🛣 Headlines About California Highways – September 2020

Whew. And those years are a wrap. You’re probably confused, thinking the year doesn’t end for a few months. Not quite. The last two weeks have seen two years come to an end: the Jewish year of 5780, and the government fiscal year of FY19-20.  And this year, I’ll take any year ending I can get, if it brings me closer to 2021, and perhaps getting back to the old new normal, as opposed to the new new normal. In any case, the year ends have been keeping me busy, but one thing that hasn’t changed is my collecting headlines about California Highways. So here, for your edification and enjoyment, are the articles of interest that came across my desk. Note: There seem to be a lot less headlines this month — I’m guessing due to impacts from COVID and slowdowns due to the fires. Oh, and as it is the end of September, I’ve started on the next round of updates to the highway pages (which will cover the August and September headlines, legislative actions (including the end of the session), and CTC actions).

So, as always, ready, set, discuss.

[💰 Paywalls and 🚫 other annoying restrictions: LAT/LA Times; SJMN/Mercury News; OCR/Orange County Register; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; PE/Press Enterprise; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; NVR/Napa Valley Register; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; SONN/Sonoma News; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram]

  • Commuters may have to pay to use North Bay highways 101, 37, 12 under Bay Area plan. Toll roads may be more common for San Francisco Bay Area commuters in the coming years — but not at the speed one might think. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission sent a letter to the Bay Area’s county transportation agencies in early August to help with funding on projects that alleviate congestion on the highways. The primary option involves express lanes that require tolls to be paid if motorists are not in a carpool or public transit. In the North Bay, U.S. Highway 101, along with State Routes 12 and 37, were singled out as possible toll targets.
  • 🎥 Virtual Open House for the State Route 99 Lomo Crossing Safety Project (Video). Welcome to our Virtual Open House for the State Route 99 Lomo Crossing Safety Project in Sutter County. Caltrans has produced a short video outlining the preliminary measures the Department is proposing to increase safety at the intersection of SR-99 and Live Oak Boulevard/Encinal Road.
  • BYPASS SAFETY MEASURES ON THE WAY. Your odds of getting in a collision on the 120 Bypass as you near Highway 99 if you are trying to head south toward Ripon and Modesto is six times higher than the statewide average. That tidbit from a Caltrans study helped set in motion the first phase of a $131.5 million project at the 120 Bypass and Highway 99 to improve vehicle movements and capacity. The project, expected to break ground a year from now, won’t be in place until 2023. In the meantime Caltrans is taking steps aimed at reducing the potential for carnage until two lanes are in place for eastbound 120 Bypass heading toward Modesto are in place.
  • Caltrans awards $6 million to construction company to fix highways damaged from CZU Lightning Complex. Caltrans is responding to highway damage in Santa Cruz County following the destructive CZU Lightning Complex Fire. Caltrans is mobilizing several contractors and sub-contractors to help with the repairs including fallen and hazardous trees, burned guardrails, destroyed traffic signs and markers and damaged retaining walls. Caltrans District 5 awarded Granite Construction of Santa Cruz a $6 million emergency contract to clear, repair and restore segments of Highway 1, 9 and 236 in Santa Cruz County.
  • 💰/SONN Commuters may have to pay to use North Bay highways 101, 37, 12 under Bay Area plan. Toll roads may be more common for San Francisco Bay Area commuters in the coming years — but not at the speed one might think. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission sent a letter to the Bay Area’s county transportation agencies in early August to help with funding on projects that alleviate congestion on the highways. The primary option involves express lanes that require tolls to be paid if motorists are not in a carpool or public transit. In the North Bay, U.S. Highway 101, along with State Routes 12 and 37, were singled out as possible toll targets.
  • Geotechnical Studies For Last Chance Grade Project Continue as Caltrans Fixes ‘Ski Jump’. Though environmental studies to find the best possible route around Last Chance Grade continue, Caltrans crews have been busy this summer to ensure U.S. 101 stays open. Caltrans continues to repair storm damage at the slide-prone area roughly 9 miles south of Crescent City, the agency stated in a “Progress Update Summer 2020” mailer sent to Del Norters recently. Crews are also correcting a dip in the highway, which locals have dubbed the ski jump, project manager Jaime Matteoli told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Wednesday.
