🛣 Headlines About California Highways – May 2022

Another month comes to an end, and that means it is time for headlines. But before I jump into the headlines, I want to highlight a few other notable things that have happened over the last month:

  • Tom Fearer of Gribblenation and I have started a podcast on California Highways. It is called California Highways: Route by Route and you can find our first full sample episode at the episode’s page on caroutebyroute.org, on the episode’s page at Anchor.FM; or an almost all major podcast platforms. This sample episode is about Route 105. We hope to start Season 1 sometime in late June.
  • The latest updates to the California Highways web page are up. This includes the review of the SHOPP and the STIP, as well as some interesting upcoming legislation.
  • The primary elections in California are less than two weeks away. I believe in being an informed voter, and so examine every candidate on my sample ballot, and write up a summary. This election, this process took me almost 20 hours to do. You can find my summary here; it links to the other pages where I go through all the candidates that led to my decision. I don’t ask (or expect) you’ll agree with my conclusions, but perhaps my research will help you be better informed. What’s most important, however, is that you VOTE. Voting affects the highways and our state in so many ways, and this is your chance to influence the process.

May has been a tiring and stressful month for me. I’ve been dealing with medical problems for me and the continued recovery of my wife from a fall last November; and I’ve had loads of writing projects (the election, podcast, and highway pages as noted above, plus a number of theatre reviews). I’ve had little time to destress, and my main avenue of de-stressing (listening to music) is impacted by the medical problem (ear issues). Let’s hope things go better in June.

But you don’t care about any of that, do you. You care about the headlines. So here are the headlines about California’s highways for May. The headline list seems to be getting smaller–I’m finding less articles about significant road work (I’m not that interested in simple resurfacing), and more articles about transit and rail. I think that’s the direction things are going currently: increase the number of people per vehicle on current roads (as opposed to capacity for more vehicles), and increase broader transit options. But here’s what I found:


[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, $$ really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  • I-15 Exit Ramps At Clinton Keith Getting Wrong-Way Driver Prevention (Lake Elsinore, CA Patch). In an effort to prevent wrong-way driver crashes on Inland Empire freeways, Caltrans District 8 has identified priority exit ramps that need attention, and Clinton Keith Road at Interstate 15 in Wildomar is on the list. On Tuesday, the north- and southbound Clinton Keith Road offramps will be closed at I-15 so that Caltrans crews can install wrong-way prevention “enhancements,” according to the state agency.
  • Wildlife Undercrossing In Santa Cruz Breaks Ground (Santa Cruz, CA Patch). A project is now underway that will create a wildlife undercrossing beneath state Highway 17 to provide a route for mountain lions and other wildlife to travel safely between two large areas of habitat — both of which are separated by four lanes of the busy traffic corridor. Groundbreaking took place Friday for the Laurel Curve Wildlife Undercrossing in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It will connect 460 acres of land on both sides of Highway 17 that has been preserved in a conservation easement by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.
  • Last two-lane stretches of Highway 70 now being widened to four lanes (Chico Enterprise-Record). When roadwork currently underway on Highway 70 is complete, Chico will no longer be the largest city in California that isn’t accessed by a four-lane highway. While Highway 70 still has to wind through Marysville, the two projects running north and south from the Yuba/Butte county line will wrap up 16 years of work, costing in excess of $500 million. “I’m really glad it’s being done,” said Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly. “I look forward to getting our people in and out of town and down to Sacramento safely.”
  • California Allocates More Than Half Billion Dollars for Projects (Construction Equipment Guide). Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for $317 million, more than half of the funding. “The CTC’s welcome decision to green light more than half a billion dollars to maintain and repair California’s aging transportation infrastructure is not only in keeping with our time-tested “fix-it-first” strategy, but also represents another big step to build and maintain a transportation system that serves all who travel in California, whether by foot, bicycle, bus, train or automobile,” said Steven Keck, acting director of Caltrans. Projects that were recently approved include:
  • Hwy 1 Toro Creek Bridge to be replaced near Morro Bay (San Luis Obispo Tribune). Drivers and cyclists, get ready for another lengthy construction project on busy Highway 1, this one replacing the northbound lanes of the Toro Creek Bridge. The two-span, ocean-view bridge is near the Dog Beach area north of the Morro Bay strand area, and about a half mile south of Old Creek Road. Traffic on the scenic highway will be reduced to a single lane in each direction during the two-phase project, which is expected to continue into the spring of 2023. Signs will notify drivers and cyclists about the changes; detours will be established for bicyclists.
