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Interstate 280

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


Routing Routing

Intst 280From Route 101 in San Jose to Route 80 near First Street in San Francisco via Daly City.

Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

In 1963, Chapter 385 defined Route 280 as “Route 680 near San Jose to Route 480 in San Francisco via Daly City. Joint Highway District No. 10 is dissolved in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 20 of Part 1 of Division 16 of the Streets and Highways Code, and all property, assets, and liabilities of said district are the property of the State.”

In 1984, Chapter 409 changed the origin of I-280 to “Route 680 near Story Road Route 101 in San Jose to …”

Southern Portion

In April 30, 2009, the Mary Avenue Bicycle Footbridge was opened in the city of Cupertino. The 503-foot (153.3-meter)-long bridge, which crosses over Interstate 280 and connects the north and south sections of the Stevens Creek Trail, has the distinction of being the Golden State’s first cable-stayed bridge for bicycle and pedestrian traffic that is located above a freeway. The city of Cupertino received a Helen Putnam Award for Excellence from the League of California’s Cities for the design and construction of the bridge. Four local residents on bicycles had the honor of being the first individuals to cross the new bridge. These individuals included avid bicyclist Don Burnett, a one-time mayor of Cupertino who had staunchly pushed for construction of the bridge. In 2011, the structure was renamed the Don Burnett Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge in his honor.
(Source: Transportation History Blog, 4/30/2019)

Northern Portion (near San Francisco)

The map below shows some of these changes. The former routing of I-280 ran into San Francisco proper along Route 1, and US 101 ran along what is now the Route 280 routing (as the current US 101 was the Bypass 101 route).

Interesting factoid: Bids were opened on April 8, 1964 for a bridge to carry I-280 over the two-mile Stanford Linear Accelerator. Although I-280 wasn't scheduled to be built in that area for a while, the bridge construction needed to be coordinated with the AEC. Scott Parker (SParker) elaborated on the subject on AAroads:
(Source: Scott Parker (SParker) on AAroads, "Re: I-280", 3/10/2019)

There is one historic oddity regarding I-280: the bridges over SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), on Stanford University land, were constructed between 1965 and 1967, some 4 years before the remaining construction on that segment of freeway commenced -- but in conjunction with the western extension of the accelerator (a long continuous structure that extends under the freeway). This advance construction was done as a joint project between the Division of Highways and Stanford in order to ensure that any vibrations emanating from the bridge structure would not affect SLAC operations and experiments. The bridge bents on either side of the accelerator building are double-isolated, with vibration-absorbing pads between the bridge beams and the vertical bents -- and the bents themselves are sitting in a "sheath" of sand and clays to dissipate any remaining vibrations that might be transmitted to the ground; the entire bridge structure therefore "floats" above the surrounding ground rather than terminating there. It is held in place by its own weight; connected to the remainder of the freeway by a series of short metal bars over which traffic passes (driving it, one feels a series of minor "bumps" at the connecting bars as well as a bit of a "dip" in the middle of the bridge itself -- a deliberately designed "sag" due to the irregular hillside that was carved out to accommodate the accelerator structure. The unusual design of this road-to-structure isolation interface was a condition imposed by Stanford University as part of the agreement to route I-280 through the back of campus property; there are seismometers installed in the ground underneath and adjacent to the bridge to measure the continuous effectiveness of the isolation measures; when particularly precise SLAC experiments are undertaken, I-280 has on rare occasion been closed for the duration of such an experiment. This is a one-of-a-kind accommodation by Caltrans and its predecessor agency made necessary by the nature of this particular atom-smashing device.

In 1965, Chapter 1371 changed the origin: “Route 680 near San Jose Story Road to Route 480 in San Francisco via Daly City.”

In 1968, the California Department of Public Works built what is believed to be the state's first official freeway soundwall on I-680 in Milpitas, near San Jose.
(Source: LAist, 3/26/2019)

Old 280 routingUntil 1968, this routing ended at Route 480 (present-day US 101) in San Francisco -- but this was Route 480 right at the connection with the Golden Gate Bridge -- what today is where Route 1 and US 101 meet. In 1968, Chapter 282 swapped Route 280 off of Route 1 to reflect a realignment of the freeway plans in San Francisco, moving Route 280 to the E of I-80, instead of the W. This made the definition: “Route 680 near Story Road to Route 480 Route 80 near First Street in San Francisco via Daly City. Joint Highway District […] Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 89 of Chapter 1062 of the Statutes of 1959, construction of all or any portion of Route 280 from Route 101 near Alemany Boulevard to Route 480 near Harrison Street in San Francisco may be commenced at any time, if the City and County of San Francisco has conveyed or does convey to the State of California, without charge, all real property presently acquired by it for the construction of said subdivision (b) of this route or such portion thereof.”. This rewording was the result of a number of route swaps that occured in 1968:

  1. The portion of former I-280 from Route 1 to Route 480 (present-day US 101) was transferred to Route 1. This would have been the Serra and Park Presedio Freeway portions that connected from the junction of I-280 and Route 1 to the Golden Gate approach; it now corresponds to the surface street routing on 19th Avenue.
  2. A portion of Route 1 from Route 1 to Route 82 was transferred to I-280. This is the I-280 portion between Route 1 and Route 82, where I-280 makes an almost 90° turn to the East.
  3. [1967 Map; excerpt from Chris Sampang's page] A portion of Route 82 from Route 1 (present-day I-280/Route 82 junction) to Route 87 (present-day Route 230) was transferred to I-280. Route 230 was the route that come off near the proposed Southern Crossing approach near 3rd and Army. Originally, this was to have been US 101 (until US 101 was moved to the East onto Bypass US 101). There are still stub ramps at Army Street indicative of the Southern Crossing Approach; this is shown in the map to the right which is excerpted from Chris Sampang's page of 1967 maps (which, sadly, is no longer on the web).
  4. The portion from Route 87 (present-day Route 230) to I-80 was transferred from Route 87 (this was the portion between the Southern Crossing approach to I-80).
  5. The remaining portion of Route 87 in this area was divided: Route 87 from I-80 to Harrison Street went to Route 280; the rest of Route 87 went to Route 480. This was the snaking under I-80 of Route 280 to the portion of I-480.

Good information on the history of the design of I-280 may be found in the Sep/Oct 1964 issue of CHPW.

The section between Route 85 and Route 17 was built around 1964; the peninsula section was finished in the early 1970s. Before the section east of Route 17 opened in the early 1970s, I-280 was routed north along Route 17 (present-day I-880) to US 101 in San Jose. The portion between El Camino and US 101 in South San Francisco was formerly an extension of CA 82. The 1989 Loma Priata quake closed the decked portion (north of US 101 in San Francisco) for six years.

