Interstate 980

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Interstate 980 marker

Interstate 980
John B. Williams Freeway
Route information
Defined by S&HC § 624
Maintained by Caltrans
Length: 2.027 mi[1] (3.262 km)
Existed: 1976 (FHWA); 1981 (state) – present
Major junctions
West end: I‑880 in Oakland
East end: I‑580 / SR 24 in Oakland
Counties: Alameda
Highway system
SR 905 SR 1

Interstate 980 (I-980, John B. Williams Freeway) is a short Interstate Highway spur entirely within Oakland, California, connecting Interstate 580 and State Route 24 to Interstate 880 near Downtown Oakland. I-980 passes the Oakland Convention Center and near the famous Jack London Square. I-980 is commonly considered the dividing line between Downtown Oakland and West Oakland. The freeway was planned as the eastern approach to the San Francisco Bay Southern Crossing.

Interstate 980 was used as an alternate route between Oakland and San Francisco when the Cypress Viaduct carrying Interstate 880 collapsed in the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Traffic headed from the south would have to use 980 to 580 west to 80 west to get across the Bay Bridge to reach San Francisco. This ended when Interstate 880 reopened on a new alignment in 1998.

This route is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System.[2]

Route description[edit]

Although I-980 physically goes in a diagonal direction from southwest to northeast, it is signed as an east–west route like SR 24. Immediately after traffic leaves I-880 on elevated connector ramps, I-980 then descends below grade to pass under downtown city streets. The freeway then ascends above grade to pass over San Pablo and 27th Street before reaching I-580 and SR 24.

The freeway itself lacks overhead guide signs mentioning I-980. Immediately after Exit 1B - 17th Street/San Pablo Avenue going eastbound on I-980 is a guide sign mentioning the junction with I-580. Likewise, the guide signs on westbound I-980 at Exit 1D - 18th Street list I-880 and San Jose as a control city.


I-980 was added to the state highway system in 1947 as part of Legislative Route 226,[3] and to the California Freeway and Expressway System in 1959.[4] This segment of Route 226 became part of State Route 24 in the 1964 renumbering.[5] The Federal Highway Administration approved the addition of the roadway to the Interstate Highway System in January 1976, with Interstate funding only used west of San Pablo Avenue,[6] and the number was legislatively changed to 980 in 1981.[7]

Construction on Interstate 980 began in the 1960s, but was not completed until 1985;[8] officially the freeway was designated as I-980 from its opening. The surface roads which existed prior to the completion of the freeway had been designated as State Route 24.

It is assumed by many that had the San Francisco Bay Southern Crossing ever been built, it would have carried the designation of I-980; this remains purely speculative, however.

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Oakland, Alameda County.

Mile[9] km Exit[9] Destinations Notes
0.00 0.00 I‑880 south (Nimitz Freeway) – San Jose Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; west end of I-980
0.00 0.00 1A Jackson Street Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
1B 11th Street, 12th Street Signed as exit 1A eastbound
0.90 1.45 14th Street Eastbound exit is via exit 1A; westbound exit is via exit 1C
1C 17th Street, 18th Street, San Pablo Avenue Signed as exit 1B eastbound
1.33 2.14 27th Street, West Grand Avenue Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
2.04 3.28 2 I‑580 (MacArthur Freeway) – San Francisco, Hayward Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
2.04 3.28 SR 24 east (Grove-Shafter Freeway) – Berkeley, Walnut Creek Continuation beyond I-580
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List[dead link] (XLS file), accessed February 2008
  2. ^ "CA Codes (shc:250-257)". Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  3. ^ California State Assembly (1947). "An act to provide for a system of public streets and highways...". Statutes of California. Fifty-seventh Session of the Legislature, 1st extraordinary session. State of California. Ch. 11 p. 3798. 
    "Route 226 is from a point in the vicinity of the intersection of Webster Street and Santa Clara Avenue in Alameda to a point on Route 5 [I-580] in Oakland."
  4. ^ California State Assembly (1959). "An act to amend...the Streets and Highways Code, relating to state highways, providing for a California Freeway and Expressway System...". Statutes of California. 1959 Session of the Legislature. State of California. Ch. 1062 p. 3114. 
    "Route 226 [SR 61, SR 260, and I-980] from Route 258 [SR 13] near San Leandro to Route 5 [I-580]."
  5. ^ California State Assembly (1963). "An act...relating to routes on the state highway system". Statutes of California. 1963 Session of the Legislature. State of California. Ch. 385 p. 1173. 
    "Route 24 is from: (a) Route 17 near Castro Street in Oakland to Route 580..."
  6. ^ California Department of Transportation, State Highway Routes: Selected Information, 1994 with 1995 revisions
  7. ^ California State Assembly (1981). "An act to amend...the Streets and Highways Code, relating to state highways". Statutes of California. 1981–1982 Session of the Legislature. State of California. Ch. 292 p. 1419. 
    "Route 980 is from Route 17 in Oakland to Route 580."
  8. ^ "Interstate 980 California @". Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  9. ^ a b Warring, KS (April 18, 2008 by). "Interstate 980 Freeway Interchanges" (PDF). California Numbered Exit Uniform System. California Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 1, 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing