Skip to main content

US Route 99 to Visalia?...

Something that I noticed awhile back while doing map research regarding US Route 99 in Fresno was that the highway intended to be originally routed through the City of Visalia.



The early originally planned alignment of US Route 99 in Visalia

To be clear US 99 was never actually routed through Visalia and ended up bypassing the City in favor of a direct route from Goshen southeast to Tulare.  US 99 within San Joaquin Valley was aligned over Legislative Route 4 which in turn was added to the State Highway System as part of the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act.  LRN 4 for a time was aligned through Visalia via; Mineral King Avenue, Main Street, and Mooney Boulevard.  This early alignment of LRN 4 through Visalia can be seen on the 1924 Division of Highways State Map.


The initial draft of the US Route System was approved by the Secretary of Agriculture during November of 1925.  The US Route System with in California was approved by California Highway Commission with no changes recommended by January 1926.  The initial alignment of US 99 was planned to simply follow LRN 4 from Sacramento south to Los Angeles.  The existing routing of LRN 4 by the start 1926 would have taken US 99 through Visalia.



Thusly US 99 appears on the 1925 Rand McNally Map of California as being routed through Visalia.


US 99 also appears on the 1926 Rand McNally Map of California over LRN 4 through Visalia.


So why wasn't US 99 initially aligned through Visalia?  The answer is that LRN 4 was realigned out of Visalia onto a more direct route between Goshen and Tulare during 1926.  LRN 4 was realigned over what is now Camp Drive in Goshen southwest via a Southern Pacific frontage road east of the rails to I Street in Tulare.  While Visalia was (and is) the Tulare County Seat the new alignment of LRN 4 was far more efficient in terms of getting traffic directly to/from Sacramento and Los Angeles.  Mineral King Road was retained in the State Highway System as part of LRN 10 which would later become CA 198 during 1934.  The new direct Goshen-Tulare alignment of US 99 can be seen the 1926 Division of Highways Map of California.


The final version of the US Route System was approved during November of 1926.  This first official version of the US Route System had US 99 following LRN 4 from Sacramento and Los Angeles which in turn bypassed Visalia.  The US Route System in California along with US Route 99 are detailed in the January 1928 CHPW guide.  Most documented sources tend to agree that the US Routes in California were not signed by the California State Automobile Association ("CSAA") and Automobile Club of Southern California ("ACSC") until 1928.




The initial alignment of US 99 appears on the 1930 Division of Highways Map bypassing Visalia in favor of the direct Goshen-Tulare route. 


Mooney Boulevard would later return to the State Highway System as part of Legislative Route 132 in 1933.  Mooney Boulevard would later be signed as part of CA 63 starting in 1950

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Breezewood - The Rise and Decline of a Highway Rest Stop

It's the Pennsylvania Turnpike Interchange most people hate - and with a passion.  The Breezewood Interchange - a junction of two Interstates (70 & 76) that became complicated due to archaic rules, rural politics and power, and an unwillingness to change.  At its romanticized best, this small unincorporated community of under 100 residents is a reminder of travel days of the 1950s-1970s; at its worst, it is a gradually dying relic of old motels and services that drivers are forced to slow down and drive through on their way to bigger and more modern destinations.

The Breezewood Interchange is an exception to the rule in the Interstate Highway System.  Depending on your direction, Interstate 70 joins or leaves the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) here.  However, unlike nearly every Interstate junction in the United States - Interstate 70 must traverse on a roughly 1/4 mile stretch of US 30.  A four lane highway complete with traffic lights, center turn lanes to cross traffi…

Old US Route 99 in Goshen, Traver, and the Warlow Rest Area

This summer I had a look into the alignment history of US Route 99 through the Tulare County communities of Traver and Goshen.  The photo below is take from Camp Drive northbound in Goshen on what was US Route 99 until the early 1930s.



Part 1; the history of US Route 99 in Goshen and Traver

Goshen and Traver were both founded in 1872 as sidings of the Southern Pacific Railroad.  The Southern Pacific Railroad laid the groundwork for development of southern San Joaquin Valley.  Previous to the Southern Pacific Railroad travel via wagon or foot in Central California tended to avoid San Joaquin Valley in favor of the Stockton-Los Angeles Road.  The Stockton Los Angeles Road lied to the east of San Joaquin Valley in the Sierra Nevada Foothills and was less subject flooding.  Before the Southern Pacific Railroad most of San Joaquin Valley was a sparsely inhabited wetland which made travel by road difficult.  Goshen and Traver can along the Southern Pacific Railroad on the 1873 Ore…

California State Route 283; former US Route 101 over the Rio Dell Bridge

This week we examine one of California's shortest State Highways; California State Route 283.  California State Route 283 includes the 1941 Rio Dell Bridge and is a former segment of US Route 101.  The photo below is the Rio Dell Bridge after the 1964 Christmas Floods which wiped out the northern approach span. 


California State Route 283 ("CA 283") is a 0.36 Mile State Highway between modern US Route 101/Redwood Highway and the community of Rio Dell in Humboldt County.  The key feature of CA 283 is the 1941 Rio Dell Bridge which was the second alignment of US Route 101.  The Rio Dell Bridge connected Scotia north over the Eel River via Wildwood Avenue to Rio Dell.  The Rio Dell Bridge is a steel truss design which 1,643.1 feet in length.  The Rio Dell Bridge is also known as; North Scotia Bridge, Eel River Bridge, Scotia-Rio Dell Bridge, Albert Stanwood Murphy Memorial Bridge, and the Eagle Prairie Bridge.  CA 283 is unsigned presently ranks as the second shortest State…