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California State Route 204; Former US 99 in Bakersfield

After finishing the Westside Parkway I swung onto California State Route 58 eastbound.  I pulled off on California State Route 204 to take north through the city of Bakersfield.






CA 204 north from CA 58 runs on Union Avenue into downtown Bakersfield.  CA 204 is a 5 mile former alignment of US 99 before it became a freeway and carries part of the CA 99 Business Loop.  The CA 99 Business Loop is multiplexed on all of CA 204 but also extends south out of Bakersfield via Union Avenue to CA 99.







CA 204 passes has a rail underpass north of California Avenue.






In downtown Bakersfield CA 204 takes a northeast turn on Golden State Boulevard while Union Avenue can be used to access the CA 178 freeway.



CA 204 northbound on Golden State Boulevard crosses under the CA 178 freeway.





Exiting northbound out of Bakersfield CA 204 briefly becomes a freeway before terminating at CA 99 with no "end" placard or shield.





As state previously CA 204 was once part of US 99 but was not fully the original alignment through the city of Bakersfield.  US 99 originally appears to have used Union Avenue entering Bakersfield northbound into the city, took a western turn on 19th Street and used Chester Avenue to cross the Kern River.  This alignment can be seen on the 1930 State Highway Map city insert.

1930 State Highway Map City Insert

Sometime between 1930 to 1934 it appears US 99 was shifted off of 19th Street and Chester north on Union Avenue to Golden State Boulevard.  Although they don't appear on the 1934 State Highway Map City insert below both US 399 and US 466 were created that year.

1934 State Highway Map City Insert

On the 1936 State Highway Map City Insert US 399 is seen multiplexing US 99 into Bakersfield north to Sumner which carried US 466.  US 466 multiplexed US 99 northeast out of Bakerfield via Golden State Boulevard.

1936 State Highway Map City Insert

By 1938 the same US Route alignments are shown but CA 178 finally appears four years after being  created running on 24th Street, Sumner, Baker Street, and Niles Street through Bakersfield.  Legislative Route Numbers 141 and LRN 142 also appear on the map of Bakersfield.

1938 State Highway Map City Insert

By the 1963 State Highway City Insert the US 99 freeway alignment is unbuilt through Bakersfield but the routing is seen.  East of Bakersfield the routing of the CA 178 freeway alignment along LRN 57 can be seen along with the US 466 freeway on LRN 58.

1963 State Highway City Insert

In 1964 US 99 was moved to the new freeway alignment and CA 204 was created out of the previous alignment along Union Avenue and Golden State Boulevard.  Interestingly CA 204 was also routed on the former portion of LRN 141 on Brundage Lane next to the planned CA 58 freeway.  US 466 was numbered to CA 58 during the California Highway renumbering of 1965 as was LRN 142 to CA 155.  CA 178 west of Bakersfield was swapped for CA 58 and US 399 was also deleted in 1964 having been replaced by CA 119, 166, and 33.

1964 State Highway City Insert

The CA 58 freeway east of Bakersfield was not completed until 1976 which is when CA 204 was cut back off of Brundage Lane.  CA 204 can still be seen on Brundage Lane on the 1975 State Highway Map but not on the 1977 State Highway Map.

1975 State Highway Map

1977 State Highway Map City Insert

According to CAhighways.org all of CA 204 is up for relinquishment if the city of Bakersfield is willing to accept maintenance.  Given that a portion of the route is actually a freeway I sincerely doubt Bakersfield is looking to assume control of any of CA 204 any time soon.

CAhighways.org on CA 204











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