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

Route 75 Tunnel - Ironton, Ohio

In the Ohio River community of Ironton, Ohio, there is a former road tunnel that has a haunted legend to it. This tunnel was formerly numbered OH 75 (hence the name Route 75 Tunnel), which was renumbered as OH 93 due to I-75 being built in the state. Built in 1866, it is 165 feet long and once served as the northern entrance into Ironton, originally for horses and buggies and later for cars. As the tunnel predated the motor vehicle era, it was too narrow for cars to be traveling in both directions. But once US 52 was built in the area, OH 93 was realigned to go around the tunnel instead of through the tunnel, so the tunnel was closed to traffic in 1960. The legend of the haunted tunnel states that since there were so many accidents that took place inside the tunnel's narrow walls, the tunnel was cursed. The haunted legend states that there was an accident between a tanker truck and a school bus coming home after a high school football game on a cold, foggy Halloween night in 1

Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge - Maine

  Spanning over the Ossipee River on the border between Porter in Oxford County, Maine and Parsonsfield in York County, Maine is the 152 foot long Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge. The Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge is built in a Paddleford truss design, which is commonly found among covered bridges in the New England states. The covered bridge is the third bridge located at this site, with the first two bridges built in 1800 and 1808. However, there seems to be some dispute for when the covered bridge was built. There is a plaque on the bridge that states that the bridge may have been built in 1876, but in my research, I have found that this bridge may have been built in 1859 instead. That may check out since a number of covered bridges in northern New England were built or replaced around 1859 after a really icy winter. The year that the Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge was built was not the only controversy surrounding its construction. There was a dispute over building and maintain

US Route 299 and modern California State Route 299

US Route 299 connected US Route 101 near Arcata of Humboldt County east across the northern mountain ranges of California to US Route 395 in Alturas of Modoc County.  US Route 299 was the longest child route of US Route 99 and is the only major east/west highway across the northern counties of California.  US Route 299 was conceptualized as the earliest iteration of what is known as the Winnemucca-to-the-Sea Highway.  The legacy of US Route 299 lives on today in the form of the 307 mile long California State Route 299.   Featured as the cover of this blog is the interchange of US Route 101 and US Route 299 north of Arcata which was completed as a segment of the Burns Freeway during 1956.   Part 1; the history of US Route 299 and California State Route 299 The development of the State Highways which comprised US Route 299 ("US 299") and later California State Route 299 ("CA 299") began with 1903 Legislative Chapter 366 which defined the general corridor of the Trinit