Portal:California Roads

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The highway system of the U.S. state of California is a network of roads owned and maintained by several jurisdictions: the state of California through the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Most of these are numbered in a statewide system, and are known as State Route X (abbreviated SR-X). United States Numbered Highways are labeled US X, and Interstate Highways are Interstate X, though Caltrans typically uses Route X for all classes.

I-5 (CA).svg
US 101 (CA).svg

Interstate Highways and U.S. Highways are assigned at the national level. Interstate Highways are numbered in a grid—even-numbered routes are east–west routes (but the lowest numbers are along Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico), and odd-numbered routes are north–south routes (with the lowest numbers along the Pacific Ocean). US Highways are also numbered in a grid—even numbered for east–west routes (with the lowest numbers along Canada) and odd numbered for north–south routes (with the lowest numbers along the Atlantic Ocean). There are 21 Interstate highways in California ranging from Interstate 5 to Interstate 980. There are seven current U.S. highways including U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 395.

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California State Routes and California County Highways are assigned by Caltrans. The state route's signs are in the shape of a miner's spade to honor the California Gold Rush. Each state highway in the U.S. State of California is assigned a Route (officially State Highway Route) number in the Streets and Highways Code (Sections 300-635). Since July 1 of 1964, the majority of legislative route numbers, those defined in the Streets and Highways Code, match the sign route numbers. On the other hand, some short routes are instead signed as parts of other routes — for instance, Route 112 and Route 260 are signed as part of the longer State Route 61, and Route 51 is part of Interstate 80 Business. California County Highways are marked with the usual County route shield, and are assigned a letter for where they are located. For instance, county highways assigned "S" are located in Southern California, ones assigned "J" are found in Central California, and those assigned "A" are located in Northern California.

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Looking south from Marmion Way, showing the differently-colored passing lanes
The Arroyo Seco Parkway, formerly known as the Pasadena Freeway, is the first freeway in California and the western United States. It connects Los Angeles with Pasadena alongside the Arroyo Seco. It is notable not only for being the first, mostly opened in 1940, but for representing the transitional phase between early parkways and modern freeways. It conformed to modern standards when it was built, but is now regarded as a narrow, outdated roadway. A 1953 extension brought the south end to the Four Level Interchange in downtown Los Angeles and a connection with the rest of the freeway system. The road remains largely as it was on opening day, though the plants in its median have given way to a steel guard rail, and it now carries the designation State Route 110, not historic U.S. Route 66. Between 1954 and 2010, it was officially designated the Pasadena Freeway. In 2010, as part of plans to revitalize its scenic value and improve safety, Caltrans renamed the roadway back to its original name. All the bridges built during parkway construction remain, as do four older bridges that crossed the Arroyo Seco before the 1930s. The Arroyo Seco Parkway is designated a State Scenic Highway, National Civil Engineering Landmark, and National Scenic Byway. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
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Foresthill Bridge
Credit: Neil916

The four-lane Foresthill Bridge was built in 1971 to replace the low crossing of the American River on State Route 49 in preparation for the construction of the Auburn Dam. The dam was canceled for environmental reasons, but the bridge, the tallest in California, remains along the local Foresthill Road.

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  • Instead of creating new stubs, bump all start articles to C-Class, and to B-Class
  • Improve I-5, I-10, I-15 and I-80 to GA
  • Remember, no stubs!

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