  • More than $1.6B allocated to for work on state’s transportation system. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated on Aug. 14 more than $1.6 billion for transportation projects throughout the state, including about $1.3 billion for State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects, Caltrans’ “fix-it-first” program aimed at preserving the condition of the State Highway System. The projects allocated for funding will create an estimated 21,720 jobs, including direct, indirect and induced economic impacts. [Santa Ynez] Area state highway projects allocated funds include: ..

  • Curve Warning Sign Project To Enhance Safety on SR-192. A Caltrans project to install curve warning signs along State Route 192 from Morada Lane to the Interchange with State Route 150 to enhance safety will continue next week during the overnight hours from 8 pm until 5 am in the following locations:
  • Crescent City Harbor Commissioners Reaffirm Support for STAA 197/199 Project. The Del Norte Local Transportation Commission can add the Crescent City Harbor District to its list of supporters for a project to bring highways 199 and 197 up to 1982 trucking standards. Harbor commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday reaffirming their support for the project, which has been stalled when Friends of Del Norte, the Environmental Protection Information Center and the Center For Biological Diversity obtained an injunction in 2014. On Tuesday, Crescent City Harbormaster Charlie Helms told commissioners that the funding stream for the project may be expiring soon. Local Transportation Commissioners are asking local elected boards to reaffirm their support for the project to continue that funding.
  • Union Road interchange could be done by Black Friday – Manteca Bulletin. Manteca could save up to $200,000 and have work done on the diverging diamond interchange at Union Road and the 120 Bypass four months ahead of schedule. And, as an added bonus, work would be done before Black Friday to make sure critical holiday traffic to Bass Pro Shops that draws 97 percent plus of its customers from within a 100-mile radius and is one of the city’s biggest collectors of sales tax won’t be impeded by construction. It also means auxiliary lanes on both sides of the 120 Bypass from Union Road to Main Street and Airport Way will be open in time for the holiday traffic crush to help reduce the potential for traffic slowdowns and accidents that happen with off-ramp traffic backs up onto freeway lanes.
  • 💰/LADN New Heim Bridge comes online in Los Angeles, Long Beach port complex. While all eyes are on the massive replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which is nearly finished in Long Beach, another new span has just come online nearby after years of construction. What was formerly an iconic vertical lift bridge in the Port of Los Angeles — running north-to-south over the Cerritos Channel on Terminal Island, as part of Route 47 — has now been replaced with a new, fixed-height, seven-lane bridge with advanced safety features. The new structure now meets current seismic and roadway standards, and makes it possible for emergency crews to travel to and from Terminal Island. While the new Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge has a lot going for it, many have also lamented the demise of the original, which the U.S. Navy built. The Navy dedicated that bridge on Jan. 10, 1948. The old vertical-lift bridge operated by stopping traffic as the metal-plate roadbed rose up — elevator-style — to allow tugs, sailboats and other vessels to travel underneath. The green bridge featured two cross-braced steel towers suspended by cables.
  • Yesterday and today on the Lincoln Highway, Big Bend.. This 1920 photo by TC Wohlbruck shows the south fork of The Yuba River below the northern route of The Lincoln Highway at right. This section of the old roadbed is still pretty intact and walkable for being over 100 years old with no upkeep.
  • Lincoln Highway bridge at Rainbow in the Sierra Nevada. A favorite spot of ours, along the northern route of The Lincoln Highway in California, is Big Bend, in the Sierra Nevada. This area is filled with history, including the first wagon train encampment across the Sierra, The Stevens-Townsend-Murphy Party.
  • Highway 40 crossing at Emigrant Gap. This 1931 photo shows Highway 40 crossing the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks at Emigrant Gap. The truck crossing the tracks is headed west and towards the photographer. This crossing would be converted into an auto tunnel under the tracks as traffic increased over the years. The westbound truck is headed up the hill to a lookout/canteen, which is pictured below. This was the Lincoln Highway until 1927 when the named highways were converted to the number system.
