Chualar is small community located in Salinas Valley of Monterey County, California. Modern US Route 101 is aligned through Chualar via a freeway bypass in what was once a Southern Pacific Railroad switching yard. The original alignment of US Route 101 in Chualar was aligned directly through the community on Grant Street. Above the cover photo of this blog features a view on the Chualar Freeway of US Route 101 shortly after it was completed during 1958. Below Chualar can be seen along US Route 101 on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Monterey County.
Part 1; the history of US Route 101 in Chualar
Chualar was settled in 1871 in Salinas Valley along what was to become the coastal line of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Post Office Service briefly disbanded in Chualar during 1873 but would resume in 1874. During the 1880s when the Southern Pacific Railroad began to expand south towards Cuesta Pass the community of Chualar began to grow. Unlike many of the nearby communities in Salinas Valley the community of Chualar would never incorporate as a city. Chualar can be seen plotted along the Southern Pacific Railroad on the 1882 Bancroft's Map of California and Nevada. Unlike the Spanish El Camino Real the Southern Pacific Railroad corridor in Salinas Valley largely followed the best grade through the valley center.
The 1935 Division of Highways Map of Monterey County displays US Route 101/LRN 2 aligned through Chualar via Grant Street.
The May/June 1951 California Highways & Public Works notes US Route 101/LRN 2 between Spence Underpass-Chualar was to be graded and paved with a Portland Cement surface.