    Pasadena and Caltrans Reach Agreement to Relinquish 710 Freeway Stub to City (Streetsblog Los Angeles). When I worked for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign a decade and a half ago, my boss used to tell me that a proposed freeway project was never really dead; that the best we could do is defund it and make it politically unpalatable to bring back. I learned this lesson the hard way when a New Jersey road project I helped get defunded was presumed “dead,” then was revived and built with funding from the Obama-era American Rescue and Recovery Act. But if the 710 Freeway “gap” project, which Streetsblog readers voted to dub the “Big Dig” over a decade ago may finally be dead enough that it can’t rise and terrorize residents of Los Angeles, Pasadena and South Pasadena. The North 710 Freeway project was slated to spend $6+ billion dollars for tunnels under these cities, until overwhelming opposition led the Metro board to cancel the project back in 2017.

  •  A bid to stop freeway expansions in California hits a roadblock: Organized labor (Los Angeles Times). After more than 60 years and 15,000 miles of highway and interstate construction in California, momentum is growing to end the state’s freeway expansion era. Top state transportation officials recently pulled the plug on a $6-billion interstate widening in L.A. County and are pledging to funnel billions of dollars toward mass transit and road repairs. Multiple state lawmakers want to do the same, including one proposal that would prohibit freeway expansions in underserved communities across California, an effort that would be the first of its kind in the country.
  • Section of I-505 dedicated to Kirk ‘Hollywood’ Griess (Solano Daily Republic). CHP Officer Matt Lyman said he does not need a sign to remember his friend and colleague. “I think about him every day,” Lyman said Thursday at a private memorial highway dedication ceremony for Kirk A. Griess held at the Valley Church in Vacaville. The event was streamed live on the CHP Facebook page.
  • Signs recall days when old Highway 99 was a busy route (Redding Record Searchlight). Two generations of Mountain Gate residents are bringing history alive. Darion Fairburn, 23, and his newfound friend, 73-year-old Dave Selby, are bringing attention to the days when historic U.S. Route 99 wound through the town about 12 miles north of Redding. Their efforts will lead to a ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday when a commemorative sign will be unveiled at Fawndale Road and Wonderland Boulevard at the spot where motorists drive on the former highway.
  • Caltrans breaks ground on bridge replacement in Glenn County (Lake County News). Caltrans broke ground on Thursday on a major Sacramento River bridge and viaduct replacement project on State Route 162 in the Butte City area of Glenn County. The $106 million project includes $13.8 million in funding from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. “With about 1,200 farms, agriculture serves as the engine that drives Glenn County’s economy,” said Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal. “The new Butte City Bridge and viaduct will enhance motorist safety and meet the needs of today’s larger farm tractors and commercial trucks that serve the county’s $750 million-per-year farm economy.”
  • Caltrans merges a southbound lane into the northbound lanes below Rincon (coastalview.com). Last week, Caltrans merged a southbound bypass lane into the northbound lanes just below Rincon, to adjust for work in the Highway 101 construction zones. The temporary southbound bypass lane will remain in place until January 2023, and Caltrans warned motors to “expect delays.” Two northbound lanes will remain open from Faria Beach to Mussel Shoals, and once work is done on the southbound lanes, a northbound bypass lane will be installed in the area for approximately nine months. “The bypass lane will be protected by k-rails to avoid northbound traffic, no exits will be available in the corridor,” according to a press release from Caltrans.
