congestion. Preliminary plans feature four alternatives. Initially, the preferred option calls for construction of a four-lane bridge to span the Truckee River farther west from the current Fanny Bridge location. The bridge would be part of a new road that would serve as the main ingress/egress route connecting Route 89 and Route 28. Roundabouts also would be installed at each intersection. Meanwhile, Fanny Bridge's structural deficiencies will be addressed, and the remaining stretch of Route 89 from the Wye to the intersection of the newly built road will be transformed into a local neighborhood street, with a variety of traffic calming features designed to dissuade motorists from using the path as a primary means of travel. The other three alternatives include changing the existing Route 89 just south of Fanny Bridge into a pedestrian/bike trail; installing a cul-de-sac at the end of that street; or conducting the project without roundabouts, respectively. Planning level cost estimates call for a $13-18 million investment. The project is slated to continue to solicit community input and feedback throughout 2011 and develop a final design by 2012. Construction is tentatively scheduled to commence in 2014.

    In August 2016, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project that realigns a segment of Route 89 with a replacement bridge and various other improvements including a roadway section replacement, pedestrian and bicycle improvements, roundabouts, and a complete streets element to address traffic, bicycle and pedestrian congestion (03-PLA-089 R8.2/R8.5). On April 10, 2015, the TDD adopted the FEIR for State Route 89 / Fanny Bridge Community Revitalization Project under CEQA. On July 15, 2016, the TTD confirmed that the FEIR remains valid and that there are no new identified impacts requiring mitigation since adoption. The TTD also confirmed that the preferred alternative set forth in the final environmental document is consistent with the Project scope of the work programmed by the Commission. The Project is estimated to cost $38,877,000 and is fully funded through construction with Federal Land Access Program (FLAP) Funds ($30,620,000), Active Transportation Program Funds ($4,900,000) and Local Funds ($3,357,000). Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2016/17.

    Route AdoptionAt the same meeting, the CTC also approved Federal Highway Administration’s Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD) plans, in conjunction with Tahoe Transportation District (TTD), to construct a new alignment for portion of Route 89 near Tahoe City through United States Forest Service (USFS) property. This new alignment will better serve the west shore communities of Lake Tahoe by providing an option for the traveling public as they approach Tahoe City from the south and from the west. The purpose of the route adoption is to improve safety and operations of the existing Route 89/Route 28 intersection, improve multimodal access with the creation of “complete streets” elements, address long term bridge integrity by replacing the aged Fanny Bridge, and contribute to economic revitalization by enhancing motorized and non-motorized business access and safety, including delivery of goods and services. This project brings about the highest and best beneficial uses of USFS land and its associated modes of travel. The adopted route will serve as a parallel route for the traveling public entering or exiting the hub of Tahoe City. Route 89 serves the west shore communities of Lake Tahoe, crosses the Truckee River at Fanny Bridge and connects to Route 28 in Tahoe City, also known as the WYE intersection, before continuing to the town of Truckee, California. Approaching the WYE intersection from all three directions, this two-lane conventional highway has historic congestion during the summer peak season with an unacceptable Level of Service (LOS) “F”. The urban context of the WYE intersection in Tahoe City adds to the congestion. During emergency response to fire, police, or ambulatory calls, there is delay for emergency crews to clear the WYE intersection. The physical and environmental setting severely constrains any lane addition, or bridge widening options to mitigate for the LOS “F”. The current single route over the Truckee River has proven to be inadequate given the aforementioned constraints. Bicycle and pedestrian activity are very close to travel lanes on and around Fanny Bridge. Safety risks to pedestrian, bicycle, and motorists result from inadequate multi-modal infrastructure related to discontinuous bicycle paths, and the absence of pedestrian facilities, compounded with heavy volumes of vehicular traffic, pedestrian activity, and trail use. Current traffic congestion and inadequate travel conditions in and around Fanny Bridge and the WYE intersection are the primary reasons for the proposed realignment of Route 89. In addition, this project also replaces the 1928 Fanny Bridge. The two new intersections created by the new alignment, plus the existing WYE intersection, will become roundabouts. These three roundabouts will provide a decrease in traffic congestion and will accommodate multiple modes of transportation in a safe manner. After construction of the new Route 89 alignment, and with the Commission’s approval, a small portion of this route will be redesignated as Route 28 extension and a segment of the existing Route 89 from north of Fanny Bridge to the new intersection south of the bridge will be relinquished to the County. The County has signed a relinquishment agreement and is receiving a transfer of possession and control of the new Fanny Bridge as part of their inventory, post construction. State highway adoption of Route 89 occurred on April 18, 1929. Freeway adoption of a portion of Route 89 occurred on March 27, 1963. Rescinding of Freeway Declaration for said portion of Route 89 occurred on June 20, 1974. Route 89 is part of the Freeway and Expressway System. CFLHD is contributing $30.62 million and TTD with the County are contributing a combined total match of $8.257 million.

