California State Route 204
|Part of SR 99 Bus.|
Map of Kern County in south central California with SR 204 highlighted in red
|Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 504|
|Maintained by Caltrans|
|Length||6.76 mi (10.88 km)|
|Existed||1933 as LRN 141, |
1964 as SR 204–present
|South end||SR 58 in Bakersfield|
|SR 178 in Bakersfield|
|North end||SR 99 near Oildale|
State Route 204 (SR 204) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that connects SR 99 and SR 58 in the Bakersfield area. Passing through downtown Bakersfield, SR 204 also connects Bakersfield's three major freeways together (SR 99, SR 58, and SR 178). Only the northern 1.4 miles (2.3 km) has been built to freeway standards; the rest is a six-lane arterial road.
All of SR 204 is a part of State Route 99 Business (SR 99 Bus.). The business route also continues south, where it meets with SR 99.
SR 204 begins as a six-lane arterial at SR 58 as Union Avenue. From there, the route travels north on Union Avenue. After intersecting California Avenue, SR 204 crosses underneath the Truxtun Avenue interchange. At the Union Avenue wye intersection, the route turns northwest as Golden State Avenue. It then crosses SR 178 and Garces Circle, which provides access to Downtown Bakersfield. The route then crosses F Street, at which point it becomes a four-lane freeway. The route crosses its only numbered interchange at Airport Drive, and then terminates at SR 99.
Before the 1964 renumbering, State Route 204 was known as Legislative Route 141. It was created in 1933 as a western bypass to Bakersfield via Brundage Lane and Oak Street. At that time, US 99 (defined by the State as Legislative Route 4) ran through Bakersfield via Chester Avenue, and through Oildale (north of Bakersfield) via Roberts Lane. LRN 141 started at the intersection of US 99 (Chester Avenue) and Brundage Lane, where it traveled west to Oak Street. At Oak Street, the route turned north, crossed the Kern River, and terminated at US 99 (Roberts Lane) near Beardsley School in Oildale.
In the mid-1930s, US 99 was moved from Chester Avenue/Roberts Lane to Union Avenue/Golden State Avenue. During the late 1950s, the Union Avenue wye, Truxtun Avenue interchange, and Chester Avenue interchange (with the bridge over Garces Circle) were constructed to improve traffic flow. However, when the US 99 freeway bypass was constructed in 1963, Caltrans decided to use the Oak Street route around the city instead of the Union Avenue route through the city. As a result, the route designations were swapped. The freeway parallel to Oak Street would become US 99. LRN 141 would become the US 99 bypass via Brundage Lane, Union Avenue, and Golden State Avenue. That designation never took effect because in 1963 all of the state highways were renumbered. As a result, LRN 141 became SR 204. Its definition was also simplified to bypass SR 99 via Union Avenue and Golden State Avenue, although that change lengthened the route. In 1978, the route was shortened to connect SR 58 to SR 99 via Union Avenue and Golden State Avenue, which was close to the original 1963 definition.
Bakersfield has considered several times to convert all or part of SR 204 to a freeway. In 1986, part of the route was considered as the western extension of SR 178. However, that study (which was not a formal route adoption study) recommended another alignment for the freeway. In 2001, Bakersfield’s system study proposed converting all of SR 204 to a freeway as part of the western extension of SR 58. However, that proposal has been dropped in favor of the Westside Parkway connection (known as the Centennial Corridor).
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). Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The entire route is in Bakersfield, Kern County.
SR 99 Bus. south (Union Avenue)
|Continuation beyond SR 58; former US 99 south / SR 204 south|
|SR 58 to SR 99 – Mojave||Interchange; south end of SR 99 Bus. overlap; south end of SR 204; SR 58 exit 112|
|2.07||Brundage Lane, East Brundage Lane|
|3.09||California Avenue, East California Avenue|
|3.76||To SR 178 / Union Avenue|
|4.06||To SR 178 west / 24th Street|
|4.24||SR 178 east – Lake Isabella||Interchange; southbound exit and northbound entrance; SR 178 exit 2A westbound|
|4.88||Chester Avenue – Oildale||Interchange|
|6.46||6||To SR 99 south / Airport Drive, Buck Owens Boulevard||Interchange; signed as Buck Owens Blvd (south) and Airport Drive (north); Airport Drive serves Meadows Field Airport|
|6.75||SR 99 north – Fresno, Sacramento||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; north end of SR 99 Bus. overlap; north end of SR 204; former US 99 north / US 466 west; SR 99 exit 27 southbound|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.
- Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: Bakersfield, CA (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
- 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.
- Routes 137-144. CAHighway.org. Accessed: 2009-10-18.[self-published source]
- Route 178 Corridor Study Archived 2009-01-05 at the Wayback Machine. KernCOG. December 1986. Pages 28-29. Accessed: 2009-10-18.
- Bakersfield System Study Archived 2008-08-20 at the Wayback Machine. KernCOG. December 2002. Page 23. Accessed: 2009-10-18.
- 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.
- California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2004, 2005, and 2006
- California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, State Route 204 Freeway Interchanges, Retrieved on 2009-02-07.
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