  • The drive from Las Vegas to L.A. might get a little less miserable (TimeOut). If you’ve ever driven from Las Vegas to Los Angeles at the end of a weekend, you’ve surely experienced traffic so bad that you’ve debated whether or not your car could handle a dirt road, or wondered if you should just call it quits and stay in Primm forever. Thankfully, a little bit of relief is finally coming soon. Here’s the deal: The 15 has three southbound lanes leaving Vegas, but that narrows down to two from Primm to a bit south of the California-Nevada border, causing hours-long backups. To help alleviate the issue, the governors of both states have agreed to temporarily convert the shoulder into a travel lane during peak periods. California Governor Gavin Newsom and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak jointly announced the plan on Sunday to add in the five-mile-long part-time lane, which will begin construction in mid-spring 2022 and be finished by the end of that summer.
  • The stories behind San Fernando Valley’s street names (Los Angeles Times). It can be quite the heady sensation to drive through the San Fernando Valley, along those wide boulevards named for history’s great men — Isaac Newton, Moses, Vasco Nunez. Oh, my mistake. Those are their first names. The full names are Isaac Newton Van Nuys, Moses Sherman, and Vasco Núñez de Balboa, and their surnames are the streets’ names: Van Nuys, Sherman, Balboa.
  • Caltrans To Relinquish 710 Stub to Pasadena (ColoradoBoulevard.net). The undeveloped area of land between Union Street and Columbia Street was purchased by Caltrans for the $6 million tunnel project between Pasadena and South Pasadena. It was cancelled by Metro in 2017 in the face of overwhelming opposition. Upon formal approval by the California transportation commission, this will end the issue of the 710 closure gap once and for all. The next issue will be how the properties involved along the route will be handled by the City of Pasadena. The approval of this deal does not include the parcels of land north of California Blvd that include residential and institutional tenants. According to the Roberti Bill, existing tenants will have first right of refusal, but none of this legislation addresses how these properties will be sold. It seems that the City is waiting to ascertain which tenants will purchase their properties before establishing a plan for selling the properties and for the undeveloped stub of land, known colloquially as The Ditch.
  • $$Highway 101 express lanes face toll system delays (San Mateo Daily Journal). The San Mateo County 101 Express Lanes Project faces potential delays in toll system implementation for its northern segment but is meeting financial expectations, San Mateo County Transportation Authority staff said at a May 5 meeting. While south segment tolling is now operational, TA project manager Leo Scott said there is a potential delay in getting tolling started at the northern segment from Redwood City to South San Francisco by the end of 2022. Some fiber optic cable infrastructure was damaged during construction and must be repaired and retested before being used. An underground fiber optic cable runs from Palo Alto to South San Francisco and is critical to the project. Tolling equipment up and down the corridor reads the tags and sends messages through the fiber connection. The TA is exploring hiring additional crews to splice together the fiber optic cable system to save time. However, the TA staff doesn’t know if this is possible yet. Scott hopes to have more information about the timeline by the end of May.
  • Caltrans, Solano officials prep to fete I-80 Express Lane project (Solano Daily Republic). Caltrans and other officials – including state Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblywoman Lori Wilson – will gather Monday at Pena Adobe for a ceremony to break ground on the $244 million Interstate 80 Express Lanes construction project. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at 4699 Pena Adobe Road. “The projects will deliver 18 miles of uninterrupted express lanes in both directions on Interstate 80 between Fairfield and Vacaville in Solano County. The Express Lane Projects will reduce congestion in the corridor, improve travel times and reliability, encourage carpooling and transit use, increase the number of people moved, and use modern technology to manage traffic,” the state Department of Transportation said in a statement.
  • Why is Highway 101 in the middle of Santa Rosa? (Press Democrat). Having Highway 101 run north and south smack through the middle of Santa Rosa may be convenient, but the divide it creates between east and west is mostly unfortunate. Some Santa Rosans in the 1940s thought the Highway 101 route could be placed around the town instead of through it and proposed routes further east or west, possibly along Fulton and Wright roads, to ease truck traffic in the city. But some businessmen worried about potential customers being rerouted too far from shops lobbied to have it close to downtown, and ultimately the city council agreed.
  • Santa Cruz gives update on Highway 1, River Street intersection revamp (Santa Cruz Sentinel). Nearly shouting to be heard over the roar of Santa Cruz County’s busiest traffic intersection, city Senior Civil Engineer Joshua Spangrud provided a tailor-made update on the ongoing construction work nearby. “It should alleviate the traffic, right now,” Spangrud told nearly two dozen community members gathered Wednesday afternoon at the corner of Highway 1 and River Street. “Some criticism that was leveled at the project in the past was that it was a highway expansion project, kind of like an auxiliary lane project — but it’s not.” The nearly $6 million state highway intersection-widening project will add several new dedicated and shared turning lanes to the area and install new safety lighting, green-painted bicycle lanes, improved sidewalks and ramps and new shoulders. A stream culvert once bracketed by shrubbery, Highway 1, a eucalyptus grove and a Central Home Supply yard will be protected by a permanent sound wall after protected steelhead trout were found in the waters. A detailed map of the intersection’s reconstruction plans are available online at www.cityofsantacruz.com/publicworksprojects.
  • MTC funding helps I-80 Solano Express Lanes break ground (The Bay Link Blog). Ground was broken Monday on Interstate 80 Express Lanes in Solano County, with MTC providing almost half the money for the project that will help the flow of traffic along 18 miles of the freeway. I-80 slows to less than 30 mph from 2 p.m. until after 6 p.m. in the segment, preventing drivers and freight from moving efficiently, slowing transit service locally and regionally, while delaying first responders. There haven’t been any major widening projects on the section of I-80 since 1973. MTC has provided almost half of the $282 million needed to get the new Express Lanes built. The $140 million from MTC includes money from bridge tolls and from tolls on other MTC-operated Express Lanes.
  • $$Truck lanes open on 60 Freeway east of Moreno Valley (Press Enterprise). Driving through the Badlands should be better with the opening of two long-awaited truck lanes. Vehicles began using the lanes on the 60 Freeway, between Moreno Valley and Beaumont, Friday afternoon, May 20. The lanes go for nearly 5 miles in the steep and hilly area. The opening marked the culmination of a $138 million project that started in June 2019 with design work. The freeway through that spot had two lanes on each side, with narrow shoulders and sharp curves. As trucks slowed while climbing the hills east of Moreno Valley, cars would stack up behind them.
  • 710 Freeway expansion in Los Angeles is dropped after decades (Los Angeles Times). A decades-old plan to widen one of America’s busiest cargo corridors was scrapped Thursday, as transportation officials acknowledged they must find a new way to lessen traffic without adding lanes. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority unanimously voted to end the $6-billion expansion plans for most of the 710 Freeway, where port-bound trucks idle in traffic-choked lanes and nearby communities struggle with high rates of asthma and poor health. “It’s monumental that one of the biggest urban areas of the country is really thinking twice, before prioritizing goods movements over health,” said Laura Cortez, an organizer and co-executive director of the East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice.
  • $$West Sac approves environmental review for Broadway Bridge (Sacramento Business Journal). An early but critical component for the proposed Broadway Bridge project is coming into place, in approvals for environmental review of a fourth bridge linking Sacramento and West Sacramento. After the West Sacramento City Council voted to approve the bridge’s review Wednesday, the project is set for a similar vote before the Sacramento City Council on June 14. “It is the first major step to getting the project off the ground,” said Jason McCoy, a supervising transportation planner with West Sacramento. “We’re not anticipating any significant issues because the alignment selected by both cities is the one that had the least environmental impact.” The Broadway Bridge, which conceptually goes back more than a decade, would be an 850-foot span for vehicle, bike and pedestrian traffic. The bridge’s approach would connect to both 15th Street and South River Road in West Sacramento’s Pioneer Bluff area, and to Broadway on the Sacramento side.
