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State Route 273

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 273 Seg 1From Route 5 near Anderson to Route 299 in Redding.

  2. Rte 273 Seg 2From Route 299 in Redding to Route 5 northeast of Redding.

Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

In 1967, Chapter 1584 created Route 273 via transfer from I-5, defining it as “Route 5 near Anderson to Route 5 northeast of Redding via Redding.”

In 1968, Chapter 282 split the route within Redding: “(a) Route 5 near Anderson to Route 299 in Redding. (b) From Route 299 in Redding to Route 5 northeast of Redding.”

During February of 1972, the City of Redding closed Market Street between Tehama Street and Placer Street  to traffic.  This segment of Market Street was subsequently converted into a pedestrian mall that required Route 273 to be rerouted onto a pair of one-way alignments around downtown Redding.  In 2020, the City of Redding has been working to reopen Market Street between Tehama Street and Placer Street to traffic. The impact on Route 273 is unknown at this time.
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer), "California State Route 273; former US Route 99 through Redding and Anderson", September 2020)

I-5 almost bypassed Redding entirely. Early plans would have had the freeway skirt the town near what is now Redding Municipal Airport. News reports from 1962 say that as many as four routes originally were considered, but residents, city leaders and business owners chose the one nearest to Redding. Cypress Avenue and Hilltop Drive soon became the main pit stops for travelers, leaving many businesses on former Route 99 in south Redding, downtown and the Miracle Mile to wither away.

In 2002, a highway location routing for Route 299 was adopted along Lake Boulevard from Route 273 to I-5. Concurrent with this action, the segment of Route 273 from Route 299 at Market Street to Route 273 at Lake Boulevard will be cosigned Route 273/Route 299.

Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

This is an original routing for US 99. I-5 is a freeway bypass. This was part of the original LRN 3, defined in 1909.

The original routing of LRN 3 primarily used the routing of the Central Pacific Railroad frontage roads.  Within Redding, the implied route of LRN 3 bypassed downtown as it crossed the Sacramento River from what is now Henderson Open Space Park via the 1908 Redding Free Bridge to Smile Place.  From Smile Place, LRN 3 continued west on Parkview Avenue and turned south on Market Street.  During this time, LRN 20 traversed downtown Redding north on Market Street and west on Eureka Way towards Weaverville.  Within Anderson, LRN 3 followed current Route 273, Barney Road, and Rhonda Road towards Cottonwood. By 1918, LRN 3 crossing the Sacramento River on what is Market Street into downtown Redding.  The shift in LRN 3 took the 1908 Redding Bridge out of the State Highway System for the time and truncated LRN 20 out of downtown Redding.  The new alignment over the Sacramento River departed Market Street north of downtown Redding and swung westward to a crossing via Riverside Drive. US 99 was signed over LRN 3 in 1926. In 1938, there was a three phase project to improve US 99/US 299 (original Route 44)/LRN 3 north of downtown Redding and the Sacramento River.  Phase 1 included the completion of the 795 foot long plate girder 1935 Sacramento River Bridge.  Phase 2 included a new direct alignment of US 99/US 299/LRN 3 on Market Street from the north bank of the Sacramento River to Sulpur Creek that was completed in December 1935.  Phase 3, completed during July 1937 between Sulpur Creek and Boulder Hill, included a new interchange where US 299/LRN 28 split towards Alturas. In 1950, a new four lane expressway alignment of US 99/LRN 3 between Cottonwood and Anderson replaced what is now Main Street, Rhonda Road, and Barney Road between Cottonwood north to Anderson with a grade that lines up with I-5 between Exits 665 north to Exit 667 and modern Route 273 north to Anderson Creek. In 1964, planning began for a bypass around Redding that would be part of I-5; this was budgeted for 1965-1967.
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer), "California State Route 273; former US Route 99 through Redding and Anderson", September 2020)

In 2007, an effort was begun to have this segment signed as "Historic Route 99". The groups hope to have the black-and-white historical Route 99 signs up by October. They'll be placed from North Market Street in Redding down to where Interstate 5 meets Highway 273 south of Anderson.

Status Status

In January 2017, it was reported that Route 273 is getting another close look from the California Department of Transportation. Officials have been talking to local transportation, police, fire and public health departments, hospitals, schools and the Good News Rescue Mission. They also want to hear from the public and will hold three workshops to get feedback on how to make the route better for anyone who drives, walks or bikes. This comes after preliminary collision figures show 2015 — the most recent available — was the deadliest year for people who traveled on Route 273. Of 28 reported collisions on the corridor stretching from north Redding to Anderson, seven people were killed and 37 were injured, according to data compiled by the University of California, Berkeley Transportation Injury Mapping System. Alcohol and unsafe speed played a role in more than half of the collisions in 2015. Poor lighting was a factor in a quarter of the cases. Two pedestrians were killed crossing the street and a third was killed while walking on the road and its shoulder, perhaps highlighting the lack of sidewalks in parts of the corridor and the prevalence of pedestrians who dart from one side of the road to the other, particularly in south Redding. Over the past three years, three safety projects on Route 273 caught the attention of those who use the corridor. It started with the reduction in southbound lanes and addition of bike lanes in downtown Redding. Caltrans also added a crosswalk for pedestrians trying to get to the Rescue Mission. Last year, crews put in sidewalks on the east side of the road from Parkview Avenue to Grange Street.
(Source: Redding Record Searchlight, 1/23/2017)

In June 2021, it was reported that CalTrans has begun work on a project at the intersection of Route 273 and Girvan Road (SHA 11.565). CalTrans plans to create a flat railroad crossing that will also include a new bus stop, removal of the sidewalk gap on Eastside Road, improving the intersection, and widening the lanes to current standards. They will also install a trail between Westside Road and Canyon Road. The traffic signal will be deactivated and access to Girvan and Westside roads will be blocked. The total cost of the project is $5.6 million.
(Source: Action News Now, 6/14/2021)

Named Structures Named Structures

CHP Officer George W. ReddingIn the right of way for Route 273 in Shasta County is the "CHP Officer George W. Redding Memorial". On August 17, 1988, CHP Officer George W. Redding, died in the line of duty as a result of injuries sustained when struck by a utility pole guy wire while investigating a traffic collision on Route 273. Officer Redding joined the CHP in January 1966, graduated from the patrol academy and was assigned to the San Leandro area on May 25, 1966. He transferred to the Redding area on September 15, 1969. He demonstrated steadfast and selfless dedication to the citizens of the State of California, and was commiteed to the safety of the motoring public. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 86, Chapter 126, on August 21, 2002.
(Image source: California Assn of Highway Patrolmen)

Redding Police Officer Owen (Ted) LyonThe Sacramento River Bridge (06-0014, SHA 017.08) located on Route 273 as it crosses the Sacramento River into downtown in the City of Redding is named the Redding Police Officer Owen “Ted” Lyon Memorial Bridge. It was named in memory of Police Officer Owen “Ted” Lyon,born in 1931, in Socorro, New Mexico. He graduated from Red Bluff High School in 1949 and went on to junior college for one and one-half years to study electrical engineering. He worked for the Paul Bunyan Lumber Company in Anderson, California, from April 1957 to September 1961, inclusive. On September 7, 1961, he joined the Redding Police Department. Officer Lyon was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 1967. He and his partner, Jon Kelbaugh, had responded to the address of 1047 Gilbert Street in the City of Redding on a domestic violence incident where it had been reported that a drunk man had been fighting with his wife in an apartment and had threatened her with a gun. As both officers approached the front door on foot, a man stepped out from behind the door firing a .32 caliber handgun and Officer Lyon was shot in the abdomen by the suspect and fell to the ground still holding his service weapon and Officer Kelbaugh was also shot in the abdomen and the back. After retreating, Officer Kelbaugh, who survived the assault engaged the suspect in a gun battle using a shotgun and the suspect was killed. Officer Kelbaugh loaded Officer Lyon into a police unit and drove him to the Redding Medical Center where he died approximately 24 hours later. Officer Lyon was 35 years of age, had six years of service with the Redding Police Department. Many officers from the Redding Police Department and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department responded to the hospital to donate blood and nearly 60 pints of blood were collected in an effort to save the life of Officer Lyon. On September 18, 2012, the Redding City Council unanimously approved authorization for the Redding Police Department to proceed with this request to create the Redding Police Officer Owen “Ted” Lyon Memorial Bridge. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 13, August 29, 2013. Resolution Chapter 86.
(Image source: Redding PD on Facebook)

Business Routes Business Routes

Business Route Shield Some reports indicate that this route was once signed as Business Route I-5 in its entirety. Recent reports indicate it is signed as Route 273.

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 273:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

In 1959, Chapter 1062 defined LRN 273 as “[LRN 60] near Huntington Beach to [LRN 179] near Santa Ana”. This is the part of present-day Route 57 from Route 1 near Huntington Beach to Route 22 near Santa Ana.

Acronyms and Explanations:

Back Arrow Route 272 Forward Arrow Route 274

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