In the Los Altos area, according to the Los Altos Town Crier, Los Altos had been hearing plans with regards to a long-range extension of the Junipero Serra Highway/Boulevard as early as 1946; in response, the Business Association declared that any routing through the center of town via Southern Pacific right of way would be rejected. This may be why I-280 tends to be very rural in the area. There may also have been state involvement at least 10 years before Junipero Serra Boulevard became LRN 237. The proposed route was from Loyola Corners (Fremont Avenue at Miramonte) to Arastradero Road. This actually seems to correspond with existing Foothill Expressway.

In the San Bruno area, it appears that an early plan was to have I-280 run along Skyline Blvd from near Crystal Springs Road (former Route 117) to near Sneath, and then move NE to the current Serra routing. This shows on some 1967 maps. More information on this can be found on Route 117's entry.

Comprehensive Trafficways PlanThere is a lot of history on the "freeway revolt" in the Glen Park area, just N of the current I-280 routing near San Jose Avenue. The original plan was that “The Circumferential Expressway would be built along the Seventh Avenue - Woodside - O’Shaughnessy route ... It would connect directly into the Alemeny freeway by way of Bosworth street ... Eventually it should be extended across Golden Gate Park to Park-Presidio boulevard for access to the Richmond district and the Golden Gate Bridge.” According to the Glen Park History page, Mrs. Hermini "Minnie" Straub Baxter started working against the proposed freeway in 1958. In January 1959, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously against the city-wide freeway plan . From an editorial by the San Francisco Examiner, "The Board of Supervisors correctly reflected public sentiment when it killed several proposed San Francisco Freeways last week." Reports surfaced in 1959 and 1960 that the DPW still planned to widen Bosworth and tunnel under Portola Drive, claiming that traffic along Bosworth and O’Shaughnessy would double by 1980 because of the new redevelopment project called Diamond Heights. Glen Park residents labeled the plan as “the Crosstown Freeway plan in disguise”.By 1965, DPW had purchased and razed nearly 20 structures along the north side of Bosworth. The widening of Bosworth to four lanes would not be completed until 1970. DPW then set its sights on O'Shaughnessy Boulevard by threatening to straighten the hairpin curve exiting from Glen Park and extending the widened road further up the hill towards Portola Drive. Concurrently, plans were underway to also widen Elk Street running along the eastern border of Glen Canyon Park between Bosworth and Sussex Streets. In the early 1960s, 2 young moms - Zoanne Theriault and Joan Seiwald - had become new residents of Glen Park. They had first met on one of their frequent outings to Glen Canyon Park to entertain their young children. Soon, they would also meet lifelong Glen Park resident Geri Arkush and quickly became fast friends. Zoanne, Joan, and Geri called the first meeting of their new Save Glen Park Committee to order on October 19, 1965. During the meeting, they shared the mission of the committee: To investigate the plan for the rerouting of O’Shaughnessy over the recreation area, and to see what could be done to save Glen Park. The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department had believed that a freeway hovering over the western baseball diamond and recreation center would not impair the enjoyment of recreation. The second Save Glen Park Committee meeting to discuss these issues attracted a reported 175 concerned residents on November 9, 1965. At the meeting, George Moscone, in attendance with three other supervisors, assured Glen Park and Diamond Heights residents that, "The Department of Public Works isn't so much at fault, but they have been acting on a resolution passed a long time ago by another Board of Supervisors. Now we have a new board and I'll give you a guarantee: we come a lot closer to serving your wishes than any board of highway engineers!" The Transportation Committee of the Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed: Glen Park should be saved The last attempt at the freeway plan was in 1970. Finally, again with a unanimous vote, the Transportation Committee of the Board of Supervisors rescinded authorization for the widening of O'Shaughnessy.
(Source: Condensed and summarized from "Wonder Women! Glen Park's Gum Tree Girls, Minnie Straub Baxter, and the San Francisco Freeway Revolt", part of the "Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project")

I-280 was intended to snake under the Bay Bridge approach, connect with I-480, and provide access to I-80 and the bridge. The "Junipero Serra" and "Park Presidio" freeways would roughly parallel 19th Avenue to the east. This was part of a 1951 Trafficways Plan, supposedly eliminated in a 1959 rework; however, a 1963 plan shows I-280 going north along 19th Street through Golden Gate Park to US 101 and I-80 ending at I-280. The CalTrans 1969 map confirms this proposed route. In any case, these plans were formally abandoned by CalTrans in 1990.

In response to a question as to why I-280 narrowed upon entry to San Francisco, Mr. Roadshow (Gary Richards) noted "At the current I-280/Highway 1 junction, I-280 was originally planned to continue north along the current Route 1/Junipero Serra alignment. The southern Embarcadero Freeway was planned to branch off on the right side in the northeast direction along the current I-280 alignment. Under that original plan, people wanting to continue heading north on I-280 would have stayed to the left. Then the San Francisco freeway revolt happened. The plan for the I-280 freeway along the current Route 1/Junipero Serra alignment was eliminated, although the connection to Junipero Serra was retained. The southern Embarcadero Freeway was redesignated to be I-280. However, this meant that the right exit to southern Embarcadero would be forced to become the main alignment for I-280. Due to the number of lanes in this segment, there was concern that vehicles wanting to head north on I-280 would be inadvertently trapped to take the Junipero Serra exit on the left, which would result in vehicles making last-minute lane changes. The lane reduction and subsequent lane addition is intended to try to mitigate this situation. The lane addition occurs on the left side so that at that point vehicles are in the right five lanes. Vehicles that had been in the No. 1 (fast) lane find themselves in the No. 2 lane after the lane addition. This means that anyone wanting to continue north on I-280 would need to move over one lane to the right. If the lanes had been configured normally without the lane reduction/addition, these vehicles would have had to move over two lanes instead."
(Source: San Jose Mercury News, 3/8/13)

I-280 currently runs along the route of the original "Southern Freeway". In 1961, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors endorsed the current I-280 route to meet I-80 at the Bay Bridge. In 1965, this route became part of the interstate system, and the Park Presidio route was withdrawn. In October 1969, the city asked the state to stop work on the I-280/I-480 connection. Work on the connection to I-80, however, was allowed to continue. In 1973, I-280 was completed to 3rd street.
(Thanks to Scott "Kurumi" Oglesby for much of this information)

Note that, although the freeway portion of Route 280 does not reach I-80, the route is allocated to a series of surface streets between the freeway terminus at 4th Street/King Street and I-80. According to CalTrans, 53,000 vehicles used the non-freeway portion of I-280 in 2002.

