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Former US Route 50 and the South Lincoln Highway from Folsom east to Placerville


The corridor of Folsom of Sacramento County east to Placerville of El Dorado County has been a long established corridor of overland travel dating back to the California Gold Rush.  The Folsom-Placerville corridor was once part of the path of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road which became the first California State Highway and later the South Lincoln Highway.  In time the South Lincoln Highway's surface alignment was inherited by US Route 50.  The Folsom-Placerville corridor also includes the communities of; Clarksville, Shingle Springs and El Dorado.




Part 1; the history of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road, South Lincoln Highway and US Route 50 through Folsom-Placerville

Folsom is located on the American River/Lake Natoma of eastern Sacramento County.  That lands now occupied by the City of Folsom were part of Rancho Rio de los Americanos prior to the finding of gold at Sutter's Mill during 1848.  During the California Gold Rush the lands of Rancho Rio de los Americanos were purchased by Joseph Libbey Folsom.  Folsom sought to establish a railroad siding and town known as "Granite City" but died in 1855 before those plans came to fruition.  Granite City was renamed to "Folsom" and would become a stop on the Sacramento Valley Railroad.  Folsom was at the end of the line for the first train west of the Rocky Mountains which departed Sacramento during early 1856.  Folsom would incorporate as a City on April 20th, 1946.  

Folsom and the Sacramento Valley Railroad can be seen on the 1857 Britton & Rey's Map of California.    


From July 1860 to July 1861 Folsom was on the route of the Pony Express.  The Pony Express traversed the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Lake Tahoe westward to Sacramento Valley via Johnson's Pass.  Folsom can be seen on the Pony Express during 1860-61 on a 1960 Replica Map published by the Union Pacific Railroad.  


Clarksville is a ghost town (on private property) located at the end of Old White Rock Road of El Dorado County.  Clarksville traces it's origins to a tavern constructed in 1848 or 1849 by a Mormon Pioneer.  During the early 1850s Clarkson's Village was constructed near the Mormon Tavern at the junction of the stage road from Folsom and the mines of the Sierra Nevada Foothills.  Clarkson's Village would obtain Post Office Service in 1855 and was assigned the name of "Clarksville."  The community of Clarksville would operate as a remounting station during 1860-61 as part of the Pony Express.   Clarksville would lose Post Office Service by 1934 and functionally would become a ghost town as the 20th Century progressed.

Clarksville can be seen as "Clarkson" on the 1857 Britton & Rey's Map of California.    


Shingle Springs is a small unincorporated community located in El Dorado County east of Clarksville.  Shingle Springs was founded around mining claims that were common to the era of the California Gold Rush.  The community takes it's name from a horse drawn shingle machine that was present in the community which could produce 16,000 shingles a day.  Shingle Springs has had continuous Post Office Service since 1865.  

El Dorado is an unincorporated community located between Shingle Springs and Placerville within El Dorado County.  El Dorado was settled at the onset of the California Gold Rush and was originally known as "Mud Springs."  Mud Springs was an important stop on the Carson Trail before Johnson's Pass came to prominence.  Mud Springs would incorporate City in 1856 and was renamed "El Dorado" in honor of the County it is located in.  El Dorado would not last long as a City and would disincorporate in 1857.  

El Dorado can be seen as a major community on the 1857 Britton & Rey's Map of California.    


Placerville is the County Seat of El Dorado County and can be found on US Route 50 along Hangtown Creek.  Placerville emerged shortly after the onset of the California Gold Rush as a small community called "Dry Diggins."  The community soon came to be known as "Hangtown" due to the high number of public hanging which would take place in the community.  Hangtown would incorporate as a City and be renamed to "Placerville" on May 13th, 1854.  When Placerille incorporated it was the third largest City in California and would later take the El Dorado County Seat from Coloma in 1857.

Placerville can be seen as a major community on the 1857 Britton & Rey's Map of California


Much of the history of what become the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road is discussed in the September 1950 California Highways & Public Works during it's Centennial Edition.  The origin of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road is stated to begin with the opening of Johnson's Pass in 1852.  Johnson's Pass was opened as an emigrant trail by Colonel J.B. Johnson between Carson Valley westward via a cutoff following the south shore of Lake Tahoe (then Lake Bigler) and South Fork American River to Placerville.  Prior to the opening of Johnson's Pass most emigrant travel traversed the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the south via Carson Pass.  



