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Former California State Route 42 and Former California State Route 10

California State Route 42 was a east/west State Highway located in the greater Los Angeles area.  California State Route 42 was aligned from California State Route 1 near Los Angeles International Airport eastward to via Manchester Boulevard and Firestone Boulevard to Interstate 5 in Norwalk.  The designation of California State Route 42 was an early 1960s numbering swap from California State Route 10 to avoid duplication with Interstate 10.  California State Route 42 was slated to become part of the Century Freeway before the corridor was added to the Interstate System in 1968 as Interstate 105.  Upon the completion of Interstate 105 the surface segments of California State Route 42 were relinquished.  Despite being relinquished California State Route 42 remains signed in places such as above via southbound La Cienega Boulevard (courtesy M3100 of the AAroads forum).  Below California State Route 42 can be observed on the 1990 Caltrans Map with a legislative designation of Route 105 prior to the completion of Interstate 105.  

The history of California State Route 10 and California State Route 42

The genesis point for California State Route 10 ("CA 10") in the Los Angeles Area dates to 1933.  1933 was significant due to the State Legislature allowing the Division of Highways to assume maintenance of highways in Cities for the first time.  This action by the Legislature led to a large addition of highway mileage throughout the State of California during 1933.  One such addition was Legislative Route Number 174 ("LRN 174") which was added to the State Highway System was the following definition:

a. [LRN 60] via Manchester Avenue (note; Manchester Avenue and Boulevard are often shown interchange in official documents) to [LRN 2/US Route 101] near Miraflores

b. [LRN 2] near Orange County Hospital to Main Street, Santa Ana via Santa Ana Boulevard

In the August 1934 California Highways and Public Works Guide the Sign State Routes were announced.  CA 10 was applied to the entirety of LRN 174 between CA 3/LRN 60 and US Route 101/LRN 2 in Santa Ana.  

The interim alignment of CA 10/LRN 174 from Downey east to the Orange County Line near Buena Park can be seen on seen on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Los Angeles County.  The interim alignment of CA 10/LRN 174 followed the general course of the Southern Pacific Railroad from Firestone Boulevard to the Orange County Line over numerous at-grade crossings.  

The interim alignment of CA 10/LRN 174 on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Orange County is shown following Grand Avenue and Lincoln Avenue from Buena Park to downtown Anaheim.  From downtown Anaheim CA 10/LRN 174 is shown following Los Angeles Street and southern Manchester Boulevard towards Santa Ana.  

The May 1937 California Highways & Public Works discusses the opening the final segment of the "Manchester Boulevard Extension" which was dedicated on April 30th, 1937.  The Manchester Boulevard Extension provided a direct link between Downey and Anaheim which followed the Southern Pacific Railroad.  The Manchester Boulevard Extension bypassed downtown Anaheim and tied into existing alignment of CA 10/LRN 174 on southern Manchester Boulevard at Miraflores near the outskirts of Santa Ana.  The Manchester Boulevard Extension is stated to have been conceptualized during 1924 by the Greater Manchester Avenue Improvement Association.  The Manchester Boulevard Extension concept was taken over by the Division of Highways when LRN 174 was added as a State Highway circa 1933.  

CA 10/LRN 174 can be seen in detail on the 1938 Division of Highways State Map.  CA 10/LRN 174 is shown to originate at US Route 101A/LRN 60 in Los Angeles County.  CA 10/LRN 174 is shown following Manchester Boulevard and Firestone Boulevard (what the Manchester Boulevard Extension ultimately was signed as) eastward to US Route 101/LRN 2 south of Anaheim of Orange County.  

A railroad grade separation on CA 10/LRN 174 in Los Angeles County on Firestone Boulevard at Graham Station is listed as a 1938-1939 Fiscal Year project in the May 1939 California Highways & Public Works.  

Below the CA 10/LRN 174 rail separation at Graham Station on Firestone Boulevard can be seen in the May 1939 California Highways & Public Works.  

US Route 101 Bypass appears co-signed with CA 10/LRN 174 on the 1940 Division of Highways Map from CA 19/LRN 168 on Rosemead Boulevard in Downey to US Route 101/LRN 2 in Santa Ana.  It is unclear when US Route 101 Bypass in the Los Angeles Area was created due to it not appearing anywhere in the American Association of State Highways Transportation Officials ("AASHTO") Database.  US Route 101 Bypass is shown departing US Route 101/LRN 2 in Los Angeles via LRN 166/Indian Street and LRN 166/Anaheim-Telegraph Road to CA 19/Rosemead Boulevard.  

CA 10 is shown to be truncated to an eastern terminus at US Route 101 Bypass/CA 19 at Rosemead Boulevard in Downey on the 1942 Division of Highways Map.  A planned extension of LRN 166/Anaheim Telegraph Road appears for the first time.  

CA 10/LRN 174 on Manchester Boulevard in southwest Los Angeles at Truxton Avenue appears in the January/February 1948 California Highways & Public Works.  

The US Route 101 Bypass segment on former CA 10/LRN 174 on Firestone Boulevard is described in the November/December 1948 California Highways & Public Works.  

The September/October 1949 California Highways & Public Works describes CA 10/LRN 174 on Manchester Avenue and Firestone Boulevard as having been recently expanded with additional lanes.  

The November/December 1950 California Highways & Public Works discusses the ongoing conversion of US Route 101 Alternate (formerly Bypass) on LRN 174/Manchester Boulevard Extension into a segment of the Santa Ana Freeway.  The then present Santa Ana Freeway construction zone is stated to begin at Rosecrans Avenue 11.4 miles southeast to Miraflores near Santa Ana.  Three project zones are cited to comprise the conversion of the Manchester Boulevard Extension into Santa Ana Freeway.  

The February/March 1952 California Highways & Public Works displays the progress of the construction of the new alignment of US Route 101 on the Santa Ana Freeway.  The Santa Ana Freeway is shown to be contract/completed from downtown Los Angeles to CA 19/Rosemead Boulevard and from the southern outskirts of Norwalk southeast via LRN 174 to Los Angeles Street in Anaheim.  The Santa Ana Freeway is stated to have an anticipated completion between the Los Angeles Civic Center and CA 19/Rosemead Boulevard by late 1952/early 1953.  

The November/December 1952 California Highways & Public Works describes the upcoming Norwalk Diagonal segment of the Santa Ana Freeway and future alignment of US Route 101.  The Norwalk Diagonal from CA 19/Rosemead Boulevard/Lakewood Boulevard to Pioneer Boulevard is described as being funded for the 1952-53 Fiscal Year.  The remaining segment of the Norwalk Diagonal from Pioneer Avenue to LRN 174/Firestone Boulevard is described as being funded for the 1953-54 Fiscal Year.  

The March/April 1953 California Highways & Public Works cites the Santa Ana Freeway as having an anticipated completion between Los Angeles and Santa Ana by early 1954.  

The 1954 Division of Highways Map shows part of the Santa Ana Freeway via LRN 166 extending from Anaheim-Telegraph Road designated as mainline US Route 101.  US Route 101 is shown to have planned bypass of downtown Norwalk which would connect with the existing Santa Ana Freeway project zone on Firestone Boulevard/LRN 174.  The interim alignment of US Route 101 appears to enter Norwalk via Pioneer Boulevard southward to Firestone Boulevard/LRN 174.  CA 10 is shown to have been extended easterly on Firestone Boulevard/LRN 174 from CA 19/Rosemead Boulevard to meet the new alignment US Route 101.  

The January/February 1955 California Highways & Public Works notes the Santa Ana Freeway was completed through Norwalk to Rosecrans Boulevard by November 1954.  

The completion of the Santa Ana Freeway through downtown Norwalk to Rosecrans Boulevard tied into the existing alignment of US Route 101/LRN 174 on Firestone Boulevard.  CA 10 was extended through downtown Norwalk via Firestone Boulevard, Bloomfield Avenue and Rosecrans Boulevard to US Route 101/Santa Ana Freeway.  The new eastern terminus of CA 10 in downtown Norwalk is first displayed in the 1955 Division of Highways Map.  

On June 29th, 1956 the Federal Highway Aid Act of 1956 was signed into law on the Federal Level.  The Federal Highway Aid Act of 1956 was the genesis point of the Interstate Highway System.  CA 10 was subsequently renumbered to CA 42 during 1960 to avoid duplication with Intestate 10.  CA 42 first appears on the 1961 Division of Highways Map.  

During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering all the Legislative Routes were dropped in favor of field signage.  CA 42 was extended east from Downey via the unbuilt portion of LRN 176 which was known as the Yorba Linda Freeway.  CA 42 given a new Legislative Description as follows:

"Route 1 west of Inglewood to Route 91 in Santa Ana Canyon via the vicinity of Norwalk."

The planned alignment of CA 42 along with the new Legislative Description subsequently appear on the 1964 Division of Highways Map.  

The Century Freeway alignment of CA 42 is first referenced in the March/April 1964 California Highways & Public Works.  The article stub notes that the Century Freeway was discussed via public hearing on June 5th, 1963.  

The March/April 1964 California Highways & Public Works references the first segment of the Yorba Linda Freeway (CA 42) between Orangethorpe Avenue and Yorba Linda Avenue had opened to traffic during February of 1963.  

During 1965 the unbuilt portion of CA 42 from Interstate 605 to CA 39 was transferred to CA 90.  CA 42 was subsequently given a new Legislative Definition:

"(1) fromt Route 1 west of Inglewood to Route 605 and (2) Route 39 near La Habra to Route 91 in Santa Ana Canyon."

The gapped legislative definition of CA 42 first appears on the 1966 Division of Highways Map along with the planned alignment of the Century Freeway.  

The Century Freeway (CA 42) is detailed in the January/February 1966 California Highways & Public Works in a recap of September/October 1965 actions by the California Highway Commission.   A 8.4 mile route adoption of the Century Freeway/CA 42 from CA 1 near Los Angeles International Airport east to Central Avenue in Los Angeles is cited.  

The adopted alignment of the Century Freeway/CA 42 from CA 1 to Central Avenue along with the planned continuation to CA 19 appears on the 1967 Division of Highways Map.  

The Century Freeway was approved to be added as a chargeable Interstate during March of 1968.  The addition of the Century Freeway to the Interstate Highway System was made possible due to 17 miles of chargeable Interstate being freed elsewhere in California.  The Century Freeway was assigned as the second iteration of Interstate 105 which was reflected in the Legislative Definition of CA 42 being transferred.  Segment (A) of CA 42 was reassigned to the Legislative Definition of Interstate 105 whereas Segment (B) was reassigned to CA 90.   1968 Legislative Chapter 282 defined Interstate 105 as "Route 1 west of Inglewood to Route 605."

The planned route of the Century Freeway appears as Interstate 105 on the 1969 Division of Highways Map.  Existing CA 42 on Manchester Boulevard and Firestone Boulevard is shown to be also be legislatively Route 105. 

According to a class action lawsuit was filed during 1972 to block construction of the Century Freeway.  As a result of the lawsuit all work of the Century Freeway was halted and numerous impact surveys were ordered.  The class action lawsuit against the Century Freeway was settled consent degree during 1979.  Cost estimates for construction of the Century Freeway had substantially risen during the 1970s which led to some scaling back of the scope of Interstate 105 (namely two planned lanes were dropped).  An amended consent degree for the Century Freeway approved by court order during 1981.  1981 Legislative Chapter 292 changed the western terminus of Interstate 105 to; "The south boundary of the Los Angeles International Airport near El Segundo." 

The new western terminus of Interstate 105 at El Segundo first appears on the 1982 Caltrans Map.  

Caltrans was pressured by the Federal Highway Administration of Interstate 105 and the Century Freeway prior to 1986 given it was a chargeable Interstate.  Initial work on Interstate 105 and the Century Freeway would begin during 1982 but would progress slowly.  1992 Legislative Chapter 1243 changed the western terminus of Interstate 105 to; "Pershing Drive near El Segundo."  The planned corridor of Intestate 105 along with existing CA 42 can be viewed on the 1990 Caltrans Map.  

The first segment of Interstate 105 opened during 1993 and the highway would be fully completed during 1994.  Despite locally being known as the Century Freeway due to the proximity of Century Boulevard the entirety of Interstate 105 has been officially known as the Glenn Anderson Freeway since 1987.  The official names of the Century Freeway designated during 1969 was "El Segundo Freeway" west of Interstate 405 and "Norwalk Freeway" east of Interstate 405.  Following the completion of Interstate 105 led to the relinquishment of all of CA 42 on Manchester Boulevard and Firestone Boulevard.  

As noted in the intro numerous CA 42 shields remain in-field despite the highway being relinquished since 1994.  As described in the intro CA 42 is still signed on La Cienega Boulevard approaching Interstate 405 (courtesy M3100).  


Anonymous said…
Hey CA-42 is the most signed decommissioned highway in California has been part of the proposed idea to be part of the century fwy. Why does LA County and cities continue to use the CA-42 signs if its decommissioned since the 2000's
Challenger Tom said…
The signage is left overs from when Caltrans maintained CA 42. Considering how many jurisdictions are involved with maintaining Manchester and Firestone the likely answer is that the CA 42 signs have just been overlooked. Personally I’m all for signing highways regardless of who maintains them, but all this field signage on CA 42 is ancient pre-I-105 leftovers. The button copy assemblies haven’t been installed by Caltrans since the late 1990s.

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