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California Highways

Routes 33 through 40

 
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Click here for a key to the symbols used. "LRN" refers to the Pre-1964 Legislative Route Number. "US" refers to a US Shield signed route. "I" refers to an Eisenhower Interstate signed route. "Route" usually indicates a state shield signed route, but said route may be signed as US or I. Previous Federal Aid (pre-1992) categories: Federal Aid Interstate (FAI); Federal Aid Primary (FAP); Federal Aid Urban (FAU); and Federal Aid Secondary (FAS). Current Functional Classifications (used for aid purposes): Principal Arterial (PA); Minor Arterial (MA); Collector (Col); Rural Minor Collector/Local Road (RMC/LR). Note that ISTEA repealed the previous Federal-Aid System, effective in 1992, and established the functional classification system for all public roads.


Quickindex

33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40


State Shield

State Route 33



Routing
  1. From Route 101 near Ventura to Route 150.


    Post 1964 Signage History

    A 1965 planning map shows this as freeway all the way to Castaic. Never upgraded, although a portion from Route 101 N is freeway.

    Near Route 145, it appears that Coaling-Mendota Road and Derrick Blvd is an old routing of Route 33 (US 399).

     

    Pre 1964 Signage History

    US Highway Shield This segment was signed as US 399 between the initial state signage of US highways in the early 1930s to the 1964 route renumbering. It was was LRN 138. This portion of LRN 138 was defined in 1933.

     

    Naming

    Route 33 from Route 101 to Foster Park in Ventura County is named the "Ojai" Freeway. It was named by its location. The first segment opened in 1956. It was named after the community of Ojai, which was a spelling for the rancheria Aujai is mentioned in mission records. A'hwai is Chumash for "moon."

    This segment is also named the "Bakersfield, Maricopa and Ventura Highway". It was named by Resolution Chapter 610 in 1913.

     

    Named Structures

    Tunnels 52-068, 52-070, and 52-072 in Ventura county, built in 1931, are unofficially named the "Matilija Tunnels".

     

    Scenic Highway

    [SHC 263.3] Entire portion.

     

    Freeway

    [SHC 253.3] Entire portion; the portion from Route 101 to N of Ventura is constructed to freeway standards. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959. There were once plans to have a freeway through Ojai.


  2. From Route 150 to Route 5 near Oilfields via the vicinity of Cuyama Valley and Maricopa and via Coalinga.


    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This segment was signed as follows:

    1. US Highway Shield As US 399 between Route 150 (LRN 151) and Route 166 (LRN 57), from the initial state signage of US highways in the early 1930s to the 1964 route renumbering. This segment was part of the 1933 portion of LRN 138.

    2. US Highway Shield Cosigned as US 399/Route 166 (present-day Route 33/Route 166) between 7 mi N of Ventucopa and Maricopa. This was LRN 57, defined in 1919.

    3. US Highway Shield Cosigned as US 399/Route 33 between Maricopa and Taft. This was part of the portion of LRN 138 defined in 1933. Note that the signed Route 33 began at Route 99 6 mi N of Wheeler Ridge (near the current I-5/Route 99 junction) and was cosigned as Route 33/Route 166 to Maricopa. That latter routing was LRN 57 (also defined in 1919). The signage of Route 33 N from Maricopa dates to the initial state signage of routes in 1934.

    4. US Highway Shield As Route 33 between Taft and Route 198 in Coalinga. This was LRN 138, and was part of the portion defined in 1933. At Taft, US 399 continued E, and is present-day Route 119 (LRN 140).

    5. As Route 33 between Coalinga and Oilfields. This was part of LRN 10, defined in 1915.

     

    Status

    In early 2006, Caltrans made a routing change in Coalinga. Coming into Coalinga, Route 33 becomes Polk Street. Pre-2006, Route 33 used to continue on Polk Street, and joined Route 198 (Elm Street). In 2006, Caltrans changed the signage to have 5th Street is signed for Route 33.

     

    Naming

    The portion of this segment between Route 150 and Route 113 is named the "Bakersfield, Maricopa and Ventura Highway". It was named by Resolution Chapter 610 in 1913.

    The portion of Route 33 in Kern County between Route 46 and Route 166 is named the Petroleum Highway. It was named in recognition of the petroleum industry, which has made an important economic contribution to Kern County and other parts of the state. The heart of oil country in Kern County is in the western part of the county adjacent to Route 33, where oil has been produced for more than 100 years. In fact, this region of Kern County produces 50 percent of California's oil production; and the largest gas field in the west, Elk Hills, is within sight of Route 33. Travelers on Route 33 can visit the only oil boomtowns in California and the West Kern Oil Museum in Taft. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 185, July 16, 2004, Chapter 128.

    The portion of this route N of Route 166 has historically been called El Camino Viejo.

     

    Other WWW Links

     

    Scenic Highway

    [SHC 263.3] From Route 150 to Route 166 in Cuyama Valley; and from Route 198 near Coalinga to Route 198 near Oilfields.

     

    Freeway

    [SHC 253.3] From Route 150 to Route 166 near Maricopa; not constructed to freeway standards. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.


  3. From Route 5 to Route 152 via the vicinity of Mendota.


    Status

    The portion between Route 5 near Oilfields to 12 mi N (i.e., the break between segments) is cosigned I-5/Route 33.

     

    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This was signed as follows:

    1. Present-day Route 33 is signed along I-5 between Oilfields and the Route 33 exit. This is post-1964 legislative Route 5, but was LRN 238, defined in 1959. Pre-1964 Route 33 used a similar routing, but was part of the 1955 LRN 138 extension.

    2. Between Oilfields and Route 180 in Mendota, the route was signed as Route 33, but was also part of the LRN 138 1955 extension.

    3. Between Mendota and Route 152, the route was signed as Route 33, but was LRN 41 (defined in 1933).

     

    Naming

    This segment has historically been called El Camino Viejo.


  4. From Route 152 west of Los Banos to Route 5 near Santa Nella.


    Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1972, this segment was transferred from former Route 207.

     

    Pre 1964 Signage History

    The original routing was signed as Route 33 (but was LRN 41, defined in 1933) from Los Banos for 6 mi NW to Volta, and then 5 mi W to the junction with LRN 121 (defined in 1933), near the present I-5 (which was LRN 238). According to someone familiar with the area, this routing approximates with Henry Miller Avenue (the EW portion between Santa Nella and Volta) and the Ingmar Grade to Los Banos. The present day routing follows along Route 152, and then uses LRN 121 to get to I-5.

     

    Naming

    This segment has historically been called El Camino Viejo.

     

    Status

    Note: The break between segments is cosigned Route 152/Route 33.

     

    Freeway

    [SHC 253.3] Portion (4); not constructed to freeway standards. This was added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1965.


  5. From Route 5 near Santa Nella to Route 140.


    Post 1964 Signage History

    Pre-1970, this segment began at Route 152. In 1970, the portion from Route 152 (10 mi W of Los Banos) to Route 5 was deleted. That segment was unsigned, but was part of LRN 41, defined in 1933.

     

    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This segment was signed as Route 33 between LRN 121 (near the present-day I-5) and Route 140, but was LRN 41, defined in 1933.

     

    Status

    Although technically the route between (5) and (6) is legislatively Route 140, it is signed and named as Route 33. This segment is LRN 122, and was defined in 1959.

     

    Naming

    This segment has historically been called El Camino Viejo.


  6. From Route 140 to Route 5 near Vernalis.


    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This segment was also part of LRN 41, defined in 1933.