In 2013, Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco announced his office would consider ideas for potential redevelopment upon removal of the I-280 stub, plus shrinking or removing the CalTrain yard. Could San Francisco be made anew by the removal of I-280 as it runs through the city north of 16th Street? That’s what the Center for Architecture + Design asked in a 2013 contest. For a cash prize of $10,000, the competition ”encouraged artists, academics, architects, planners, landscape architects and designers to submit concepts for public art, buildings, landscape treatments, public amenities and infrastructure, or other urban design interventions made possible through the replacement of Highway 280”
(Source: SF Gate, 9/10/13)

Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

Before the 1964 signed/legislative route alignment, I-280 was made up of the following legislative routes:

  1. LRN 5, between US 101 S to Route 17 (LRN 5/239 junction; present-day Route 17/I-880/I-280 junction). This segment was previously LRN 115.
  2. LRN 239, between Route 17 (LRN 5/239 junction) and Route 1. This was defined in 1957.
  3. LRN 225, between Route 1 (LRN 56) and US 101 (LRN 2). This portion was defined in 1947, but was later deleted from I-280. This may have been part of the Serra Freeway proposal.
  4. LRN 2, between present-day Route 82 and present-day US 101. This was defined in 1947, was originally US 101, and was later redefined as I-280.
  5. LRN 253, between US 101 (LRN 2) and Route 480.
  6. LRN 224, between Route 480 and I-80 in San Francisco.

As early as 1913, local jurisdictions (San Mateo County) were working on the construction of the original Junipero Serra Highway.

In 1956, the Interstate system established the rough routing of I-280, which likely prompted the creation of LRN 239 in 1957.

In 1958, it was reported in CHPW that planning studies on the Southern Freeway have been completed and a route adopted for an eight-lane freeway following generally along the old Southern Pacific Railroad locations and Alemany Boulevard between Orizaba Avenue, near. the south city limits of San Francisco, and the James Lick Memorial Freeway (Bayshore). Route location west of Orizaba Avenue is dependent on future location of the Junipero Serra Freeway. Further S, in 1957 LRN 239 was created by the legislature in 1957, and the short segment along Moorpark Ave in San Jose from Saratoga Ave to signed Route 17 was adopted as freeway.

Status Status

General

No items.

San Jose (US 101) to Cupertino (Route 85) (SCL 0.0 to SCL 10.689)

PPNO 0503J I-280 Soundwalls, Route 87-Los Gatos Creek Bridge (~ SCL 5.33 to SCL R010.80)

The 2018 STIP, approved at the CTC March 2018 meeting, appears to allocate $7M for PPNO 0503J I-280 Soundwalls, Route 87-Los Gatos Creek Bridge (~ SCL 5.33 to SCL R010.80).

The 2020 STIP, approaved at the CTC March 2020 meeting, continued the programming for PPNO 0503J Rt 280 Soundwalls, Rt 87-Los Gatos Creek Bridge, $833K in prior years, and $929K in FY20-21, $456K in FY 21-22, and $4,782K in FY22-23.
(Source: March 2020 CTC Agenda, Item 4.7, 2020 STIP Adopted 3/25/2020)

I-280/I-880 Interchange (~ SCL L5.346)

According to the Mercury News, there are plans for a major overhaul of the I-280/I-880 interchange, that will cost at least $109,000,000 and won't commence until at least 2011. The original plan was to simply redesign the ramp from north I-280 to north I-880 and Stevens Creek Boulevard, including redesigning the exits from Route 17 and I-280 onto Stevens Creek and north I-880, where drivers must now merge into a single lane, creating backups on I-280 and I-880 that extend for miles. However, it turned out that the primary problem is the intersection at Monroe Street and Stevens Creek, the first entrance into Westfield Valley Fair, where one in three cars coming off I-880 is headed. Cars exiting from south I-880 must jam onto Stevens Creek before they reach Monroe; planners realized that until this problem is addressed, other fixes will do little good. So a more comprehensive plan was developed that includes:

Note that about 85% of traffic from north I-280 is headed to Stevens Creek, while 15% is going to I-880 on weekends and during the afternoon commute. During the early hours of the weekday morning commute, three out of five vehicles are going toward Stevens Creek compared to I-880, changing to an 80/20 split by 10:00 am.

A later report on the construction in January 2009 noted that construction could be under way in 2010, and, at about $150 million, the price tag will top the $135 million spent to rebuild the Route 85/US 101 interchange in Mountain View, the previous Northern California record for such work. Gone will be the many cloverleaf ramps and dangerous merges, replaced by longer exit lanes, much wider ramps and a wider Stevens Creek Boulevard. The issue is the source of funding. About $21 million is in hand as of January 2009, enough to complete the first phase from south I-880 onto Stevens Creek. State and federal highway funds, future bond money and some federal stimulus dollars also could also be earmarked for this project.

In June 2009, the CTC received notice of the preparation of the EIR for the I-280/I-880/Route 17 interchange project. The project will modify the Route 17 / I-280 / I-880 freeway, as well as two adjacent interchanges at Interstate 880/Stevens Creek Boulevard and I-280 / Winchester Boulevard. The project is not fully funded. Likely funding sources include federal earmark, as well as local funding from the City of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency. The total cost of the project is estimated between $130,000,000 and $150,000,000. Assuming the availability of funding, construction is estimated to begin in Fiscal Year 2010-11.

In April 2011, Gary Richards noted plans are being scaled back. Work should be under way late in 2012 to build a flyover ramp from north I-280 to north I-880 -- a good thing as it will separate that traffic from drivers trying to go from I-280 to Stevens Creek and the shopping areas west of the interchange. The exit from south I-880 to Stevens Creek will also be widened to two lanes, along with improvements to the Stevens Creek overpass. But plans to add a new exit from north I-280 to Winchester Boulevard to serve as a back entrance to Santana Row have been scrapped.

In October 2011, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project to construct improvements at the Route 17/I-280/I-880 Interchange and I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Interchange. The project will be done in phases. Phase 1 will construct northbound I-280 to NB I-880 direct connector, reconfigure northbound I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Interchange quadrant, widen I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Overcrossing and construct soundwall along Parkmoor Avenue. Phase 2 will reconfigure southbound I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Interchange quadrant, construct Monroe Street dedicated lane and construct soundwall along S. Daniel Way. Phase 1 can proceed without Phase 2. Phase 1 is programmed in the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account and includes local funds. The total estimated cost of Phase 1 is $54,400,000, capital and support. Phase 2 is not currently programmed. The total estimated cost of Phase 2 is $10,200,000, 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 set forth in the proposed project baseline agreement. A copy of the FEIR has been provided to Commission staff. Resources that may be impacted by the project include; noise, hazardous waste, biological resources, visual and aesthetics, water quality and stormwater runoff, and traffic. Potential impacts associated with the project can all be mitigated to below significance through proposed mitigation measures. As a result, a Final Environmental Impact Report was prepared for the project.

In November 2012, groundbreaking occured for the updates to the I-280/I-880 interchange. There will be a new flyover ramp from N I-280 to N I-880. SB I-880 will get a second lane to exit onto Stevens Creek, and then the offramp will widen to four lanes at this busy street. It will also be possible to exit from SB I-880 directly onto Monroe Street and into the Valley Fair parking lot. Bicycle lanes and sidewalks will be added on Stevens Creek.

In June 2012, Gary Richards explained the reason that there are only three lanes on I-280 at the I-880/Route 17 underpass. This lane drop is there because of the limited width available with existing column locations under the bridge; opening a fourth lane at this pinch point would involve extensive and costly improvements between the Winchester Boulevard overpass and the I-880 overcrossing. Additionally, it allows drivers coming north on Route 17 to have their own lane for a short distance and not be forced to immediately merge with I-280 traffic. This is also related to the cloverleaf interchange ramp connecting NB Route 17 to NB I-280 in San Jose. It originally had two lanes, but was re-striped for only one lane. This was done to enable drivers heading on I-280 to Stevens Creek to enter into their own lane and avoid merging with traffic trying to get to NB I-880.

In July 2014, an update was provided on the I-280/I-880 interchange construction. The framework for the $62.1 million interchange adjacent to the busy shopping centers at Valley Fair and Santana Row is in place. Before Christmas 2014, many new lanes will be installed. Workers are demolishing the pedestrian walkway and replacing it temporarily with an asphalt pathway. A permanent sidewalk should be in place after Labor Day 2014. This will permit crews to build an offramp from southbound I-880 to Stevens Creek Boulevard. By Thanksgiving, this new offramp will be open featuring four lanes to Stevens Creek, three of which will be righthand turn lanes toward the two shopping centers. Another lane feeding freeway traffic directly onto Monroe Street and into the Valley Fair parking lot will open in Spring 2015. Additionally, before Christmas and before the large shopping crowds bring the area to its usual gridlock, the north Route 17/I-280 ramps to San Carlos Street should complete construction. Lanes on north I-280 will also be realigned so cars in the far right lane will exit toward Oakland instead of Los Gatos — a much more logical layout than what's there now. This reconstruction is a scaled-back version of what had been planned. There will be no exit from north I-280 onto Winchester Boulevard to allow for a back way into Santana Row, as VTA wanted, nor will there be a second lane for traffic going south on I-880 to reach north I-280. Caltrans feared that this ramp would be too close to the new interchange and create more problems than it would ease.
(Source: San Jose Mercury News, 7/8/14)

In September 2014, it was reported that construction was nearly complete on the I-280/I-880 interchange project. In September, three new on- and offramps to Stevens Creek Boulevard opened, and by Thanksgiving 2014 a special lane feeding traffic onto Monroe Street and bypassing Stevens Creek Boulevard was anticipated to be ready. Motorists driving south on I-880 will use a new signalized offramp to turn onto Stevens Creek. There will be three lanes turning right toward Valley Fair and Santana Row and one lane turning left toward downtown San Jose. Drivers on Stevens Creek headed to southbound Route 17 and southbound I-280 will use a new onramp located closer to the freeway than the current one. Motorists traveling to Stevens Creek from northbound Route 17 and northbound I-280 will see a new signalized intersection. Traffic from these ramps will no longer cross underneath the Stevens Creek Bridge and loop onto the busy street. Instead, they will make a left-hand turn through a new intersection with traffic lights. Of the $62.1 million cost, $39.2 million came from state bonds approved by voters in 2006. The federal government chipped in $19 million, and the remainder came from local tax dollars. The reconstruction is a scaled-back version of what had been planned. There will be no exit from north I-280 onto Winchester Boulevard to allow for a back way into Santana Row, as VTA wanted, nor will there be a second lane for traffic going south on I-880 to reach north I-280. All that would have run the cost up to $150 million, and Caltrans feared that this ramp would be too close to the new interchange and create more problems than it would ease.
(Source: SJ Mercury News, 9/28/2014)

280 880 interchangeIn June 2015, it was again reported that work was nearly complete on the I-280/I-880 interchange project. Motorists were already driving easier, thanks to the $63 million worth of new ramps and the wider overpass to serve the growing shopping meccas at Valley Fair and Santana Row. Some ramps need finishing, and signs updated. The most significant upgrade is the exit from south I-880 directly onto Monroe Street. When plans were first hatched to begin revamping the Valley Fair interchange, Caltrans, the Valley Transportation Authority and city engineers thought the solution was obvious and not overly challenging: Redesign the exits from Route 17 and I-280 onto Stevens Creek.
(Source (including image): SJ Mercury News, 6/16/2015)

The San Jose Mercury News has received reports of problems with the new I-280/I-880 interchange. There are reports of poorly marked embankments, missing reflectors, and badly marked transitions. There have been numerous accidents or near accidents. Caltrans is looking at what can be done to make the interchange safer, as too many drivers have reported near-rollovers.
(Source: SJ Mercury News, 3/21/2016; 4/5/2016)

In September 2016, it was reported that more work was coming to the Stevens Creek interchange (~SCL 7.43) in October, when the Apple spaceship-related project swings into a new phase when work on a new lane on the I-280 north off-ramp at Lawrence is set to begin. This should last nine months. Caltrans will add a right-turn lane onto Stevens Creek and the city of Santa Clara will adjust the Stevens Creek signal after work wraps up; Apple will chip in toward the project costs. They’ll add a second left-turn-only lane from the north I-280 exit ramp onto Stevens Creek for a total of four lanes approaching Stevens Creek. Additionally, the I-280 southbound off-ramp at Wolfe Road will be widened to two lanes back to the freeway; the I-280 north off-ramp at Wolfe will be widened to two lanes and an additional lane will be added at Wolfe, resulting in a double left and double right turn; and a third northbound lane will be constructed on Wolfe north of the loop on-ramp to Pruneridge .Calvert is down to one lane, but a second lane is coming as well as new signals at Stevens Creek/Calvert and Calvert/Lawrence.
(Source: East Bay Times, 9/6/2016)

