California State Route 41
|Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 341|
|Maintained by Caltrans|
|Length||185.594 mi (298.685 km)|
|South end||SR 1 in Morro Bay|
|North end||SR 140 in Yosemite National Park|
|Counties||San Luis Obispo, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa|
State Route 41 (SR 41) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California, running from the Cabrillo Highway (SR 1) in Morro Bay on the Central Coast to SR 140 in Yosemite National Park, via Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley. It has been constructed as an expressway from near SR 198 in Lemoore north to the south part of Fresno, where the Yosemite Freeway begins, passing along the east side of downtown and extending north into Madera County.
The majority of Route 41 runs as either two-lane rural highway or four-lane divided highway. The southern end of the highway intersects SR 1 in Morro Bay. Between Morro Bay and Fresno, the highway intersects U.S. Route 101 in Atascadero, proceeds through the Coast Range and intersects SR 46. Actor James Dean died in an accident in 1955 at the intersection of SR 46 in Cholame. Currently, there is a memorial located there. The interchange is now called the James Dean Memorial Junction. Between SR 46 and SR 33, SR 41 ascends the Diablo Range and Cottonwood Pass and briefly travels through Kern County without any intersections in its entirety. After entering Kings County, it reaches SR 33. SR 41 then intersects Interstate 5 south of Kettleman City. A large hazardous waste and municipal solid waste disposal facility operated by Waste Management, Inc. is located 5.6 km (3.5 mi) SSW of Kettleman City on the west side of the highway. Just before reaching the intersection at SR 198 outside of the city of Lemoore, SR 41 becomes a four-lane divided highway until just southeast of Riverdale, where SR 41 reverts to one lane in each direction. The El Adobe de los Robles Rancho built by pioneer Daniel Rhoads can be found north of Lemoore.
Southeast of Caruthers, SR 41 becomes a four-lane divided highway and eventually a freeway approaching the Fresno city limits. The route intersects SR 99 near Jensen Avenue. Complete access is not available between SR 41/SR 99. For example, there is no direct connector between the southbound SR 41 and northbound SR 99; drivers wanting to make this transition must exit at the SR 41/SR 180 interchange, head west on SR 180, and then transition onto SR 99 at the interchange between those two freeways. Likewise, there is no direct connector between the northbound SR 41 and the southbound SR 99. Drivers must exit at Jensen Avenue, head east on Jensen until its junction with SR 99 a half-mile east of SR 41, and then make the southbound transition onto SR 99.
SR 41 continues north into downtown Fresno, then intersects SR 180 at a section of the latter route that links SR 41 to both SR 99 to the west, and to SR 168 to the east. North of Fresno, the route crosses the San Joaquin River, and enters Madera County near Children's Hospital of Central California before reverting to a two-lane highway. 8.5 miles (13.7 km) further north, Route 41 intersects with SR 145, before entering California's Sierra-Nevada mountain range. Route 41 continues through the towns of Coarsegold and Oakhurst, where it intersects with SR 49. Route 41 ends in Yosemite National Park to the north.
Tunnel View is a viewpoint located just outside the east end of the Wawona Tunnel in Yosemite National Park. It is located about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the Yosemite Valley. This is the first view that most people have of Yosemite Valley. There is an END-41 sign just south of the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. The state routes within the park are not signed (with the exception of SR 120). Tunnel View is along Route 41's alignment, although state maintenance of the route ends at the south entrance of the park.
Except between US 101 in Atascadero and SR 46 near Shandon, SR 41 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, and north of SR 46 is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration. Three segments – from SR 1 to US 101, SR 46 to SR 33, and SR 49 at Oakhurst to Yosemite (the Wawona Road) – are eligible for inclusion in the State Scenic Highway System, but SR 41 is not officially designated as a scenic highway by the California Department of Transportation. SR 41 is known as the E.G. Lewis Highway from SR 1 to US 101 in San Luis Obispo County, the Dwight David Eisenhower Memorial Freeway from Ventura Avenue in Fresno to Herndon Avenue in Fresno, the Donald DeMers Highway from Jensen Avenue in Fresno to Elkhorn Avenue, the Yosemite Freeway from Elkhorn Avenue to the Fresno-Madera County line, the Southern Yosemite Highway from the Fresno-Madera County line to Yosemite National Park, and the Wawona Road from Fresno to Yosemite National Park.