In 1853 Congress ordered survey to locate a possible route for a railroad line over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  The conclusion of the 1853 Congressional survey suggested any route over the Sierra Nevada Mountains was unfeasibly due to deep snows which occurred every winter.   The State of California ordered it's own survey by April 1855 to investigate the feasibility of constructing a wagon road from Sacramento Valley east to Carson Valley.   By June 1855 enough money had been raised so that Sherman Day could scout potential wagon roads over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  The Day Survey concluded that the only viable options for a wagon road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains would be at Johnson's Pass or Carson Pass.  Johnson's Pass was considerable favorable to Carson Pass due to the lower elevation potentially permitting all-year travel.  





The Goddard Survey later corroborated the findings of the Day Survey in that Johnson's Pass would be the desirable route of a Trans-Sierra Wagon Road.  



The surveyed routes of Sherman Day over Johnson's Pass and Carson Pass.   

During 1857 the counties of; Yolo, Sacramento and El Dorado contributed $50,000 dollars towards construction of a wagon road over Johnson's Pass.  County officials hired noted stagecoach driver J.B. Crandall of the Crandall & Sunderland Company to drive surveyor's over Day's route east through the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Carson Valley via Johnson's Pass.  The Crandall & Sunderland Company at the time operated as a stage line from the terminus of the Sacramento Valley Railroad in Folsom eastward to Placerville.  The stage trip from Folsom originated on June 11th, 1857 and proved that a wagon road over Johnson's Pass was indeed feasible.   




The below map details when specific segments of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road were completed between 1858- 65 east of Placerville to Genoa, Nevada.


The usage of the name "Lake Tahoe Wagon Road" is noted to have come some time after it's completion in 1865.  


The Lake Tahoe Wagon Road as depicted in 1865 via wood cut drawing.

The completed Lake Tahoe Wagon Road can be seen on the 1873 Bancroft's Map of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona east of Placerville to the State Line.  

The Lake Tahoe Wagon Road east of Placerville had become a El Dorado County public highway during 1886.  On March 26th, 1895 the California State Legislature approved the creation of the Lake Tahoe State Highway.  The Lake Tahoe State Highway's original definition had it originate near Smith's Flat at the intersection of the Placerville Road (Lake Tahoe Wagon Road) and Newtown Road.  The Lake Tahoe State Highway was to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains easterly to the Nevada State Line via Johnson's Pass following the existing Lake Tahoe Wagon Road.   The Lake Tahoe State Highway became effective upon being signed into law on February 28th, 1896 and was the first California State Highway.    

According to CAhighways.org the Lake Tahoe State Highway was extended westward from Smith's Flat as part of 1897 Legislative Chapter 176 with the following definition:

"A public highway or wagon road shall be built from a point on the E limits of the city of Sacramento to Folsom in Sacramento Cty as near practicable along the route of the present most direct line of county roads between these two points..."

The 1897 extension of the Lake Tahoe State Highway left a gap in State Maintenance from Folsom eastward to Placerville.  The first work conducted on the Lake Tahoe State Highway was a new 80-foot stone arch bridge over the South Fork American River at Riverton which was completed during 1901.  


Scenes of the early Lake Tahoe State Highway as depicted in the September 1950 California Highways & Public Works.  




The Folsom-Placerville gap in the Lake State Tahoe State Highway would not be resolved until the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act (approved by voters in 1910).  The majority of the highways approved as part of the First State Highway Bond Act were largely well established routes of travel.  The 1909 First State Highway Bond Act according to CAhighways.org provided funding for a highway from Sacramento east to Placerville which closed the gap in the Lake Tahoe State Highway.  In time the Lake Tahoe State Highway would come to be assigned as Legislative Route Number 11 ("LRN 11").  