     

    Naming

    This segment has historically been called El Camino Viejo.

exitinfo.gif
  • Western Exit Guide: Route 33 (Jeff Stapleton)

 

 

Post 1964 Signage History

Post-1964 Legistlative Route Graphic In 1976, an additional segment that ran from Route 5 to Route 205 near Tracy was deleted (that deleted segment was also part of "El Camino Viejo". This segment was the remainder of 1933 LRN 41, and had been signed as Route 33. It appears to have been Ahern Road and Bird Road.

 

Pre 1964 Signage History

The signage of this route as Route 33 between Maricopa and Tracy dates back to the initial state signage of routes in 1934.

 


Overall statistics for Route 33:

  • Total Length (1995): 290 miles
  • Average Daily Traffic (1993): 300 to 37,500
  • Milage Classification: Rural: 259; Sm. Urban 23; Urbanized: 8.
  • Previous Federal Aid Milage: FAP: 194 mi; FAS: 96 mi.
  • Functional Classification: Prin. Arterial: 25 mi; Minor Arterial: 222 mi; Collector: 43 mi.
  • Significant Summits: Pine Mountain Summit (5084 ft).
  • Counties Traversed: Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Merced, Stanislaus, San Joaquin.

 

Pre-1964 Legislative Route

Before the 1964 signed/legislative route alignment, LRN 33 was defined as:

  1. LRN 4 (US 99; now Route 99) near Bakersfield to LRN 2 (US 101) in San Luis Obispo County via Cholame Pass. This was signed as US 466; it is present-day Route 46 between Paso Robles and Shandon; signed Route 41 (but post-1964 legislative Route 46) between Shandon and Cholame; and Route 46 between Cholame and Route 99. This segment was defined in 1915.

  2. LRN 56 (Route 1) near Cambria to LRN 2 (US 101) near Paso Robles. This was signed as Route 41, but is present-day Route 46. Present-day Route 41 is what was US 466 between US 101 and Morro Bay. This segment was defined in 1933.


State Shield

State Route 34



Routing

From Route 1 between Point Mugu and the City of Oxnard to Route 118 near Somis.

 

Post 1964 Signage History

As of July 1, 1964, this route began at Port Hueneme. In 1965, the portion from Port Hueneme to Route 1 was deleted. For some reason, the 1979 planning map shows this as running S from 5th Street, although the current routing is along 5th St.

A 1965 planning map show this as freeway; never upgraded.

 

Pre 1964 Signage History

This route was LRN 153, defined in 1933. Its signage before 1964 is unclear.

No route was signed as Route 34 in the initial state signage of routes.

 

Status

There are plans to widen this route in the city of Camarillo (August 2002 CTC Agenda).

The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, provided the following expenditures on or near this route:

  • High Priority Project #2639: Port of Hueneme Intermodal Access Improvement Project, including grade separation at Rice Avenue and Route 34; widen Hueneme Road. $3,760,000.

  • Transportation Improvement #19: Port of Hueneme Intermodal Access Improvement Project, including grade separation at Rice Avenue and Route 34; widen Hueneme Road. $1,000,000.

 

 

Naming

Evidentally, Route 34 (while still just LRN 153) was planned to be the "Calleguas Freeway", according to a 1962 California F&E map for Ventura County.

 

Freeway

[SHC 253.1] Entire route (never upgraded). This was added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

 


Overall statistics for Route 34:

  • Total Length (1995): 13 miles
  • Average Daily Traffic (1992): 7,700 to 16,500.
  • Milage Classification: Rural: 5; Urbanized: 8.
  • Previous Federal Aid Milage: FAP: 13 mi.
  • Functional Classification: Prin. Arterial: 8 mi; Minor Arterial: 5 mi.
  • Counties Traversed: Ventura.

 

Pre-1964 Legislative Route

Before the 1964 signed/legislative route alignment, LRN 34 was defined to run from LRN 4 near Arno to LRN 23 near Pickett's in Hope Valley via Jackson, Irishtown, Pine Grove, Silver Lake, and Kirkwood. This was signed as Route 104 between cosigned US 50/US 99 (present-day Route 99) to 2 mi SE of Ione, and as Route 88 (originally Route 8) between 2 mi SE of Ione and Route 89 (LRN 23) near Pickett's. This was all defined in 1919 (although other information has 34 miles of it being defined in 1909, and 72 miles being defined legislatively sometime before 1924).


State Shield

State Route 35



Routing
  1. From Route 17 at Summit Road to Route 92 via Skyline Boulevard.


    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This segment was LRN 55. It was part of then Route 5, but the signage is unclear. It was defined in 1919.

     

    Naming

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

     

    Status

    According to Scott Rux in 2004, between Route 17 to Route 9, there are regular reassurance markers and postmiles. There are several Caltrans callboxes, all of which list the name of the highway in their identification. At the intersection of Bear Creek Rd and Skyline Blvd, there are directional signs indicating the continuation of Route 35, with the usual green miner's spade designations. At Summit Rd south and Mountain Charlie Rd (about 0.1 mile north of Route 17), the highway is only signed as "To Route 17".

    Supposedly, some sections are one-lane wide, and appear to have been paved some time ago. A portion of Route 35 south of Route 9 is called the Goat Trail by CalTrans workers. Some portions of this route are maintained by the owners of the property near the road, and some portions are maintained by the County of Santa Clara or Santa Cruz County.

    In fact, Route 35 (Skyline Blvd.) follows the north boundary of Santa Cruz county (with both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties) for 20-30 miles, except that the boundary (defined by a mountain ridge) is so irregular that the road can't exactly follow it. The road wanders in and out of each county so frequently that most of the crossings are unmarked, and even Caltrans' county based "postmiles" aren't very accurate. At one point you're told that you're entering Santa Cruz county, and then about 0.4 mile later, you're told you're entering the city limits of Palo Alto. (Palo Alto is in Santa Clara county, and cities can't extend across county lines in California.) The southern portion of Route 35 between Route 9 and Route 17 is also almost totally unmarked, apparently because local residents tear down the signs.
    [Based on a posting by John David Galt]


  2. From Route 92 to Route 280 at Bunker Hill Drive.


    Post 1964 Signage History

    Part (2) was added in 1984.

     

    Pre 1964 Signage History

    Before Route 280 was constructed, Route 5 began at the intersection of Route 9 (LRN 42) and Skyline, proceeded up to the junction of Route 92 (LRN 105), and then went over Crystal Springs Reservoir, and then turned north following the existing portion of Route 280 from the Route 92/I-280 interchange north to until where Skyline Blvd exits to the left. It was LRN 55. Route 5 was signed as part of the 1934 initial signage of routes. This was superseded in 1959 by LRN 237.

    According to Chris Sampang, after I-280 was built through the area in the 1970s, the Skyline Boulevard state highway (Route 35) was rerouted to I-280 between Route 92 and the current Route 35 semi-directional Y in San Bruno. However, a few portions of the old Skyline Boulevard still remain:

    1. In Millbrae, Skyline Boulevard between Larkspur Drive and Millbrae Avenue; the ramps leading into Skyline Boulevard from I-280/Route 35 may also be part of this.

    2. In Burlingame and Hillsborough, Skyline Boulevard from Trousdale Drive to Golf Course Drive

    3. In Hillsborough and San Mateo, including part of Golf Course Drive (which was named Skyline Boulevard as late as 1998, according to a CSAA Daly City/South San Francisco map) and Skyline Boulevard from Golf Course Drive south to Bunker Hill Drive. The portion of Skyline Boulevard from Bunker Hill Drive south to Route 92 was added back to the route in 1984 as the current Segment Two of the route—but is only signed as Route 35 going southbound; Route 35 northbound follows Route 92 east of the Skyline/Route 92 split and then I-280 north from Route 92 to past the Bunker Hill Drive interchange. North of Bunker Hill Drive, Route 35 is part of I-280 both northbound and southbound until the current Route 35/I-280 split.

