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California State Route 160

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State Route 160 marker

State Route 160
SR 160 highlighted in red
Route information
Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 460
Maintained by Caltrans
Length49.651 mi[1] (79.906 km)
HistoryState highway in 1910 and 1933; became SR 24 in the 1930s and SR 160 in 1964
Section 1
South end SR 4 in Antioch
SR 12 near Rio Vista
North endFreeport Boulevard at Sacramento south city limit
Section 2
South end16th Street Bridge over the American River
North end I-80 Bus. in Sacramento
CountiesContra Costa, Sacramento
Highway system
SR 158SR 161

State Route 160 (SR 160) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California consisting of two sections. The longer, southern, section is a scenic highway through the alluvial plain of the Sacramento River, linking SR 4 in Antioch with Sacramento via the Antioch Bridge. The northern section, separated from the southern by Sacramento city streets, is the North Sacramento Freeway, running from the 16th Street Bridge over the American River to Interstate 80 Business towards Roseville.

This northern section was deleted from the definition in the Streets and Highways Code in 2003, when the relinquished portion through downtown Sacramento was also removed, but it is still maintained and signed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) as SR 160.

Route description[edit]

State Route 160 begins in eastern Antioch at SR 4. After two interchanges, the highway rises onto the two lane Antioch Bridge over the San Joaquin River. It cuts north across the center of Sherman Island, reaching the Sacramento River on the opposite shore. From here to Sacramento, SR 160 never strays far from the river, first following the east levee over the 1949[2] Three Mile Slough Bridge (a lift bridge), past Brannan Island State Recreation Area, and across SR 12 opposite the river from Rio Vista. After passing Isleton, the highway crosses the river on the Isleton Bridge, a bascule bridge built in 1923,[2] and runs along the west shore on Grand Island, where it meets the east end of SR 220. The Walnut Grove Bridge carries County Route J11 east across the river to Walnut Grove, and, at the north end of the island, SR 160 crosses the 1924[2] Steamboat Slough Bridge onto Sutter Island and then the 1923[2] Paintersville Bridge across the Sacramento River to the mainland, both bascule bridges.[3]

On the mainland, SR 160 once again runs atop the east levee, now 1–2 miles (1.5–3 km) west of Interstate 5. The final bridge over the river is the Freeport Bridge, which carries County Route E9 to the west levee, where it turns south to return to SR 160 at the west end of the Paintersville Bridge. About a mile (1.5 km) beyond the Freeport Bridge, SR 160 leaves the levee, enters the city of Sacramento (where state maintenance and control ends), passes under I-5, and farms give way to suburbs. Here the former SR 160 is known as Freeport Boulevard, a major surface road that passes the Sacramento Executive Airport and Sacramento City College. Freeport Boulevard turns to the northwest at about 4th Avenue. It was formerly a one-way pair with 21st Street with Freeport heading one-way southbound and 21st heading one-way northbound. The city converted these streets back to two-way streets for traffic calming purposes in 2008.[4] After a short jog west on Broadway, former SR 160 turns north on the one-way pair of 15th (southbound) and 16th (northbound) Streets, almost immediately crossing Business 80 and entering downtown Sacramento.[3]

15th and 16th Streets lead traffic north past the east side of the State Capitol grounds, which lie between L and N Streets. At F Street, the path of southbound SR 160 jogged west for three blocks to 12th Street; both 12th and 16th Streets pass under the Union Pacific Railroad's Martinez Subdivision (where B Street would be) in four-lane subways, but 15th Street dead-ends. 12th Street remains a one-way southbound roadway, but the two-way RT Light Rail now occupies its east side. 12th Street turns northeast at North B Street, and the two directions of former SR 160 come together at Richards Boulevard, just south of the 16th Street Bridge over the American River and the south end of the state-maintained North Sacramento Freeway. The light rail, which crosses the river between the two directions of SR 160, soon leaves at the Del Paso Boulevard interchange as the freeway turns east. Two folded diamonds at local streets and a northbound-only entrance ramp from Tribute Road are all that remains before SR 160 merges with Business 80 at the Arden Way interchange. Business 80 is also known as the Capital City Freeway here.[3]

