Interstate 280 (California)

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Interstate 280 marker

Interstate 280
Route information
Defined by S&HC § 580
Maintained by Caltrans
Length: 57.510 mi[3] (92.553 km)
Existed: September 15, 1955 by FHWA[1]
July 1, 1964 by Caltrans[2] – present
Major junctions
South end: I‑680 / US 101 in San Jose
  SR 87 in San Jose
SR 17 / I‑880 in San Jose
SR 85 in Cupertino
SR 84 in Woodside
SR 92 near San Mateo
SR 1 in Daly City
US 101 in San Francisco
North end: King Street, 5th Street in San Francisco
Highway system
SR 275 SR 281

Interstate 280 (I-280) is a 57-mile (92-km) long north–south Interstate Highway in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. It connects San Jose and San Francisco, running along just to the west of the larger cities of San Francisco Peninsula for most of its route.

I-280 from its southern terminus at U.S. 101 and Interstate 680 north to Interstate 880 in San Jose is part of the Sinclair Freeway.[4] From I-880 to State Route 1 in Daly City, I-280 was built and dedicated as the Junipero Serra Freeway. One of the dedication signs (in Daly City) still indicates that the Junipero Serra Freeway is known as the World's Most Beautiful Freeway[5] due to its scenic route through the San Francisco Peninsula. From State Route 1 to the James Lick Freeway in San Francisco is officially called the John F Foran Freeway, but is more commonly referred to by its original name, the Southern Freeway. And from the James Lick Freeway to its northern end at King Street and Fifth Street, I-280 is called the Southern-Embarcadero Freeway.

This route is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System[6] and is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System.[7]

I-280 is one of two 3-digit Interstate designations to appear on opposite coasts of the United States. I-110 in California and Florida is the only other designation.

In more recent years, Interstate 280 has become well known due to it being the freeway shown prominently on the app icon for Apple Maps; I-280 runs through Cupertino, just over the fence north of Apple's headquarters.

Route description[edit]

Interstate 280 near Stanford University

The southern end of Interstate 280 begins at U.S. Route 101 in San Jose, where it acts as a continuation of Interstate 680 westward.[8] In between San Jose and San Francisco, Interstate 280 passes through Santa Clara, Cupertino, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills before it settles along its scenic route just to the west of the cities of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo County and just to the east of the Santa Cruz Mountains. I-280 re-emerges in a decidedly urbanized area in the city of San Bruno, passing through South San Francisco and Daly City before it runs across a southeastern swath of the city of San Francisco on the way to its northern terminus.

The segment of the Junipero Serra Freeway between Cupertino and Daly City has been called the "World's Most Beautiful Freeway" since its dedication in the 1960s. Drivers along this portion of Interstate 280 are treated to scenic views of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west and, at a few points, San Francisco Bay to the east, and are isolated by hills from the cities to the east. Through much of this segment, the freeway is actually running just inside the eastern rim of the rift valley of the San Andreas Fault. A particularly attractive 6-mile (10 km) stretch of the freeway from Hillsborough to Belmont provides a beautiful look at Crystal Springs Reservoir, formed by water piped over 160 miles (260 km) from Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park, partly filling the rift valley.

For nearly all of its length, Interstate 280 runs roughly parallel and several miles to the west of U.S. Route 101 (the Bayshore Freeway). Both freeways are north–south routes connecting San Jose with San Francisco; however, unlike I-280, the route that U.S. Route 101 takes between the two cities goes entirely through urbanized areas. The majority of the population of the San Francisco Peninsula lives somewhere between Interstate 280 and U.S. Route 101.

I-280 never intersects with Interstate 80, its parent interstate. The northern terminus of I-280 is within about a mile of I-80's western terminus (at the approach to the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge), but the two interstates do not directly connect. Although San Francisco has had several opportunities to connect I-280 to I-80, it has chosen to use the money for other purposes. Connecting the two freeways is considered to be politically and financially infeasible at this time, due to the city's strong anti-freeway stance. Instead, 280's northernmost extension primarily functions as a spur into Downtown San Francisco, as suggested by signage on northbound U.S. Route 101 at its San Francisco interchange with 280 (see history section below).

Most of Interstate 280, from San Jose to Daly City, is designated as the Junipero Serra Freeway in honor of Spanish missionary Junípero Serra, who founded many of California's missions in the 18th century. A 26-foot (8 m) high faux-sandstone statue of Father Serra kneeling and pointing over the freeway is located at a highway rest area just north of the Highway 92 intersection between the Bunker Hill Drive and Black Mountain Road exits on northbound I-280 in Hillsborough, and can be clearly seen by drivers in both directions. The segment of Interstate 280 north of SR 1 in San Francisco was originally named the Southern Freeway, but has since recently been officially renamed the John F. Foran Freeway after John Foran, a former California State Senator and Assembly member who served on the California Transportation Commission. The section of I-280 between the James Lick Freeway and its end at 6th St. and King Street is called the Southern-Embarcadero Freeway.