Cupertino (Route 85) to San Mateo (Route 92) (~ SCL 11.039 to SM 10.543)

In November 2017, it was reported that the Valley Transportation Authority will release a study in early 2018 of what drivers say is needed on I-280 from San Jose to San Mateo County — and adding a fourth southbound lane near Magdalena surely going to be at the top of the wish list. The lane would need to be extended for several miles to south of Magdalena Avenue (~ SCL 14.173) and at least a half-mile beyond the beginning of the carpool lane. The shoulder area cannot be used for traffic lanes particularly for this length because of state and federal standards.
(Source: Mercury News, "Mr Roadshow" 11/6/2017)

On NB I-280 in San Mateo County, just after the Edgewood Road exit (~ SM 6.645) and another exit for a vista point, a few miles before the Route 92 exit, there is a ramp that always has a barrier with the words "road closed" on it. This appears to be a closed vista point; the reason for the closure was reportedly drug dealing as well as, ahem, usual vista point activities.

In September 2018, the governor signed legislation authorizing the Santa Clara Transportation Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to apply to the commission pursuant to the provisions to conduct, administer, and operate HOT lanes or other toll facilities on US 101 and a specified portion of Route 280 in the City and County of San Francisco if the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) approves the facilities before VTA submits an application to the commission for approval. The bill would require VTA to conduct, administer, and operate the facility in coordination with SFCTA. The bill would require SFCTA, in collaboration with the department and VTA, to develop the expenditure plan and would require the governing board of SFCTA to review and approve the expenditure plan and any updates.
(Source: AB 2865, Chapter 501, 9/18/2018)

San Mateo (Route 92) to Daly City (Route 1)

In March 2016, it was reported that San Mateo County was considering new billboards along I-280 and US 101. Later reports clarified that the county was never seriously thinking of billboards on I-280 because they are not allowed, and that any new billboards would have to be on county land.
(Source: San Mateo Daily Journal, 3/28/2016)

Daly City (Route 1) to San Francisco (I-80)

No items

San Francisco (East of I-80)

This routing is unconstructed from 2 miles south of I-80 to I-80. Currently, I-280 is undergoing a seismic retrofit. This will add an on-ramp at 4th and Townsend. Caltrans is also building new ramps from I-280 near 6th street to the newly widened King Street. They are also dismantling all the old I-280 roadway from 3rd Street to these new ramps, shortening I-280 by 3 blocks. The Caltrans mid-1980s "Route Concept Reports" projected a 2005 need for 14-16 lanes for I-280 between Route 85 and I-880; and for 14 lanes for I-880 from US 101 to Route 237.

Proposal to Demolish Northern End of I-280

In May 2011, it was reported that the northernmost stretch of I-280 could be demolished and turned into an Octavia Boulevard-like parkway under options being considered by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The freeway currently ends around Fourth and King streets, near AT&T Park. According to the San Francisco Examiner, it could be removed north of 22nd Street to accommodate high-speed rail, which is expected to travel through the Peninsula along Caltrain’s route. City officials proposed removing the freeway to avoid tunneling several roads beneath the tracks of the proposed rail system. Caltrain now runs beneath I-280 for about five blocks north of 18th Street. The rail authority wants to follow that path, burying a second set of tracks beneath Caltrain’s route. That would yield a total of four tracks, two buried and two at street level. If there is not enough room to fit four parallel tracks between the underground pilings that support I-280, a length of I-280 would be removed and reconstructed as a parkway from 18th Street north.

In January 2013, the mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, floated the idea of tearing down the stub end of I-280 in San Francisco in hopes of creating a new neighborhood and speeding up the arrival of high-speed rail service downtown. The notion is to knock down I-280 before 16th Street - eliminating the ramps both at Sixth and Brannan streets and at Fourth and King streets. It would be replaced by a street-level boulevard akin to those built after the Embarcadero and Central freeways were knocked down. The plan also calls for clearing out the adjacent rail yard to make way for a high-speed rail line.

280 RemovalThe idea was floated again in May 2015. His current goal is to to tear down Interstate 280 at Mission Bay and build an underground rail tunnel through the area — complete with a station between the proposed Warriors arena and AT&T Park. This is part of an effort to bring Caltrain — and, one day, high-speed rail — into downtown and the new Transbay Terminal while opening up a whole new area of the city for development. As an added bonus, moving Caltrain’s current station a couple of blocks to the southeast — from Fourth and King streets to a site roughly opposite Pier 50 on Third Street — would help Lee sell the argument that he can keep a Warriors arena from creating huge traffic problems. Lee first proposed the idea in 2013 of of knocking down I-280 north of Mariposa Street and replacing it with a street-level boulevard like those built after the Embarcadero and Central freeways were torn down. Since then, the city has been awarded $1.7 million in grants from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and others to study the idea. Caltrain’s first reaction to the idea was tepid at best. No comment from Caltrans.
(Source: SFGate, 5/11/2015)

In February 2016, it was reported that the city of San Francisco had started briefing the initial findings from the first phase of a long-range study dubbed the Rail Yard Alternatives and I-280 Boulevard Feasibility Study (RAB). This study investigating how San Francisco can most efficiently and cost-effectively connect all of these public transit investments locally and regionally. A minor portion of the study focused on the idea of razing a 1.2-mile portion of I-280 and turning the connection into a boulevard South of Market. Four other categories have been studied in more depth and will be examined further over the next year. Those areas are realigning the downtown rail extension to bring high-speed rail system to the future Transbay Transit Center, creating a loop that ensures both Caltrain and high-speed rail do not dead-end at the future transit hub, reconfiguring or relocating the Fourth & King railyard and the resulting public benefits if parcels of public land were freed of transportation infrastructure. With respect to I-280, the city planned to continue to work with Caltrans, SFMTA and the San Francisco County Transportation Agency to study the feasibility of razing the last 1.2 miles of the freeway, potentially ending it as far back as Mariposa Street in Mission Bay. This could be done all at once or in pieces and there will be a large public discussion focused on this aspect down the road.
(Source: Hoodline, 2/25/2016)