During 1912 Indiana Businessman Carl G. Fisher conceptualized the Lincoln Highway as a major transcontinental Auto Trail.  The Lincoln Highway was formally dedicated on October 31st, 1913 and would cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains via North/South branches.  The South Lincoln Highway entered the State of California from Stateline, Nevada and followed LRN 11 west towards Sacramento.  The Lincoln Highway Association's Official Map shows the following alignment of the first generation South Lincoln Highway from Folsom eastward into Placerville:

-  Folsom Boulevard to Sutter Street in downtown Folsom.

-  Sutter Street to Riley Street in downtown Folsom.

-  Riley Street to Bidwell Street in Folsom.

-  Bidwell Street east from Folsom to Placerville Road.

-  Placerville Road to White Rock Road.

-  White Rock Road east through some abandoned right-of-way to Old White Rock Road.

-  Old White Rock Road through the ghost town of Clarksville under the US Route 50 freeway to Tong Road.  

-  Tong Road to Old Bass Lake Road.

-  Abandoned right-of-way under the US Route 50 freeway to Marble Valley Road.

-  Abandoned right-of-way under the US Route 50 freeway to Country Club Drive.  

-  Country Club Drive to abandoned right-of-way under the US Route 50 freeway to Rodeo Road.

-  Rodeo Road through abandoned right-of-way to Durock Road.  

-  Durock Road through abandoned right-of-way to Mother Lode Drive in Shingle Springs. 

-  Mother Lode Drive, Buckeye Road, Rocking Horse Lane, Cutty Sark Lane, Old French Town Road, Greenstone Cutoff and Mother Lode Drive to Pleasant Valley Road.

-  Pleasant Valley Road to California State Route 49 in El Dorado.  

-  California State Route 49 to Forni Road. 

-  Forni Road through abandoned right-of-way under the US Route 50 freeway to Placerville Drive.

-  Placerville Drive through abandoned right-of-way to Pierroz Road.

-  Pierroz Road to Cold Springs Road. 

-  Cold Springs Road through abandoned right-of-way under the US Route 50 freeway to Main Street in Placerville.  

-  Main Street through downtown Placerville via an abandoned alignment connecting directly with Broadway.  

The January 1915 California Highway Bulletin cites South Lincoln Highway/LRN 11 from the City Limits of Folsom 6.8 miles eastward to the El Dorado County Line to be paved in 12 foot wide concrete.  


The January 1915 California Highway Bulletin also cities numerous sections of South Lincoln Highway/LRN 11 in El Dorado County in various states of being paved.  The South Lincoln Highway/LRN 11 between Shingle Springs-El Dorado is cited as having been paved with 12 foot wide macadam.  The South Lincoln Highway/LRN 11 from El Dorado east to Placerville is cited to be in the process of being paved in concrete.  Surveys to pave South Lincoln Highway/LRN 11 from Shingle Springs westward to the Sacramento County Line are cited as being completed. 

The alignment described as the first generation South Lincoln Highway can be seen incorporated into LRN 11 on the 1917 California State Automobile Map from Folsom east to Placerville.  


The initial draft of the US Route System was approved by the Secretary of Agriculture during November of 1925.  The US Route System within California was approved by California Highway Commission with no changes recommended by January 1926.  Originally US Route 50 ("US 50") was not slated to replace the South Lincoln Highway in California.   


US 50 is shown to have a planned terminus at US 40 near Wadsworth, NV on the 1925 Rand McNally Junior Map of California.  

US 50 can be seen terminating US 40 in Wadsworth, NV on a October 1925 report to by the Bureau of Public Roads which lists the recommended US Routes.  

The US Route System was finalized by November 1926 and included US 50 being extended to a new terminus at US 99 in Sacramento via the South Lincoln Highway/LRN 11.  Early US 50/LRN 11 through Placerville-Folsom can be seen on the 1927 National Map Company Highway Map of California.


The May 1927 California Highways & Public Works announced the first Carquinez Bridge over Carquinez Strait near Vallejo had opened to traffic on May 21st.  Upon completion of the Carquinez Bridge the South Lincoln Highway was realigned in Folsom off of US 50/LRN 11 over the American River (now Lake Natoma) via the 1919 Rainbow Bridge.  The new alignment of the South Lincoln Highway followed Greenback Lane westward to reach the US 40 and the North Lincoln Highway.  Unlike most Auto Trails the Lincoln Highway never totally disbanded and it's various alignments are often well signed in California.   Note; the 1919 Rainbow Bridge was a replacement for the 1893 Folsom Truss Bridge.


The October 1929 California Highway & Public Works notes US 50/LRN 11 between Folsom east to Placerville was in the process of being converted to an 18 foot wide road surface via 3 rock shoulder extensions.  The conversion of an 18 foot road surface on the Folsom-Placerville segment of US 50/LRN 11 was slated for completion on December 7th, 1929.  


The February 1932 California Highways & Public Works describes in detail the deconstruction and shipping of the 1893 Folsom Truss Bridge to the Klamath River of Siskiyou County.   The 1893 Folsom Truss Bridge is stated to be in a good state of repair despite being abandoned when the 1919 Rainbow Bridge replaced it.  The 1893 Folsom Truss Bridge was to be placed along Walker Road on the Klamath River north of Yreka near US 99/Pacific Highway.  


The April 1934 California Highways & Public Works features a 1911 promotion that was held by the Pioneer Emigrant Club.  The Pioneer Emigrant Club was specifically pushing for a modernized State Highway from Sacramento eastward to Placerville via Folsom, Clarksville, Shingle Springs, El Dorado and Diamond Springs.  The Pioneer Emigrant Club cited commerce borne from the Panama Canal as being one of the many reasons to build a modernized State Highway from Sacramento east to Placerville.  Diamond Springs would never be included in LRN 11 would later be added to the State Highway System as part of the Mother Lode Highway (also known as the Golden Chain Highway) which became California State Route 49.  



US 50/LRN 11 from Folsom east to Placerville is displayed in detail on the 1935 Division of Highways Maps of Sacramento County and El Dorado County.   US 50/LRN 11 in 1935 essentially followed the same alignment as the early South Lincoln Highway. 



The April 1936 California Highways & Public Works reports substantial flood/wash out damage to US 50 and California State Route 49 ("CA 49") in the vicinity of Placerville.  


The December 1937 California Highways & Public Works announced a major realignment project for US 50/LRN 11 southwest of Placerville towards Folsom.   The new alignment of US 50/LRN 11 is cited to save 1.9 miles of travel and eliminate numerous short radius curves.   The first segment of construction between Placerville west to Clarksville (shown as Clark's Corner) is stated to be underway.  The 1914 Forni Road Bridge over Weber Creek can be seen featured in one of the article photos.   






The July 1938 California Highways & Public Works announced the opening of the new alignment of US 50/LRN 11 west of Placerville towards Shingle Springs on a bypass of El Dorado.  A new bridge over Weber Creek is featured as part of the new alignment of US 50/LRN 11 which bypassed the older route via Forni Road.  The new alignment of US 50/LRN 11 was dedicated on June 19th, 1938 and is now largely part of Mother Lode Drive.  




The 1938 Weber Creek Bridge still exists next to the US 50/El Dorado Freeway as a pedestrian path.  


The February 1939 California Highways & Public Works announced the realignment of US 50/LRN 11 from the outskirts of Folsom to two miles east of Clarksville was funded for the 91st/92nd Fiscal Year.  


The April 1940 California Highways & Public Works features the ongoing realignment construction of US 50/LRN 11 from Folsom eastward beyond Clarksville.  The realignment project is slated to replace the existing 12 foot wide concrete road deck and is stated to have an anticipated completion during August 1940.  



The November 1940 California Highways & Public Works features the completed realignment of US 50/LRN 11 from Folsom east of Clarksville.  The new alignment of US 50/LRN 11 opened during October 1940 and is shown completely bypassing Clarksville to the north.  





The September 1941 California Highways & Public Works announced US 50/LRN 11 would be kept open during the winter months.  The decision to keep US 50/LRN 11 open during the winter was made by the California Highway Commission on August 29th, 1941 and seems to be borne out of the increasing importance of the highway for transcontinental travel.  US 50/LRN 11 had recently been realigned off of Johnson's Pass to Echo Summit in 1938 which made keeping the highway open over the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains during winter more feasible.  


The July/August 1947 California Highways & Public Works announced US 50/LRN 11 from Shingle Spring east to the outskirts of El Dorado had been realigned.  The realignment of US 50/LRN 11 from Shingle Springs to El Dorado is stated to be 3.4 miles in length and saved 0.4 miles in travel from the previous alignment.  The new Shingle Springs-El Dorado alignment of US 50 reduced the number of curves from 35 down to 6.   The alignment described above can be found today via Mother Lode Drive from Shingle Road east to Pleasant Valley Road.   


The November/December 1949 California Highways & Public Works announced the opening of the US 50/LRN 11 Folsom Bypass.  The Folsom Bypass is stated to have opened to traffic during October of 1949.  The Folsom Bypass saved 2.9 miles of travel originating west of Nimbus east through Folsom to the Southern Pacific Railroad crossing near White Rock Station and Clarksville.   The new alignment of US 50/LRN 11 was largely two lanes but is similar to the modern the El Dorado Freeway segment of US 50 in Folsom.   



The difference in the alignment of the Folsom Bypass to the previous in-town alignment of US 50/LRN 11 can be observed by comparing the 1949 Division of Highways Map to the 1950 Edition:





The May/June 1951 California Highways & Public Works cites the US 50/LRN 11 Folsom Bypass in an article about the effects of Highway Bypasses on businesses and communities.  The Folsom Bypass seems to have had an immediate positive impact for allowing businesses within downtown Folsom to be more accessible to locals.  






The November/December 1951 California Highways & Public Works announced grading for US 50/LRN 11 in Placerville had been allocated for the 1952-53 Fiscal Year.  This allocation is stated to be the beginning point for a US 50/LRN 11 bypass of the Placerville Business District on Main Street.  The project allocation is stated to include grade separations over the Southern Pacific Railroad and Washington Street.  


The November/December 1951 California Highways & Public Works details the realignment of US 50/LRN 11 east of Placerville.  The project segment of the US 50/LRN 11 realignment is stated to begin at the Southern Pacific Railroad crossing east of Placerville and terminating at Five Mile Terrace.  



The January/February 1952 California Highways & Public Works details the upcoming realignment of US 50/LRN 11 in Placerville onto a bypass route.  An illustration of the Placerville Bypass is shown and a citation regarding a agreement between the City and Division of Highways on a freeway agreement is referenced.  





The November/December 1952 California Highways & Public Works cites grading and structures for the 1.5 mile long US 50 Placerville Freeway as being funded for the 1953-54 Fiscal Year.  


The November/December 1952 California Highways & Public Works displays the planned Placerville Freeway in relation to US 50/LRN 11 on Main Street.  



The September/October 1954 California Highways & Public Works discusses the ongoing improvement projects pertaining to US 50 in California.  An ongoing project to eliminate curves between Clarksville and Shingle Springs is cited to be designed as a two-lane expressway.  Additional right-of-way in the Clarksville-Shingle Springs corridor is referenced as being acquired to convert the segment to a divided four lane highway sometime in the future.  The Placerville Freeway is referenced as having an anticipated completion some time during 1955.  



The November/December 1955 California Highways & Public Works announced the completion of the Clarksville-Shingle Springs Expressway and Placerville Freeway (now referenced as an expressway) segments of US 50/LRN 11.  The Clarksville-Shingle Springs realignment of US 50/LRN 11 is cited to have opened on October 7th, 1955.  The new alignment of US 50 on the Placerville Freeway is described in detail compared to the older corridor which was had been on Main Street.  







The November/December 1957 California Highways & Public Works announced US 50/LRN 11 on Folsom Boulevard had been converted to four lanes from the Brighton Underpass in Sacramento east to Alder Creek in Folsom.  



The July/August 1958 California Highways & Public Works announced freeway resolution upgrades for US 50/LRN 11 from Brighton (east Sacramento) east towards the western City Limit of Placerville had been adopted.  


The November/December 1961 California Highways & Public Works announced US 50/LRN 11 was being upgraded to a freeway in Folsom along with a segment immediately west of Placerville.  A small freeway segment of US 50/LRN 11 east of Placerville is cited as being completed in November of 1960.  