A view of the scenic portion of Interstate 280

Major intersections include U.S. Route 101 and SR 1 in San Francisco, Interstate 380 in San Bruno, and Interstate 880 and 680 and U.S. Route 101 in San Jose.

The Junipero Serra Freeway is Route 280 from SR 1 in San Francisco to SR 17, as named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 140, Chapter 208 in 1967.[9]

History[edit]

1955 map of the planned Interstates in the San Francisco Bay Area. These early plans essentially called for an Interstate loop route that would head south down the San Francisco Peninsula from San Francisco to San Jose, then head north through the eastern cities of the East Bay to Vallejo. This route now basically comprises present-day I-280, I-680, and I-780.
Cars driving near Rage Mill Road on I-280.
Cars driving near Page Mill Road on I-280.

Interstate 280 was added to the Interstate Highway System on September 15, 1955 as a route from San Jose north to San Francisco. This ran along the present alignment of I-280 south of San Francisco, but in San Francisco it ran north parallel to State Route 1, past the planned west end of Interstate 80 which would have been at the junction with the Panhandle Freeway just south of Fulton and Park Presidio, along what would have been the Park Presidio Freeway north to the south approach to the Golden Gate Bridge. At that point, I-280 would have met Interstate 480, which would have headed east on Doyle Drive (U.S. Route 101), the Golden Gate Freeway, and onto the Embarcadero Freeway to reach the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. I-480 would have continued south on the never-built section of the Southern-Embarcadero Freeway from Folsom and the Embarcadero to 5th and King Street, then along the present Southern-Embarcadero Freeway to meet the Southern Freeway (now I-280) near the Alemany Maze, which served as the 101A Bypass until I-280 was built. The I-280 number was approved on November 10, 1958.[1]

In the 1964 renumbering, the Route 280 designation was officially applied to the planned route. This replaced SR 1 in San Francisco; the new SR 1 alignment turned northeast where I-280 now runs, quickly ending at State Route 82 (San Jose Avenue/Alemany Boulevard). SR 1, however, continued to be signed along its former (and current) alignment, which had not been upgraded to freeway standards.

A realignment approved January 1968 took I-280 onto its current route. This ran along what had been SR 1, SR 82, State Route 87 and I-480 (downgraded to a State Route then), ending at Interstate 80 at the west end of the Bay Bridge.[1] This change was made on the state level in 1968, restoring SR 1 to its current alignment and truncating SR 82, SR 87 and SR 480.[2]

The section of I-280 between SR 92 (San Mateo) and SR 84 (Woodside) was not completed until the 1970s. Until then, traffic was routed on Cañada road between the two ends.[citation needed]

The short piece of I-280 between 3rd Street and SR 480 in downtown San Francisco was never built, and the piece from 5th Street south to U.S. Route 101 was reconstructed after it was damaged by the 1989 earthquake. The piece between SR 480 and I-80 was torn down along with the rest of the Embarcadero Freeway; ramp stubs which would have connected the freeways were removed as part of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge Western Approach reconstruction project.

The interchange at the beginning of I-280 at I-680 and U.S. Route 101 was constructed years before it its completion. The two bridges, with no connecting ramps, stood as a 110-foot-tall monument to inefficiency for years in the 1970s, becoming the butt of local jokes. The highlight prank occurred in January 1976, when a 1960 Chevrolet Impala was placed on the highest bridge overnight, where it obviously would be impossible to drive. The following day, San Jose City Councilman Joe Colla was photographed standing next to the car, an image that was circulated across many newspapers.[10][11] It has been suggested this stunt nudged the State of California to find the funds to complete the freeway. In 2010, a resolution was introduced in the state legislature to name it the Joe Colla Interchange in memory of the late councilman.[12]

Exit list[edit]

Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, based on the alignment that existed at the time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary (for a full list of prefixes, see the list of postmile definitions).[3] Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.