  • Carpool Lanes on I-5 Open Months Ahead of Schedule. Carpooling through central Orange County is easier since two northbound HOV lanes opened to traffic in late August as part of the I-5 Central County Improvements Project. A partnership between OCTA and Caltrans, the project added a second carpool lane in each direction of the busy stretch of I-5 between SR-55 and SR-57 to help speed up commutes and alleviate bottlenecks through Santa Ana, Orange and Tustin. The southbound lanes opened to traffic in July.
  • Caltrans taking public comments on removing Alamo Pintado Creek pedestrian bridge. Caltrans District 5 is accepting public comments now through Oct. 9 on a proposal to remove the Alamo Pintado Creek pedestrian bridge alongside Highway 154 between Foxen Canyon Road and Railway Avenue in Los Olivos. The deteriorating bridge has been closed for some time due to safety concerns. Caltrans is considering alternatives for the bridge that include removing and replacing it, removing the bridge without replacing it, and leaving it as is.
  • Caltrans to resume Echo Summit Project Wednesday, full closure starting Sept. 18. Work is scheduled to resume on the U.S. Highway 50 Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct Replacement Project Wednesday that will start with one-way traffic and lead up to a full closure a few days later, Caltrans announced Friday. Construction on the $14.1 million project will begin again starting Wednesday, Sept. 9. Motorists should expect one-way traffic control from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 7 a.m. to noon Friday, with delays up to 20 minutes. Continuous one-way traffic control is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, to demolish the existing structure. A full closure of Highway 50 is set to begin the morning of Friday, Sept. 18 for up to two weeks to install seven precast, prestressed 96-foot bridge girders and associated work.
  • Yolo Magazine 2020: (Almost) Scenic 128. The road to a Scenic Highway is a long one. Just a year ago, Governor Newsom signed into law legislation that designated State Road 128 as eligible for the State Scenic Highway Program. By unanimous vote, on legislation introduced by former Winters mayor and current assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, legislators added Highway 128 — roughly 140 miles of one and two-lane highway that starts in Yolo at the city limits of Winters and terminates at mile marker zero on Highway 1 — to a list of 31 others deemed worthy of the state’s highest recognition for roadways in their entirety.
  • SR-189 Guardrail Project to Begin. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will soon begin a midwestern guardrail installation and terminal end treatment on State Route 189 (SR-189) from the SR-18/189 split at Lake Gregory Drive to SR-173 in Lake Arrowhead. This $1.9 million project was awarded to D.C. Hubbs Construction, Inc.
  • 💰/LBPT New Heim Bridge comes online in Los Angeles, Long Beach port complex. While all eyes are on the massive replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, which is nearly finished in Long Beach, another new span has just come online nearby after years of construction. What was formerly an iconic vertical lift bridge in the Port of Los Angeles — running north-to-south over the Cerritos Channel on Terminal Island, as part of Route 47 — has now been replaced with a new, fixed-height, seven-lane bridge with advanced safety features. The new structure now meets current seismic and roadway standards, and makes it possible for emergency crews to travel to and from Terminal Island.
  • 💰/NVR New Highway 29 traffic signal system in American Canyon could debut soon. Highway 29 drivers traveling through American Canyon who are frustrated with congestion and swear they hit every red light might soon get some relief. Smoother-flowing traffic is the goal of an adaptive traffic signal system that will use cameras and sensors to adjust timing at five consecutive signals to best handle real-time traffic conditions.
  • Caltrans to resume Echo Summit work tomorrow. Work is scheduled to resume on the $14.1 million Highway 50 Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct Replacement Project tomorrow that will start with one-way traffic and lead up to a full closure a few days later, according to an announcement from Caltrans. Motorists should expect one-way traffic control from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Thursday and 7 a.m. to noon Friday, with delays up to 20 minutes.
  • Highway 237 in line for changes down the road: Roadshow. Q: Do you know if there are any plans to widen Highway 237? … Any rumors about widening 237 or Calaveras Boulevard through Milpitas?
  • I-880 Express Lanes Open for Business Oct. 2. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) announced Monday that the Interstate 880 Express Lanes in Alameda County will begin operations at 5 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, at which time the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), will adjust the tolling rules for its existing State Route 237 Express Lanes to match those for the I-880 Express Lanes. These rules include:
  • Caltrans to Paint 30 Wrong-Way Warnings on San Diego Freeway Ramps. Caltrans Wednesday launched a yearlong pilot project in San Diego designed to prevent wrong-way freeway crashes via conspicuous warning signs embedded in the roadway at freeway offramps. The “DO NOT ENTER” messages — which will include red arrows and be visible only to motorists trying to use highway exits as entrances — will be installed at 30 locations in the city by the end of the year, the state agency reported. The project follows up on a previous three-year effort credited with reducing local wrong-way driving by more than one-third.
  • California allocates more than $1.6B for transportation infrastructure projects. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) recently allocated more than $1.6 billion for transportation projects throughout the state. These allocations include about $1.3 billion for State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects, the “fix-it-first” program aimed at preserving the condition of the state highway system for the California DOT (Caltrans).
  • Monterey residents clamoring for stoplight on Holman Highway. In early August, Robin and John Domiter were at home off of Skyline Forest Drive in Monterey when they heard the sounds of shattering glass and grinding metal. At the intersection of Skyline Forest and Holman Highway first responders were using the “jaws of life” to free a couple trapped in a small car after being broadsided. After a stay at a trauma center in Salinas, the couple survived and are now at home recovering. But a growing chorus of neighbors say the intersection is dangerous and want a stoplight installed. Indeed, nearly 50 people posted comments on a recent Nextdoor string after they heard about the accident.
  • Over Budget, Five Years Late, I-5 Widening Sparks Metro-Caltrans Debate on Who Pays Cost Overruns. Caltrans and Metro are at odds over how to pay for ballooning cost overruns on their joint project to widen the 5 Freeway through the San Fernando Valley. The I-5 North Corridor Improvements project extends twelve miles from from the 134 Freeway in Glendale to the 118 Freeway in Mission Hills. (Note that the “North” in the project title does not refer to northbound traffic, but distinguishes the project from Caltrans and Metro’s $1.9 billion seven-mile I-5 South Corridor widening between the 605 Freeway and Orange County.)
  • Highway 50 over Echo Summit closed for construction, detour info. Highway 50 over Echo Summit will be closed for up to two weeks for construction work that started early Friday morning, according to Caltrans officials. Caltrans officials said the highway will be closed for bridge girder installation work. The construction site extends east from the Caltrans Echo Maintenance Station for about 1.2 miles.
  • Highway 50 Over Echo Summit Closed For Next Two Weeks, Impacting South Lake Tahoe Travel. Travelers heading to South Lake Tahoe during the next two weeks should prepare for detours as Caltrans shuts down Highway 50 through Echo Summit in both directions for bridge work until October 2. The highway closure commenced Friday at 3 a.m. According to the Caltrans District 3 website, the closure is required to install seven 96-foot bridge girders and associated work.
  • Tulare’s International Agri-Center to get new $52M interchange on Highway 99, easing farm show traffic. A new Highway 99 interchange will ease congestion during Tulare’s annual International Ag Expo and boost business along the busy goods-movement corridor that connects southern and northern California through the Central Valley. A $16-million federal grant will bring the long-gestating project to fruition as early as summer 2025, Caltrans and the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) said in a Monday news release.
  • CalTrans plans to widen Lovers Lane. Visalia is a ways off from untangling its worst intersection, the Highway 198 interchange at Lovers Lane, but there is a hope that Lovers Lane north of Highway 198 will see improvements in the next three years. CalTrans presented plans to widen Lovers Lane, also known as State Route 216, from Mineral King Avenue to Houston Avenue earlier this year and are expected to complete its environmental studies for the rehabilitation project sometime next month. Ernie Penuna, a senior engineer with CalTrans, described the project to the Visalia City Council at its April 6 meeting. In addition to repaving the roadway, Penuna said the project will also widen Lovers Lane to accommodate a bike lane, realign right turns at some intersections, ADA ramps at intersections and install new sidewalks to fill in the gaps along the state route.
