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California State Route 99/Old US Route 99 Freeway Part 2; US Route 50/California State Route 51 south to California State Route 145

Earlier this month I drove back from home from Sacramento on the California State Route 99/Old US 99 freeway.


This blog serves as the Second of Two posts in the California State Route 99/Old US 99 Freeway series.  This entry covers the route of CA 99 southbound from US 50/CA 51 in Sacramento to CA 145 in Madera.  Part One covered the route of the CA 99 freeway northbound from I-5 in Wheeler Ridge to CA 145 in Madera and can be found here:

California State Route 99/Old US Route 99 Freeway Part 1; Interstate 5 north to California State Route 145

My approach to the CA 99 Freeway was from US 50 eastbound in Sacramento in central Sacramento County.  The exit for the CA 99 Freeway south bound splits for the I-80 Business Loop/CA 51 northbound.  CA 99 is actually multiplexed south through Sacramento on I-5 and US 50 before it becomes a stand alone route south of US 50/CA 51.





The I-80 Business Loop/CA 51 Freeway was once part of US 99E.  I wrote about the history of the I-80 BL/CA 51 Freeway in a previous blog and about the general route history in Sacramento regarding US 99, US 99W, and US 99E in the two entries listed below.

Highways in and around Old Sacramento; US 40, US 99W, CA 16, CA 24, CA 70, CA 99, CA 160, and more

California State Route 51; failed Interstate 80 and former US Route 40/99E

As the CA 99 Freeway begins southbound it is signed as the "Purple Heart Veterans Freeway."  The CA 99 Freeway continues south through the City of Sacramento and South Sacramento until Exit 288 where it enters Elk Grove. 


Much of the original alignment of US 99 is still present in Elk Grove as Stockton Boulevard.  US 99 was upgraded to a freeway in Elk Grove during the 1960s.

CA 99 southbound Exit 286 for Elk Grove Boulevard in Elk Grove accesses Signed County Route E12.


CA 99 southbound Exit 284 for Grant Line Road in Elk Grove accesses CR E2.  The CA 99 Freeway at Exit 284 drops to a four lane configuration.


Fresno is signed as being 152 miles away south of Exit 284.


South of Elk Grove CA 99 southbound crosses the Consumnes River and enters Galt.  At CA 99 Southbound Exit 277 for Twin Cities Road there is access for CA 104 eastward and CR E13 westward.




Previously I wrote about much of the alignment history of CA 104 on my CA 124 blog.

California State Route 124

Much of the original alignment of US 99 in Galt appears to have been absorbed by the present freeway.  Much of the frontage roads in Galt are signed as "Stockton Boulevard" but it is not clear which side was originally US 99 from most topographical maps. 

South of Exit 277 the CA 99 Freeway is signed as the "Officer Kevin Tono Memorial Highway."


CA 99 Southbound Exit 275B in Galt accesses CR J10 on Lincoln Way.


South of Exit 274B the CA 99 Freeway crosses Dry Creek and enters San Joaquin County.  The first exit on CA 99 southbound in San Joaquin County is at Exit 273 for Liberty Avenue.


CA 99 Southbound Exit 270 accesses CR J12 at Peltier Road.  J12 is one of the rare Signed County Routes actually signed on the CA 99 Freeway.  The majority of the Signed County Routes are either not signed on the CA 99 Freeway or only on the exit ramps.



CA 99 southbound enters Lodi where it junctions the eastern route of CA 12 at Exit 266.



The route of US 99 originally ran on Cherokee Lane in Lodi.  US 99 was shifted to the current freeway alignment during the 1960s.

CA 12 is concurrent with the CA 99 freeway southward to Exit 264B at Kettleman Lane.  The route of CA 12 splits westward towards the Sacramento River Delta.


Previously I wrote about CA 12 in the Sacramento River Delta which can be found here.

California State Route 12 and the "Drive to Stay Alive" in the Sacramento River Delta

At Exit 260 the CA 99 freeway southbound enters the City Limits of Stockton.  At Exit 258 the CA 99 Freeway meets CR J8 at Hammer Lane.


Past Exit 256 the route of CA 99 southbound is signed as the "Womens Veterans Highway."  At Exit 255 the CA 99 freeway southbound meets CA 88 on Waterloo Road.


Previously I wrote about CA 88 which continues eastward over Carson Pass to the Nevada State Line and Nevada State Line 88.

California State Route 88 the Carson Pass Highway

With the overhead haze my camera had a hard time focusing in Stockton on CA 99 southbound.  I took some of my photos again this previous weekend when lighting conditions were more favorable.  Immediately south of CA 88 traffic on CA 99 southbound is advised that the CA 4 freeway through downtown Stockton can be used to access I-5.  The exit mileage for CA 26, CA 4 West, and CA 4 East are signed on a BGS.



CA 99 freeway southbound Exit 254B accesses CA 26 on Fremont Street and the CA 4 freeway west through downtown Stockton is accessed at Exit 254A.





My previous blog entry on CA 26 can be found here.

California State Route 26

CA 4 eastbound multiplexes CA 99 southbound to Exit 252B at Golden Gate Avenue.





CA 4 east of Stockton ascends the Sierra Nevada Range to Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass where it terminates at CA 89.  CA 4 over the Sierra Nevada Range is one of the few remaining one-lane State Highways, my previous blog entry can be found here.

Trans-Sierra Highway; California State 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass

At Exit 252A the CA 99 freeway southbound intersects Mariposa Road which is part of CR J7.


Originally US 99 had an elongated alignment south of Stockton.  US 99 southbound entered Stockton on Wilson Way where turned west on Charter Way and south on McKinley Avenue.  US 99 continued south to French Camp via El Dorado Road and onto French Camp Road where it met US 48 at Harlan Road.  US 99 continued southeast on French Camp Road to Main Street in Manteca.  This alignment appears to have been in use until 1929 according to USends.com.

USends.com on US 48 (i)

Likely starting in 1929 US 99 split into US 99E at Mariposa Road/LRN 4 and US 99W at Charter Way/LRN 5.  US 99E largely followed the current freeway south to Manteca.  US 99W followed McKinley Avenue, El Dorado Street and French Camp Road south to French Camp.  From French Camp US 99W continued south to Lanthrop on Harlan Road and Manthey Road where it met the new terminus with US 48. At Yosemite Avenue/LRN 66 the route of US 99W turned eastward towards US 99E in Manteca.  The split in US 99W and US 99E in Stockton can be observed on the 1930 State Highway Map.

1930 State Highway Map

1930 State Highway Map City Insert

With the above said, there is some evidence to suggest that the split in US 99W and US 99E began in 1928.  The new route of LRN 4 on Mariposa Road is shown on the 1928 State Highway Map while the former alignment on French Camp Road no longer appears.

1928 State Highway Map

CAhighways.org states that by 1935 US 50 was extended from Sacramento to Hayward.  On the 1934 State Highway Map City insert for the San Francisco Bay Area US 50 is shown ending at US 101E in Hayward.  However on the overall 1934 State Highway Map US 48 is still shown present.  State Highway Maps however don't show US 50 extended to the Bay Area until the 1936-37 edition.  Whenever US 50 was extended it was multiplexed US 99 from Sacramento to Stockton where the former took over the routing of US 99W and US 48.  Yosemite Avenue became part of CA 120 when the Signed State Routes were created in 1934.  The changes described above can be observed by comparing the State Highway Maps from 1934 through 1938. 

CAhighways.org on US 50

1934 State Highway Map 

1934 State Highway Map City Insert

1936 State Highway Map 

By 1951 US 99 bypassed Stockton on the modern freeway alignment to the east of downtown.  US 50 split from US 99 at Charter Way.  The freeway grade of US 99 can be seen completed by comparing the 1950 and 1951 State Highway Map City Inserts.

1950 State Highway Map City Insert

1951 State Highway Map City Insert

CA 99 southbound junctions CR J9 at Exit 246 in Manteca.



At Exit 242 CA 99 southbound junctions the CA 120 eastbound on Yosemite Avenue.  At Exit 241 CA 99 southbound junctions the CA 120 freeway westbound.




CA 120 crosses over the Sierras at Tioga Pass and has a implied routing through Yosemite National Park.  My previous blog posts on CA 120 can be found below.

The Tioga Pass Road

California State Route 120; US 6 west to US 395

South of CA 120 the route of CA 99 southbound is signed as the "442nd Regimental Combat Team Highway."


At Exit 240 CA 99 southbound junctions Austin Road which provides access to Caswell State Park.


At the Stanislaus River CA 99 southbound enters Stanislaus County.  Fresno is signed as being 103 miles away to the south.



In Salida CA 99 southbound junctions CA 219 on Kiernan Avenue at Exit 233.


My previous blog post on CA 219 can be found here.

California State Route 219

The original alignment of US 99 in Salida was routed on Salida Boulevard.  Salida Boulevard appears to have been in use into the 1970s before it was replaced by the current freeway grade.

South of CA 219 the route of CA 99 southbound enters Modesto and is signed as the "Jerry Medina Memorial Highway."


At Exit 226B CA 99 southbound junctions CA 132.  CA 108 is about one block east of the CA 99 freeway starting at K Street along CA 132 eastbound on 9th Street.


CA 132 east of Modesto continues to CA 49 in Coulterville, my previous blog post can be found here.

California State Route 132 from the Old Basso Bridge to CA 49 in Coulterville

CA 108 continues east over the Sierras via Sonora Pass to US 395 and is the steepest State Highway with a 26% grade.  My previous blog regarding Sonora Pass can be found here.

Trans-Sierra Highways; California State Route 108 over Sonora Pass

The original alignment of US 99 in Modesto was on 9th Street.  US 99 was shifted to the current freeway apparently sometime between 1965 and 1972.

South of CA 132 the route of CA 99 is signed as the "Joseph E Paul Memorial Highway."





At Exit 218 CA 99 southbound junctions Keyes Road which carries CR J16.


CR J16 is the longest Signed County Route spanning from I-5 east to CA 49 near Hornitos.  My previous blog post on CR J16 can be found here.

Signed County Route J16

The original route of US 99 through Keyes was on Golden State Boulevard and appears to have been upgraded to a freeway by the 1970s.

At Exit 213 in Turlock the route of CA 99 southbound junctions CR J17 at Main Street.  Much like Keyes the original route of US 99 was on Golden State Boulevard and was upgraded in the 1970s.


At Exit 211 the route of CA 99 southbound junctions CA 165 and CR J14 on Lander Avenue.


My previous blog post on CA 165 can be found here.

California State Route 165

As CA 99 southbound approaches the Merced County Line there is a rest area before the freeway drops to a four lane configuration.  Said rest area is called the "Enoch Christoffersen Rest Area."


The Enoch Christoffersen Rest Area is all business, the most interesting thing to see is the pay phones that are still in service.


Exit 207 on CA 99 southbound in Delhi provides access for McConnell State Recreation Area via Shanks Road.




South of Exit 207 the route of CA 99 southbound is signed as the "Kenneth L. Maddy Memorial Highway."


South of Delhi CA 99 crosses the Merced River and enters Livingston.  At Exit 198 CA 99 southbound has a junction with CR J18 at Westside Boulevard.


CR J18 is the original alignment of CA 140 west of Merced.  My previous blog on CR J18 can be found here.

Signed County Route J18 and pre-1937 California State Route 140

South of CR J18 the route of CA 99 continues through Atwater and is signed as the "Jose Riveria Memorial Highway."  Atwater Boulevard was the original alignment of US 99 and was likely replaced in the 1950s.

As CA 99 southbound enters Merced it picks up CA 140 east and CA 59 south at Exit 188 at V Street.



CA 59 south breaks away quickly from CA 99 at Exit 187B on Martin Luther King Way.


CA 59 is an odd route which dead ends in Snelling north of Merced.  The implied route is somewhat unique and continues as CR J59, my previous blog post can be found here.

California State Route 59/Signed County Route 59

CA 140 east splits from CA 99 south at Exit 186B on Central Yosemite Highway.


CA 140 continues east to Yosemite National Park via the Merced River Canyon on the El Portal Road.  My previous blog post on CA 140 can be found here.

California State Route 140 and the El Portal Road

US 99 was originally routed on 16th Street in Merced.  US 99 was moved the current freeway alignment some time in the late 1950s or the early 1960s.

The route of CA 99 south of CA 140 is signed as the "Officer Stephen Gene Gray Memorial Highway."


South of Exit 185 CA 99 expands to six lanes and is signed as the "CHP Officer James Schumacher Memorial Freeway."




As CA 99 southbound approaches Chowchilla it drops back down to a four lane configuration.


At the Chowchilla River CA 99 southbound crosses the Chowchilla River into Madera County.


South of the Chowchilla River the route of CA 99 is signed as the "Steven D. Lindbolm Memorial Highway."


At Exit 170 CA 99 has a junction for CA 233 at Robertson Boulevard in Chowchilla.


CA 233 is a short connector route to CA 152, my previous blog post can be found here.

California State Route 233

Chowchilla Boulevard was the original route of US 99 in Chowchilla.  Chowchilla Boulevard was replaced by the modern freeway grade likely at some point in the 1950s.

At Exit 166 CA 99 southbound junctions CA 152.


CA 152 continues west over Pacheco Pass and serves a significant connector the San Francisco Bay Area, my previous blog post can be found here.

California State Route 152

South of CA 152 the route of CA 99 expands back to six lanes but quickly drops back to four approaching Madera.




Exit 156 on CA 99 southbound is signed as CA 99 Business and is the original route of US 99 through Madera.


CA 99 southbound meets a junction with CA 145 at Exit 153 in Madera.  CA 145 was also the end point of the first part of this blog series on CA 99 north from I-5 in Wheeler Ridge.






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