The new Weber Creek Bridge construction on the western Placerville freeway segment of US 50/LRN 11 is displayed in the November/December 1961 California Highways & Public Works.


The October/November 1962 California Highways & Public Works announced a freeway alignment of US 50/LRN 11 had been adopted from Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento east to Brighton.



The November/December 1962 California Highways & Public Works cites 5.6 miles of US 50/LRN 11 had been upgraded to a freeway east of Sacramento.  


The West Placerville Freeway is announced as being completed in the September/October 1963 California Highways & Public Works.  The project zone is cited as beginning at the western City Limit of Placerville, crossing Weber Creek and intersecting existing Mother Lode Drive at Perks Corner.  The West Placerville Freeway opened to traffic on August 15th, 1963 and saw the 1938 Weber Creek Bridge removed from the State Highway System.  





The November/December 1963 California Highways & Public Works announced the freeway construction of US 50/LRN 11 had been extended east from Folsom to Bass Lake Road (east of Clarksville) for the 1964-65 Fiscal Year.   


The Legislative Route Numbers were dropped during the 1964 California State Highway Renumbering which left US 50 as a stand alone corridor east of Sacramento to the Nevada State Line.  Construction of the US 50 freeway east from Folsom to Clarksville is cited to have begun in the November/December 1964 California Highways & Public Works.  


The Folsom-Clarksville US 50 freeway segment is announced as being completed during November 1965 in the November/December 1965 California Highways & Public Works.  


The November/December 1965 California Highways & Public Works announced that funds had been allocated to extend the recently completed Folsom-Clarksville freeway segment of US 50 to the existing West Placerville segment.  


The California Highways & Public Works publication ended in 1967.  The 1967 Division of Highways State Map shows US 50 with a planned freeway alignment between Clarksville and Perks Corner.  This segment of freeway is shown to be planned to intersect the never constructed CA 49 freeway west of Placerville.  


The 1970 Division of Highways State Map shows US 50 on a freeway grade west from Placerville to Shingle Springs (meaning it was completed in 1969).  The Clarksville-Shingle Springs segment of US 50 is shown to be two lane expressway grade.  


The Clarksville-Shingle Springs freeway segment of US 50 was completed during the early 1970s and appears on the 1975 Caltrans State Map.  




Part 2; exploring former US Route 50 and the South Lincoln Highway in Folsom

From modern US 50 eastbound traffic can access the original alignment of the South Lincoln Highway and US 50 at Exit 23 at Folsom Boulevard.   Traffic departing onto Folsom Boulevard is advised that the Folsom Powerhouse can be accessed in downtown Folsom. 






Folsom Boulevard jogs northeast into downtown Folsom.  The South Lincoln Highway and former US 50 would have originally turned eastward onto Sutter Street.   The intersection of Folsom Boulevard and Sutter Street was originally at-grade but was reconfigured when the 1999 Lake Natoma Crossing was constructed.   














The South Lincoln Highway and US 50 would have originally followed Sutter Street to Riley Street where they would have turned right towards Clarksville.  The 1927 iteration of the South Lincoln Highway was not aligned on Sutter Street and would have headed northward (via a westbound alignment) via Riley Street towards the 1919 Rainbow Bridge.  Historic US Route 50 shields can be found on Sutter Street in downtown Folsom.  


The South Lincoln Highway in it's 1927 alignment would have turned onto Greenback Lane and crossed over the 1916 Folsom Powerhouse Canal Bridge.   The 1916 Folsom Powerhouse Canal Bridge has been converted into a pedestrian path (photo courtesy Bridgehunter.com).


The 1927 South Lincoln Highway would have passed by the Folsom Powerhouse on Greenback Lane.  The Folsom Powerhouse became operational in 1895 and was one of the first Alternating Current ("AC") power plants in the United States.  The Folsom Powerhouse remained operational until 1952 and became a State Historic Park in 1956.  

























The 1999 Lake Natoma Crossing from a bluff below the Folsom Powerhouse.  The Lake Natoma Crossing was intended to emulate the design style of the 1919 Rainbow Bridge.   


A look from the same location at the 1919 Rainbow Bridge.