    Also, according to Chris, around when I-280 was built, a couple of portions of Skyline Boulevard were bypassed in the San Bruno area. One starts at the junction of Glenview Drive and Ridgeway Avenue and goes south for about 600 feet and is essentially a cul-de-sac. Some old dirt right-of-way is visible south of the cul-de-sac itself between the end of the segment and Cambridge Lane. At Cambridge Lane, another segment of Skyline Boulevard begins. This lasts for about 900 feet southbound and then feeds into a short residential street; some more dirt right-of-way is visible through what are some residential backyards and into the current Route 35/I-280 merge. In Daly City, there is a "Skyline Drive" which begins at Westline Drive (possible former Route 1) in Pacifica and continues north to near Thornton State Beach. Although the part that parallels the Route 1 freeway routing to Westline Drive is most likely a newer construction, the rest of Skyline Drive parallels the current Skyline Boulevard completely. The north dead end seems to be pointing in a straight line to the old Route 1 stub in Thornton State Beach; thus Skyline and Route 1 may have merged here previous to the construction of the current 4 lane expressway and John Daly/Skyline junction. For more information, see Route 1. As of October 2006, the old intersection with Route 1 is no longer fenced off. In 2005, Daly City reopened this portion as Thornton Beach Vista. It's a small parking lot with a short trail leading to the bluff, with a few informational signs along the trail. One sign shows the alignment of old Route 1 pre-1957, and the old pavement can clearly be seen across a small gully that was formed by the storms of 1982 (that part is fenced off). There is no access to the actual State Park; for that you still need to take the freeway portion of Route 1 to the Manor Drive exit and go north on the frontage road.

     

    Naming

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


  3. From Route 280 via Skyline Boulevard to Route 1 in San Francisco.


    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This segment was signed as Route 5 between the initial signage of routes in 1934 and 1964. It was LRN 55, and was defined in 1919.

    The portion between the Route 1 Freeway and John Daly Drive was cosigned with Route 1 between 1957 and 1967.

     

    Naming

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

     

    Status

    Freeway currently exists from 1 mile south of jct with Route 1, to 1 mile north of jct of Route 1.

     

    Freeway

    [SHC 253.3] From Route 280 to Route 1 near Daly City. Added to the Freeway and Expressway systems in 1959.

     

    Other WWW Links
    • Freeways of San Francisco. Chris Sampang's site gives a lot of information about proposals for this route in the San Francisco area, including exit lists with hypothetical connections. This includes subpages on the Great Highway freeway.

exitinfo.gif

 


Overall statistics for Route 35:

  • Total Length (1995): 53 miles.
  • Average Daily Traffic (1993): 210 to 29,500.
  • Milage Classification: Rural: 36; Urbanized: 17.
  • Previous Federal Aid Milage: FAU: 17 mi; FAS: 22 mi.
  • Functional Classification: Prin. Arterial: 12 mi; Minor Arterial: 5 mi; Collector: 21 mi; Rural Minor Collector/Local Road: 15 mi.
  • Counties Traversed: Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco.

 

Scenic Highway

[SHC 263.1] Entire route.

 

Pre 1964 Signage History

Pre-1964 State Shield The original signed Route 35 was defined as part of the initial signage of routes in 1934. It ran from US60/US70/US99 (LRN 26; now I-10) along Puente Ave, Workman Mill Blvd, Norwalk Blvd, Pioneer Blvd, Norwalk Rd, and Los Alamitos Road to Route 22 (LRN 179) near Westminster. It was LRN 170, present-day I-605, defined in 1933, extended in 1957 and 1959.

 

Pre-1964 Legislative Route

Before the 1964 signed/legislative route alignment, LRN 35 was defined to run from LRN 1 near Alton to LRN 20 near Douglas City, passing near Kuntz and Peanut. This was signed as Route 36 between Alton (US 101; LRN 1) and 4 mi SW of Peanut, where it met signed Route 3. At that point, it continued along the present-day Route 3 to Douglas City, where it terminated at US 299 (LRN 20).


State Shield

State Route 36



Routing

Route 101 near Alton to Route 395 near Johnsonville passing near Forest Glen via Red Bluff and Mineral, via the vicinity of Morgan Summit, and via Susanville.

 

Post 1964 Signage History

Pre-1988, this route was discontiguous at Route 5. Until 1998, there was a second portion that ran from Route 139 north of Susanville to Route 395 near Termo; this section was deleted by AB 2132, Chapter 877, signed September 26, 1998. That segment was LRN 20 to US 395 (LRN 73), and was defined in 1959. That section was never constructed.

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

 

Pre 1964 Signage History

The route had the following legislative routes:

  1. Between Alton (US 101; LRN 1) and Peanut (jct Route 36/Route 3; LRN 35/LRN 29), this route was LRN 35, defined in 1933.
  2. Between Alton and 5 mi E of Susanville, passing through Red Bluff, Mineral, Morgan Springs, Chester, and Coppervale, most of this route was LRN 29. The portion between Route 3 and Route 5 was defined in 1933; the remainder was defined in 1935. The exception is the portion between Mineral and Morgan Springs. The portion between Mineral and the Route 36/Route 89 5 mi to the E, near Deer Creek Pass, was LRN 86 (defined in 1933). From the Route 36/Route 89 junction to Morgan Springs, it was LRN 83, defined in 1933.
  3. The portion between 5 mi W of Susanville and Johnstonville was LRN 20, defined in 1959.

The route was signed as part of the initial signage of routes in 1934.

 

Status

In February 2006, the CTC considered relinquishment of right of way in the County of Tehama, at Kinney Avenue, consisting of reconstructed and relocated county roads.

In September 2006, the CTC considered relinquishment of right of way at PM 25.1 in the City of Susanville, at Foss Street, consisting of a road connection.

 

Naming

A small portion of this segment in Red Bluff is designated as part of "Historic US Highway 99" by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 19, Chapter 73, in 1993.

 

Named Structures

The bridge over the Van Duzen River in Humboldt county is named the "Bernard A. Hemenway Bridge". It was constructed in 1984, and was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 102, Chapter 53, in 1986. Bernard A. "Bernie" Hemenway (b. 1907) was a 40 year Caltrans employee and founder of the original CSEA Crabfeed.

Bridge 04-089 over Yager Creek in Humboldt county is named the "Robert F. Fisher Memorial Bridge". It was built in 1968, and named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 151, Chapter 282, in 1969. Robert F. Fisher, elected to the California Assembly by the people of Humboldt County in 1926, 1928 and 1930, was the last remaining Spanish-American War veteran in Humboldt County.

Bridge 04-093 over the Van Duzen River in Humboldt county is named the "Dwight O'Dell Bridge". It was built in 1965, and was named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 16, Chapter 49, in 1981. Dwight O’Dell was the publisher and editor of the Humboldt Beacon & Fortuna Advance. He was instrumental in the formation of the Highway 36 Association in 1951.

Bridge 04-129, over the Van Duzen River in Humboldt county, is named the "William J. C. Dinsmore Bridge". It was built in 1981, and was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 10, Chapter 49, in 1987. William J.C. "Will" Dinsmore, (1933-1994), a lifetime resident and rancher in Sonoma county, worked as a foreman on the construction of Route 36 from Dinsmore to Forest Glen.