    In July 2018, it was reported that construction on the new Truckee bridge had started, with expected completion in October 2018. The project, originally conceptualized in the 1994 Tahoe City Community Plan, is a new Truckee River bridge — a rebuild of Fanny Bridge. The construction of three new roundabouts, the realignment of Route 89 to match new road plans, and other street improvements along West Lake Boulevard are all part of the bridge project. The new Truckee River Bridge, located east of the Caltrans maintenance yard along Route 89 and downstream of Fanny Bridge, will become the new junction between Route 89 and Nevada Rte 28. The 88-year-old Fanny Bridge will be rebuilt to include new sidewalks and bike lanes on each side, with bridge railing that matches the existing design. A new roundabout will be constructed on the north side of the Truckee River with outlets onto the new bridge and West River Street. Another roundabout will connect a new route from the new bridge to West Lake Boulevard. The third roundabout will replace Tahoe City's busiest intersection where the original junction between Route 89 and Route 28 currently stands. West Lake Boulevard also will receive improvements including new sidewalks, crosswalks, street lights, and street and trail signs. Two new Tahoe City gateway signs will be installed at the two roundabouts leading into the city. The Tahoe City Trout Sculpture has already been dismantled and moved to storage to allow for construction. City officials are still making efforts to secure a new location for the sculpture when the project is complete.
    (Source: Sierra Sun, 6/28/2018)

    In October 2019, it was reported that the project to replace the Truckee River “Fanny” Bridge, enhance pedestrian mobility, improve access to public transit and relinquish a section of Route 89 to Placer County is planned for 2021. Short-term work at the “Wye” intersection to reestablish pedestrian access and erosion control is scheduled to be completed by the end of October 2019.
    (Source: Caltrans District 3 Press Release, 10/28/2019)

    In December 2019, it was reported that Caltrans joined several partner agencies for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the new Route 89 Truckee River Bridge in Tahoe City. The project includes roundabouts at each end of the bridge and new bike path segments.
    (Source: Facebook, 12/16/2019)

    Northern End of Lake Tahoe (Route 28) to Truckee (I-80)

    Tahoe to Truckee Repaving

    In September 2011, it was reported that a portion of Route 89 connecting Tahoe City to Truckee will be repaved, shoulder to shoulder. The project will begin in Spring 2012, taking one construction season to complete. Funds from the California State Highway Operation Protection Program will be used. Repaving will start 0.2 miles south of the Squaw Valley USA exit (~ PLA 13.725) and end at the Nevada County state line near Truckee.

    In March 2012, the CTC approved SHOPP funding for work near Truckee, from 0.2 mile south of Squaw Valley Road (~ PLA 13.515) to Nevada County line (~ PLA 21.642/NEV 0.0). $8,360,000 to rehabilitate 16 lane miles of pavement to improve ride quality and extend the pavement service life.

    In October 2012, it was reported that the shoulder to shoulder repaving project on Route 89 between Squaw Valley Road to West River Street was completed. The $7.2 million project between Truckee and Olympic Valley improved the surface for bikes and motor vehicles, and included water quality protection from stormwater drainage while extending the pavement life an additional 10 years.