  • I-15 traffic at Nevada-California border one step closer to relief (Las Vegas Review-Journal). The several mile backup often seen on Interstate 15 at the Nevada-California border — most recently on Monday following the conclusion of the Electric Daisy Carnival — could soon see some relief. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) recently put a contract out for bid for a planned $12 million project on a stretch of I-15 southbound from the Nevada-California border to the California Department of Food and Agriculture Station. That’s where the road goes from three travel lanes to two, causing traffic bottlenecks. The project calls for repaving and restriping the shoulder so it can become a third lane during high traffic times. Those would mainly be Sundays and Mondays following busy weekends in the Las Vegas Valley.
  • $$Napa County parallel Highway 29 route celebrated | Local News | napavalleyregister.com (Napa Valley Register). On Wednesday, American Canyon celebrated the near-completion of the last, half-mile segment. This is the part that makes the Green Island Road connection. “It’s going to be very much an asset to the county and the city of American Canyon,” American Canyon Mayor Leon Garcia said. The $5.6 million project looks done, but City Manager Jason Holley said a few landscaping chores must be finished before this last segment opens to the public at a yet-to-be-announced date. County Supervisor Belia Ramos said the completed Devlin Road will be important for evacuations.
  • Work begins on Fryer Creek Bridge reconstruction in Sonoma (Sonoma Index Tribune).  Work crews broke ground on the reconstruction of the Fryer Creek Bridge this week, marking the beginning of a long-awaited project that promises improved bike and pedestrian access through the south side of Sonoma. Following several days of utility surveying and movement of heavy equipment, this week brought the digging and installing of a utility trench from 1075 to 1095 Fryer Creek Drive. Driveway and pedestrian access was open for residents, but parking on both sides of the street was prohibited. “There will be intermittent closures (to portions of the streets) on the project to accomplish some of the work on both sides of the bridge,” said Sonoma Public Works Director Mike Berger.
  • $$Key South San Francisco intersection set for $3.8 million remodel (San Mateo Daily Journal). The intersection of Grand Avenue and Airport Boulevard is set for a major overhaul in an effort to increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety, in particular for those traveling between the nearby Caltrain station and the city’s adjacent downtown. The remodel will add bike lanes, widen sidewalks, make crosswalk improvements and remove a separated turning lane, in addition to adding planting to medians and other landscaping. The intersection, which is complicated by a highway on-ramp entrance, is a major connection point for those traveling into the city’s downtown from the freeway or the developing area to the east.
  • $$Napa County remains concerned about proposed road rules (Napa Valley Register). Napa County continues to track how evolving state wildfire safety regulations might affect rural roads built decades ago that don’t meet modern evacuation standards. County officials say they don’t oppose toughening road regulations for state-mapped high fire danger areas, which locally are mostly in the mountains. But they say proposed state rules could hit property owners doing small projects with big bills. A winery adding a single employee or visitor, a fire victim trying to rebuild a house or a homeowner wanting to build an accessory dwelling unit might be faced with expensive road and driveway improvement requirements, they said.
  • Victory for Community Resistance: L.A. Cancels Long-Planned $6 Billion Lower 710 Freeway Widening (Streetsblog LA). Today, L.A. Metro officially killed its planned widening of the 710 Freeway. The action, approving the ‘No Build’ alternative for a planned freeway widening through predominantly Black and brown communities, is unprecedented for Southern California. Today’s approval could be an important precedent for many other freeway widening projects that Metro, and its state transportation agency project partner Caltrans, continue to push. Metro and Caltrans did not cancel the 710 widening out of the goodness of their hearts. These agencies have pushed for the ill-advised freeway widening since 1999, and reluctantly relented only when the community caught them trying to get around federal environmental law.