The northern portion is also part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, as is the piece south of SR 12 near Rio Vista,[5] though, of the latter, only the southernmost piece in Antioch is built to freeway standards. Both pieces are also part of the National Highway System,[6] a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.[7] The entire southern portion, from SR 4 to Sacramento, is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System,[8] and is officially designated as a scenic highway by the California Department of Transportation,[9] meaning that it is a substantial section of highway passing through a "memorable landscape" with no "visual intrusions", where the potential designation has gained popular favor with the community.[10]


Sacramento River levee road before.jpg
Sacramento River levee road after.jpg
The county road along the Sacramento River levee in 1916 and 1919

In the late 1910s, Sacramento County improved the county road along the levee of the Sacramento River between Sacramento and Rio Vista, which crossed the river twice on free ferries near Paintersville and Isleton.[11] A toll ferry across the San Joaquin River connected Sherman Island, south of Rio Vista, with Antioch, where drivers could head west through the Broadway Tunnel to reach the San Francisco Bay, but the road between Rio Vista and the ferry was poor.[12][13] In 1922, the Victory Highway Association selected this "Netherlands Route" (through what was locally promoted as the "Netherlands of America") for the Victory Highway west of Sacramento, as it was both shorter than the Lincoln Highway route via Stockton and more scenic. In particular, the river district would "impress [the motorist] with the enormous productive resources of this state as well as supply him with an unmatched scenic drive", and the Broadway Tunnel approach to the bay would bring him "over the Victory Highway to the end of his journey in such a fashion that he will never forget the view spread before him as he first comes into sight of the San Francisco Bay region".[14]

Two bascule bridges—the Paintersville Bridge and Isleton Bridge—replaced the free ferries in 1923, and are of a type patented by Joseph B. Strauss, who went on to design the Golden Gate Bridge.[15][16] Local businessmen Aven Hanford and Oscar Klatt replaced the toll ferry with the tolled Antioch Bridge in mid-1926,[17][18] almost a year before they opened the larger Carquinez Bridge to the west.[19] The counties of Contra Costa and Sacramento organized a joint highway district in November 1925 to fund an improvement of the northern approach from Rio Vista;[20] the concrete highway was completed in July 1927, creating a fully paved continuous route between Sacramento and the bay.[21]

Looking south along Highway 160 on Sherman Island. The Antioch Bridge can be seen in the distance as well as Mount Diablo.

The legislature added this road to the state highway system in 1933, and it became part of Legislative Route 11, which had stretched east from Sacramento along US 50.[22][23] This part of Route 11 was not assigned a sign route number in 1934,[24] but, by 1937, when the new Broadway Low Level Tunnel opened, it was part of Sign Route 24. That route had initially begun at Woodland and traveled northeast and east through the Feather River Canyon, and was extended southeast from Woodland along Sign Route 16 to Sacramento and then south and west via Antioch to the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge approach in Berkeley.[25][26] The California Freeway and Expressway System was formed in 1959, and included in the planned upgrades was the road between Antioch and Rio Vista. (North of Rio Vista the present SR 84 was part of the system.)[27] The entire length was included in the State Scenic Highway System in 1963.[28] In the 1964 renumbering, the Antioch-Sacramento roadway was split between two routes: Route 84 from Antioch to SR 12 near Rio Vista, and Route 160 from SR 12 to Sacramento.[29] However, the entire route was marked as SR 160,[30] and in 1981 the legislative definition was changed to reflect this.[31]

The part of SR 160 through and north of downtown Sacramento began as part of Legislative Route 3, which was added to the state highway system under the first bond issue, passed in 1910,[32] and left the city on the 16th Street Bridge over the American River, following Del Paso Boulevard, El Camino Avenue, and Auburn Boulevard to Roseville.[11][33] (The short piece from the end of Route 3 near the State Capitol south to Broadway and Freeport Boulevard was Route 4, which followed SR 99 towards Los Angeles.[34]) Route 3 between Sacramento and Roseville was also part of the Victory Highway, and was marked as part of US 40 in 1928[35] and US 99E in 1929.[36] The North Sacramento Freeway opened on October 6, 1947, bypassing this route from the bridge to Auburn Boulevard near Ben Ali.[37] In 1955, the Elvas Freeway opened from the midpoint of the North Sacramento Freeway to the east side of downtown,[38] and US 99E was moved off the south half of the older North Sacramento Freeway and onto the Elvas Freeway.[34] The North Sacramento Freeway was included in the California Freeway and Expressway System when it was created in 1959,[39] and the part of Route 3 southwest of the Elvas Freeway, which carried I-80, became part of SR 160 in the 1964 renumbering.[29]

By 2000, the city of Sacramento maintained the non-freeway portion of SR 160 within the city limits under a contract with Caltrans. However, since Caltrans's main goal is to move traffic efficiently, the city was not able to carry out pedestrian-friendly projects that they and local residents wanted. Under a law passed in July 1999, Caltrans was authorized to relinquish any part of Route 160 within the city limits to Sacramento.[40][41] The two agencies agreed, and on October 19, 2000 the portion from the south city limits to the American River became the full responsibility of the city.[42] A 2003 amendment to the Streets and Highways Code erroneously deleted not only this part, but the North Sacramento Freeway as well.[43]

A project to convert the former southbound-only Richards Boulevard access just south of the American River to a standard signalized intersection was completed in August 2007; this improves access to existing and future development in the area, including redevelopment of a former rail yard,[44] while slowing northbound traffic heading for the bridge and freeway.[42] Another project converting Freeport Boulevard and 21st Street south of Broadway into two-way streets was also completed. 21st Street has carried northbound traffic since 1974, when Caltrans took it over. This will calm traffic while improving the intersection at the south end of the former one-way pair, which the RT Light Rail now crosses 21st Street just to the north of.[45][46] In addition, the three blocks of F Street that carried southbound SR 160 from 12th Street to 15th Street have been calmed by the addition of a roundabout at 13th Street.[3]

In 2012, SR 4 was re-routed to go further south to bypass Oakley and Brentwood. The southern end of SR 160 was then extended south to cover the part of the freeway that is no longer designated as SR 4, from Main Street (where State Route 4 originally exited the freeway) to the fork of the new SR 4 (formerly known as the State Route 4 Bypass, or Bypass Road).

In 2014, construction began at the interchange with SR 4 to complete the two remaining ramps that would link southbound SR 160 to eastbound SR 4 and westbound SR 4 to northbound SR 160. Construction was completed in March 2016.[47]

Major intersections[edit]

Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured in 1964, based on the alignment as it (and Route 84 south of Route 12) existed at that time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.

Contra Costa
CC 0.00-1.33
Antioch1 SR 4 – Martinez, StocktonSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; signed as exits 1B (east) and 1A (west); south end of SR 160; SR 4 exit 30
0.001CMain Street, East 18th Street – Downtown OakleySigned as exit 1A northbound; former exit 1B southbound; former SR 4 east
0.491DWilbur AvenueSigned as exit 1B northbound; former exits 1 northbound and 1C southbound
0.55North end of freeway
Contra CostaSacramento
county line
1.33Antioch Bridge over San Joaquin River
SAC L0.00-47.05
L6.98Three Mile Slough Bridge over Three Mile Slough
SR 12 – Lodi, Rio Vista
5.95Isleton Bridge over Sacramento River
Ryde11.46 SR 220 – Hogback Island
Walnut Grove14.16 CR J11 (Walnut Grove Bridge) – Locke, Thornton, Stockton
19.76Steamboat Slough Bridge over Steamboat Slough
20.87 CR E9 (Sutter Slough Bridge Road)
20.98Paintersville Bridge over Sacramento River
34.07Freeport Bridge (CR E9) - Clarksburg
Sacramento35.05North end of state maintenance at Sacramento south city limit
35.85Meadowview Road, Pocket RoadConnects to I-5
36.85Florin Road
38.92Fruitridge Road
Broadway east, 21st Street – StocktonBroadway east was former SR 99 south
Broadway west, Land Park Drive – WoodlandBroadway west was former SR 99 north
41.91 I-80 Bus. east / US 50 east (Capital City Freeway) to SR 99 south / X Street – Reno, Placerville, FresnoAccess via I‑80 Bus./US 50 west exit 6A
41.95 To I-80 Bus. west / US 50 west (Capital City Freeway) to I-5 / W Street – San FranciscoAccess via I‑80 Bus./US 50 east exit 5
43.10J Street
R44.37Richards BoulevardAt-grade intersection; former southbound exit and entrance
R44.46South end of freeway and state maintenance
16th Street Bridge over American River
R44.6246ANorthgate BoulevardNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
R44.9846BDel Paso BoulevardNorthbound left exit and southbound entrance; former US 40 east
45.6047ALeisure Lane, Canterbury Road
46.1647BExposition Boulevard, Royal Oaks Drive
46.33Tribute RoadNorthbound entrance only; serves traffic from Exposition Boulevard to I-80 Bus. east because there is no direct ramp
46.5848Arden WayNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
47.05 I-80 Bus. east (Capital City Freeway) – Roseville, RenoNorthbound exit and southbound entrance; former US 99E north / I-80 east; I‑80 Bus. exit 9B
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (XLS file) on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.
  3. ^ a b c d Google Maps street maps and USGS topographic maps, accessed December 2007 via ACME Mapper
  4. ^ "Freeport Boulevard and 21st Street two-way conversions scheduled". Sacramento Business Journal. American City Business Journals, Inc. 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  5. ^ California State Legislature. "Section 250–257". Streets and Highways Code. Sacramento: California State Legislature. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  6. ^ Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: Sacramento, CA (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
    Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: California (North) (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  7. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  8. ^ California State Legislature. "Section 260–284". Streets and Highways Code. Sacramento: California State Legislature. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  9. ^ California Department of Transportation (September 7, 2011). "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  10. ^ California Department of Transportation (2012). Scenic Highway Guidelines (PDF). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. p. 5. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Ben Blow, California Highways: A Descriptive Record of Road Development by the State and by Such Counties as Have Paved Highways, 1920 ( or Google Books), pp. 206-208
  12. ^ Oakland Tribune, October 16, 1925: "There are three ferries between Antioch and Sacramento of which only one is a pay ferry, and the fare is 75 cents for the automobile and 15 cents for each passenger. With the exception of about eight miles (13 km) on the Sherman island road, the route is paved all the way."
  13. ^ Oakland Tribune, River Road Scenery is Interesting, November 9, 1919: "Upon reaching the Sherman Island terminus of the Antioch ferry, poor road confronts the motorist..."
  14. ^ Oakland Tribune, "Netherlands Route" Selected as Victory Highway Path into Oakland, September 17, 1922
  15. ^ Erin Hallissy, San Francisco Chronicle, Kings of Swing, July 4, 2004, p. A1
  16. ^ Sacramento Bee, Raising the Standard, August 7, 2000, p. B1
  17. ^ Oakland Tribune, Antioch Bridge Opening, June 17, 1926
  18. ^ California Department of Transportation, Toll Bridge Home > Bridges, accessed December 2007
  19. ^ Oakland Tribune, Carquinez Bridge Opened Early to Frustrate Suit, May 19, 1927
  20. ^ Journal of the Senate, Legislature of the State of California, 1942, p. 54
  21. ^ Oakland Tribune, Completion of Victory Road, July 31, 1927
  22. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to amend sections 2, 3 and 5 and to add two sections to be numbered 6 and 7 to an act entitled 'An act to provide for the acquisition of rights of way for and the construction, maintenance..." Fiftieth Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 767 p. 2036p. 2034–2042.: "Walnut Creek-Stockton Road near Antioch to Sacramento."
  23. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to establish a Streets and Highways Code, thereby consolidating and revising the law relating to public ways and all appurtenances thereto, and to repeal certain acts and parts of acts specified herein". Fifty-first Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 29 p. 275p. 287.: "Route 11 is from Route 75 near Antioch to the Nevada State line near Lake Tahoe via Sacramento, Folsom, Placerville and Sportsman's Hall."
  24. ^ California Highways and Public Works, State Routes will be Numbered and Marked with Distinctive Bear Signs, August 1934
  25. ^ Fresno Bee, New Bay Area Tunnel is Modern Traffic Unit, December 15, 1937
  26. ^ H.M. Gousha Company, San Francisco and Vicinity Archived 2008-06-25 at the Wayback Machine., 1941
  27. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to amend Sections 306, 320, 332, 351, 362, 365, 369, 374, 382, 388, 397, 407, 408, 409, 410, 415, 422, 435, 440, 446, 453, 456, 460, 467, 470, 476, 487, 492, 493, 494, 506, 521, 528, and 529..." 1959 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1062 p. 3112p. 3121.: "Route 11 from Route 75 to Route 53."
  28. ^ California State Assembly. "An act...relating to the state scenic highway system". 1963 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1788 p. 3603.: "Route 11 from: (a) Route 75 near Antioch to Sacramento..."
  29. ^ a b California State Assembly. "An act to add Section 253 and Article 3 (commencing with Section 300) to Chapter 2 of Division 1 of, and to repeal Section 253 and Article 3 (commencing with Section 300) of Chapter 2 of Division 1 of, the..." 1963 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 385 p. 1183p. 1182.: "Route 160 is from Route 84 near Rio Vista to Route 80 near North Sacramento via Sacramento."
  30. ^ "Route Renumbering: New Green Markers Will Replaces Old Shields" (PDF). California Highways and Public Works. 43 (1–2): 11–14. March–April 1964. ISSN 0008-1159. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  31. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to amend...the Streets and Highways Code, relating to state highways". 1981–1982 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 292 p. 1418.: "Route 160 is from: (a) Route 4 near Antioch to Route 12 near Rio Vista. (b) Route 12 near Rio Vista to Route 51 via Sacramento."
  32. ^ Howe & Peters, Engineers' Report to California State Automobile Association Covering the Work of the California Highway Commission for the Period 1911-1920, pp. 11-13
  33. ^ Map showing roads proposed for permanent improvement by Sacramento County Highway Commission, 1914
  34. ^ a b Division of Highways, Sacramento, 1963
  35. ^ California Highways and Public Works, United States Numbered Highways, January 1928
  36. ^ Fresno Bee, Two Sacramento Valley Highways to be Numbered, August 28, 1929
  37. ^ California State Automobile Association, Motorland, unknown date
  38. ^ Steven M. Avella, Sacramento: Indomitable City, 2003, p. 122
  39. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to amend Sections 306, 320, 332, 351, 362, 365, 369, 374, 382, 388, 397, 407, 408, 409, 410, 415, 422, 435, 440, 446, 453, 456, 460, 467, 470, 476, 487, 492, 493, 494, 506, 521, 528, and 529..." 1959 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1062 p. 3112p. 3121.: "Route 3 from Sacramento to Route 98 near North Sacramento."
  40. ^ Sacramento Bee, Caltrans Considers Giving Up Highway, January 13, 2000, p. N1: "Under a contract with Caltrans, the city Public Works Department maintains State Highway 160 from the American River Bridge south to the city limits."
  41. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to amend Section 460 of, and to amend, repeal, and add Section 319 of, the Streets and Highways Code, relating to highways". 1999–2000 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 172.
  42. ^ a b Mike McCarthy, Sacramento Business Journal, City ponders slowing down Highway 160, November 9, 2001
  43. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to amend Sections 8879.1, 14070.4, 14076.4, 14524.2, and 65082 of, and to repeal Sections 8879.17 and 14524.15 of, the Government Code, to amend Sections 21602, 21702, 21704, 21707, and 102015 of, and to repeal Section 21604 of, and..." Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 525.: "Route 160 is from Route 4 near Antioch to the southern city limits of Sacramento."
  44. ^ Sacramento, News Release: Project streamlines traffic flow, enhances road safety, August 7, 2007
  45. ^ Sacramento Bee, Editorial: Times change, and so do some midtown streets, August 16, 2007
  46. ^ Sacramento Engineering Services, Freeport Boulevard/21st Street Two-Way Conversion, accessed December 2007
  47. ^ SR160 / Highway 4 Direct Connector Ramps
  48. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2001 (the last year before it was updated to remove the relinquished part)
  49. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, SR-160, accessed December 2007

External links[edit]

Route map:

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