US Route 99 in the Los Angeles-Redlands corridors was originally aligned on a multiplex of US Route 66 from Pasadena east to San Bernardino via Legislative Route Number 9. During September of 1934 the American Association of State Highway Officials approved a request from the California Highway Commission to move US Route 99 onto a new alignment in the Los Angeles-Redlands corridor following the recently extended Legislative Route Number 26. This blog explores the alignment of US Route 99 in the Los Angeles-Redlands corridor from 1935 to 1963 when the highway was truncated to the end of the Golden State Freeway. Featured as the blog cover is the Arroyo Seco Parkway as seen in the January/February 1944 California Highways & Public Works shortly after it had been extended from Avenue 22 to downtown Los Angeles during December 1943.
Part 1; the history of the 1935-1963 Los Angeles-Redlands Corridor of US Route 99
1933 was a landmark year in terms of Statewide transportation. The State Legislature removed restrictions that prevented State Funds from being used to maintain urban roadways. This change by the Legislature led to the addition of numerous urban highways being adopted.
California Highways Highway Chronology Chapter 3; A Significant System is Created 1933-1946
A letter dated February 8th, 1937, by the AASHO Executive Secretary to the State Highway Engineers of; Colorado, Nevada and California announced the approved extension of US 6 from Greeley, Colorado to Long Beach, California. The extension of US 6 to Long Beach was carried via multiplex of US 99/LRN 4 from San Fernando Pass south onto San Fernando Road and US 99/US 66/CA 11/LRN 165 via the Figueroa Street Tunnels to downtown Los Angeles.
The April 1937 California Highways & Public Works features the last divided highway link to open on the Los Angeles-Pomona Arterial alignment of US 99/US 60/US 70/LRN 26. The Los Angeles-Pomona Arterial is stated to having an anticipated completion during May 1937 and would provide 27 miles of continuously divided highway. The Los Angeles-Pomona Arterial is stated to have only two traffic signals.
The planned Arroyo Seco Parkway extension through Elysian Park to downtown Los Angeles is featured in the October 1940 California Highways & Public Works.
The Arroyo Seco Parkway begins north of the Four Level Interchange. The older character of the Arroyo Seco Parkway is evident immediately due to the button-copy signage and older Arc Deco bridge structures. CA 110 north on the Arroyo Seco Parkway accesses Stadium Way via Exit 24.
CA 110 north on the Arroyo Seco Parkway proceeds into the 1936 Figueroa Street Tunnel. The 1936 Figueroa Street Tunnel is the longest of the four tunnels at 755 feet in length. Academy Road and Solano Avenue are signed as being accessible from Exit 25. Before the completion of the fourth Figueroa Street Tunnel the alignment of US 66/US 99/CA 11 made a right-hand turn towards Broadway via Solano Avenue.
The next three Figueroa Street Tunnels were completed in 1931. The next northward tunnel is 461 feet in length.
I-5 north on the Golden State Freeway skirts the eastern side of downtown Los Angeles.
At Exit 136A I-5 north accesses Main Street.
I-5 north meets CA 110/Arroyo Seco Parkway at Exit 137B and Figuroa Street at Exit 137A. After US 99 was onto the Golden State Freeway between the San Bernardino Freeway and Arroyo Seco Parkway in 1962 this is where the multiplex of US 99/US 6 towards Glendale would begin.
I-5 north of CA 110 crosses the Los Angeles River and begins to follow it's western bank. At Exit 138 I-5 north meets CA 2 on the Glendale Freeway.
At Exit 140 I-5 north accesses Glendale Boulevard.
Suffice to say the underpass of Hyperion Avenue has the classic Los Angeles Area bridge look to it.
I-5 north has access to Griffith Park Drive at Exit 141B.
At Exit 142 I-5 north meets Colorado Boulevard. CA 134 would have begun a multiplex of US 99/US 6 on the Golden State Freeway to Alameda Avenue beginning at Colorado Boulevard. CA 134 would multiplex I-5 after US 99 was decommissioned until the Ventura Freeway was completed in Glendale during the early 1970s.
I-5 north meets CA 134 on the Ventura Freeway at Exits 144 A/B.
I-5 north crosses the Los Angeles River into Glendale. I-5 briefly crosses through Glendale and Burbank before entering the northern extent of Los Angeles. Near Sheldon Street I-5 north crosses under the north terminus of CA 170. I-5 north doesn't have access to CA 170 south.
At Exit 156A I-5 north meets CA 118.
North of San Fernando Mission Boulevard I-5 north merges in with traffic from I-405. I-5 north doesn't have access to I-405 south.
At Exit 161 I-5 meets I-210.
I-5 north crosses over former the surface alignment of US 99/US 66 on San Fernando Road and reaches the northern limit of Los Angeles at the junction for CA 14/Antelope Valley Freeway. US 99 would have split left following the Golden State Freeway whereas US 6 would have split right following the Antelope Valley Freeway.