  • I’ll be back: from Terminator to Grease, LA’s most iconic bridge gets a thrilling sequel on seismic springs (The Guardian). It has starred in more car chases than Vin Diesel, more stunt scenes than Tom Cruise and more music videos than Madonna, and yet it never even had to audition for a part. Leaping across the Los Angeles river on its twin steel arcs, held aloft by its majestic art deco concrete pillars, the Sixth Street Bridge has provided a backdrop for shootouts and dance-offs ever since it was built in 1932, appearing in everything from Grease to Terminator 2, and providing a dose of urban glamour in videos by everyone from Kanye West to Kid Rock. But Hollywood’s go-to crossing is no more. It was torn down in 2016 after being diagnosed with a terminal case of concrete cancer: the sand that was used in the mix turned out to have a lethally high alkali content, reacting with the cement to cause expansion and cracking. By the 2010s, officials calculated the bridge stood a 70% chance of collapsing in a major earthquake within the next 50 years.
  • Draft I-405 Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan (CMCP) available for review and comment (The Source). Metro released a draft comprehensive multimodal corridor plan (CMCP) today for the I-405 Corridor within LA County. The plan will serve as a guiding vision for projects that will help people get around one of the most congested corridors in LA County and the nation. The goal of this planning effort is to understand the diverse users and communities relying on and impacted by the I-405 Corridor, solicit their feedback, and identify projects that can reduce congestion, move more people, increase accessibility for all users and advance equitable outcomes for historically disadvantaged communities.
  • RRPO May – June 2022 Newsletter (Ridge Route Preservation Organization). We have some good news regarding the condition of the roadway. Southern California Edison and other contractors recently completed a project to replace some of the wires on their power lines. To make sure the vehicles they used could traverse the roadway and not do any damage, they cleared the roadway. The large rockslides….

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • California State Route 76 (GN). California State Route 76 is a 53-mile east/west State Highway completely located within San Diego County. California State Route 76 begins at Interstate 5 in Oceanside and ends at California State Route 79 near Lake Henshaw. California State Route 76 between Interstate 5 and Interstate 15 is known as the San Luis Rey Mission Expressway. Pictured as the blog cover is then Legislative Route Number 195 on Mission Avenue east of Oceanside during February 1939. Mission Avenue would become part of California State Route 76 when the highway began to be signed during 1951. Below California State Route 76 can be seen as it was configured on the 2005 Caltrans Map.
  • California State Route 187 (GN). California State Route 187 is a five mile State Highway aligned Venice Boulevard located almost entirely within the city of Los Angeles. California State Route 187 begins at Interstate 10 Exit 7A and terminates at California State Route 1. California State Route 187 contains a deleted segment which once also included what is now Moomat Ahiko Way as part of the grade separation of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica near Santa Monica Pier.
  • California State Route 107 (GN). California State Route 107 is a north/south State Highway aligned on Hawthorne Boulevard in the Los Angeles Area. Legislatively California State Route 107 begins on Hawthorne Boulevard at the southern city limit of Lawndale and terminates at California State Route 1 in Torrance. California State Route 107 is still signed from Interstate 405 as evidenced by the cover photo of this blog. California State Route 107 began its existence as part of the original California State Route 7 and is generally considered to be one of the few child State Routes to have existed in California.
  • California State Route 213 (GN). California State Route 213 is a ten mile north/south State Highway located on Western Avenue largely along city limits of Los Angeles and Torrance. California State Route 213 begins at Interstate 405 at Exit 33B near 190th Street and terminates at 25th Street in the Los Angeles neighborhood of San Pedro. California State Route 213 is a sparsely signed State Highway despite only having been somewhat recently completed fully to State standards. The California State Route 213 shield above can be found on southbound Western Avenue approaching 218th Street (photo courtesy of M3100 of the AAroads forum). The 2005 Caltrans Map below depicts an incomplete California State Route 213.
  • Former US Route 99 in Livingston and the last traffic light (GN). Livingston is a city located in Merced County, California which was on the alignment of what was US Route 99. When the US Route System was created during November 1926, US Route 99 was aligned through Livingston via what is now Court Street. US Route 99 moved to Campbell Boulevard when the Livingston Underpass was opened to traffic during February 1939. US Route 99 would be decommissioned in California by June 1965 and the highway on Campbell Boulevard would become part of California State Route 99. Campbell Boulevard in Livingston was the location of the last traffic light on California State Route 99 between Wheeler Ridge and Sacramento. Campbell Boulevard was bypassed by the current California State Route 99 freeway which opened during December 1996. Pictured above is US Route 99 passing through the Livingston Underpass as featured in the March 1939 California Highways & Public Works. Below US Route 99 can be seen passing through Livingston on Court Street on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Merced County.
  • The Harbor Freeway (Interstate 110 and California State Route 110) (GN). The Harbor Freeway is a major north/south limited access corridor located in the Los Angeles metro area. The Harbor Freeway begins in the Los Angeles neighbor of San Pedro at California State Route 47 and terminates in downtown Los Angeles at US Route 101 as it meets the Four Level Interchange. The Harbor Freeway is approximately twenty-three miles in length with the segment from San Pedro north to Interstate 10 signed as Interstate 110 and the segment through downtown Los Angeles to the Four Level Interchange signed as California State Route 110. The Harbor Freeway corridor was historically tied to US Route 6 and California State Route 11 as it was being developed. Featured as the blog cover is the Harbor Freeway facing south towards the 4th Street overpass sourced from the May/June 1954 California Highways & Public Works.
  • The original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh (GN). Firebaugh is a city located on the San Joaquin River of western Fresno County. Firebaugh is one of the oldest American communities in San Joaquin Valley having been settled as the location of Firebaugh’s Ferry in 1854. Traditionally Firebaugh has been served by California State Route 33 which was one of the original Sign State Routes announced during August 1934. In modern times California State Route 33 is aligned through Firebaugh on N Street. Originally California State Route 33 headed southbound passed through Firebaugh via; N Street, 8th Street, O Street, 12th Street, Nees Avenue and Washoe Avenue. The blog cover depicts early California State Route 33 near Firebaugh crossing over a one-lane canal bridge. The image below is from the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which depicts the original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh.
  • California State Route 38 (GN). California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway. California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake. California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit. From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands. Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.
  • California State Route 243 (GN). California State Route 243 is a 29.63-mile State Highway which begins in San Gorgonio Pass in the city of Banning at Interstate 10. From Banning the alignment of California State Route 243 climbs south into San Jacinto Mountains via the Banning-Idyllwild Panoramic Highway. California State Route 243 passes through the community of Idyllwild before reaching a southern terminus at California State Route 74. Banning-Idyllwild Panoramic Highway was completed during 1910 and briefly served as Riverside County Route R1 before being becoming the second California State Route 243 during 1970.
  • Former California State Route 188 on Fallen Leaf Lake Road (GN). Former California State Route 188 was a 4.7-mile State Highway which located on Fallen Leaf Lake Road in the Lake Tahoe region of El Dorado County. California State Route 188 followed Fallen Leaf Lake Road along the eastern shore of the namesake lake from the vicinity of California State Route 89 near Camp Richardson. The original California State Route 188 was deleted during 1965 as one of the first State Highways removed after the 1964 California State Highway Renumbering.
  • Former US Route 99-60-70 in Indio and Coachella Valley (GN). Coachella Valley is located in the Sonoran Desert of Riverside County, California. Coachella Valley is home to Indio and other communities which were part of US Routes 99, 60 and 70. This blog will explore the alignment history of US Routes 99, 60 and 70 within the communities of Indio and Coachella Valley. Pictured above as the blog cover is US Route 99-60-70 in the Indio on Fargo Street business district during 1935.

California Highways: Route by Route

  • Episode 0.02 – Route 105 – It Only Takes a Century (Sample Episode). This is a sample episode to show what the Route by Route format will be, as we don’t expect to start exploring routes until the second season. The first season will be mostly background: The history of the California State Highway system, explorations of how highways are numbers, exploring how highways are named, and the entities you’ll be hearing about in the episodes, such as the CTC. But we know you want the routes, so we decided to do a sample one for you. This episode focuses on Route 105.



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