In March 2016, the San Francisco Examiner unearthed two sets of blueprints related to I-280 and the rail tunnel. One set of blueprints, drawn in 1969, planners say shows evidence that to build a new Caltrain extension, I-280 must come down — no questions asked. The other set of plans, two decades old, purportedly shows a road not taken — how the Caltrain extension could be built without the need to tear down I-280. In the 1969 blueprints, there is one glaring issue: I-280 is too narrow to bore a tunnel underneath. The blueprints show I-280’s pylons are 24 feet apart. That’s smaller than any train tunnels that could be dug up beneath the freeway. Even though the pylons are 24-feet on centerline, “inside spacing — or the width between the edge of a piling to another piling — is less than that.” “Big Alma,” the main boring machine used in 2014 to dig the hole for the Central Subway in Chinatown, has a diameter of 22-feet. However, a single tunnel bore is at least 28 feet in diameter — too wide to fit. With respect to tunneling two bores around the pilings, you wouldn’t be able to ‘bring them together’ in the space that you have before entering the downtown extension. On the other hand, a set of drawings labeled with the Muni “worm” logo, titled “Phase 1 Design Conceptual Engineering Drawing,” last redrawn Nov. 5, 1993, show Caltrain tracks to the Downtown Extension depressed only five feet below the surface, instead of tunneling underground . To join Mission Bay with the rest of The City, the blueprints feature a construction nowhere else in San Francisco — an underground roadway, and accompanying pedestrian passage.
(Source: SF Examiner, 3/27/2016)

In December 2017, it was reported that San Francisco was exploring creating HOV/HOT (Express) lanes on SB I-280 from 5th St to US 101, and on NB I-280 from 18th St to 5th St.
(Source: SF Examiner, 12/27/2017)

Commuter Lanes Commuter Lanes

In the city and county of San Francisco, there were HOV lanes from S of the Sixth Street on-ramp to S of Army Street, for 1.6 miles. These were opened in 1975, but closed by the Loma Prieta earthquake.

In Santa Clara County, there is a southbound HOV lane from the Magdalena Avenue on-ramp to N of Meridian Avenue, for a length of 11.2 mi. There is a northbound HOV lane from S of Leland Avenue to the Magdalena off-ramp, for a length of 10.7 mi. These were opened in December 1990, require two or more occupants, and are in operation weekdays between 5:00am and 9:00am and between 3:00pm and 7:00pm.

A 2001 Caltrans survey showed that use of the HOV lane dropped near the Highway 17 interchange, from 4,256 vehicles in 1996 to 2,561 in 2001. This freeway continues to rank as the least-used HOV lane in the San Jose Valley.

Naming Naming

The portion of this route from the I-280/US 101 junction to Route 17 (~ SCL R0.162 to SCL L5.278) is named the "Sinclair Freeway". Joseph P. Sinclair was District Engineer for the District 4 Division of Highways (now Caltrans) from 1952 to 1964. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 104, Chapt. 168 in 1967. His son, Mike Sinclair, provided more information regarding his father: This stretch of I-280 and I-680 provided San Jose with its first freeway service. The concept for the freeway took shape during the tenure of Joseph Sinclair as District Engineer in charge of District IV, California State Division of Highways (now Caltrans), from 1959 to 1964. Route location studies were initiated in 1955, and adopted as part of the Interstate System in 1962. Much planning and research went into the design of this freeway in order to provide both a beautiful and functional facility. The City of San Jose and the Division of Highways negotiated a cooperative agreement for the development of park and recreational facilities within the freeway right-of-way at six locations along this route in a precedent-setting Freeway/Parks concept. To make the freeway more compatible with the adjacent residential properties, the first noise barrier in the Bay Area was installed. The freeway passed through an old Olive orchard. Many of the trees were removed and replanted within the freeway right of way to preserve these old trees. The freeway was landscaped and was officially designated as a "landscape freeway". When a freeway gets this official designation it eliminates the possibility of outdoor advertising being placed adjacent to the freeway. Sinclair was a pioneer in the design and routing of the state's freeway system. Born in Minnesota in 1910, he joined the Division of Highways in 1932 as rodman on a survey party, after graduation from the University of Southern California as a civil engineer. Subsequently, he filled positions of increasing responsibility as a freeway planner, designer, and builder in San Diego and Los Angeles, prior to coming to San Francisco in 1952. During World War II he served as Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Seabees, stationed in the South Pacific. At the time of his death in 1964 he had become nationally known in his profession. In designating a freeway in his honor, the legislature for the first time named a highway after a civil engineer.

Junipero Serra FreewayThe portion of this route from the Junction of Route 17/Route 880 in San Jose to the Junction with Route 1 in Daly City (~ SCL L5.278 to SM R25.233) is named the "Junipero Serra Freeway". Junipero Serra (November 24, 1713 – August 28, 1784) was a Roman Catholic Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco, in what was then Alta California in the Province of Las Californias, New Spain. Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988, in the Vatican City. Pope Francis canonized him on September 23, 2015, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., during his first visit to the United States. His missionary efforts earned him the title of Apostle of California. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 140, Chapter 208 in 1967.  Note that there is controversy regarding the honoring of Serra in light of modern sensibilities. Per Wikipedia, "The New York Times noted that some "Indian historians and authors blame Father Serra for the suppression of their culture and the premature deaths at the missions of thousands of their ancestors." George Tinker, an Osage/Cherokee and professor at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, cites evidence that Serra required the converted Indians to labor to support the missions. Tinker writes that while Serra's intentions in evangelizing were honest and genuine, overwhelming evidence suggests that the "native peoples resisted the Spanish intrusion from the beginning"."
(Image source: A Kaua'i Blog; Weird California; Wikipedia)

Officer Dale M. Krings Memorial Rest AreaThe Vista Four safety roadside rest area, also known as the Crystal Springs Rest Stop, on I-280, between Exits 34 and 36, north of Route 92, in the County of San Mateo (~ SM R13.505) is named the "Officer Dale M. Krings Memorial Rest Area". It was named in memory of Officer Dale M. Krings, who was a traffic officer with the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Krings joined the CHP in 1956 and upon graduation from the CHP Academy, he was assigned to the West Los Angeles area. Officer Krings transferred to the Redwood City CHP area on May 29, 1957, and was assigned to patrol duties within San Mateo County. Officer Krings was well-recognized as an outstanding employee of the CHP, who dedicated himself to providing the highest levels of service, safety, and security to the people of California. Many times, Officer Krings, through his own initiative, went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety and well-being of those with whom he came into contact. On May 22, 1962, Officer Krings was on duty in San Mateo County when he was attacked by a gunman who opened fire upon him. Mortally wounded, Officer Krings returned fire, killing the gunman and saving numerous innocent persons in the immediate area. Officer Krings was a friend to many and one who honorably served the people of California, and who personified the values of the CHP leaving a legacy of excellence for future generations of CHP officers to follow. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 100, Resolution Chapter 109, on September 4, 2012.
(Image source: Burlingame-Hillsborough Patch; California Assn of Highway Patrolmen; Wikimapia)

The portion of this routing between Route 1 and US 101 in San Francisco County (~ SM M27.244R to SF R4.275R) is the "Southern Freeway" or "Southern Embarcadero Freeway".

John F. ForanI-280 from the San Mateo/San Francisco County line to 6th Street (end of Freeway) (SF 0.000 to SF T7.332) is named the "John F. Foran Freeway". A San Francisco native and graduate of the University of San Francisco Law School, Foran was elected to the State Assembly in 1962. He served 11 years in that position, and as many years in the State Senate. He was the first legislator to serve as chairman of the Transportation Committee in both the California Assembly and Senate. A prolific legislator, Foran authored numerous bills that tremendously improved the state’s transportation system, including Assembly Bill 363, which gave birth to Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in 1970. Foran was an early champion of regionalism, and was adept at finding creative solutions to chaos. He designed MTC to tackle the region’s often disorganized and competitive transportation network, and to lay the foundation for future public transit development in a rapidly growing region. Taking shape just as the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system was coming online, MTC was positioned to make the most of the new regional rail system by fostering and integrating feeder transit lines. Under Foran’s vision, a highway-centric view of transportation gave way to a more balanced and environmentally sound approach to moving people in the Bay Area. Foran was also responsible for the bill that permitted MTC to use bridge toll revenues to improve transit systems in the bridge corridors, and for a gas tax that generated $2-3 billion for state and local roads in the 1980s. He authored the Pure Air Act in 1968, which was later adapted by Congress as the Federal Clean Air Act. He is also to thank for the expansion of the Golden Gate Bridge District’s mission to include bus and ferry service. It was named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 73, Chapter 49 in 1986.
(Image source: MTC)

CHP Officer Hugo Olazar Memorial HighwayThe portion of this route from the San Jose Avenue/Sickles Avenue onramp to the San Jose Avenue Overcrossing (~ SF R0.772 to SF R1.065) is designated the "CHP Officer Hugo Olazar Memorial Highway". On September 2, 1989, while investigating a solo vehicle traffic collision on the right shoulder of I-280 S of the San Jose Avenue overcrossing with his partner, Officer Javier Rocha, Officer Olazar's patrol car was hit by a drunk driver travelling very fast. The impact caused the patrol car to buckle, jamming the doors shut. The car then burst into flame, trapping both officers inside. Officer Rocha was able to escape by shooting out a side window. He tried to pull his unconscious parter out, but was driven away by intense flames. Officer Rocha sustained second- and third-degree burns, but Officer Olazar died at the scene. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 35, Chapter 127, on 9/21/1999.
(Image source: CHP San Francisco on Twitter; Calif. Assn. of Highway Patrolmen)

The portion of I-280 between US 101 and Sixth Street in San Francisco (~SF R4.275R to SF T7.332) is commonly called the "280 Extension".

Historically, this route is close to the original "El Camino Real" (The Kings Road). The portion of this route from Route 1 to San Francisco has officially been designated as "El Camino Real by Assembly Bill 1769, Chapter 1569, in 1959.

Portions of this route were named "Skyline Blvd" by Resolution Chapter 46 in 1919.

Named Structures Named Structures

Joe Colla InterchangeThe interchange of I-680, I-280, and US 101 in the City of San Jose (~ SCL R0.209) is named the "Joe Colla Interchange." This interchange was named in memory of Joseph Anthony Colla, who actively served the San Jose community during the 1970s as a pharmacist, bike racer, bike race promoter, and San Jose City Council Member. Councilman Joe Colla worked in the 1970s alongside future mayors Norman Mineta and Janet Gray Hayes to help the City of San Jose develop economically and culturally and become described as "San Jose, a City with a Future". Colla is best known for a stunt involving the US 101/I-680/I-280 interchange. Construction started on that interchange, and then stopped as then-Gov. Jerry Brown suspended most highway building in the state in a cost-cutting measure. Road crews disappeared and what remained was a 200-foot ramp suspended in the air with rebar sticking out of both ends. The ramp was dubbed San Jose's "Monument to Nowhere." In the pre-dawn hours of a sunny but chilly January day, Colla got a crane operator to lift a Chevy on top of the unfinished ramp. Then the feisty councilman and drugstore owner jumped in a helicopter, which dropped him off next to the car. A photograph was snapped of Colla with arms outstretched and the caption: "Where Do We Go From Here?"As a direct result of Councilman Joe Colla's exploits, including posing the question, "Where do I drive from here?" from atop the unfinished interchange, and identifying the monolith as "A Monument to Nowhere." This made Colla a true urban legend. After the car stunt, he organized a 300-car caravan to Sacramento to push for the interchange's completion. Eventually the City of San Jose received the necessary funding and the interchange project was completed. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 102, August 30, 2010, Resolution Chapter 107.
(Image source: Mercury News; Calisphere; Mercury News)

Don Burnett Bicycle-Pedestrian BridgeThe bicycle and pedestrian bridge that crosses Route 280 at Mary Avenue (~ SCL 10.431) between the cities of Cupertino and Sunnyvale in the County of Santa Clara is officially designated the "Don Burnett Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge". It was named in memory of bicycle advocate Don Burnett. April 2009 marked the official opening of the bicycle-pedestrian bridge presently known as the Mary Avenue Bridge, over Route 280 between the cities of Cupertino and Sunnyvale. The concept for the bridge was originated in the early 1990s by bicycle advocate Don Burnett. For many years, Burnett led, encouraged, and supported efforts to construct and finance the bridge. The construction and finance efforts began in 1993 when Don Burnett began eight years of service as a Cupertino City Councilman and as Mayor of the City of Cupertino from 1995 through 1996. Don Burnett's initial work identified the importance of alternatives to the automobile. Don Burnett was recognized for his past bicycling and pedestrian activities by the City Council of the City of Cupertino in a proclamation on May 18, 2010, which noted his efforts in forming the City of Cupertino's first Bicycle Advisory Committee, now called the Bicycle Pedestrian Commission. The proclamation recognized him as "an unsurpassed bike advocate who was the key author of the city's bicycle plan and pedestrian plan". Burnett served in an active role in leadership and support of recreational bicycle rides for the Western Wheelers Bicycle Club, Almaden Cycle Touring Club, and Skyline Cycling Club, and was the recipient of many awards from those organizations. Burnett served on the board of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and received the 2005 Advocate of the Decade Award "for years of bicycle commuting, followed by years of advocacy... and trails watchdog for the Santa Clara Valley Water District". Burnett served the Valley Transportation Authority as a volunteer on the Citizens Advisory Committee and Citizens Watchdog Committee from 2004 through 2008. Following his death on September 11, 2010, the Board of Directors of the Valley Transportation Authority adjourned their regular meeting on October 7, 2010, in memory of Don Burnett. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 35, Resolution Chapter 61, on July 19, 2011.
(Image source: e|ESTOQUE; Mercury News; Wikipedia)

Doran Memorial Bridge

Eugene A. Doran Memorial BridgeBridge 35-0199, at Crystal Springs Road and San Mateo Creek, just north of Route 92 (SM R012.73), is named the "Eugene A. Doran Bridge". Eugene Doran was killed in the early morning darkness of Aug. 5, 1959, by Alexander Robillard, a convicted burglar and car thief who would die in the gas chamber. Doran pulled over Robillard and was checking to see if his car was stolen when the killer shot the officer six times. Doran left behind a pregnant wife and two children. One son would die in the Vietnam War.  Officer Doran’s Hillsborough badge #10 has been retired and will never be worn by another officer.  It was built in 1967, and was named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 34, Chapter 173 in 1969. This beautiful, award-winning bridge must be seen from below to be appreciated.  The bridge was designed by the late architect Mario Ciampi, known for his work in reinforced concrete structures. His resume includes the University Art Museum and the Newman Center Chapel in Berkeley, Westmoor High School in Daly City and Oceana High School in Pacifica.
(Image source: Historical Marker Database; San Mateo Daily Journal; Officer Down Memorial Page)

USMC LCpl Patrick M. DoranIn August 2004, Senate Concurrent Resolution 65 redesignated Bridge 35-0199, SM R012.73, the Eugene A. Doran Memorial Bridge on I-280 at San Mateo Creek, north of Route 92, in the County of San Mateo as the Officer Eugene and Marine Lance Corporal Patrick M. Doran Memorial Bridge. It was named additionally in memory of Marine Lance Corporal Patrick M. Doran, who died in the line of duty on February 18, 1967, in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. (August 12, 2004, Chapter 138).
(Image source: Wall of Faces)

Commander Isiah Nelson Memorial Hanging GardensThe large retaining wall on I-280 between Army/25th Street and Mariposa (~ SF R5.795L to SF R6.685) is named the "Commander Isiah Nelson Memorial Hanging Gardens". Commander Isiah Nelson III was a highly regarded officer of the San Francisco Police Department, best known as the Hero of Candlestick Park. When the 1989 Loma Priata Earthquake hit, Nelson was in charge of making sure that a blend of 60,000 shaken fans, a damaged stadium and darkening skies did not descend into chaos. He orchestrated a safe evacuation of the stadium. After Nelson confirmed with the Commissioner of Baseball (who was in San Francisco at the game) that the game was cancelled, he drove around in his scout car and used the loudspeaker to alert fans of the cancellation, and asked them to exit as calmly as possible. Nelson, a San Francisco native, was 36 when he was promoted to the rank of commander, making him the youngest officer and the first African-American to serve that rank in San Francisco. He started working at Candlestick at a time when behavior at the ballpark reached its beer-soaked low. An infamous, brawl-filled doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 all but demanded reform.  Nelson partnered with Jorge Costa, who in 1989 was hired away from his post as the chief of operations at the Oakland Coliseum, to work toward creating a different environment at The ‘Stick.  On the night of the earthquake, Nelson put all his skills to use. Costa recalled the way the commander inhaled “the fast and furious information and details and mood swings based on the latest reports” and exhaled a plan of action for the officers, the crowd and the commissioner. At some point during his command, Nelson dispatched an officer to find his wife and son outside the stadium. When they reunited, the family hopped into Nelson’s squad car as the commander escorted baseball executives and other personnel to the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Nelson died on April 14, 1990, in a solo crash of his motorcycle at 12:15 a.m. He was en route to the Hall of Justice from Candlestick Park and drove on a portion of I-280 that had been shut down for repairs. He struck a cement barricade near 25th Street.  Since 1990, the Giants have given out the Commander Nelson Award to an employee who best exemplifies Nelson’s “spirit, dedication and professionalism.”  Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 75, Chapter 10 in 1994.
(Image source and additional information source: Mercury News, 10/16/2014; Image source: Yelp)

This route also has the following Safety Roadside Rest Areas:

Interstate Submissions Interstate Submissions

Approved as chargeable Interstate on Sept. 1955; rerouted in San Francisco (gaining 2 miles) in August 1965; Segment between 6th St and the bridge removed as chargeable interstate in July 1981. The section between US 101 to 6th Street in SF is the section that failed in the 1989 earthquake. This later routing was rescinded in 1991.

In the first attempt to number urban routes, the California Department of Highways proposed this as I-3. The first proposal as a 3-digit route was as I-109. Once the numbering scheme for 3-digit interstates was finalized, the proposal changed to I-180. AASHTO finally approved this as I-280.

Exit Information Exit Information

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Scenic Route Scenic Route

[SHC 263.8] From Route 17 in Santa Clara County to I-80 near First Street in San Francisco.

Classified Landcaped Freeway Classified Landcaped Freeway

The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:

County Route Starting PM Ending PM
San Francisco 280 R0.00 R4.70
San Francisco 280 R6.30 R6.65
San Mateo 280 R3.11 R3.48
San Mateo 280 R4.37 R5.73
San Mateo 280 R16.85 M27.43
Santa Clara 280 R0.00 R0.93
Santa Clara 280 R1.20 R1.86
Santa Clara 280 R2.00 R2.21
Santa Clara 280 R2.31 17.70

Freeway Freeway

[SHC 253.1] Entire route. The portion from Route 17 to Route 80 in San Francisco was added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959. The remainder of the route to I-680 was added in 1961.

Blue Star Memorial Highway Blue Star Memorial Highway

This route was designated as a "Blue Star Memorial Highway" by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 50 in 1996 (according to the Caltrans web pages, although the Caltrans naming log gives the date as 1970).

National Trails National Trails

De Anza Auto Route This route is part of the De Anza National Historic Trail.

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 280:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

In 1959, Chapter 102 defined LRN 280 as “[LRN 2] near Sweetwater River to [LRN 2] near El Cajon”. This is present-day Route 54 from I-5 near Sweetwater River to I-8 near El Cajon.


Acronyms and Explanations:


Back Arrow Route 279 Forward Arrow Route 281

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Maintained by: Daniel P. Faigin <webmaster@cahighways.org>.