|Defined by S&HC § 538|
|Maintained by Caltrans|
|Length:||2.126 mi (3.421 km)|
|Existed:||May 1983 by FHWA – present|
|South end:||I-580 / SR 238 in Castro Valley|
|North end:||I-880 in San Leandro|
Interstate 238 (I-238) is a short auxiliary route of the Interstate Highway System in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States. Part of State Route 238 until 1983, and still considered part of Route 238 by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), it connects Interstate 580 in Castro Valley (where SR 238 continues south) with Interstate 880 in San Leandro. Despite running in an east–west direction, it is signed north–south, as the rest of SR 238 is more north–south than east–west.
The number does not follow established rules for numbering Interstates, as there is no Interstate 38. As it connects two auxiliary routes of Interstate 80, it would normally use a three-digit number ending in 80, but of the nine possible numbers, two (180 and 480) were in use by State Routes (the latter an Interstate until 1968), and the remainder were already in use by other California auxiliary routes. (I-880 was designated at the same time as I-238.)
Although the 2.16-mile (3.48 km) I-238 goes in an east–west direction from Castro Valley to San Leandro, Caltrans officially signs it as a north–south freeway since the rest of State Route 238 is more north–south. The south (or east) terminus of I-238 is at its interchange with Interstate 580 and SR 238 in Castro Valley. From there, it enters into the southern portion of the census-designated place of Ashland, running parallel to its border with Cherryland. Then after entering San Leandro, I-238 terminates at I-880.
The section of road that is now I-238 had no signed number before the 1964 renumbering; it was pre-1964 Legislative Route 228 (along with an unbuilt extension west to unbuilt State Route 61, which is still included in the Route 238 definition).
The segment from what is now I-580 to I-880 was built as a freeway in 1956. The rest of SR 238 south to Interstate 680 in Fremont was also planned to be upgraded to a freeway (parallel to present I-880), but after it was unsuccessfully submitted to the Interstate Highway System in October 1968, and after several lawsuits, it never got off the ground.
When present Interstate 880 was added to the Interstate Highway System as a renumbering of part of State Route 17, the short piece of SR 238 connecting I-880 to I-580 was also added; both were non-chargeable routes (not eligible for Interstate Completion funds). Both numbers — I-238 and I-880 – were approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on July 7, 1983. The interchanges with I-580 and I-880 were rebuilt from 1988 to 1994, in part to add missing ramps between I-238 and I-880 towards the south. Prior to the completion of the ramps, access was provided by Hesperian Boulevard.
As the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials said on July 7, 1983, when approving the designation,
|“||This is to inform you that your application for the elimination of Route 180 and extension of Route 580, and the establishment of Route 880 and Route 238 have been approved.
However, since the I-238 designation does not fit the overall national numbering sequence and was necessitated only because all three [-digit] combinations of I-80 have been used, the Committee has a further option to offer for your consideration. If the I-580 designation [were] continued from Castro Valley to San Lorenzo and then used in place of the proposed I-880 designation northerly to Oakland and over existing I-180 between Albany and San Rafael, then existing I-580 between Castro Valley and Oakland could be designated I-180. The Committee does recognize this option would involve considerable resigning, however.
Caltrans responded on July 27, 1983:
|“||We already have a state route 180 in our Fresno area, and this route is separated from I-580 in Castro Valley by about 100 miles. We are therefore unable to recommend the designation of existing I-580 between Castro Valley and Oakland as I-180.||”|
With the deletion of State Route 480 in 1991, the "480" designation is once again available. However, there has been no push since then to renumber I-238 to I-480.
In September 2006, a project began to reconstruct the entire length of I-238, including a reconfigured interchange with I-880 and an added travel lane in each direction. Additionally, almost all of the bridges and overpasses were replaced with new ones meeting current earthquake resistance standards. The project was completed in October 2009, 6 months ahead of schedule.
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 Alameda County.
|Castro Valley||R14.47||14||I-580 (MacArthur Freeway) – Oakland, Stockton||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|R14.47||SR 238 / Castro Valley Boulevard – Hayward||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Ashland||14.95||15||SR 185 (Mission Boulevard, East 14th Street)|
|San Leandro||16.28||16B||Hesperian Boulevard – San Lorenzo||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|16.70||16A||I-880 south (Nimitz Freeway) – San Jose, San Mateo Bridge||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|16.70||17A||Washington Avenue||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|16.70||17B||I-880 north (Nimitz Freeway) – Oakland||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "California Highways: Interstate Highway Types and the History of California's Interstates". Cahighways.org. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- Staff. "State Truck Route List" (XLS file). California Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- "CA Codes (shc:250–257)". Leginfo.ca.gov. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- "California Interstate Route 580 Special Restriction History". CalTrans. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
- "California Highways (www.cahighways.org): Routes 233 through 240". www.cahighways.org. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- "Indigestion 238". Gbcnet.com. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- "Caltrans Celebrates Widening of Interstate 238 With Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony" (Press release). Caltrans. 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2012-09-14.
- California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
- California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, I-238 Northbound and I-238 Southbound
- Indigestion 238: A history of the route and a full explanation of its numbering
- Kurumi – I-238 California