  • Gilman roundabouts construction set to begin in Berkeley in late 2020. A project to build two huge roundabouts to replace the chaotic intersections on Gilman Street at Interstate 80 in West Berkeley is set to begin by the end of the year, according to project materials recently obtained by Berkeleyside. A September factsheet from the Alameda County Transportation Commission says the double roundabouts are needed because of “higher than average rates of injury collisions” and “significant roadway deficiencies,” among other factors.
  • Full Closure of U.S. Highway 50 Continues Near Echo Summit For Road Construction. Caltrans is reminding motorists that a full closure of U.S. Highway 50 started at 3 a.m. Friday, Sept. 18 and continue for up to two weeks during major construction work on the Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct. One-way traffic control is currently in effect at Echo Summit for the $14.1 million bridge replacement project. A full closure of the highway will begin Sept. 18 and is anticipated through Oct. 2 while seven precast, prestressed 96-foot bridge girders are installed. Weather or unexpected delays may prolong the closure beyond the initial two-week period.
  • Route Numbering Archive. Welcome to the AASHTO Route Numbering Archive, a storehouse of applications, correspondence, minutes, and other documents related to the numbering of the US and Interstate highway systems and the US Bike Route System. To find a document, please enter any combination of search criteria in the task bar to the left. For additional instructions, please click on the Help button.
  • US 50 over Echo Summit reopens five days early. U.S. 50 over Echo Summit is open after bridge improvements five days ahead of schedule, the California Department of Transportation said Sunday in a statement. Road work resumes Monday with intermittent one-way traffic controls over the next two weeks. U.S. 50 reopened at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday. Caltrans shut down U.S. 50 west of South Lake Tahoe on Sept. 18 to install seven 96-foot bridge girders, to pour ultra-high-performance concrete to connect the girders, to build barrier walls and approach slabs, to apply a polyester overlay on the bridge and to pave the bridge, among other work.
  • 💰/VCS Camarillo overpass repair to shut down Highway 101 overnight November. All lanes of Highway 101 will close nightly for several hours beginning Thursday at Central Avenue in Camarillo to perform overpass repairs, according to Caltrans. The closures will last from midnight to 5 a.m. along northbound lanes and from midnight to 4 a.m. on southbound lanes. Closures will take place Monday to Saturday beginning on Oct. 1. During the closure, motorists will be directed to use the on- and off-ramps at Central Avenue to continue along Highway 101. Detour signs will be posted, but motorists are advised to expect possible delays during the lane closures.
  • How the Great Highway became San Francisco’s most unexpected promenade. It’s about 3 p.m. on a brilliant and sunny Sunday, and a young boy tests out his bicycle, complete with training wheels, for the first time. Trailing behind him, his mother cheers him on. Three cyclists in their racing jerseys zoom past the family, a pair of roller skaters in their wake. What appears to be every dog in San Francisco romps along, enjoying the ocean breeze. As I walk along the concrete, I scan the Pacific Ocean in hopes of sighting a whale or a dolphin.
  • With new California border crossing in the works, connecting highway also takes shape. Officially, it will be known as California State Route 11. Unofficially, it will be seen as an easier way to cruise into Southern California from Mexico. The new highway will connect the new Otay Mesa East Port of Entry, scheduled to break ground in late 2022, to the freeway system in San Diego. It’s a much anticipated border crossing expected to alleviate traffic congestion at the other two ports of entry between San Diego and Tijuana where traffic waits can be up to eight hours.
  • County Lines: State Route 246 to close from Oct. 6 to 9 for resurfacing project. A four-day closure of State Route 246 in Lompoc is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 6, through Friday, Oct. 9, with the roadway closed between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. The grind and pave resurfacing operation, performed by the Caltrans maintenance team from Buellton, will affect State Route 246 from the separation with Highway 1, near North  12th Street, to Mission Gate Road.
  • $11.1 Million Roadwork Project Underway On SR-79 Near Temecula. An $11.1 million pavement preservation project on state Route 79 near Temecula may force nighttime traffic delays over the next two weeks, officials advised. Caltrans District 8 issued a traffic alert advising that Sept. 28 through Oct. 9, nighttime grinding operations will take place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Friday.
  • 🇷🇺 Port of Long Beach announces closure of traffic routes leading to the Gerald Desmond Bridge. (note: Russian site) The Port of Long Beach authority said that traffic routes leading to the Gerald Desmond Bridge will be closed for the Oct. 2-4 weekend to allow construction crews to switch lanes over to the new cable-stayed bridge and enable an opening of the new route by the morning of Monday, Oct. 5. The lane switchover is the final major construction detour for the new bridge project. Motorists are encouraged to monitor the project’s website and social media channels for updates on the closure and the eventual opening of the new bridge.
  • 💰/SJMN Express lanes coming to Interstate 880 on Friday. Express lanes will open on Interstate 880 from Oakland to Milpitas in the pre-dawn hours on Friday, but there are some unanswered questions. How many drivers will be willing to fork over a toll with the COVID-19 pandemic cutting traffic now that more people are working at home? In addition, there are tougher rules for carpoolers, longer express lane hours, and motorists in electric vehicles will be charged. And there’s one more critical item. All express lane users must have FasTrak. “It’s important to keep in mind that eventually, the pandemic will be behind us,” said John Goodwin of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. “One of the wild cards is the debut on 880 and 237 of half-price tolling for 2-person carpools and clean-air vehicles. We certainly will be looking at the tolling data to see what usage patterns emerge.”
  • Construction Begins on an Interstate Highway in California – Transportation History. In Southern California, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at El Cajon Boulevard and Boundary Street in San Diego for Interstate 805 (I-805). Planning for that route dated back to 1956, the same year in which the Interstate Highway System itself first came into existence. After the groundbreaking ceremony, I-805 was constructed in phases. It was completed in 1975. The route, which has become a heavily used north-south Interstate highway in that region of California, serves as an auxiliary bypass of Interstate 5 and covers 28 miles (45.1 kilometers) between San Diego’s district of San Ysidro (just north of the U.S.-Mexico border) and — near the beach city of Del Mar — the Sorrento Valley neighborhood.

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • California State Route 175. This week we examine the history of California State Route 175.
  • The Tioga Pass Road (Updated). I made a substantial update to the existing Gribblenation article on the Tioga Pass Road after passing through a little over a week ago. The article now contains a far more detailed history of the Tioga Pass Road from 1883 when it was the Great Sierra Wagon Road up into the late 1960s when it was modernized to it’s current form. The article below now contains new maps, new drawn diagrams of former alignments, and California Highways & Public Works article pertaining to the Tioga Pass Road. The behind the wheel segment of the Tioga Pass Road was also expanded for more illustrative clarity. I also included a former segment of the original alignment of the Tioga Pass Road which can be found in Lee Vining Canyon.
  • California State Route 273; former US Route 99 through Redding and Anderson. This past Labor Day weekend I found myself in Shasta County on the way home from Lassen Volcanic National Park. That being the case I decided to take a detour on California State Route 273 through Redding and Anderson. California State Route 273 is aligned almost entirely on what was US Route 99 aside from a segment of Market Street in downtown Redding.
  • History of the Big Oak Flat Road (Yosemite National Park). I made an update to the History of the Big Oak Flat Road article after a recent hike to the Tuolumne Grove of Yosemite National Park. If you’re into historic roadways which have been converted into trails then the Old Big Oak Flat Road is about good as anything you’re likely to find.
  • California State Route 207 I & II. I recently revisited CA 4 on a trip over Ebbetts Pass. That being the case I decided to take a deeper look into both variants of CA 207. The first CA 207 was aligned over what was Legislative Route 121 from CA 152 north to CA 33 Santa Nella. The first CA 207 existed from 1964 until it was consolidated into CA 33 circa 1972. The second CA 207 is far more interesting and lies in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Bear Bear Valley and Lake Alpine. Present CA 207 traces it’s origins back to Blood’s Station of the 1860s Ebbetts Pass Toll Road. Private interests in the 1950s and 1960s led to the establishment of the Mount Reba Ski Area which opened in the winter of 1967. The Mount Reba Ski Area was sold in 1991 and is presently known as the Bear Valley Ski Area.
  • US Route 395; Nevada State Line south to California State Route 14 (Adventure on El Camino Sierra). I made a massive update to the US 395/El Camino Sierra article. The article contains far more photos from US 395 from the Nevada State Line south to CA 14 along with longer narratives on the Trans-Sierra Highways. El Camino Sierra was promoted as something akin to an early Auto Trail much like El Camino Real was before the US Route system was created. El Camino Sierra has carried numerous designations over the years such as; US 6, CA 168 and CA 7 but by far the most noted is US 395. US 395 and El Camino Sierra offer an almost endless array of scenery which includes; the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, the White Mountains, Owens Valley, and even the Mojave Desert.
  • California State Route 14. I recently drove through CA 14 between US 395 and CA 58. That being the case I added some new photo stock to the California State Route 14 which now features the entire highway. CA 14 for the most part is largely still aligned over the corridor occupied by the first CA 7 and US 6.
  • California State Route 44 and California State Route 440. This past month I drove California State Route 44 from Lassen Volcanic National Park west to Redding. California State Route 44 contains an interesting back story which has origins as California State Route 440.
  • Lassen Park Highway; implied California State Route 89 through Lassen Volcanic National Park. I made a return trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park over Labor Day Weekend via the south entrance. That being the case I updated the existing Lassen Park Highway article to include a northbound drive in addition to the previously post southbound. There was some additional tidbits added regarding the history of Lassen Volcanic National Park, some additional trails, and some more information regarding the signage continuity with CA 89/Lassen Park Highway. Notably the Visitor Center has Lassen Park Highway presently signed as “Lassen National Park Highway.”
  • Trans-Sierra Highways; California State Route 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass. I blew up our existing article on California State Route 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass. The new version of the article is hugely expanded to include a vastly more comprehensive history of CA 4 over Pacific Grade Summit/Ebbetts Pass in addition to a full road log from Stockton to CA 89 in Alpine County. The present route of CA 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass is mostly the same that was open as the Big Trees Road which opened in 1864. The Big Trees Road was largely spurred by silver mining interests in Alpine County which have largely disappeared since the 1870s. The Big Trees Road was adopted as part of Legislative Route 24 in 1911 and was expanded west to Angel’s Camp by 1924. In 1934 Legislative Route 24 was signed as CA 4 over Pacific Grade Summit/Ebbetts Pass and not a ton has changed in the intervening years. CA 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass is mostly known for a long one-lane segment which includes grades as steep as 24%. If you’re into ghost towns the route of CA 4 east of Stockton in general is a good place to go as it has numerous gems such as; Telegraph City, numerous existing Gold Rush towns, Silver Mountain City, Centerville, and Monitor.
  • California State Route 151. This past Labor Weekend while returning to the Redding Area from Lassen Volcanic National Park I made a detour onto California State Route 151.
  • Trans-Sierra Highways; California State Route 89 over Monitor Pass. I made a significant revision to our existing article on California State Route 89 over Monitor Pass. What is presently CA 89 over Monitor Pass was partially carved east from the Big Trees Road up Monitor Creek as a road to the ghost town of Monitor in 1862. Monitor was founded as an outgrowth of the silver claims of Silver Mountain City and lingered on into the early 20th Century when it was known as Loope. The need for a direct State Highway link between the Alpine County Seat of Markleeville and the Mono County Seat of Bridgeport was promoted heavily in 1910 as part of El Camino Sierra. This planned direct route between Markleeville and Bridgeport was picked up as a concept by the state as an extension of Legislative Route 23 and would be added to the route definition of CA 89 in 1934. Construction of CA 89/Legislative Route 23 connecting CA 4 to US 395 via Monitor Pass took place between 1947-1954. An opening ceremony for CA 89/Legislative Route 23 was held in September 1954 and was the last totally new State Highway to be constructed over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
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