California State Route 204
|Defined by S&HC § 504|
|Maintained by Caltrans|
|Length:||6.76 mi (10.88 km)|
|Existed:||1933 as LRN 141,
1964 as SR 204 – present
|South end:||SR 58 in Bakersfield|
|SR 178 in Bakersfield|
|North end:||SR 99 near Oildale|
State Route 204 is a short state highway in the Bakersfield, California, United States area. It connects SR 99 and SR 58 with downtown. It also connects Bakersfield's three major freeways together (SR 99, SR 58, and SR 178). Only the north 1.4 miles has been built to freeway standards; the rest is a six-lane arterial road.
All of SR 204 is a part of State Route 99 Business. The business route also continues south, where it meets with SR 99.
SR 204 begins as a six-lane arterial at SR 58 as Union Ave. From there, the route travels north on Union Ave. After intersecting California Ave., SR 204 crosses underneath the Truxtun Ave. interchange. At the Union Ave. Y intersection, the route turns northwest as Golden State Ave. It then crosses SR 178 and Garces Circle, which provides access to Downtown Bakersfield. The route then crosses F St, at which point it becomes a four-lane freeway. The route crosses its only numbered interchange at Airport Dr, and then terminates at SR 99.
Before the 1964 renumbering, State Route 204 was known as Legislative Route 141. It was created in 1933 as a western bypass to Bakersfield via Brundage Ln. and Oak St. At that time, US 99 (defined by the State as Legislative Route 4) ran through Bakersfield via Chester Ave, and through Oildale (north of Bakersfield) via Roberts Ln. LRN 141 started at the intersection of US 99 (Chester Ave.) and Brundage Ln, where it traveled west to Oak St. At Oak St, the route turned north, crossed the Kern River, and terminated at US 99 (Roberts Ln.) near Beardsley School in Oildale.
In the mid 1930s US 99 was moved from Chester Ave./Roberts Ln. to Union Ave./Golden State Ave. During the late 1950s, the Union Ave. Wye, Truxton Ave. Interchange, and Chester Ave. Interchange (with the bridge over Garces Circle) were constructed to improve traffic flow. However, when the US 99 freeway bypass was constructed in 1963, Caltrans decided to use the Oak St. route around the city instead of the Union Ave. route through the city. As a result, the route designations were swapped. The freeway parallel to Oak St. would become US 99. LRN 141 would become the US 99 bypass via Brundage Ln, Union Ave, and Golden State Ave. That designation never took effect because in 1963 all of the state highways were renumbered. As a result, LRN 141 became SR 204. Its definition was also simplified to bypass SR 99 via Union Ave. and Golden State Ave, although that change lengthened the route. In 1978, the route was shortened to connect SR 58 to SR 99 via Union Ave. and Golden State Ave, which was close to the original 1963 definition.
Bakersfield has considered several times to convert all or part of SR 204 to a freeway. In 1986, part of the route was considered as the western extension of SR 178. However, that study (which was not a formal route adoption study) recommended another alignment for the freeway. In 2001, Bakersfield’s system study proposed converting all of SR 204 to a freeway as part of the western extension of SR 58. However, that proposal has been dropped in favor of the Westside Parkway connection (known as the Centennial Corridor).
Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary. The entire route is in Bakersfield, Kern County.
SR 99 Bus. south (Union Avenue)
|Continuation beyond SR 58; former US 99 south / SR 204 south|
|SR 58 to SR 99 – Mojave||Interchange; south end of SR 99 Bus. overlap|
|3.09||California Avenue, East California Avenue|
|3.76||Union Avenue to SR 178|
|4.06||24th Street to SR 178 west|
|4.24||SR 178 east – Lake Isabella||Interchange; southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|4.88||Chester Avenue – Oildale||Interchange|
|South end of freeway|
|6.46||6||SR 99 south / Airport Drive, Buck Owens Boulevard||Airport Drive serves Meadows Field Airport|
|6.75||SR 99 north – Fresno, Sacramento||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; north end of SR 99 Bus. overlap; former US 99 north / US 466 west|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- January 1, 2006 California Log of Bridges on State Highways
- Routes 137-144. CAHighway.org. Accessed: 2009-10-18.
- Routes 201-208. CAHighway.org. Accessed: 2009-10-18.
- Route 178 Corridor Study. KernCOG. December 1986. Pages 28-29. Accessed: 2009-10-18.
- Bakersfield System Study. KernCOG. December 2002. Page 23. Accessed: 2009-10-18.
- Staff. "State Truck Route List" (XLS file). California Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
- California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2004, 2005, and 2006
- California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, State Route 204 Freeway Interchanges, Retrieved on 2009-02-07.