Skip to main content

November Bay Trip Part 1; Interstate 205

This previous week I decided it was time to get out of town to explore more of the San Francisco Bay area.  After some early morning fog along California State Route 99 I made my way west on CA 120 and I-5 to the first highlight of the trip; Interstate 205.






Interstate 205 is a mostly unremarkable 13 mile highway running from I-5 in San Joaquin County west to I-580 in Alameda County.  I-205 starts in San Joaquin Valley at I-5 and climbs into the Diablo Range at I-580.





The only city of significance on I-205 is Tracy.





The only significant junctions on I-205 are with it's business loop and County Route J4 at Grant Line Road.  For some reason J4 was signed as J5 from I-205 in error.





Near the western terminus I-205 enters Alameda County and crosses the California Aqueduct.






I-205 terminates at I-580 in the Diablo Foothills.  Neither Interstate has any reassurance shields which I found odd.


On the surface there isn't too much to I-205 but there is a hell of backstory with the alignment history.  The original alignment that became I-205 first ran on what is now the I-205 Business Loop on 11th Street which was part of the first US 48.  US 48 was one of the original US Routes and ran through Tracy until 1935 when it was replaced by an extended US 50.  The shift can be seen on the 1934 and 1936 California State Highway Maps.

1934 State Highway Map 

1936 State Highway Map

US 48 was always an oddity given it was a short intrastate US Route.  The route carried an important corridor but in my opinion was much better served by US 50.  USends covers the history of US 48 on their website.

USends on US 48

I-205 was completed by 1970 and US 50 was shifted off of 11th street to multiplex it.  US 50 was cut back to Sacramento by 1972 which left the I-205 designation alone.  I-205 can be seen appearing between the 1969 and 1970 state highway maps while USends has a good piece on US 50.

1969 State Highway Map

1970 State Highway Map

USends on US 50


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

History of the Big Oak Flat Road (Yosemite National Park)

This week I hiked much of what was the original alignment of the Big Oak Flat Road which is located to the north of the modern roadway.  Unlike the original alignment of the Wawona Road the Old Big Oak Flat Road is surprisingly intact.


The complete history of the Big Oak Flat Road including the original alignment can be found on a 2002 report from the U.S. Department of Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road.

U.S. Department of the Interior on the Old Big Oak Flat Road

The Big Oak Flat Road began construction east from the mining community of Big Oak Flat in towards Yosemite Valley in 1869.  The Big Oak Flat Road was constructed by the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company which had secured the franchise rights for a toll road to the Yosemite Grant (the designation prior to Yosemite National Park).  By the summer of 1871 the Big Oak Flat Road reached the northern cliffs above Yosemite Valley which is when the Chinese Camp and Yosemite Turnpike Company ran out of funding.  After the…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack from the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared the road to Tioga Pass.  That being the case I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.


The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road at Crane Flat east to US Route 395 ("US 395").  The Tioga Pass Road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is maintained by Caltrans as California State Route 120 ("CA 120") east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The National Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highway mountain pass in California reaching Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet above sea level.



Part 1; the history of the Tioga Pass Road

Tioga Pass first obtained notewort…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…