Bridge 04-294, over the Van Duzen River in Humboldt county, is named the "Silvio 'Botchie' Santi Memorial Bridge". It was built in 1985, and was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 103, Chapter 54 in 1986. Silvio "Botchie" Santi, who immigrated to the United States at the age of 19, started "Botchie's Crab Stand" in Field's Landing, Humboldt County, in 1928.

Bridge 08-021, at the south fork of the Cottonwood Creek in Tehama county, is named the "John R. Trainer Memorial Bridge". It was built in 1969, and named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 80, Chapter 355, the same year. John R. Trainor served as the Mayor of the City of Red Bluff and Chairman of the Highway 36 Association until his death in 1968.

This route also has the following Safety Roadside Rest Areas:

  • Lake Almanor, in Plumas County, 4.3 mi E of Chester.

 

National Trails

[Volcanic Byways]This route is part of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway All American Road.

 

Scenic Highway

[SHC 263.3] From Route 101 near Alton to Route 3 near Peanut; and from Route 89 near Morgan Summit to Route 89 near Deer Creek Pass.

 

Freeway

[SHC 253.3] Route 36 from Route 5 at Red Bluff to Route 395. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959. Note that this includes the portion that ran from Route 139 north of Susanville to Route 395 near Termo that was deleted by AB 2132, Chapter 877, signed September 26, 1998.

 

Other WWW Links

 


Overall statistics for Route 36:

  • Total Length (1998): 250 miles.
  • Average Daily Traffic (1993): 180 to 26,500.
  • Milage Classification: Rural: 242; Sm. Urban 8.
  • Previous Federal Aid Milage: FAP: 250 mi.
  • Functional Classification: Prin. Arterial: 16 mi; Minor Arterial: 234 mi.
  • Significant Summits: Morgan Summit (5750 ft); Fredoyner Pass (5748 ft); Deer Creek Pass (4939 ft).
  • Counties Traversed: Humboldt, Trinity, Shasta, Tehama, Plumas, Lassen.

 

Blue Star Memorial Highway

This route was designated as a "Blue Star Memorial Highway" by Senate Concurrent Resolution 36, Ch. 104 in 1983.

 

Pre-1964 Legislative Route

Before the 1964 signed/legislative route alignment, LRN 36 was defined to run from Mt. Pleasant Ranch to Downieville. This is an 8 mi segment of highway N from Downieville, and is not currently in the state highway system, nor was it signed before 1964.


State Shield

State Route 37



Routing
  1. From Route 251 near Nicasio to Route 101 near Novato.


    Scenic Highway

    [SHC 263.4] Entire portion.

     

    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This portion of the routing was not part of the original definition of Route 37 in 1934. It was LRN 252 (defined in 1959) in 1963, but the routing was shown as "proposed, routing not determined".

     

    Status

    Unconstructed This segment is unconstructed.

     

    Naming

    This was to have been part of the "Point Reyes Freeway". The Pt. Reyes Freeway was one of many new routes created in the State Freeway and Expressway System, which was approved by the Legislature in 1959. This route has all but been killed by environmental concerns and costs. It would have connected with Route 251.


  2. From Route 101 near Novato to Route 80 near Lake Chabot via the vicinity of Sears Point and via the former Sears Point Toll Road.


    Pre 1964 Signage History

    The portion of this route between US 101 (LRN 1) and 7 mi NE of Ignacio (i.e., the current junction with Route 121) was signed as Route 37, and was LRN 8. It was defined in 1909.

    Route 37 previously continued along the current Route 121 routing to Route 128 (originally Route 28) as LRN 8 (to Route 29 in Napa) and LRN 6 (Napa to Route 128). This segment was the original definition of Route 37 (i.e., between US 101 near Ignacio to Route 28 near Monticello, via Napa.

    The portion of this route from 7 mi NE of Ignacio (present-day Route 121 junction) and I-80 (former US-40; LRN 7) was signed as (state) Route 48. This was LRN 208, defined in 1939.

     

    Status

    Current, there is a gap in the Route 37 freeway between the Napa River bridge and Marine World. The current proposed alignment for the replacement freeway is:

    • Between Wilson Ave and Enterprise St, the freeway will be on the same alignment as current Route 37. Rodgers St and Selfridge St will dead end at Route 37, and Sacramento St will fly over Route 37 to meet an extended Wilson Ave.

    • East of Enterprise St, the freeway will swing north of the current Route 37 and intersect Route 29 with a 6-ramp partial cloverleaf, with loop ramps from Route 29 South to Route 37 West to Route 29 North to Route 37 East.

    • From there, the freeway will run parallel to the current Route 37 and join where the current freeway ends near Diablo Rd.

    The current Route 37 between Route 29 and Diablo Rd will become a local street. Diablo Rd will be rejoined to the old Route 37. In June 2002, the CTC had on its agenda an item for $50,600,000 for Route 37 in Vallejo between Enterprise Street and Diablo Street to construct new Route 29 interchange and four lane freeway. This is also in the MTC 2001 Regional Transportation Plan.

    According to Chris Sampang, as of June 2004, between Sears Point and Mare Island, all two-lane sections are now seperated with a Jersey Barrier. East of Mare Island, the highway uses a temporary four-lane segment between Sonoma Boulevard (Route 29) and the east end of the Mare Island bridge. A semi-elevated freeway is under construction north of this temporary four lane segment to bypass the businesses west of Marine World and the crowded intersection of Route 29 and Route 37. An older two lane (plus center turning lane) section of Route 37 (Marine World Parkway) to the south of the temporary four-lane alignment has been cut off and is now a cul-de-sac, with at least one business (a former USA/Beacon gas station) succumbing to the lack of traffic. It appears the temporary four-lane segment that currently carries Route 37 at grade across Route 29 will become the future eastbound exit (exit numbers and such are already present even though the elevated bypass is not complete). It isn't clear if the old alignment east of Route 29 or the temporary alignment west of Route 29 will become part of eastbound ramps, but that appears to be the arrangement being proposed.

    As of 2006, the freeway between Mare Island and I-80 was completed.

     

    Naming

    The portion of this route from Route 121 at Sears Point to Vallejo is named the "Sears Point Toll Road". It was named by Resolution Chapter 393 in 1933.

    The portion of this route running through Sonoma County is called the "Valley of the Moon Scenic Route". "Valley of the Moon" was the name Jack London, resident of Glen Ellen, coined for this area.

    In Vallejo, Route 37 is "Marine World" Parkway. Marine World is located in Vallejo.

    The eastbound I-80/Route 37 interchange is named the "Gary L. Hughes Memorial Interchange". Officer Gary L. Hughes and his partner Officer Lancer R. Thelen stopped and arrested a suspected drunk driver along Interstate 80 in Vallejo. Hughes was sitting in the rear of the patrol car with the suspect when a pick-up truck camper plowed into the patrol car pinning Hughes against the front seat and causing massive head injuries. The 38-year-old Patrol officer died enroute to the hospital and the prisoner received minor injuries. Thelen was near the front of the patrol car with a tow truck operator completing paperwork for impounding the suspect's vehicle when they were struck by the patrol car as it was rammed by the truck camper. Thelen suffered a severe leg injury and the tow truck operator had a compound leg fracture. The driver of the truck camper was taken into custody on charges of felony drunk driving and manslaughter. Hughes was an 11-year veteran of the Patrol. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 100, Chapter 124, in 1998.
    [Information on Officer Hughes from the CHP Memorial Site]

    The portion of this route from Route 29 to Skaggs Road is named the "Randy Bolt Memorial Highway". Special Agent William Randall "Randy" Bolt was killed on May 9, 1995 in a traffic accident while on duty as a special agent with the Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. He was driving eastbound Route 37, east of Skaggs Island Road, Solano County, California, when at approximately 7:25 a.m., a party driving a vehicle westbound crossed the painted double yellow lines directly into the path of Randy Bolt's unmarked Department of Justice vehicle. The two vehicles collided head-on and both Randy Bolt and the party driving the other vehicle died instantly. He was only 48 years old at the time of his death. Agent Bolt began his tenure as a law enforcement officer for the State of California in the year 1968 with the Fremont Police Department and subsequent to that employment, he was employed by the Placer County Sheriff's Department and the San Rafael Police Department. In 1988, he was appointed to the Department of Justice and assigned to the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, Riverside regional office. In 1990, he was transferred to the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, San Francisco regional office where he worked until his untimely death. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 95, Chapter 128, September 24, 2001.

    Historically, this route is close to the original "El Camino Real" (The Kings Road). A portion of this route has officially been designated as part of "El Camino Real by Assembly Bill 1707, Chapter 739, on October 11, 2001.

     

    Named Structures

    The Sonoma Creek Bridge is officially named the "Richard "Fresh Air" Janson Bridge". It was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 68 in 1996. Richard Ludwig "Fresh Air Dick" Janson (d. 1951), a native of Estonia who made his home in Sonoma County, is recognized as the premier waterfowl decoy carver in the western United States. Known as "Fresh Air" for his reverence for wildlife, Janson lived for most of his life on an ark moored half a mile from the bridge—formerly known as the Sonoma Creek Bridge; he died in 1951.

     

    Interstate Submissions

    Submitted for inclusion in the interstate system in 1945 and 1956; not accepted both times. Freeway currently exists from jct with US101 to approximately 4 miles east of US101 to Atherton Ave. Also another freeway section begins at 1 mile before Mare Island, over the Napa River Bridge, and ends 1/2 mile east of the bridge. Freeway then begins 1/2 mile east of Route 29 to junction with I-80.

     

    Scenic Highway

    [SHC 263.4] From Route 101 near Ignacio to Route 29 near Vallejo.

     

    Double Fine Zones

    Between Route 121 and the intersection with Route 29. Authorized by Senate Bill 155, Chapter 169, on July 23, 1999.

exitinfo.gif

 

Freeway

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

 


Overall statistics for Route 37:

  • Total Length (1995): 21 miles constructed; 11 miles unconstructed.
  • Average Daily Traffic (1992): 25,000 to 62,000
  • Milage Classification: Rural: 21; Urbanized: 11.
  • Previous Federal Aid Milage: FAP: 21 mi.
  • Functional Classification: Prin. Arterial: 21 mi.
  • Counties Traversed: Marin, Sonoma, Solano.

 

Interregional Route

[SHC 164.12] Between the east urban limits of San Francisco-Oakland near Novato and the west urban limits of San Francisco-Oakland near Vallejo.

 

Pre-1964 Legislative Route

Before the 1964 signed/legislative route alignment, LRN 37 was defined to run from Auburn to LRN 38 via Emigrant Gap. It was signed as US 40, and is present-day I-80. It was defined in 1919. According to "California Highways" by Ben Blow (1920), the Auburn-Emigrant Gap State Road and the Emigrant Gap-Donner Lake State Road were both taken into the State Highway System under the first highway Bond Act of 1909. The section from Truckee to Verdi, the road was added under the third Bond Act of 1919.


State Shield

State Route 38



Routing
  1. From Route 10 near Redlands to Route 18 near Baldwin Lake via Barton Flats.


    Freeway

    [SHC 253.3] Entire portion. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

     

    Post 1964 Signage History

    This history of this route is described with Route 30.

     

    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This was signed as Route 38 sometime after 1934, and was LRN 190, defined in 1933.


  2. From Route 18 near Baldwin Lake along the north side of Big Bear Lake to Route 18 near the west end of Big Bear Lake.


    Post 1964 Signage History

    Note that a big numbering switch also occured in 1964. Prior to 1964, Route 18 ran N from San Bernardino. At Running Springs, it joined with Route 30 (now Route 330) up from Highland, and continued cosigned Route 18/Route 30 to the W end of Big Bear Lake. At this point, Route 30 ran along the S edge of the lake, and Route 18 ran along the N end. When the new definitions went into place, Route 18 was rerouted to the S side of Big Bear Lake (replacing what had been signed as Route 30). The cosigning that existed between the W end of Big Bear Lake and the Route 30 (now Route 330)/Route 18 junction was eliminated, and the route was just signed as Route 18. The old Route 18 routing on the N side of the lake was signed as Route 38.

     

    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This was originally part of Route 18 (from the west end of Big Bear Lake to Big Bear City), and was LRN 43 (routing around the lake defined in 1917). It was resigned as Route 38 in 1964.

Scenic Highway

[SHC 263.1] Entire route.

 

Interregional Route

[SHC 164.12] Between the east urban limits of San Bernardino-Riverside and Route 18 west of Big Bear Lake.

 


Overall statistics for Route 38:

  • Total Length (1995): 59 miles
  • Average Daily Traffic (1992): 1,850 to 17,800.
  • Milage Classification: Rural: 48; Sm. Urban 3; Urbanized: 8.
  • Previous Federal Aid Milage: FAP: 59.
  • Functional Classification: Prin. Arterial: 20 mi; Minor Arterial: 39 mi.
  • Summits: Onxy Summit (8,443 ft)
  • Counties Traversed: San Bernardino.

 

Pre-1964 Legislative Route

Before the 1964 signed/legislative route alignment, LRN 38 was defined as the route from LRN 11 near May's Junction to the Neval line near Verdi, Nevada, via Tallac, Emerald Bay, McKinney's Tahoe City, the Truckee River, Truckee, and the Truckee River Canyon. This was signed as follows:

  1. Route 89 between Tahoe Valley (junction with US 50, LRN 11) and Truckee (junction with US 40, LRN 37 to the W, now I-80). This was defined in 1911.

  2. US 40 (present-day I-80) between Truckee and the Nevada state line. This was defined in 1923. LRN 37 from Auburn to Verdi and LRN 38 from Truckee to Emigrant Gap were both added to the State Highway System in the third Bond Act of 1919.


State Shield

State Route 39



Routing
  1. From Route 1 near Huntington Beach to Route 72 in La Habra via Beach Boulevard.


    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This segment had two LRNs:

    1. LRN 171 between Route 1 and US 101 (once US 101 was rerouted to its freeway route). This ran N along Huntington Beach Blvd, then N on Stanton. Between Lincoln Avenue and (freeway) US 101 (along Grand Avenue). This was defined in 1933.

    2. LRN 62 between (freeway) US 101 and present-day Route 72 (former surface US 101; Whittier Blvd.; LRN 2). This route ran along Grand Avenue, La Habra Road, and La Mirada Avenue. This was defined in 1933.

    This segment from pre-1964 Route 26 south to the Pacific Coast Highway went under several different names in 1961 (all of these are now part of an extended Beach Boulevard): Huntington Beach Boulevard, Stanton Avenue (through the town of Stanton near Ball Road), Grand Avenue through Buena Park, and then Beach Boulevard in Mirada Hills. Near Westminster, this may have run along Coast.

     

    Naming

    The portion of Route 39 (Beach Boulevard) between I-405 and Route 22 within the boundaries of the City of Westminster is named the "Westminster Police Officer Steven L. Phillips Memorial Highway" This segment was named in memory of Westminster Police Officer Steven L. Phillips, who died in an on-duty traffic accident on January 29, 2004, at the intersection of Trask Avenue and Jackson Street in the City of Westminster. Officer Phillips was the first officer in the Westminster Police Department's 46-year history to die in the line of duty. He was born on June 5, 1957, in Los Angeles, California. Officer Phillips graduated from Edgewood High School in the City of West Covina and joined the United States Air Force in 1976. He completed four years of service as a military police officer, and continued his service with the Air Force as a reserve military police officer assigned to the 30th Security Forces Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. He was called back to active duty for a year after the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, and served his time at Vandenberg AFB. In 1986, Officer Phillips entered the Rio Hondo Police Academy. The City of Westminster then hired Officer Phillips as a police officer. Officer Phillips served in the Westminster Police Department for 18 years and he was a motor officer since 1991. He was an experienced motor officer and he was responsible for training new motor officers. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 70, Resolution Chapter 132, on 9/19/2005.


  2. From Beach Boulevard to Harbor Boulevard in La Habra via Whittier Boulevard.


    Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment was a transfer from Route 72 in 1981. It exists to connect the original Route 39 to the S with a planned freeway (never built) Route 39 betewen La Habra and West Covina.

     

    Pre 1964 Signage History

    Route 72 originally continued E from Beach Blvd and went S on Harbor. See Route 72 and Route 5 for additional details. This was part of LRN 2.


  3. Whittier Boulevard in La Habra to Route 2 via Harbor Boulevard to the vicinity of Fullerton Road, then to Azusa Avenue, Azusa Avenue to San Gabriel Canyon Road, San Gabriel Avenue southbound between Azusa Avenue and San Gabriel Canyon Road, and San Gabriel Canyon Road, other than the portion of the segment described by this subdivision that is within the city limits of Azusa and Covina.

    The relinquished former portions of Route 39 within the city limits of Azusa and Covina are not a state highway and are not eligible for adoption [as a state highway].

    SB 1578, chaptered September 9, 2004, authorizes the California Transportation Commission to relinquish to the City of West Covina any portion of Route 39 that is located within the city limits of West Covina, pursuant to the terms of a cooperative agreement between the city and the department, upon a determination by the commission that the relinquishment is in the best interests of the state. Said relinquishment becomes effective immediately following the recordation by the county recorder of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission's approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment. At that point, the portion of Route 39 relinquished ceases to be a state highway, and cannot be considered for future readoption. Furthermore, the City of West Covina is required to maintain within its jurisdiction signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 39. In September 2005, the CTC considered this relinquishement.


    Post 1964 Signage History

    Note that the portion within the City of Azusa S of Post Mile 17 reliquished to the cointaining city [SHC 339(c)]. Additionally, the portion of Route 39 that is within the City of Covina has been relinquished to that city when appropriate terms have been accepted by that city. (SHC 339(d), added by Assembly Bill 2909, Enrolled August 28, 2000. In 2003, Assembly Bill 1717 (Chaptered 9/25/2003, Resolution Chapter 525) changed the legislative definition to exclude the relinquished portions in Azusa and Covina.

     

    Pre 1964 Signage History

    This route consisted of the following:

    1. A routing N along Hacienda Blvd and Glendora Avenue to West Covina and the intersection with I-10 (formerly cosigned US 60/US 70/US 99). The official routing was later realigned to the E, but never finalized. This is signed as Route 39, and was LRN 62, defined in 1933. It was signed as late as 1988.

    2. N along Azusa Ave to San Gabriel Avenue and an logical connection with Route 2. This was LRN 62. Due to landslide, Route 39 does not connect with Route 2 anymore; supposedly, they are doing construction to reopen the part between Crystal Lake and Route 2. The portion between Azusa and Route 2 was defined in 1919; the remainder was defined in 1933.

    San Gabriel Canyon Road opened in 1961, was closed regularly due to landslides on the west face of Mount Islip, and closed permanently in 1978, with Mother Nature declared the victor. However.... according to a planning report on a CalTrans site, this might actually be reopened:

    "LA-39-40.0/44.4 19920K Reopen Highway (PC/AG) This project is currently in PSR review stage with changes still being made by Project Studies. This Office submitted amendments to the PEAR on September 7, 2000 for Alternative 5 and the cost estimate for biological mitigation (including Alternative 5). According to the 2nd draft of the PSR the recommended environmental document likely is an EIR/EIS for Alternative 5 (the preferred alternative)."

    The City of Industry has a two pages (here and here) that describes the origins of FAS Rte 1274, which appears to be today's Route 39 and County Route N8. This was to be a route from Huntington Beach and north across the San Gabriel Mountains to the Antelope Valley. The project involved the extension of Azusa Avenue through West Covina to link with Pass and Covina Road just S of Amar Road in La Puente. Part of this effort involved remaking Grazide Road into a four-lane divided highway from Hacienda Bl east for ½ mi.

     

    Status

    Unconstructed Between La Habra and Route 10 in Azusa, this was a planned freeway routing that was never built. The signed Route 39 between those points is the pre-1964 routing.

    Currently, the routing is as follows: When entering the southern city-limits, it follows Beach Blvd. Afterwards, it shortly jogs east on Whittier Blvd. Finally, it turns south on Harbor Blvd., where approximately one-mile ahead it seems to have a terminus with Imperial Hwy (Route 90). Note that, historically, Route 39 continued north of La Habra city-limits, via Hacienda Blvd.

    The portion between Crystal Lake Road and Route 2 is currently closed. However, according to a report on 12/15/02 in the Whittier Daily News, it may be reopened in the future. According to the article, by January 2003, Caltrans officials expect to have a plan in place to repair state Highway 39 where it meets Angeles Crest Highway. This 6.2 mile stretch was closed after a major storm in 1978, and provides a recreational loop from Azusa to La Canada Flintridge, with an option to veer toward Wrightwood. However, it may take until 2007 to open the road. Without the route, residents must drive an extra 45 miles through the forest to get to Route 2 in La Canada Flintridge, or to Interstate 15 in Rancho Cucamonga to reach higher-elevation campgrounds, ski areas and restaurants in Wrightwood. There are two phases:

    • Phase I includes repaving work, drainage work, retaining-wall construction and partial reconstruction of the road. It covers the northern and southern sections (PM 40/41.6 and 43.00/44.44) with an estimated completion of summer 2004. Specific actions include cleaning 23 culvert inlets, building 4 new retaining walls and installing metal beam guardrails. The Initial Study/Environmental Assessment (IS/EA) for Phase I was released in January 2003 and found no significant impacts. The tentative work schedule for Phase I is as follows: finalize IS/EA early spring 2003 and begin construction Summer 2003 with an estimated completion of winter 2003.

    • Phase II requires re-engineering a part of the road where a landslide swept away a 500-foot portion about five miles north of Crystal Lake. It has an estimated completion date of at least summer 2008. Phase II currently has 5 alternatives. Alternatives for Phase II are currently under evaluation. The preferred alternative would include realigning the roadway at Snow Spring Slide and installing retaining walls and metal beam guardrails. The cost of this project is estimated at over $20,000,000, and there is no forseeable source of funding.

    [Thanks to Greg Saia for providing this information, including forwarding information he obtained from Caltrans.]

    The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, provided the following expenditures on or near this route:

    • High Priority Project #1904: Reconstruct Azusa Ave and San Gabriel Ave for two-way traffic in Azusa. $2,000,000.

     

     

    Naming

    The proposed name for the freeway segment was the "Huntington Beach" Freeway. It was named for its terminus in Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach was named for Henry E. Huntington, nephew of Collis P. Huntington and a Southern California Utility magnate and promoter.

Post 1964 Signage History

Pre-1978, this was a continuous route from Route 1 to Route 2. A 1965 planning map shows this as freeway from Route 1 to Route 210; never constructed/upgraded. Route/location studies were conducted in 1958, with public hearings in 1964.

If one hikes over the planned route, one will discover two "tunnels to nowhere" and one "bridge to nowhere". These are along the E fork of the San Gabriel River. One tunnel was built in 1961; the other was built in 1964. They were to be a part of Route 39 up the East Fork of the San Gabriel River to Vincent Gap (at Route 2). The road is called present-day Shoemaker Canyon Road and is only partially paved. The Bridge to Nowhere was part of a road up the East Fork of the San Gabriel River built in 1929 to 1938, when most of the road was destroyed by a rainstorm, leaving the bridge stranded. The Road to Nowhere was another attempt made from 1954 to 1969, stopped this time by budget-cutters and environmentalists

 

Pre 1964 Signage History

This route was signed as part of the original signage of routes in 1934.

 

Status

Unsigned Unsigned from Whittier Blvd to Route 10. Additionally, in 1996, a section (d) was added that allows the portion of Route 39 that is within the city limits of the City of Azusa, except that portion that is north of post mile 17, to cease to be a state highway when the highway department and the City of Azusa reach agreement on terms of relinquishment. The agreement will require that any lump-sum payment from the department to the City of Azusa be deposited by that city in a special account and used solely for improvements on Azusa Avenue and San Gabriel Avenue in the City of Azusa.

 

Other WWW Links

 


Overall statistics for Route 39:

  • Total Length (1995): 56 miles traversable; 12 miles unconstructed
  • Average Daily Traffic (1993): 150 to 61,000
  • Milage Classification: Rural: 27; Urbanized: 41.
  • Previous Federal Aid Milage: FAP: 30 mi; FAU: 26 mi.
  • Functional Classification: Prin. Arterial: 28 mi; Minor Arterial: 28 mi.
  • Counties Traversed: Orange, Los Angeles.

 

Freeway

[SHC 253.3] From Route 5 to Route 210. Not upgraded. The portion between Route 1 and Route 210 was added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959; in 1994, the Freeway and Expressway designation was redefined to Route 5 to Route 210.

 

Scenic Highway

[SHC 263.4] From Route 210 near Azusa to Route 2.

 

Pre-1964 Legislative Route

Before the 1964 signed/legislative route alignment, LRN 39 was defined as the route from Tahoe City to the Nevada line at Crystal Bay. This was signed as Route 28, and started at Route 89. This LRN was defined in 1915.


Interstate Shield

Interstate 40



Routing

From Route 15 at Barstow to the Arizona state line near Topock, Arizona via Needles.

 

Business Routes
  • Needles: Old US 66-95 (National Trails Highway); River Road, N Street, Broadway, Acoma, and Front Street.

 

Pre 1964 Signage History

State Shield Interstate Shield US Highway Shield The specific routing corresponding to this did not exist before 1964 (i.e., the interstate routing). An approximate routing is that of the old US 66 (now the National Trails Highway) between Barstow and Needles. That routing was signed as US 66, and was LRN 58, defined in 1919.

 

Status

There is a sign at the western end of the route that indicates the distance to Wilmington NC. The sign was once stolen, but has since been replaced.

 

Naming

This route is named the "Needles" Freeway. It was named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 in 1968. It was named because it traverses the City of Needles. Needles was named after a railroad station, established in February 1883, on the Arizona side of the Colorado River and named after the near-by pinnacles. The name was transferred to the California side in October 1883.

This route is part of "Historic Highway Route 66", designated by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 6, Chapter 52, in 1991.

 

Named Structures

This route also has the following Safety Roadside Rest Areas:

  • Desert Oasis, in San Bernardino County 9 mi E of Newberry.
  • Fenner, in San Bernardino County, 45 mi W of Needles.

 

Interstate Submissions

Approved as chargeable Interstate on 7/7/1947. In August 1957, this was tentatively approved as I-40; however, in November 1957 the California Department of Highways suggested that it be designated as I-30 to eliminate confusion with the existing US 40 in California. This was rejected by AASHTO, as was probably one of the factors leading to the "great renumbering".

 

Freeway

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

 

Scenic Highway

[SHC 263.4] From Barstow to Needles.

 

Blue Star Memorial Highway

This route (I-40) was designated as a "Blue Star Memorial Highway" by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 112, Ch. 143 in 1984.

 

Interregional Route

[SHC 164.12] Entire route

 

National Trails

Interstate Shield National Old Trails Road Sign The original surface routing replaced by I-40 (i.e., old US 66) was part of the "National Old Trails Road".

Interstate Shield The original surface routing replaced by I-40 (i.e., old US 66) was part of the "Santa Fe Trail".

Interstate Shield National Park to Park Highway Sign Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway Sign The original surface routing replaced by I-40 (i.e., old US 66) appears to have been part of the "National Park to Park Highway", and the "Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway".

 

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Other WWW Links

 


Overall statistics for I-40:

  • Total Length (1995): 155 miles
  • Average Daily Traffic (1992): 8,000 to 17,800.
  • Milage Classification: Rural: 145; Sm. Urban 10.
  • Previous Federal Aid Milage: FAI: 155 mi.
  • Functional Classification: Prin. Arterial: 155 mi.
  • Counties Traversed: San Bernardino.

 

Pre 1964 Signage History

Pre-1964 State Shield US Highway Shield Until the completion of Interstate 40 (the current routing), Route 40 was US-40, and ran from San Francisco to the Nevada state line in a routing roughly parallel to the existing I-80. It was signed as part of the original US highway signage in 1928. It had the following LRNs:

  1. LRN 68 between San Francisco (US 101) and Oakland (junction Route 17, now I-880). This was defined in 1923.

  2. Between Oakland and Richmond/Albany, there were two routings:

    1. The first was LRN 14, defined in 1909. This is present-day Route 123. (San Pablo Avenue)

    2. The second was LRN 69, which was a bypass of LRN 14. This was the original portion of LRN 69, defined in 1923, the same year as LRN 68.

  3. LRN 7 from near El Cerrito and 2 mi SW of Davis (junction Alt US 40/US 99W; now Route 113). This was signed as US 40; it is present-day I-80. It was defined in 1909. It appears that US 40 used W and N Texas Streets in Fairfield, and Merchant ST. and Monte Vista Avenue in Vacaville. Portions in Vallejo ran along what is today Route 12 and Route 29 (between Cordelia Jct and Vallejo) circa 1931.

  4. LRN 6 between Davis and Sacramento, cosigned as US 40/US 99W. This was defined in 1909. Portions of this used Old Davis Road and Olive Drive. Portions of the old frontage road to the N of I-80 (Road 32) E of Davis was also old US 40. US 40 used W Capitol Avenue to enter Sacramento via the Tower Bridge.

    US 40 appears to have followed the following roads up to Davis: (1) Texas Street from Fairfield to the I-80 corridor (2) Lyon Road and Cherry Glen Road between Fairfield and Vacaville. (3) Merchant Street, Dobbins Avenue, and East Monte Vista Avenue in Vacaville to the Nut Tree Airport. (4) Midway Road, Porter Road, Porter Street, Old State Highway, A Street, and current Route 113 through Dixon, and Vaughn Road from current 113 east to Sacramento. (5) Pedrick Road (Yolo County Road 98) north to Russell Boulevard (Route 128 corridor) (6) Russell Boulevard east to Davis. Segments (5) and (6) were later part of Alternate US 40. Davis now has a few Historic US 40 signs up on Richards Boulevard and First Street.

