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

Ghost Town Tuesday; Vineland, Florida; the town killed by Disney

Vineland is a small ghost town located in southwest Orange County, Florida near the junction of Florida State Road 535 and Interstate 4.  Vineland is somewhat unique due to it largely being squeezed out of existence by Lake Buena Vista which is the company town where Disney World is located. Vineland was founded in the late 1800s as Englewood.  The town name of Englewood changed to Orange Center in 1911 before finally assuming the name Vineland in 1924.  Much like the rest of Orange County the community of Vineland was centered around Citrus Grove.  In the case of Vineland said orange groves were centered around Ruby Lake. The end of Vineland came as the Disney Corporation began purchasing parcels of citrus grove land to build Lake Buena Vista.  Vineland fell into a sharp decline in the 1960s but the community managed to continue to exist to modern times.  Much of the street grid of Vineland still exists east of FL 535 but most of the original structures are either gone or falle

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del