California State Route 47 is a short 3.31-mile State Highway located in the Los Angeles Area. California State Route 47 begins at Interstate 110/Harbor Freeway and follows the Vincent Thomas Bridge east over Los Angeles Harbor to Terminal Island. California State Route 47 follows Seaside Avenue east into the city limits of Long Beach to the Terminal Island Freeway. California State Route 47 follows the Terminal Island Freeway north back into the city of Los Angeles where it terminates at the Henry Ford Avenue exit. From the Terminal Island Freeway California State Route 47 has an unbuilt segment to Interstate 10 in downtown Los Angeles.
Part 1; the history of California State Route 47
What is now Terminal Island was originally known as Raza de Buena Gente and later Rattlesnake Island. The modern name of Terminal Island was assumed during 1891. Existing Terminal Island was absorbed into the Los Angeles during 1909 when the city annexed Wilmington. In the ensuing decades Terminal Island was greatly expanded via dredged landfill which gradually extended it into the city of Long Beach. In 1924 the Henry Ford Avenue Bridge was constructed over Cerritos Channel to Terminal Island. During 1927 civilian use Allen Field was constructed on Terminal Island via dredge from the Port of Los Angeles. A Naval Air Reserve Training Facility was built alongside Allen Field and utilized its runways. Allen Field closed to civilian use during 1935 and the facility was renamed Reeves Air Field San Pedro.
The site of Allen Field can be seen on Terminal Island on the 1938 Thomas Brothers Map of Los Angeles. Notably two ferry routes from San Pedro are shown traversing Los Angeles Harbor to Terminal Island. One ferry can be seen crossing from Los Angeles Harbor from 1st Street whereas the second departed from 5th Street. Both ferry routes are shown converging on Terminal Island via Terminal Way. The Henry Ford Avenue Bridge can be seen crossing Cerritos Channel onto Terminal Island where traffic could transition onto Dock Street or Badger Avenue.
Notably private ferry service from San Pedro to what became Terminal Island began in 1870 according to the Palos Verde Post. The Terminal Island Ferry became part of the Municipal Ferry Service beginning in 1941.
The Terminal Island Naval Dry Docks were authorized in June 1940 and construction began during the following August. In 1943 during World War II the regular Navy took over Reeves Air Field and renamed it to Naval Air Station Terminal Island. Naval Air Station Terminal Island continued as a training base until the conclusion of World War II. Following World War II Naval Air Station Terminal Island and the base was turned over to Bureau of Yards and Docks. The name of the Terminal Island Dry Docks was changed to the Terminal Island Naval Shipyard during November 1945 following the conclusion of World War II. After World War II adjoining Naval Air Station Long Beach was commissioned during November 1946. Terminal Island Naval Shipyard was renamed to Long Beach Naval Shipyard by March 1948.
1949 Legislative Chapter 1261 provided a vehicle for the Terminal Island Freeway to be added to the State Highway System and be extended to the Los Angeles River Freeway. LRN 231 was defined by Legislative Chapter 1261 with the following definition:
The March/April 1964 California Highways & Public Works features CA 7/Seaside Avenue at the Vincent Thomas Bridge toll plaza on Terminal Island.
1965 Legislative Chapter 1372 extended CA 47 over the Vincent Thomas Bridge to CA 11 and the Harbor Freeway. The extended CA 47 over the Vicent Thomas Bridge first appears on the 1966 Division of Highways Map.
Tolling of the Vincent Thomas Bridge ended during 2000 and the facility became free to use in both travel directions. Between 2012 and 2015 the city of Long Beach explored numerous options to dispose of the Terminal Island Freeway north of CA 1. The proposals included converting the Terminal Island Freeway north of CA 1 into a park or into a normal street. During December 2015 it was reported the Long Beach City Council voted to conduct traffic and environmental impact studies pertaining to the effects of removing the Terminal Island Freeway north of CA 1. Since 2015 the city of Long Beach has taken no further steps towards removal of the Terminal Island Freeway north of CA 1.