    The US 40 bypass of Davis (now I-80; presumably the stretch between Olive Drive and Pedrick Road) was constructed in 1940.

  5. LRN 3 between Sacramento and Roseville, cosigned as US 40/US 99E. This was defined in 1909.

    The US 40/99W bypass of West Sacramento and Broderick (later I-80, now US 50/Business I-80/I-305 and Route 275) was first proposed in 1950; however, local business opposition developed in these early stages as well. Thus, when the freeway was completed in 1954, the Yolo County Hotel-Motel Association was formed (as many of the businesses on bypassed West Capitol Avenue were and are lodging establishments).

  6. LRN 17 between Sacramento and Auburn. This was defined in 1909.

  7. LRN 37 between Auburn and Truckee. This was defined in 1919.

  8. LRN 38 between Truckee and the Nevada state line. This was defined in 1923.

According to "California Highways" by Ben Blow (1920), the Auburn-Emigrant Gap State Road and the Emigrant Gap-Donner Lake State Road were both taken into the State Highway System under the first highway Bond Act of 1909. The section from Truckee to Verdi, the road was added under the third Bond Act of 1919. There is some additional information in the following articles:

Interstate Shield The designation was changed on July 1, 1964, when the current I-80 took over the old US-40 route (and Route 113 and Route 70 took over the old Alternate US-40 route, although Route 24 was also a previous US 40A), and the new route (I-40) was defined.

In Sacramento, some of the original street portion has been signed as Historic US 40. The first sign went up in 2001 on West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento.

In Fairfield, the stretch of former US 40 back to 1915, when only a few thousand people lived in Fairfield and Suisun City. According to an article in the Fairfield Daily Republic, one local contractor working on the original road drove his mule so hard that he ran afoul of the local humane society. The original highway route used old Cordelia Road and went through Suisun City to the courthouse. It later bypassed Suisun City and went down West Texas Street and through downtown Fairfield. The highway department straightened out turns in Cherry Glen in 1936, and built the Vacaville bypass in 1937. About 14,600 cars a day passed through Fairfield on US 40 in 1948. In the mid-1960s, workers enlarged the four-lane US 40 to the eight-lane I-80.

Note that, in the vicinity of Donner Lake, Caltrans is required to remove snow. Specifically, the law requires that from and after November 8, 1967, the department shall remove snow from that portion of former US Route 40 that has been superseded by the relocation and construction of I-80, commencing at its intersection with I-80 near Donner Memorial Park westerly approximately four miles to the vicinity of Donner Lake.

So, why did US 40 get the interstate nod over US 50? James Lin reported, on misc.transport.road, "a Caltrans employee told me that back in the late 1950s, there was fierce competition between the US 40 and US 50 corridors over which alignment would become Interstate. What eventually tipped the battle in favor of the US 40 corridor was Squaw Valley hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics."

A listing of all the former routings of US 40 may be found at http://www.route40.net/history/alignments.shtml.

For those trying to follow old US 40, John David Galt noted (in a misc.transport.road posting) that near Suisun the old route jogged north on Suisun Valley Rd. to Rockville Rd., back to the present freeway route in Suisun, where Rockville Rd. becomes Air Base Pkwy. Between there and West Sacramento, there's very little of the old route left other than the freeway. There are bits of frontage road near the Nut Tree and the Hick'ry Pit that may have been part of US 40, but they don't go through. In West Sacramento, the old route leaves the freeway as West Capitol Ave., which is signed only as the "Downtown Sacramento" exit. From there, US 40 followed the Capitol Mall across to 16th St., then picked up the present Route 160 freeway route, ending up on what is now Auburn Blvd. Auburn is now signed as "Historic US 40" for most of its length, all the way into Roseville. At one point, Route 160 and US 40 were cosigned.

 

Alternate Routes

US Highway Shield There was also an Alternate US 40, also signed (apparently) in the mid-1930s. This ran N from 2 mi SW of Davis beginning at the current interchange of I-80 and Pedrick Road (Yolo County Road 98). It then followed Pedrick Road north past the UC Davis airport to Russell Boulevard, then followed Russell east to Route 113, where it met up with US 99W northbound and continued to Woodland (LRN 7 between US 40 and Route 16; LRN 87 between Route 16 and Tudor); then along present-day Route 70 between Marysville and US 395 (LRN 87 between Marysville and Oroville; LRN 21 between Oroville and US 395). It was cosigned with US 395 into Reno, NV.

In the late 1930s, there was a temporary routing of Alternate US 40 that took a more southern alignment than the current Route 70 routing, running through Berry Creek and Bucks Lake to Quincy along Orville-Quincy Highway, Spanish Ranch, and Bucks Lake Road. Much of that route is no longer part of the state highway system, although the portion from Oroville to Brush Creek is part of Route 162.

Note that the routings in Davis had been changed to the Route 113 routing by 1953.

 

Historical Route

Assembly Concurrent Resolution 180, 1998, designated those portions of US 40 that are still publically maintained and not already designated as part of Historic US 40 as "Historic US 40".

Senate Concurrent Resolution 66, Chaptered May 18, 2006 (Resolution Chapter 51), designated, upon application by an appropriate local governmental agency, any section of former Alternate U.S. Highway Route 40 that is still a publicly maintained highway and that is of interest to the applicant, as Historic Alternate U.S. Highway Route 40. This recognizes the role that Former Alternate U.S. Highway Route 40 played in the development of the transportation routes into California over what is now known as the Davis "Y". Alternate U.S. Highway Route 40 is currently Route 113 from Davis to Woodland and Yuba City, and Route 70 through Marysville, Oroville, and the Feather River Canyon to Hallelujah Junction on Route 395, a route that today serves 27 towns and the six counties of Yolo, Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Plumas, and Lassen. The Feather River Scenic Byway is a 130 mile segment of Route 70, which was part of Alternate U.S. Highway Route 40.

 

National Trails

US Highway Shield Lincoln Highway Sign As US 40, the portion of this route between the Nevada border and Sacramento was part of the "Lincoln Highway (Alternate)" (which started in Reno).

US Highway Shield Lincoln Highway Sign Additionally, the segment of US 40 between San Francisco and Oakland was part of the "Lincoln Highway", which originally terminated in Lincoln Park, six miles west of the ferry landing at the foot of Market Street. The Lincoln Highway ended opposite the Palace of the Legion of Honor at a small monument marking the spot. The last few miles (of the highway) were California Street.

Victory Highway Sign Portions of US 40 were part of the "Victory Highway".

 

Other WWW Links

 

Pre-1964 Legislative Route

Before the 1964 signed/legislative route alignment, LRN 40 was defined as the following route:

  1. From LRN 13 to LRN 23 near Mono Lake via Big Oak Flat and Buck Meadows. This segment was/is signed as Route 120, and runs from cosigned Route 108/Route 120 4 mi W of Chinese Camp to US 395 near Lee Vining. The portion between Chinese Camp and Yosemite National Park was defined in 1899; the remainder was defined in 1915.

  2. From LRN 23 near Mono Lake to LRN 76 near Benton Station. This is signed as Route 120. This was defined in 1933.

  3. From LRN 23 N of Mono Lake to the Nevada line, in the vicinity of the Pole Line Road. This segment was unsigned before 1963. It is presently signed as Route 167.



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© 1996-2006 Daniel P. Faigin.
Maintained by: Daniel P. Faigin <webmaster@cahighways.org>.