California State Route 223
|Bear Mountain Boulevard|
|Defined by S&HC § 523|
|Maintained by Caltrans|
|Length:||31.92 mi (51.37 km)|
|West end:||I-5 near Taft|
| SR 99 near Greenfield
SR 184 near Weedpatch
|East end:||SR 58 near Arvin|
State Route 223 (SR 223) is a state route in Kern County, California, and is locally known as Bear Mountain Boulevard. It is a truck route, connecting the agricultural land south of Bakersfield and east of SR 99/I-5, and the city of Arvin, to three major transportation corridors without having to drive through Bakersfield. It connects to I-5 (Westside Freeway) for goods traveling north and east of Sacramento. It connects to SR 99 for goods traveling to major San Joaquin Valley communities. It also connects to SR 58, for goods traveling to all points southeast, except for Los Angeles. For goods traveling south, trucks use SR 99 while cars can use Wheeler Ridge Road, which is a north-south county road that connects to I-5 south of SR 99.
State Route 223 begins at Interstate 5. From there it travels east through relatively flat agricultural land. It crosses SR 99 and Union Avenue (SR 99 Business). It then crosses Weedpatch Highway (SR 184)/Wheeler Ridge Road, which is the local north-south highway serving the region. Continuing east, it crosses through the only city served by the route, the agricultural community of Arvin. It continues through agricultural land, before reaching the eastern end of the San Joaquin Valley. The terrain changes to rolling hills, as the road climbs the Tehachapi Mountains. The highway terminates at SR 58.
Bear Mountain Boulevard was constructed in 1915, as the bypass to White Wolf Road to the south; the road still exists, but is on private property. It is not known when White Wolf Road was constructed. The road was a part of the Midway Route, which was the most direct route between the San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles via Tehachapi Pass and the Mojave Desert. After the Ridge Route was constructed in 1915, the Midway Route was still important as the primary bypass to the newly constructed highway. Bear Mountain Boulevard served as part of the Midway Route until 1933, when Bena Road was constructed to provide a more direct connection to Bakersfield. Today, the Midway Route is served by SR 58 and SR 14.
In 1933, Bear Mountain Boulevard was adopted as an unsigned state highway. It was a part of Legislative Route 140, which ran from Taft to US 99 (locally known as Taft Highway), and from US 99 to US 466. The Taft Highway portion was signed as US 399, but the Bear Mountain Boulevard section was unsigned. It was dropped from the route in 1959, and became Legislative Route 264. In 1964, with the renumbering of California’s state routes, Bear Mountain Boulevard became a signed route as SR 223, and was extended west to I-5.
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. The entire route is in Kern County.
|1.85||Bear Mountain Boulevard||Continuation beyond I-5|
|1.85||I-5 (Westside Freeway) – Sacramento, Los Angeles||Interchange|
|4.86||Old River Road – Old River|
|8.89||Wible Road – Pumpkin Center|
|R10.54||SR 99 – Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Sacramento||Interchange|
SR 99 Bus. (Union Avenue) – Los Angeles, Greenfield, Bakersfield
|Former US 99|
|R16.01||SR 184 north (Weedpatch Highway) / Wheeler Ridge Road – Lamont|
|31.92||SR 58 – Mojave, Bakersfield|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- January 1, 2006 California Log of Bridges on State Highways
- Google Inc. Google Maps – State Route 223 (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/?ll=35.231599,-118.922882&spn=0.254635,0.574722&t=m&z=11. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- McAllister, Melvin. The 'old roads' to Bakersfield. Tehachapi News. Accessed: 11-05-2009.
- Route 137-144. CAHighway.org. Accessed: 11-05-2009.
- Route 257-264. CAHighway.org. Accessed: 11-05-2009.
- Route 217-224. CAHighway.org. Accessed: 11-05-2009.
- California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List (XLS file), accessed September 2008
- California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
- California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2007