    In August 2019, it was reported that, to help reduce peak ski weekend traffic congestion into Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows resorts, the county is considering converting the road shoulders on Route 89 into a third lane only accessible by public transit vehicles, encouraging the use of those services. The project consists of two 2-mile bus-on-shoulder zones in the highest congestion areas, specifically northbound beginning north of Cabin Creek Road (~ PLA 18.956) to the West River Street intersection (~ PLA 21.526) and southbound beginning south of the Pole Creek Trailhead (~ PLA 16.042) to the Squaw Valley Road intersection (~ PLA 13.727). The schedule is dependent on Caltrans and California Highway Patrol approval but is tentatively planned for winter 2019. If successful, the program could lead to an extension to the full section of Route 89 between Olympic Valley and Truckee, and possible application on Route 267 between Northstar and Truckee.
    (Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune, 8/14/2019)

    In June 2016, it was reported that the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association is starting discussions for a potential three-lane program on Route 89 for the 2016-17 winter season in an effort to ease traffic congestion. The program would be based on an existing program on other roads that routes two lanes of traffic inbound to Squaw Valley during the morning hours and two lanes outbound in the afternoon. Physically speaking, fitting three lanes on Route 89 is possible, as Route 89 pinch points are 42 feet. Hurdles for the program include traffic control, snow removal and condensed shoulder space. The program is viewed as a limited experiment only used when there is no snowfall and the shoulders are clear, similar to the preconditions used for the three lanes at Squaw Valley Road (dry roadway surface, full road width).
    (Source: Sierra Sun, 6/14/2016)

    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 #234: Widen Route 89 at the existing “mousehole” two lane RR underpass in Truckee (~ NEV 0.135). This has been a crusade of Rep. John Doolittle, according to the Sierra Sun. The narrow tunnel is heavily used by pedestrians headed to the Crossroads shopping center and bicyclists heading up and down Route 89. The Town of Truckee has taken the lead on the complicated project that involves Caltrans, Union Pacific Railroad, Nevada County and to some extent Placer County. Widening the existing passage, or building a second undercrossing, is saddled with the extra challenge of completing the work while railroad traffic continues on the tracks above.$2,827,744

    Naming Naming

    10th Mountain Division Memorial HighwayThe portion of the route between Truckee and Tahoe City is named the "10th Mountain Division Memorial Highway". The 10th Mountain Division of the United States Army, consisting of 15,000 soldiers, served gallantly in the Italian campaign during World War II. It had many members from Sierra County. After the war, ex-soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division fired-up America’s modern ski industry. They published ski magazines, opened ski schools, and established ski areas, including Vail, Aspen, Sugarbush, Whiteface Mountain and others. At least 62 ski resorts have been founded, managed, or employed head ski instructors that were 10th Mountain Division veterans Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 43, Chapter 106, in 1997.
    (Information source: The Storm King; Image source: James D. Teresco/Ride from Auburn to Squaw Valley, California, Snow Brains)

    Named Structures Named Structures

    Allexey Waldemar Von SchmidtNear Alpine Meadows Road is the "Allexey Waldemar Von Schmidt Historical Plaque". It was designated by Senate Concurrent Resolution 75, Chapter 105, in 1992. Allexy Waldemar Von Schmidt was a 19th century Russian immigrant and civil engineer whose survey helped establish the border between California and Nevada. Von Schmidt arrived in San Francisco in 1849, but did not join the gold rush. Trained as a civil engineer at American universities, Von Schmidt landed a job as a United States surveyor, mapping public lands and Spanish land grants throughout the state. Recognizing that “water flows uphill to money” and that a limited fresh water supply threatened to curtail the growth of San Francisco, Von Schmidt helped incorporate the Bensley Water Company. The company successfully built San Francisco’s first water supply system in the late 1850.. He later joined the rival Spring Valley Water Company, and five years later, Spring Valley bought out the Bensley outfit and established a profitable monopoly as the principal water purveyor to San Francisco. In 1865, Von Schmidt and five other investors established the Lake Tahoe and San Francisco Water Works Company to export the water of Lake Tahoe to the Bay Area, a distance of 163 miles. When Von Schmidt’s proposal was submitted to legislators in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., it ran into strong resistance. Opponents argued that the federal government had no business subsidizing private corporations by giving away public lands.
    (Image source and additional information: Sierra College)

  4. Rte 89 Seg 4Route 80 near Truckee to Route 70 near Blairsden.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is the original (c) from 1963.

