Skip to main content

CA 168 Road Work Update and Friant Dam

In my previous post about CA 168 West I noted that Caltrans was working on a new roundabout in Prather.  The new roundabout is being built at the junction of CA 168 and Auberry Road which was a somewhat infamous local spot for traffic accidents.  As of yesterday it appears the roundabout is functionally open although far from complete.






I ended up taking Auberry Road and Millerton Road west to Friant to back to San Joaquin Valley.  That put me at the foot of the Friant Dam which was opened in 1942.


The Friant Dam impounds the San Joaquin River to create Millerton Lake which has a catchment area of about 1,600sq miles.  The Friant Dam was constructed between 1939 and 1942 by the Central Valley Project.  Today the Friant Dam is part of the Big Creek Hydroelectric Project and the lowest reservoir in the system.  The scope of Big Creek Project can be seen on this map:

Big Creek Hydroelectric Project Map

What I find interesting about the Friant Dam project was that it flooded over the area that once the town of Millerton which was original Fresno County Seat from 1856 to 1874.  Millerton was located on the San Joaquin River and was part of the Stock-Los Angeles Road which largely used to the Sierra Foothills to avoid what was once marsh lands in the San Joaquin Valley.  Problems in Millerton began when the town flooded over in 1867 and was largely abandoned.  Eventually county voters moved to the Fresno County seat to Fresno proper which was the final nail in the coffin for Millerton.  Eventually Madera, Kings, Tulare, Inyo, Mono, and San Benito counties all split off from Fresno which is why the site of Millerton is now in Madera County.  There wasn't much left of Millerton when the 1930s and the Friant Dam project got going.  The Millerton Courthouse was preserved above the Friant Dam and still stands to this day.


The alignment of the Stockton-Los Angeles Road largely followed the alignment of several state highways in San Joaquin Valley such as; CA 59, CA 140, CA 145, CA 180, and CA 65. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Former US Route 99 through Athlone and the last Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor expressway

Athlone was a siding of the Southern Pacific Railroad located in Merced County on the alignment of what was US Route 99 between the cities of Chowchilla and Merced.  The Athlone corridor of US Route 99 was one of the first in San Joaquin Valley to fully upgraded to four lane expressway standards.  The Athlone expressway corridor was inherited by California State Route 99 when US Route 99 was truncated to Ashland, Oregon during June 1965.  The four-lane expressway through Athlone was the last segment of what had been US Route 99 in the Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor to be bypassed by a freeway.  The Athlone expressway corridor was bypassed by the modern California State Route 99 freeway in 2016.  Despite being put on a road diet and narrowed what was the Athlone expressway corridor still displays evidence of being part of US Route 99.   Above the blog cover photo displays the Athlone expressway corridor of US Route 99 south of Merced as depicted in the July 1939 California Highways &

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley