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Legacy of US Route 466 Part 3; Morro Bay to Shandon (California State Route 229 and 41)

Part 3 of the US Route 466 series consists of the roadways that made up the highway between Morro Bay and Shandon in San Luis Obispo County; Legislative Route Number 33, LRN 125, LRN 137, California State Route 229 and California State Route 41.


Part 1 and Part of the US Route 466 Legacy Series can be found below:

Legacy of US Route 466 Part 1; California State Route 46

Legacy of US Route 466 Part 2; Tehachapi to Bakersfield 

As discussed in Part 1 of this series the western terminus of US 466 was at CA 1 in Morro Bay from 1934 when the route was commissioned until 1965 when it was deleted from California.  US 466 between Shandon and Morro Bay took two primary paths through it's history.  The initial routing of US 466 east from Morro Bay to Shandon was on LRN 125 and was as follows:

-  US 466/LRN 125 began at CA 1 at the corner of Main Street and Atascadero Road in Morro Bay.
-  US 466/LRN 125 followed Morro Creek and Atascadero Creek eastward on Atascadero Road to the City Limits of Atascadero.  The earliest alignment of US 466 may have been on Old Morro Road but the current alignment used presently by CA 41 appears on topographical maps by the 1940s.
-  US 466/LRN 125 took Morro Road to US 101 on the El Camino Real in downtown Atascadero.
-  US 466/LRN 125 briefly multiplexed US 101 for about a block on the El Camino Real.
-  US 466/LRN 125 took the present rout of CA 41 towards the Salinas River.
-  US 466/LRN 125 took Sycamore Road eastward over the Salinas River to Rocky Canyon Road.
-  US 466/LRN 125 took the unpaved Rocky Canyon Road eastward to a junction with LRN 137 south of Creston.
-  US 466/LRN 125 followed Webster Road northeast into downtown Creston.
-  US 466/LRN 125 took a turn on over Huerhuero Creek on a road that no longer exits to La Panza Road.
-  US 466/LRN 125 took La Panza Road and Little Farm Road to the modern routing of CA 41.
-  US 466/LRN 125 took modern CA 41 to Centre Street.
-  US 466/LRN 125 took Centre Street through Shandon where it met CA 41 and LRN 33.

The 1938 State Highway Map doesn't provide a ton of detail but the dirt segment of US 466/LRN 125 between Atascadero and Creston is obvious.  LRN 137 can be seen traversing south to CA 178/LRN 58 over the Salinas River south of US 466 and Creston.


But 1954 the LRNs are displayed on the State Highway Map.


By 1956 LRN 137 was shortened when CA 178/LRN 58 was given a new alignment west of Pozo to Santa Margarita.


In 1959 the route of US 466 is pulled from LRN 125 south of Shandon and Atascadero.  US 466 is shown multiplexing CA 41/LRN 33 and US 101/LRN 2 between Shandon to Atascadero.


By 1963 LRN 125 was moved to a new alignment north of Creston west to Atascadero.  The former Rocky Canyon Road alignment of US 466 was deleted which meant LRN 137 was extended through Creston.


In 1964 the California State Highway renumbering took place.  While US 466 was still present it's legislative designations were replaced by LRN 41 between Morro Bay to Atascadero and LRN 46 between US 101 to US 99.  CA 41 was assigned to the route of LRN 125 between Shandon and Atascadero while CA 46 was signed over what was CA 41 west of US 101/US 466.  LRN 137 became the current CA 229 while CA 178 west of Bakersfield was renumbered to CA 58.


By 1965 US 466 was deleted from California and the modern numbering convention appears.


Back in 2016/2017 I sought out much of the original alignment of US 466 between Morro Bay and Shandon along with some local State Highway clinches.  I started by approaching modern CA 229 on what was LRN 137 over the 1914 Salinas River Bridge.





The 1914 Salinas River Bridge first saw State Highway service as part of LRN 137 from 1933 to 1956.  In 1956 the 1914 Salinas River Bridge was part of CA 178/58 which was renumbered to CA 58 in 1964.   The 1914 Salinas River Bridge was in service as part of CA 58 until 1997 when a replacement span was built directly to the north.












East of the Salinas River the path of LRN 137 on CA 58 meets CA 229.


CA 229 despite being one of the least traveled State Highways is well signed.  In full CA 229 is a 9 mile State Highway from CA 58 north to CA 41.  Below is photos of the south terminus of CA 229.



CA 229 is a single lane for the first 6 miles of the highway to north to Rocky Canyon Road.  LRN 137 originally terminated at Rocky Canyon Road which is where it met the original alignment of US 466.  When I was crossing through CA 229 in 2016 I ran into a Caltrans crew doing tree trimming.  One of the workers informed me that they were seeing only 3 cars a day on the one-lane segment of CA 229.


Despite CA 229 being a single lane the grade is good and the road is wide enough for vehicles to pass each other easily.















CA 229 blows out to two lanes at Rocky Canyon Road.  Rocky Canyon Road is the dirt road on the left.  US 466 followed the path of CA 229 through Creston on LRN 125.


Creston dates back to the 1880s and was developed on land that was part of Rancho Huerhuero.  While CA 229 continues directly north to CA 41 the path of US 466 and LRN 125 crossed Huerhuero Creek to La Panza Road.  When LRN 125 was realigned north of Creston in 1963 the path of LRN 137 was extended north from Rocky Canyon Road to meet it.


Moving back westward to Morro Bay the route of US 466 on LRN 125 originally terminated at Main Street when it carried CA 1.  US 466 began heading eastbound towards US 101 on Atascardro Road, as state above the corridor is now occupied by CA 41.




US 466 on LRN 125 traversed approximately 16 miles between Morro Bay east to Atascadero.  US 466 ascended through a small pass along Morro Creek.


US 466 on LRN 125 entered Atascadero on Morro Road and briefly multiplexed US 101 on El Camino Real to reach Sycamore Road.  CA 41 takes a much more direct path which travels under the US 101 freeway and doesn't require a multiplex. 



US 466 on LRN 125 used Sycamore Road to cross the Salinas River and Rocky Canyon Road to reach Creston.  When LRN 125 was realigned in 1963 it took a northern bypass of Creston and a far more direct 24 mile route to Shandon.


CA 41 now traverses a steep cut between Atascadero before it meets the north terminus of CA 229.  I highly suspect that this route was long planned for LRN 125 but ultimately didn't come to fruition until US 466 was pushed north to LRN 33 and LRN 2.  Either way, having a US Route on a dirt highway into the late 1950s was certainly strange.



East of Little Farm Road CA 41 picks up the original alignment of US 466 on LRN 125 towards Shandon.  The route is curvy and surprisingly narrow, it is not wonder trucks are advised against taking CA 41 south of CA 46.





CA 41 presently turns left at Centre Street over the Estrello River to reach CA 46.





US 466 on LRN 125 originally went east on Centre Street where it met CA 41 after crossing the Estrello River.



In 2011 the alignment of CA 41 on Centre Street was swapped with San Luis Obispo County according to CAhighways.org.

CAhighways.org on CA 41

Ironically the 1935 definition of LRN 125 from Morro Bay to Yosemite National Park matches the full current route of CA 41.  LRN 125 was another one of the 1933 State Highway adoptions which originally ran from Stratford to Fresno.

CAhighways.org on LRN 125


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