    The route between Satley 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.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 89 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 7 (US 395) near Coleville to Jct. US 99 (I-5) near Mt. Shasta, via Truckee, Quincy, and Chester. This segment was part of LRN 83, defined in 1933. Originally, Route 70 was Alternate US 40.

    Status Status

    Northern End of Truckee (Jct Route 267 / I-80) to Sierraville (Route 49)

    A bypass for Route 267 around the Route 89/Route 267 interchange in Truckee was completed in 2004 to get all the Tahoe-bound traffic out of central Truckee. The Route 89 portion of the alignment is short (~ NEV R0.673); most of the bypass is for Route 267. The bypass includes a long viaduct across the Truckee River, which is visible as you come off the hill near the Central Truckee exit. This bypass is 2 lane expressway with sufficient right of way to expand it to 4 lanes when needed. From the old interchange, the east and west bound on ramp will remain to provide the town with direct highway access.

    In August 2011, the CTC approved $6,000,000 in SHOPP funding, programmed in Fiscal Years 2012-13 and 2013-14, for repairs near Truckee, from the Nevada/Sierra County Line (SIE 0.0) to Junction Route 49 north of Sierraville that will rehabilitate 30.2 lane miles of roadway to improve the ride quality, prevent further deterioration of the traveling surface, minimize costly roadway repairs and extend the pavement service.

    In October 2016, the CTC approved the following STIP allocation: 03-Sie-89 0/11.8 Route 89 Truck Pull-outs Sierra County to Sierraville. Construction of truck turnouts on Route 89 at 7 locations between Sierra/Nevada County line and Sierraville. $750,000

    In May 2016, it was reported that the Highway 89 Stewardship Team officially broke ground on the Sierra 89 Wildlife Undercrossings project in a ceremony held at Sagehen Summit along Route 89 north of Truckee, near Sagehen Creek Field Station (SIE 0.8 and SIE 1.4). The $2.8 million project — funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) — will consist of the construction of two tunnels, built as a pair, on the busy 25-mile stretch of Route 89 between Truckee and Sierraville, providing a path for wildlife to cross this section of the roadway. Additionally, 1.3 miles of wildlife fencing will be installed along both sides of Route 89 to guide animals to the safe passage under the highway. The data that pinpointed where the wildlife undercrossings should be placed is the result of 27 years worth of data taken by Caltrans. In fact, recent Caltrans studies indicate more than 1,000 mule deer have been killed along Route 89 in the Loyalton-Truckee area over the past 27 years, according to previous reports. Cost-benefit analysis have shown that such undercrossings are a positive benefit to the taxpayer. The cost of deer-vehicle collisions alone — not counting the other species — is enough to where the project can actually break even in a relatively few number of years. Caltrans environmental staff, in conjunction with the Sierra 89 Stewardship Team partners, will monitor and research the undercrossings for three years to study their effectiveness. The project is the second in a series of planned mitigation and research efforts by the Highway 89 Stewardship Team. The team’s first wildlife undercrossing, on Route 89 at Kyburz Flat, was completed in 2009.
    (Source: Sierra Sun, May 2016)

    Caltrans completed its first standalone wildlife crossing in 2008 on Route 89 at Kyburz Flat in the Sierra (~ SIE 3.977), about 20 miles north of Truckee. The cost was $720,000 for the undercrossing (12-foot-high, 19-foot-wide steel arch) and $450,000 for fencing to guide the animals to safety, according to Sara Holm, environmental scientist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Eight years later, data from the California Highway Patrol found wildlife-vehicle collisions declined in the Kyberz area, from 29 between 1999 to January 2009 to five between 2009 and 2015. Deer and other wildlife can now cross underneath the road surface through a large culvert and avoid on-coming traffic. To encourage wildlife to utilize the culvert, fencing was installed in the fall of 2013 to help funnel animals through the underpass. Wildlife that might still enter the fencing and roadbed can climb out using the strategically placed hill ramps or “jump outs” for escape.
    (Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, 5/12/2018, USFS Kyberg Flat/Hwy 89 Wildlife Mitigation, UC Natural Reserve System "Helping Wild Things Cross The Road", 9/28/2010)

    Sierraville (Route 49) to Blairsden (Route 70)

    In December 2008, the CTC vacated right of way in the county of Plumas along Route 89 near Whitehawk (~ PLU R2.007), consisting of highway right of way no longer needed for State highway purposes.

    In July 2002, the CTC considered for future funding a project to realign Route 89 near Clio in Plumas County (~ PLU 4.42). [2.2c.(5)]

  5. Rte 89 Seg 5Route 70 near Indian Falls to Route 36 near Deer Creek Pass.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is the original (d) from 1963.

    The route between Blairsden and Indian Falls is cosigned as Route 70/Route 89, although it is legislatively Route 70.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 89 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 7 (US 395) near Coleville to Jct. US 99 (I-5) near Mt. Shasta, via Truckee, Quincy, and Chester. This segment was part of LRN 83, defined in 1933. Originally, Route 70 was Alternate US 40.

    Status Status

    Arlington Road Intersection Left Turn Lanes (02-Plu-089 14.600/15.200)

    In March 2020, the CTC approved the 2020 STIP, which included programmed funding of $1,616K (with the bulk of the work in FY24-25) for PPNO 3561 "Rt 89/Arlington Rd intersection, left-turn lanes". This would be ~ PLU 14.835.
    (Source: March 2020 CTC Agenda, Item 4.7, 2020 STIP Adopted 3/25/2020)

    In December 2022, the CTC received notice of a forthcoming STIP amendment (and in January 2023, voted on the amendment): 02-Plu-089 14.600/15.200. PPNO 02-3561; EA 4G700. Arlington Left Turn Lane. On Route 89 In Plumas County at Crescent Mills from 0.3 miles south to 0.2 mile north of Arlington Road. This project, Arlington Left Turn Lane, proposes to Construct Left Turn Lane at Arlington Road. Because of a change in design to widen asymmetrically to construct the left-turn lane, post mile limits increased from 14.6/15.0 to 14.6/15.2. The project was originally planned for symmetrical widening; however, preliminary engineering and environmental studies revealed that this would negatively impact environmentally sensitive areas, existing utilities, and the railroad right of way. The amendment proposes to program $1,310,000 for construction capital in Fiscal Year 2023-24 (an increase of $150,000) to the STIP Arlington Left Turn Lane project (PPNO 3561), in Plumas County.  Construction capital cost increased by $150,000 from $1,160,000 to $1,310,000. The increase is attributed to the following: (1) A change in excavation type from roadway excavation to rock excavation to asymmetrically widen the roadway to construct the left-turn lane (2) Materials inflation (3) Additional clearing and grubbing adjacent to the highway. The additional $150,000 is requested from Plumas County’s unprogrammed Regional Improvement Program (RIP) share balance. This amendment proposes to program an additional $150,000 for construction capital in 2023-24 for a total of $1,310,000 to the Arlington Left Turn Lane project
    (PPNO 3561), in Plumas County.Allocation ($ × 1,000):  PA&ED $170; PS&E $90; R/W Sup $40; Con Sup $140; R/W Cap $16; Const Cap $1,310. Total $1,766.
    (Source: December 2022 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.1b.(1); January 2023 Agenda, Agenda Item 2.1a.(2))

    In Janury 2013, the CTC approved amending the 2012 STIP to program $30,000 of Regional Improvement Program (RIP) Transportation Enhancement (TE) funds programmed by Modoc County (PPNO 2437) to Right of Way Support for the Greenville Route 89 Rehabilitation project (PPNO 3355) in Plumas County. The funds are needed to complete Right of Way (R/W) activities. This project is in Greenville, on Route 89 between Hideaway Road (~ PLU 19.803) and Mill Street (~ PLU 20.617). It will upgrade sidewalks and curb ramps to meet ADA requirements.

    In March 2018, the CTC authorized relinquishment of right of way in the county of Plumas along Route 89 (Crescent Street and Ann Street) at Ayoob Alley (02-Plu-89-PM 20.4), consisting of collateral facilities. The County, by letter dated November 14, 2017, agreed to accept title upon relinquishment by the State. The 90-day notice period expired January 14, 2018.
    (Source: CTC Agenda, March 2018 Agenda Item 2.3c)

    In March 2016, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project in Plumas County that will construct new curb and gutter, drainage upgrades, a center turn lane, and other improvements on Route 89 in the city of Greenville (~ PLU 20.468). The project is programmed in the State Transportation Improvement Program. The total estimated cost is $5,397,000 for capital and support. Construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2016-17.

    In August 2016, the CTC vacated right of way in the county of Plumas along Route 89 approximately 0.5 mile east of its intersection with Route 147 (02-Plu-89-PM 29.1), consisting of highway right of way no longer needed for State highway purposes.

    National Trails National Trails

    trvolcanic.png This route is part of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway All American Road, between Route 147 and Route 36, and between Route 44 and I-5.

  6. Rte 89 Seg 6Route 36 near Morgan Summit to Lassen Volcanic National Park.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1963, this segment was defined as "(e) Route 36 near Morgan to Lassen Volcanic National Park." In 1984, Chapter 409 changed "Morgan" to "Morgan Summit".

    The route between Route 36 near Deer Creek Pass and Route 36 near Morgan Summit is cosigned as Route 36/Route 89, although it is legislatively Route 36.

    Note: The continuation of Route 89 along Lassen Peak Highway from the entrance of Lassen Volcanic National Park to Route 44 is not part of the State Highway Systems, although some maps show it as Route 89 and the NPS has occasionally posted it as Route 89. Historically,  the route along Lassen Peak Highway  was once signed by the California State Automobile Association. Some maps show the name as "Lassen Park Highway", but the NPS maps have "Lassen Peak Highway".

    Lassen Peak Highway

    During 1924 and 1925, the route of Lassen Peak Highway was surveyed by National Park Service engineers.  This culminated in the construction of the first two miles of Lassen Peak Highway from the Southwest Entrance to the Sulphur Works during 1925.  By the 1930s, the early Lassen Peak Highway can be seen stretching from Mineral northward to the Sulphur Works. During 1926 the Park Service entered into an agreement with the Bureau of Public Roads to construct Lassen Park Highway.  The Bureau of Public Roads made some alterations of the original surveyed route of Lassen Park Highway but they were not drastic.  The original alignment of Lassen Park Highway was to be 16 feet wide and closely followed the Forest Service Road standards of the time.  Lassen Park Highway was completed during 1931 and a dedication ceremony was held during July of said year. During 1933, LRN 83 was added to the State Highway System.  The first route segments of LRN 83 were intended to connect to Lassen Park Highway from both terminus points.
    (Source: Tom Fearer, Gribblenation Blog "Lassen Peak Highway; implied California State Route 89 through Lassen Volcanic National Park")

    In 1934, the signed routes were announced. Signed Route 89 was added as a new highway that utilized LRN 83 from US 99 southeast towards Truckee.  Route 89 continued beyond Truckee via the west shore Lake Tahoe to signed Route 7 over Monitor Pass.  The accompanying map to the accouncement shows signed Route 89 was intended to be routed via Lassen Peak Highway through Lassen Volcanic National Park. Between 1948 and 1953 Lassen Park Highway was widened to a minimum standard of 20 feet and culminated in the road being completely paved.  During 2006 Lassen Park Highway was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
    (Source: Tom Fearer, Gribblenation Blog "Lassen Peak Highway; implied California State Route 89 through Lassen Volcanic National Park")

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 89 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 7 (US 395) near Coleville to Jct. US 99 (I-5) near Mt. Shasta, via Truckee, Quincy, and Chester. This segment was part of LRN 83.

    Status Status

    The continuation of this route through Lassen Volcanic National Park is occasionally closed in winter; a park fee is charged when it is open.

  7. Rte 89 Seg 7Route 44 to Route 5 near Mt. Shasta.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is the original (f) from 1963.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    In 1934, Route 89 was signed along the route from Jct. Route 7 (US 395) near Coleville to Jct. US 99 (I-5) near Mt. Shasta, via Truckee, Quincy, and Chester. This segment was part of LRN 83, defined in 1933.

    Status Status

    In May 2008, the CTC considered approval for future consideration of funding a bridge replacement (Lake Britton Bridge) (~ SHA 29.261) near McCloud for which a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) has been completed. The project will involve construction activities in an area that is habitat to three federally listed special-status species and one state species of special concern. These species include the Bald Eagle, Northern Spotted Owl, Rough Sculpin, and the Osprey.

    In May 2008, the CTC considered relinquishment of right of way in the county of Shasta, at County Road No. 9S01 (McArthur Road) (~ SHA 38.779), consisting of a reconstructed and relocated county road.

    In October 2009, the CTC approved vacation of right of way in the county of Siskiyou along Route 89 between 0.1 mile west and 0.1 mile east of Dead Horse Canyon Road (~ SIS 3.425 to SIS 3.625), consisting of highway right of way no longer needed for State highway purposes.

    Named Structures Named Structures

    Officer Arthur E. DunnOn the northbound and southbound portions of Route 89, in the vicinity of mile post markers 89 SHA 36.00 and 89 SHA 41.00, in the unincorporated area of Shasta County, there are memorials in memory of "California Highway Patrol Officer Arthur E. Dunn". On July 9, 1977, while transporting a prisoner to jail on Route 89 in Shasta County, Officer Dunn was shot and killed by a prisoner. He had joined the California Highway Patrol in March 1963, graduated from the patrol academy and was assigned to the West Los Angeles area on July 5, 1963. He transferred to the Sacramento area on December 3, 1965, the Redding area on October 11, 1967, and was assigned to the Burney Resident Post in July 1968. The memorial was established in memory of Officer Dunn as a result of his steadfast dedication to the citizens of the State of California, and his commitment and contributions to the safety of the motoring public. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 85, Chapter 125, on August 21, 2002
    (Image source: California Assn of Highway Patrolmen)

Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

This is all the original routing of Route 89, and dates back to the original signage of the route in 1934. The portion between US 395 and Route 4 was in the planning stages in 1935. The portion between Boca and Route 49 was under construction.

Freeway Freeway

[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

Scenic Route Scenic Route

[SHC 263.1] Entire route.

Blue Star Memorial Highway Blue Star Memorial Highway

This route was designated as a "Blue Star Memorial Highway" by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 111, Ch. 96 in 1986.

Interregional Route Interregional Route

[SHC 164.14] Entire route.

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 1:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

In 1933, a segment from "[LRN 49] near Middletown to [LRN 15] near Upper Lake via Lakeport" was added to the highway system. In 1935, this was defined to be LRN 89, with that same definition. This definition remained unchanged until the 1963 renumbering. This was originally (circa 1934) signed as part of Route 29; it is present-day Route 175 between Middletown and 4 mi SE of Kelseyville; cosigned Route 175/Route 29 (legislative Route 29) to 6 mi NW of Kelseyville, and Route 29 the remainder of the way to Route 20.

Acronyms and Explanations:

Back Arrow Route 88 Forward Arrow Route 90

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