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California State Route 58 from CA 99 in Bakersfield east to US 395 in Kramer Junction

Recently I drove California State Route 58 from CA 99 in Bakersfield east over Tehachapi Pass to US Route 395 in Kramer Junction in the Mojave Desert.


CA 58 from Bakersfield east to Kramer Junction was signed as part of US Route 466.  The original alignment of US 466 over Tehachapi Pass is substantially different than the modern freeway/expressway alignments of CA 58 and was covered in the previous blog entry below.

Legacy of US Route 466 Part 2; Tehachapi to Bakersfield

It should be noted that parts of US 466 between Tehacapi and Caliente appear to have been upgraded to expressway grade before the 1964 State Highway Renumbering.  I'm not clear when those changes took place given the State Highway Maps don't show enough detail before 1967 to make a clear determination.  If you have a Department of Public Works guide showing a time frame I would love to share.

The present CA 58 is a 241 mile east/west State Highway spanning from US Route 101 in Santa Margarita east to I-15 in Barstow.  The present CA 58 was created during the 1964 State Highway renumbering out of what was CA 178 between Santa Margarita east to Bakersfield and US 466 from Bakersfield east to Barstow.  By comparing the 1963 State Highway Map to the 1964 edition CA 58 can be seen applied over what was CA 178 east of Santa Margarita to Bakersfield and as a legislative route number on US 466 east to Barstow.

1963 State Highway Map

1964 State Highway Map

Amusingly the designation of CA 58 is not a coincidence and was the Legislative Route Number of the present signed highway over the entire course of the present route prior to the 1964 State Highway Renumbering.  Legislative Route Number 58 extended even further east of Barstow on US Route 66 to the Arizona State Line.  According to CAhighways.org the legislative adoptions of LRN 58 were added on the following timeline:

-  LRN 58 was defined as a State Highway as part of the 1919 Third State Highway Bond Act between Mojave and Needles.
-  In 1931 LRN 58 was extended west to Bakersfield.
-  In 1933 LRN 58 was extended west to Santa Margarita.

More on LRN 58 can be found on CAhighways.org.

CAhighways.org on CA 58/LRN 58

By 1965 US 466 completely disappeared from California.

1965 State Highway Map

The 1966 State Highway Map shows the planned route of the CA 58 freeway east of US 99 appear for the first time.

1966 State Highway Map

The 1967 State Highway shows the planned CA 58 bypass route of Tehachapi and Mojave appear for the first time. 

1967 State Highway Map

Amusingly the planned Hinkley Bypass and Kramer Junction Bypass first appear on the 1969 State Highway Map.  The Hinkley Bypass was just completed in 2017 and the Kramer Junction Bypass is presently under construction.  Both projects ended up in development hell and created some of the most infamously dangerous stretches of two-lane State Highway in California.

1969 State Highway Map 

The 1975 State Highway Map shows the CA 58 freeway completed west to Cottonwood Road.  The Tehachapi Bypass route of CA 58 is shown completed along with part of the CA 58 freeway west of Boron.

1975 State Highway Map

The 1977 State Highway Map shows the CA 58 Freeway in Bakersfield complete.

1977 State Highway Map

The 1981 State Highway Map shows CA 58 completely upgraded to four lanes between Mojave and Boron. 

1981 State Highway Map

The CA 58 bypass of Mojave was completed sometime between 1990 and 2005.

2005 State Highway Map

Interestingly CA 58 between Bakersfield and Barstow was submitted for addition to the Interstate system in 1956 and 1968 but was rejected both times according to CAhighways.org.  The slow conversion of CA 58 to a fully limited access road between Bakersfield and Barstow no doubt has been not been helped by not receiving early Interstate era funds.

My approach to CA 58 was south on CA 99 in Bakerfield of Kern County.  CA 99 south picks up CA 58 east at the Rosedale Highway exit and the two routes multiplex over the Kern River.






CA 58 east quickly splits away from CA 99 south of downtown Bakersfield.  The CA 58 interchange is presently being reconfigured as part of the Centennial Corridor project which will realign the highway with a new West Side Parkway.






CA 58 east meets former US 99 at Union Avenue at Exit 113 which is now CA 204 north of the freeway.





On the outskirts of Bakersfield CA 58 east meets CA 184/Weedpatch Highway at Exit 117.




East of CA 184 the City of Barstow is signed as being 122 miles away on CA 58.


CA 58 east continues as a freeway to CA 223.  Bear Mountain becomes more and more apparent as CA 58 approaches CA 223.  The junction between CA 58 and CA 223 is at-grade.


















CA 58 east of CA 223 becomes a freeway again and begins to climb to Tehachapi Summit.  CA 58 is aligned in the canyons which serve as the divide to the Sierra Nevada Range to the north and the Tehachapi Mountains to the south.  Former US 466 is located largely on the ridge line above CA 58 in the Tehacahpi Mountains east of CA 223.  Several of the tunnels of the Union Pacific Tehachapi Grade is plainly visible along CA 58 east climbing to Tehachapi.  On the climb to Tehachapi CA 58 east passes by a weigh station has an access to Cesar Chavez National Monument via Exit 139 in Keene.  At Exit 148 CA 58 east meets CA 202 in Tehachapi.






























East of CA 202 Mojave is signed as 20 miles away whereas Bartsow is shown to be 90 miles away.


Approaching Tehacahpi Boulevard CA 58 east climbs above 4,000 feet above sea level.  Tehachapi Summit is located just before before Exit 151 at Tehachapi Boulevard at 4,064 feet above sea level.





CA 58 east of Tehachapi Boulevard begins to approach a pass that serves as boundary to the Mojave Desert.  The cement plant in Monolith along former US 466 on Tehachapi Boulevard can be seen to the north.




CA 58 east passes through a narrow series of canyons between the Sierras and Tehachapis where it emerges into the Mojave Desert.  At Exit 167 CA 58 east meets former US Route 6 on modern CA 14 near Mojave.















South of the junction between CA 58 and CA 14 the Mojave Air and Spaceport can be seen.  The facility opened as Mojave Airport in 1935 and became Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Station Mojave on the outset of World War II in 1941.  The Navy took over the facility in 1946 but it was returned to back to the Marines by late 1953.  In 1961 Mojave Airport was transferred back to Kern County, the modern name took affect in early 2013.  The Mojave Air and Spaceport is used obviously for space industry development but is more known for maintenance and storage of large aircraft.


At Exit 172 CA 58 east meets the former alignment of US 466 on Mojave-Barstow Highway.  CA 58 east drops to expressway grade past Exit 172 and Barstow is signed as 65 miles away.







Past California City CA 58 east becomes a freeway again.  Exit 186 is signed as access for Edwards Air Force Base.



At Exit 193 CA 58 meets Twenty Team Mule Road which is the former alignment of US 466.


East of Exit 194 CA 58 has a rest area along the freeway grade.




CA 58 east Exit 199 is signed as access to Boron via Boron Avenue.



East of Boron CA 58 enters the project zone for the Kramer Junction Bypass.  Currently CA 58 east merges in with former US 466 alignment on Twenty Mule Team Road and crosses to the south side of the rails.

















CA 58 east continues as a two-lane highway into Kramer Junction and meets US 395 amid a mish-mash of trucker oriented gas stations.




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