Skip to main content

US Route 99 to Visalia?...

Something that I noticed awhile back while doing map research regarding US Route 99 in Fresno was that the highway intended to be originally routed through the City of Visalia.



The early originally planned alignment of US Route 99 in Visalia

To be clear US 99 was never actually routed through Visalia and ended up bypassing the City in favor of a direct route from Goshen southeast to Tulare.  US 99 within San Joaquin Valley was aligned over Legislative Route 4 which in turn was added to the State Highway System as part of the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act.  LRN 4 for a time was aligned through Visalia via; Mineral King Avenue, Main Street, and Mooney Boulevard.  This early alignment of LRN 4 through Visalia can be seen on the 1924 Division of Highways State Map.


The initial draft of the US Route System was approved by the Secretary of Agriculture during November of 1925.  The US Route System with in California was approved by California Highway Commission with no changes recommended by January 1926.  The initial alignment of US 99 was planned to simply follow LRN 4 from Sacramento south to Los Angeles.  The existing routing of LRN 4 by the start 1926 would have taken US 99 through Visalia.



Thusly US 99 appears on the 1925 Rand McNally Map of California as being routed through Visalia.


US 99 also appears on the 1926 Rand McNally Map of California over LRN 4 through Visalia.


So why wasn't US 99 initially aligned through Visalia?  The answer is that LRN 4 was realigned out of Visalia onto a more direct route between Goshen and Tulare during 1926.  LRN 4 was realigned over what is now Camp Drive in Goshen southwest via a Southern Pacific frontage road east of the rails to I Street in Tulare.  While Visalia was (and is) the Tulare County Seat the new alignment of LRN 4 was far more efficient in terms of getting traffic directly to/from Sacramento and Los Angeles.  Mineral King Road was retained in the State Highway System as part of LRN 10 which would later become CA 198 during 1934.  The new direct Goshen-Tulare alignment of US 99 can be seen the 1926 Division of Highways Map of California.


The final version of the US Route System was approved during November of 1926.  This first official version of the US Route System had US 99 following LRN 4 from Sacramento and Los Angeles which in turn bypassed Visalia.  The US Route System in California along with US Route 99 are detailed in the January 1928 CHPW guide.  Most documented sources tend to agree that the US Routes in California were not signed by the California State Automobile Association ("CSAA") and Automobile Club of Southern California ("ACSC") until 1928.




The initial alignment of US 99 appears on the 1930 Division of Highways Map bypassing Visalia in favor of the direct Goshen-Tulare route. 


Mooney Boulevard would later return to the State Highway System as part of Legislative Route 132 in 1933.  Mooney Boulevard would later be signed as part of CA 63 starting in 1950

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

One Long Drive - Allegheny County's Orange Belt

When I trace my early interest in traveling and the hobby of roadgeeking, I always go back to where I grew up. Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 48, and the Orange Belt. I grew up on Route 48 in Elizabeth Township on the Orange Belt. One of my family's favorite stories of me growing up is when I was around three years old - so 1980 - I told one of my aunts, "It's not that hard to get to our house - we live on the Orange Belt!"  The Allegheny County Belt System is one of the many things that are uniquely Pittsburgh. A series of existing roadways - minor and major - developed in post-World War II Allegheny County to navigate the region. Never intended to be a "beltway" in the modern sense - a full freeway encircling a city - the Allegheny County system is more like a wayfinding system connecting you throughout the county. It is uniquely Pittsburgh - it's been asked about , written about , and videoed .  On a recent visit home, I decided to drive the entire

Mosquito Road Bridge

The Mosquito Road Bridge is a wooden suspension span crossing the South Fork American River of El Dorado County.  The Mosquito Road Bridge incorporates elements in it's foundation which date back to 1867 making it likely the oldest highway bridge in California still is in service for it's original purpose.  The Mosquito Road Bridge can be found approximately 6.5 miles northeast of downtown Placerville.    Author's Note; Gribblenation's 2,000th published blog This blog serves as the 2,000th published entry on the Gribblenation blog site.  Ironically the the 2,000th blog entry closely aligns with the 20th anniversary of Gribblenation.  Adam and Doug recently discussed the history of Gribblenation on the Gribblenation 20th Anniversary Podcast: https://anchor.fm/gribblenation/episodes/Gribblenation-20th-Anniversary-Podcast-ep2nh8 For my own part I (Tom) have been part of Gribblenation since late 2016, it has been an honor to be part of one of the longest lived highway pages