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Showing posts from 2017

Old US 101; the San Juan Grade

While researching maps for California State Route 183 I noticed something interesting on the 1935 County Highway maps for San Benito and Monterey County.  From what it appeared it seems that there used to be a state highway running from US 101 south on San Juan Highway, through San Juan Bautista, south over the San Juan Grade to Salinas.  It turns out what I discovered was an a very old alignment of US 101 which was replaced by 1932. 

The information relevant to the history of US 101 over the San Juan Grade is as follows:

-  The San Juan Grade was built in 1915 which presumably replaced Old Stage Road from Salinas to San Juan Bautista.  Presumably this was part of alignment adopted as Legislative Route 2 from San Francisco south to San Diego in 1909.  This history can be seen on 1931 edition of the California Highways and Public Works Journal and on

1931 Highways and Public Works Journal

CAhighways on LRN 2

-  By 1926 the San Juan Grade became part of US 101.  The San Ju…

California State Route 25; the Airline HIghway

Thursday morning brought me back to the Monterey Peninsula.  Given that I hate redoing the same roads repeatedly I decided to take a detour on what I think is one of the most scenic highways in the state; California State Route 25.  CA 25 is a 74 mile north/south highway running from CA 198 north to US 101.  The vast majority of CA 25 traverses the San Andreas Fault which cuts between the Gabilan and Diablo Ranges.  The "Airline" part of CA 25 supposedly comes from the tendency of flight patterns to follow the San Andreas Fault Line.

Generally I don't start off with the historic portion of a highway thread but the former southern terminus of CA 25 on Lewis Creek Road is so bat shit crazy it has to be mentioned.  I started out my day on CA 198 crossing the Diablo Range via Coalinga.  To the west of Priest Valley on CA 198 is a derelict gate on the side of the highway above a canyon.  This gate was the southern terminus of CA 25 at the end of Lewis Creek Road until 1956.