U.S. Route 399
|Auxiliary route of US 99|
|Maintained by Caltrans|
|Length:||137 mi (220 km)|
|Existed:||1934 – 1964|
|South end:||US 101 in Ventura|
|North end:||US 99 in Bakersfield|
U.S. Route 399 was a U.S. Highway that ran from Ventura, California to Bakersfield, California. It was established in 1934 and deleted in 1964, as it was only 137 miles (219 km) long, less than the minimum 300 miles (480 km) that AASHTO set as the threshold for U.S. Highways. It has been replaced with a segment of State Route 33, all of State Route 119, and a segment of State Route 99.
From its original junction at U.S. Route 101 in Ventura, California, the route continues along State Route 33 up to Ojai, temporarily joining State Route 150. Leaving Ojai, it continued into the Los Padres National Forest along the Maricopa Highway, with its summit at Pine Mountain. Descending into the Cuyama River Valley, it met State Route 166 and travelled east towards Maricopa past what is now the Carrizo Plain National Monument and crossing the axis of the San Andreas Fault into the southern San Joaquin Valley. In Maricopa, it continued north again with State Route 33 into the southern Midway-Sunset Oil Field and intersecting modern State Route 119 in Taft. From Taft, U.S. 399 followed State Route 119 out of town through Valley Acres and past the modern Buena Vista Recreation Area (the old Buena Vista Lake) towards U.S. Route 99 (now State Route 99) in Pumpkin Center and Greenfield, then with the old alignment of U.S. Route 99 (Union Avenue, SR 99 Bus.) north into Bakersfield where it terminated. This ending, being a useless concurrency, was later truncated to U.S. Route 99 until U.S. Route 399 was decommissioned.
The route was subsequently realigned several times, most notably the original Ojai Freeway in southern Ventura which is now the modern State Route 33 freeway, and the expressway bypass of eastern Taft which is now the modern State Route 119 expressway.
The origins to US 399 can be traced back to 1913. That year, the state decided to fund a survey party to determine a highway route between Legislative Route 4 (later became US 99 and today is known as SR 99) and Ventura. This highway was named the Bakersfield, Maricopa, and Ventura Road. At that time, several county roads which would become part of the route were already under construction. In the 1920s, the legislative definition would truncate the route as between Ventura and the Cuyama Valley. However, in 1934, the route would reemerge as a spur to US 99, called US 399.
By 1964, California’s highway system was very cumbersome. Several routes were cosigned with two or even three route numbers. As a result, all of the state’s highways were renumbered to simplify the system. During the renumbering, it was decided to decommission many of the US routes in California in favor of interstates and state routes. The parent route, US 99, was also decommissioned, which contributed to the removal of this route. US 399 became one of the US routes to be completely decommissioned. It became part of SR 33 (West Side Highway), SR 166 (Maricopa Highway), and all of SR 119 (Taft Highway).