County Location Postmile
[3][13][14]
Exit
[15]
Destinations Notes
Santa Clara
SCL R0.00-20.63
San Jose R0.00 I‑680 north – Sacramento Continuation beyond US 101
R0.00 US 101 (Bayshore Freeway) – San Francisco, Los Angeles Southbound exit and northbound entrance
R0.37 1A McLaughlin Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
R1.29 1B 11th Street, 10th Street Signed as exit 1 northbound
R1.99 2A To SR 82 / 7th Street, Virginia Street Signed as exit 2 northbound
  2B Almaden Boulevard, Vine Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance
R2.52 3A SR 87 (Guadalupe Parkway)
R2.88 3B Bird Avenue
R3.76 4 Race Street, Southwest Expressway Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R3.99 4 Meridian Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
L4.66 5A Leigh Avenue, Bascom Avenue
L5.41 5B I‑880 north / SR 17 south – Oakland, Santa Cruz Signed as exits 5B (south) and 5C (north) northbound
4.57 6 Winchester Boulevard Southbound exit and northbound entrance
5.95 7 Saratoga Avenue – Saratoga
7.12–
7.39
9 Lawrence Expressway (CR G2), Stevens Creek Boulevard
Cupertino 8.38 10 Wolfe Road
9.43 11 De Anza Boulevard
10.74 12 SR 85 – Mountain View, Gilroy Signed as exits 12A (north) and 12B (south)
Los Altos 11.45 13 Foothill Expressway, Grant Road
  14.10 15 Magdalena Avenue
Los Altos Hills 15.05 16 El Monte Road, Moody Road
  18.38 20 Page Mill Road, Arastradero Road – Palo Alto
  20.61 22 Alpine Road – Portola Valley
San Mateo
R0.00-M27.42
  R1.61 24 Sand Hill Road – Menlo Park
Woodside R3.32 25 SR 84 (Woodside Road)
R4.65 27 Farm Hill Boulevard
R6.60 Cañada Road No exit ramps
  6.65 29 Edgewood Road
  10.87 33 SR 92 – San Mateo, Hayward, Half Moon Bay Southbound exit to SR 92 west is via exit 34
  R12.32 34 SR 35 south / Bunker Hill Drive South end of SR 35 overlap
Hillsborough R14.22 36 Black Mountain Road, Hayne Road
  R17.16 39 Trousdale Drive
Millbrae R17.92 40 Millbrae Avenue Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R18.52 41 Larkspur Drive, Millbrae Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
San Bruno R19.28 41 SR 35 north (Skyline Boulevard) – Pacifica North end of SR 35 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance
R20.22 42 Crystal Springs Road Southbound exit and northbound entrance; former SR 117
R20.75 43A San Bruno Avenue Signed as exit 43B southbound
R21.02 43B I‑380 east to US 101 – San Francisco International Airport Signed as exit 43A southbound
R21.31 43A Sneath Lane Signed as exit 43B southbound
South San Francisco R22.04 44 Avalon Drive Northbound exit and southbound entrance; former SR 117
R22.62 45 Westborough Boulevard Northbound exit is via exit 44
Daly City R24.20 46 Hickey Boulevard
R24.63 47A Serramonte Boulevard Southbound exit and northbound entrance
R25.28 47B SR 1 south – Pacifica South end of SR 1 overlap; signed as exit 47 northbound
R25.78 48 Eastmoor Avenue, Mission Street Signed as exit 47 northbound
M27.17 49A John Daly Boulevard, Junipero Serra Boulevard Signed as exit 49 southbound
M27.17 49B SR 1 north (19th Avenue) – Golden Gate Bridge North end of SR 1 overlap; northbound left exit and southbound entrance
City and County of San Francisco
SF R0.00-T7.54
R0.74 50 SR 82 to SR 1 north / Mission Street, San Jose Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
R1.77 51 Geneva Avenue, Ocean Avenue
R2.70 52 Monterey Boulevard Southbound exit and northbound entrance
R2.70 52 San Jose Avenue Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R3.28 53 Alemany Boulevard, Mission Street
R4.34 54A US 101 south (James Lick Freeway) – San Jose Signed as exit 54 southbound
R4.34 54B US 101 north (James Lick Freeway) – San Francisco Civic Center, Bay Bridge Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R5.62 55 Cesar Chavez Street, 25th Street
R6.60 56 Mariposa Street, 18th Street
T7.54 57 Sixth Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance
T7.26 King Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance; north end of I-280
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "California Highways: Interstate Highway Types and the History of California's Interstates". Cahighways.org. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  2. ^ a b "California Highways: Interstate 280". Cahighways.org. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  3. ^ a b c Staff. "State Truck Route List" (XLS file). California Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ "2008 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California". Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  5. ^ "In the Eye of the Beholder | A Kauai Blog". Great-hikes.com. 2005-03-23. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  6. ^ "CA Codes (shc:250-257)". Leginfo.ca.gov. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  7. ^ "CA Codes (shc:260-284)". Leginfo.ca.gov. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  8. ^ National Geographic (October 2006). The United States (Map).
  9. ^ 2006 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California (PDF). Caltrans. p. 60. Retrieved 2007-03-28. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Herhold: The story behind Joe Colla's famous 1976 highway stunt". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Person Details for Joseph A Colla, "United States Social Security Death Index" — FamilySearch.org". Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  12. ^ "Roadshow: The Joe Colla Interchange". InsideBayArea.com. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  13. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  14. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
  15. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, I-280 Northbound and I-280 Southbound, accessed February 2008

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing