Skip to main content

California State Route 197

Back during 2014 I drove California State Route 197 while exploring rural Del Norte County.  This article traces the history of the short but albeit scenic CA 197.


CA 197 is a 7 mile north/south State Highway signed along North Bank Road.  CA 197 connects US 199 along the Smith River near Hiouchi to US 101 near Fort Dick.



Part 1; the history of California State Route 197

Compared to nearby US 199 the backstory of CA 197 is far more mundane.  While US 199 was built upon the bones of what was the Gasquet Toll Road to Oregon Mountain the route of CA 197 has a considerably less ambitious origin.  North Bank Road was added to the State Highway System during 1933 as Legislative Route 81 ("LRN 81").  LRN 81 simply was a connecting highway between US 199/LRN 1 north to US 101/LRN 71 and can be seen on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Del Norte County.


LRN 81 was an adoption of the already existing North Bank Road.  North Bank Road can be seen on the 1917 California State Automobile Association Map of California.


During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 81 was reassigned as CA 197.  CA 197 can be seen appearing for the first time on the 1964 Division of Highways State Map.


CA 197 first appears to have been signed circa 1969 as indicated by the Division of Highways State Map from said year.



Part 2; a virtual tour of California State Route 197

Our virtual tour of CA 197 begins from US 199 westbound.  US 199 westbound meets CA 197 northbound at approximately Post Mile DN 4.420.  CA 197 traffic is advised the highway is signed on North Bank Road as a cut-off to US 101 headed towards Oregon State Line.  Note; all below images are ripped from Google Street View as I did not have the presence in mind to take photos during 2014. 


CA 197 north traffic is advised that Ruby Van Deventer County Park is 4 miles away.   US 101 is signed as 7 miles away on CA 197 northbound.  The Oregon State Line signed as 17 miles away. 



 
At Post Mile R1.629 CA 197 north meets it's original alignment at Tan Oak Drive.  The "R" suffix in the Post Mile designation indicates that CA 197 is on it's first realignment after the 1964 Highway Renumbering.


Upon crossing Peacock Creek CA 197 north meets the back end of it's former Tan Oak Drive at Post Mile R2.192.


CA 197 north enters the a heavily wooded area along the east bank of the Smith River.  At Post Mile DN 4.500 CA 197 north reaches Ruby Van Deventer County Park.






As CA 197 north approaches US 101 it occasionally closes onto the north bank of the Smith River (hence the name North Bank Road). 



 
CA 197 northbound terminates at US 101 at Post Mile DN 7.08.  The north terminus of CA 197 doesn't carry an end placard and is controlled by a simple pair of dual stop signs.   




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California

The historic corridor of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 through the borderlands of southern California share a largely mutual history.  Both highways originated in the city of San Diego and departed the state at the Colorado River into Yuma, Arizona.  Both highways share numerous famous geographical components such as the Mountain Springs Grade and Algodones Sand Dunes.  This article serves as a comprehensive history of the combined US Route 80/Interstate 8 corridor in California from the tolled stage route era of the nineteenth century to the development of the modern freeway.   The blog cover photo features US Route 80 along the Mountains Springs Grade through In-Ko-Pah Gorge during late 1920s.  This photo is part of the Caltrans McCurry Collection. Part 1; the history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California share a largely mutual history.  The backstory of both highways is tied heavily to the corridors of the Old Spanish Trail, Legisl

The Central Freeway of San Francisco (US Route 101)

The Central Freeway is a 1.2-mile elevated limited access corridor in the city of San Francisco.  As presently configured the Central Freeway connects from the end of the Bayshore Freeway to Market Street.  The Central Freeway carries the mainline of northbound US Route 101 from the Bayshore Freeway to Mission Street. The Central Freeway has origins with the establishment of Legislative Route Number 223 and is heavily tied to the history of the once proposed Panhandle Freeway.  The Central Freeway between the Bayshore Freeway and Mission Street was completed during 1955.  The corridor was extended to a one-way couplet located at Turk Street and Golden Gate Avenue in 1959 which served to connect US Route 101 to Van Ness Avenue.  The Central Freeway was damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and has since been truncated to Market Street.   The Central Freeway as pictured on the blog cover was featured in the May/June 1959 California Highways & Public Works.  The scan below is fro

The Midway Palm and Pine of US Route 99

Along modern day California State Route 99 south of Avenue 11 just outside the City limits of Madera one can find the Midway Palm and Pine in the center median of the freeway.  The Midway Palm and Pine denotes the halfway point between the Mexican Border and Oregon State Line on what was US Route 99.  The Midway Palm is intended to represent Southern California whereas the Midway Pine is intended to represent Northern California.  Pictured above the Midway Palm and Pine can be seen from the northbound lanes of the California State Route 99 Freeway.   This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page The history of the Midway Palm and Pine The true timeframe for when the Midway Palm and Pine (originally a Deadora Cedar Tree) were planted is unknown.  In fact, the origin of the Midway Palm and Pine w