In 1930, the counties of Fresno, Kings, Kern, and San Luis Obispo considered organizing a joint highway district to construct a shortcut connecting Fresno with the Pacific Ocean at Morro Bay. This highway would pass through Kettleman City on its way to the Cholame Lateral (Legislative Route 33) near Cholame or Shandon, and then continue to Morro Bay, where a new harbor was being developed. The entire length from Fresno to Morro Bay, as well as the Wawona Road to Yosemite, was added to the state highway system in 1933 as Route 125, and subsequently improved by the state. In 1934, the state sign route system was established, and Sign Route 41 was designated along Route 125 from Yosemite south and southwest to Cholame and then west through Paso Robles to Cambria via Legislative Route 33. The part of Route 125 southwest of Cholame instead became part of the new U.S. Route 466.
By the 1950s, the short piece of US 466 (Route 125) between Creston and Atascadero had not yet been paved, and so US 466 was moved to the longer but better road via Paso Robles, replacing SR 41 to Paso Robles and overlapping US 101 to Atascadero. As SR 41 had not been signed over the unpaved road west of Paso Robles, it was truncated to Cholame. US 466 was eliminated in the 1964 renumbering, becoming SR 46 east from Paso Robles. However, instead of going south and west to Morro Bay, SR 46 continued west to Cambria, and the road via Creston and Atascadero to Morro Bay (which had since been paved) became part of SR 41.
In the 1980s, the urban stretch of 41 running through Fresno was upgraded to freeway standards, intersecting SR 99 to the south. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the freeway portion was extended several miles beyond Fresno in both directions.
Also in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Atascadero, the old SR 41 alignment used to cut through downtown by going north on El Camino Real and turning right onto West Mall. Then it continued past the Atascadero Colony Building and crossed the 1921 Atascadero Creek Bridge before turning left onto Capistrano Avenue. It then went under a low clearance railroad crossing and a dangerous narrow bridge crossing the Salinas River before rejoining its existing alignment. Then Caltrans built a bypass of this dangerous route with a long wider bridge crossing the railroad, Sycamore Drive, and the river before joining the original 1950s SR 41. SR 41 is now currently signed on this bypass. Since then, the old bridge was demolished but the railroad undercrossing still remains. There's an old sign on Capistrano Avenue that still marks it as "Hwy 41" and signs on El Camino Real that mark West Mall with covered up "41" shields.
The Kings County Association of Governments has plans to improve the state highways within the county. Developers are interested in building distribution warehouses in Kings County because of its strategic location midway between the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas, but they are currently turned off by the lack of freeway access. For SR 41, the plan is to upgrade it so the highway is a continuous freeway from I-5 north to Fresno County. However, Kings County voters have shown little interest in passing any transportation taxes to fund these projects.
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 ( ). 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.
|San Luis Obispo|
|Morro Bay||0.00||Atascadero Road||Continuation beyond SR 1|
|0.00||SR 1 – Cayucos, Cambria, Hearst Castle||Interchange; south end of SR 41; SR 1 exit 279B|
|Atascadero||15.89||US 101 – San Francisco, Los Angeles||Interchange; US 101 exit 219|
|15.96||El Camino Real|
|||27.98||SR 229 south – Creston|
|SR 46 west / McMillan Canyon Road – Paso Robles||South end of SR 46 overlap|
|||49.60[N 1]||Shandon Rest Area|
|SR 46 east – Bakersfield||North end of SR 46 overlap; former US 466 east|
|No major junctions|
|||8.10||SR 33 – Avenal, Taft|
|||16.28||I-5 – Sacramento, Los Angeles||Interchange; I-5 exit 309|
|Lemoore||R39.96||SR 198 – Hanford, Sequoia Park, Coalinga, Lemoore NAS||Interchange; SR 198 exit 77|
|||South end of freeway|
|||North end of freeway|
SR 41 Bus. north (Adams Avenue) – Easton
SR 41 Bus. south (American Avenue) – Easton
|||||South end of freeway|
|R21.90||126A||SR 99 north – Madera, Sacramento||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; SR 99 south exit 131|
|R21.90||126A||SR 99 south – Bakersfield, Los Angeles||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; SR 99 north exit 131|
|R22.80||126B||Van Ness Avenue – Civic Center||Former SR 180|
|R22.95||127A||O Street||Southbound exit only|
|R23.74||127B||Tulare Street, Divisadero Street||Signed as exit 127 northbound|
|R24.53||128||SR 168 east (Sierra Freeway) / SR 180 (Sequoia-Kings Canyon Freeway) – Clovis, Huntington Lake, Kings Canyon, Mendota||Signed as exits 128A (east) and 128B (west) northbound; SR 168 exit 1A; SR 180 exits 59A-B|
|R28.47||132||Shaw Avenue – Clovis||Former SR 168; serves California State University Fresno|
|R30.45||134||Herndon Avenue – Clovis||Connects to SR 99 north|
|R31.68||135||Friant Road, Blackstone Avenue – Millerton Lake|
|||R1.20||138||Rio Mesa Boulevard, Children's Boulevard (SR 41 Bus. north)||Signed as exits 138A (Rio Mesa Boulevard) and 138B (Children's Boulevard) northbound|
|||||North end of freeway|
SR 41 Bus. south (Avenue 12) – Madera Ranchos
|||9.25||SR 145 south to SR 99 north / Road 145 – Madera, Millerton Lake|
|Oakhurst||35.48||SR 49 north – Ahwahnee, Mariposa|
|Fish Camp||4.92||North end of Highway 41 at Yosemite National Park south entrance|
|||||SR 140 east||Entrance only|
|||||Southside Drive||Continuation beyond SR 140; southbound entrance only accessible via Northside Drive to SR 140|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 46 rather than SR 41.
- 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.
- "Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets and Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: California (South) (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved October 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.
- "Article 2.5 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets & Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- California Department of Transportation (August 2019). "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways" (XLSX). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
- California Department of Transportation; California State Transportation Agency (January 2015). 2014 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California. Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. pp. 40–41. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 30, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
- Los Angeles Times, Morro Bay Road Looms, April 26, 1930, p. 4
- Fresno Bee, Fresno-To-Coast Highway Proposal Looks Favorable, May 7, 1930
- 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. 2037, 2038.: "State Highway Route 4 near Fresno to Yosemite National Park." "State Highway Route 56 near Moro [sic] to State Highway Route 4 near Fresno via Stratford."
- 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. 283, 284.: "Route 125 is from: (a) Route 56 near Morro to Route 4 near Fresno via Stratford. (b) Route 4 near Fresno to Yosemite National Park."
- Dennis, T.H. (August 1934). "State Routes Will Be Numbered and Marked with Distinctive Bear Signs". California Highways and Public Works. 11 (8): 20–21, 32. ISSN 0008-1159 – via Archive.org.
- Richard F. Weingroff, U.S. 666: "Beast of a Highway"?
- H.M. Gousha Company, California Archived December 31, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, 1955
- H.M. Gousha Company, California, 1963
- 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. 1175.
- Nidever, Seth (September 7, 2013). "Road map for the future?". The Sentinel. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.
- California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
- California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, State Route 41 Freeway Interchanges, Retrieved on February 5, 2009.
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