Skip to main content

CA 168 Road Work Update and Friant Dam

In my previous post about CA 168 West I noted that Caltrans was working on a new roundabout in Prather.  The new roundabout is being built at the junction of CA 168 and Auberry Road which was a somewhat infamous local spot for traffic accidents.  As of yesterday it appears the roundabout is functionally open although far from complete.






I ended up taking Auberry Road and Millerton Road west to Friant to back to San Joaquin Valley.  That put me at the foot of the Friant Dam which was opened in 1942.


The Friant Dam impounds the San Joaquin River to create Millerton Lake which has a catchment area of about 1,600sq miles.  The Friant Dam was constructed between 1939 and 1942 by the Central Valley Project.  Today the Friant Dam is part of the Big Creek Hydroelectric Project and the lowest reservoir in the system.  The scope of Big Creek Project can be seen on this map:

Big Creek Hydroelectric Project Map

What I find interesting about the Friant Dam project was that it flooded over the area that once the town of Millerton which was original Fresno County Seat from 1856 to 1874.  Millerton was located on the San Joaquin River and was part of the Stock-Los Angeles Road which largely used to the Sierra Foothills to avoid what was once marsh lands in the San Joaquin Valley.  Problems in Millerton began when the town flooded over in 1867 and was largely abandoned.  Eventually county voters moved to the Fresno County seat to Fresno proper which was the final nail in the coffin for Millerton.  Eventually Madera, Kings, Tulare, Inyo, Mono, and San Benito counties all split off from Fresno which is why the site of Millerton is now in Madera County.  There wasn't much left of Millerton when the 1930s and the Friant Dam project got going.  The Millerton Courthouse was preserved above the Friant Dam and still stands to this day.


The alignment of the Stockton-Los Angeles Road largely followed the alignment of several state highways in San Joaquin Valley such as; CA 59, CA 140, CA 145, CA 180, and CA 65. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …

Throwback Thursday - October 12, 2017

In this week's edition of Throwback Thursday, we travel back to December 2003 to the southern end of Interstate 99 in Bedford, Pennsylvania, where we can see button copy guide signage for US 30 and US 220 (US 220 runs concurrent with I-99 through this part of the Keystone State). Since I-99 was relatively new at the time, it feels like it was an afterthought.