As noted above the 1927 South Lincoln Highway crossed the 1919 Rainbow Bridge via Greenback Lane and consolidated westward with the North Lincoln Highway.   The 1919 Rainbow is a open arch concrete spandrel which is 511.2 feet in length.  The 1895 Folsom Truss Bridge was returned to it's original crossing from Siskiyou County and reopened as a pedestrian path on April 15th, 2000.  































Part 3; exploring the original alignment of US Route 50 and the South Lincoln Highway near Clarksville

Clarksville can be found off of modern US 50 via White Rock Road and Old White Rock Road.  Upon being bypassed in 1940 the community of Clarksville essentially declined to a ghost town and is now is inaccessible to the public.  From Old White Rock the original 12 foot concrete slabs of the South Lincoln Highway and US 50 can still be observed from the public right-of-way.  A Historic Lincoln Highway sign can be found facing east towards the 1918 Clarksville Bridge over Carson Creek.  Note; there is numerous warning signs not to trespass onto or beyond the 1918 Clarksville Bridge into Clarksville.  





A look east of the 1918 Clarksville Bridge on Google Earth shows that there is additional remaining segments of 12 foot concrete slabs in Clarksville.  Again, the 1918 Clarksville Bridge and everything east of it is inaccessible to the public and lies on private property. 




Part 4; exploring the original alignment of the South Lincoln Highway and US Route 50 from Shingle Springs to Placerville

Modern US 50 eastbound intersects former US 50 and the South Lincoln Highway at Exit 37 onto Mother Lode Drive.  As noted above in Part 1 Mother Lode Drive from Shingle Springs east to Pleasant Valley Road near El Dorado was straightened in 1947. 




As Mother Lode Drive eastbound enters Shingle Springs it passes by Shingle Springs Station.  Shingle Springs Station was part of the Southern Pacific Railroad Placerville Branch (also known as the Camino, Placerville & Lake Tahoe Railroad) which originally operated from Folsom east to Camino.  The Placerville Branch operated as standard gauge line from 1904 to 1986.  The Placerville Branch now barely reaches the outskirts of Placerville and is being restored as an excursion line by the California State Railroad Museum.  





Mother Lode Drive east of Shingle Springs Station is signed as the Historic Lincoln Highway, California Trail and Pony Express Trail.  


Mother Lode Drive continues eastbound and reaches Pleasant Valley Road on the outskirts of El Dorado.  As noted in Part 1 the South Lincoln Highway's original alignment is on eastbound Pleasant Valley Road as well as pre-1938 US 50.  The Historic Lincoln Highway, California Trail and Pony Express Trail all follow Pleasant Valley Road towards El Dorado.  Post-1938 US 50 can be followed by continuing towards Placerville via Mother Lode Drive.   










The South Lincoln Highway and former US 50 follow Pleasant Valley Road into El Dorado where they both briefly overlap modern CA 49 to Forni Road.  









The South Lincoln Highway and former US 50 follow Forni Road towards Placerville and cross over the Placerville Branch.  












From the Placerville Branch overpass the South Lincoln Highway and former US 50 follow Forni Road to the 1914 Forni Road Bridge over Weber Creek.  The Weber Creek Bridge is one of the earliest examples of a concrete arch bridge in California and is 117.1 feet long.  


















The South Lincoln Highway and former US 50 follow Forni Road northeast where they transitioned onto Placerville Road.  The original Forni Road intersection with Placerville Road has been long obliterated by the modern US 50 freeway.  Placerville Road is now accessed from Forni Road via a left hand turn.  










Both the South Lincoln Highway and former US 50 follow the general right-of-way of Placerville Road onto Main Street in Placerville.  


The South Lincoln Highway and former US 50 briefly overlap CA 49 on Main Street from Spring Street east to Pacific Street.  



The South Lincoln Highway and former US 50 traverse downtown Placerville via Main Street and transitioned to Broadway.  Modern traffic is forced to jog via left hand turn onto Mosquito Road and right hand turn onto Broadway.  The South Lincoln Highway and former US 50 follow Broadway towards Camino and Johnson's Pass.  
















Some additional street scenes from Main Street in Placerville. 







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