California 99

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California 99 - Merced County Northbound

One of the more interesting aspects of California 99 in Merced County is that Livingston was home to the last traffic signal located along the California 99 mainline between Wheeler Ridge and Sacramento. This signal was in place until around 1997, when a bypass was constructed to replace the traffic signal.

Highway Guides

The California 99 photo guide is broken down into the following pages:

California 99/Golden State Highway north
California 99 leaves Madera County upon crossing the Chowchilla River and enters Merced County. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 reaches Exit 172, Weigh Station. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Trucks from the weigh station merges back onto California 99 north. Ahead, the expressway begins with at-grade intersections for the next 13 miles. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next two intersections along California 99 north are Vista Avenue and Harvey Pettit Road (noted as being one-half mile north of here on this sign). Vista Avenue travels south, becoming Road 13 upon entering Madera County. Harvey Pettit Road travels east to meet Minturn Road. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next left turn from California 99 north connects to Vista Avenue south. Stay right for the link to Harvey Pettit Road. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 approaches the right turn to Harvey Pettit Road. A truck stop is located at this intersection. Photo taken 07/31/11.

The next intersection along California 99 north is Plainsburg Road, which travels north to Plainsburg and ends at California 140 in Planada. At Planada, turn east on California 140 to Mariposa and Yosemite National Park. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 meets Plainsburg Road, which travels north to Planada (eight miles) and connects to Mariposa via California 140 east (36 miles). Photo taken 07/31/11.
Just a short distance north is the intersection with Sandy Mush Road. A left turn follows Sandy Mush Road west through farmland and ranches to California 59 and Merced National Wildlife Refuge. A right turn connects Sandy Mush Road to Plainsburg Road. Photo taken 11/25/04.
The next intersection along California 99 north is Buchanan Hollow Road east, which provides local farm and ranch access. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 approaches Athlone Road (north/south). Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next intersection along California 99 north is with Ranch Road south and Arboleda Drive north. Arboleda Drive is a through route that eventually connects to California 140 east of Merced. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Quickly thereafter, California 99 north approaches Le Grand Road, which travels east to Le Grand. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next intersection along California 99 north is with Worden Road. Photo taken 07/31/11.
California 99 north next approaches Pioneer Road, which travels north to Lingard. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Soon thereafter, California 99 north approaches Lingard Road. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The last at-grade intersection (aside from a few driveway access points) along this section of California 99 expressway is with Mariposa Way. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Prior to the construction of Exit 185 (Mission Avenue and Campus Parkway), the expressway segment went even further north and closer to Merced. This series of pictures from 2004 show the former at-grade intersections between California 99 north and McHenry Road, Harvard Avenue/Yale Avenue, Healy Road/Vassar Avenue, Mission Avenue, and Gerard Avenue. Photos taken 11/25/04.
Getting back to the modern condition of California 99, the freeway now resumes (as of 2011) after the Mariposa Way intersection, resulting in the elimination of all remaining at-grade intersections between here and the Childs Road (Exit 186A) interchange. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The asphalt lanes of the freeway merge onto the newer concrete lanes as the modern freeway begins. It is likely that California 99 will similarly be revised to these standards once it is rebuilt to freeway standards south of here to Chowchilla. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Resuming the freeway configuration, California 99 north approaches its next interchange: Exit 185, Mission Avenue and Campus Parkway. Photo taken 07/31/11.
An official California Welcome Center is located in Merced, via either Exit 186C (follow Business California 99/16th Street northwest) or Exit 188 (R Street northeast). Tourist information and restrooms are available at the welcome center, which is located in downtown Merced at the Merced Transportation Center. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 reaches Exit 185, Mission Avenue and Campus Parkway. Photo taken 07/31/11.
California 99 enters the city of Merced, the seat of Merced County and the "Gateway to Yosemite." Merced incorporated on April 1, 1889. It had a population of 78,958 as of the 2010 Census and is home to the University of California, Merced. The university is located northeast of the city center; Campus Parkway is intended eventually to extend east and then north to the university campus. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Passing under Mission Avenue and Campus Parkway, the next exit from California 99 north is Exit 186A, Childs Avenue and Motel Drive (1.25 miles). Photo taken 07/31/11.
An older sign advises of the next interchange (Exit 186A). This sign was removed when this section of California 99 was converted to freeway standards (a former at-grade intersection is visible after this sign for Gerard Avenue). Photo taken 11/25/04.
The next several exits along serve the city of Merced: Exit 186A, Childs Avenue and Motel Drive; Exit 186B, Junction California 140 east; Exit 186C, Junction Business California 99/16th Street; Exit 187A, G Street; Exit 187B, Junction California 59/Martin Luther King, Jr. Way; and Exit 188, Junction California 59 north, California 140 west, and R Street. Photo taken 11/25/04.
California 99 north approaches Exit 186A, Childs Avenue and Motel Drive. An extant segment of Historic U.S. 99 follows Motel Drive, which is a frontage road on the east side of the freeway. However, the official business route into Merced leaves California 99 at Exit 186C. Childs Avenue parallels California 140 to the south, connecting Merced with Planada. Photo taken 11/25/04.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 186A, Childs Avenue and Motel Drive. The next exit is Exit 186B, Junction California 140 east. Note the changes to the sign at this offramp between 2004 and 2011. Photos taken 07/31/11 and 11/25/04.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 186B, Junction California 140 east to Planada, Catheys Valley, Mariposa, and Yosemite National Park. Photo taken 07/31/11.
A California 99 north reassurance shield is posted shortly thereafter. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 186B, Junction California 140 east to Mariposa and Yosemite National Park. For access to downtown Merced, use 16th Street, which is the business route (Exit 186C, second right). Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 186C, Junction Business California 99/16th Street. This roadside sign advises that Exit 186C connects to Route 99 Business. The business loop follows old U.S. 99 through Merced and offers all motorist services (gas, food, lodging). It will return to California 99 at Exit 189. Photo taken 11/25/04.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 186C, Business California 99/16th Street north to downtown Merced. The business loop serves the city of Merced, the Merced County seat. The next exit is Exit 187A, G Street, one-half mile. Immediately after this offramp, an onramp brings traffic from California 140 west onto California 99 north. The two routes share alignment briefly, between Exits 186C and 188. Photo taken 07/31/11.
California 99 north and California 140 west
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 187A, G Street. Use G Street northeast to Yosemite High School, Merced College, and University of California, Merced. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 reaches Exit 187A, G Street. The second offramp connects to Exit 187B, Junction California 59/Martin Luther King, Jr. Way south and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way north. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 187B, which not only connects to Martin Luther King, Jr. Way but also connects to California 59 south to El Nido and California 152 west to Los Banos. Continue north on California 99 to Exit 188 to California 59 north to Snelling. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 reaches Exit 187B, Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and Junction California 59 south to El Nido and Los Banos. Photo taken 07/31/11.
A California 59 south route marker is posted at the bottom of the overhead sign bridge. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Turn left at the bottom of the offramp to California 59 south. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Use Martin Luther King, Jr. Way north to downtown Merced (right turn). Photo taken 07/31/11.
California 99 north, California 59 north and California 140 west
For a brief period (between Exit 187B and 188), California 99 shares pavement with California 59 north and California 140 west. However, both companion routes will exit the freeway at Exit 188. So again looking at the freeway mainline, the next exit along California 99 is Exit 188, Junction California 59 north to Snelling and LaGrange and California 140 west to Gustine. Use Exit 188 to Merced Regional Airport (Macready Field). This sign is posted after the onramp from Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. There is no reassurance route marker with all three routes (California 59, 99, and 140) together. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Use Exit 188 to R Street northeast to the official California State Welcome Center at the Merced Transportation Center. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 188, 13th Street to R Street, Junction California 59/V Street north, and California 140/McSwain Road west. California 59 leads north to Snelling, and changes into Merced County Route J-59 after passing the Snelling Courthouse State Historic Monument and Junction Merced County Route J-16. This is the location of the proposed Eastside Freeway/California 65. Merced County Route J-59 continues as Tuolumne County Route J-59 to terminate at California 108-120 west of Sonora. California 140, meanwhile, leads west via McSwain Road to serve Stevinson and Gustine before ending at Interstate 5. Photos taken 07/31/11 and 05/20/03 by Pete Sison.
California 99 north
A bridge reconstruction project was underway at the north end of the Business California 99 interchange (16th Street) at the time the 2011 pictures were taken. There is no access to Business California 99 south (Exit 189) from California 99 north. Photo taken 07/31/11.
We'll come back through later to see what changes have occurred near the onramp from northbound 16th Street (Business California 99) in north Merced. Photo taken 07/31/11.
This mileage sign along California 99 north provides the distance to Atwater (six miles), Stockton (65 miles), and Sacramento (112 miles). Modesto, which appeared in the previous mileage sign, is omitted here. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 191, Franklin Road. North-south Franklin Road lies between Merced and Atwater, connecting California 140/McSwain Road to the south and Merced County Route J-7/Santa Fe Drive to the north. J-7, which begins at California 59/Snelling Avenue north of Merced, travels northwest on a path parallel to California 99 from Merced northwest to Stockton. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Use Franklin Road to the federal penitentiary. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 191, Franklin Road. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 193, Buhach Road. Use Buhach Road north to Castle Airport or south to California 140/McSwain Road. Photos taken 07/31/11 and 11/25/04.
Use Franklin Road to the federal penitentiary. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Castle Airport, a general aviation airport, lies north of here via Buhach Road. The airport is located on the site of former Castle Air Force Base, which closed in 1995. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 193, Buhach Road to Castle Airport. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next two exits along California 99/Golden State Highway north serve the city of Atwater: Exit 194, Junction Business California 99/Atwater Boulevard north and Exit 195, Sycamore Avenue and Applegate Road. Photo taken 11/25/04.
California 99 enters the city of Atwater ("Community Pride City Wide"), which had a population of 28,168 as of the 2010 Census and was incorporated on August 16, 1922. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99/Golden State Highway reaches Exit 194, Junction Business California 99/Atwater Boulevard north. This "butterfly gantry" sign is unique in that the California 99 shields cover larger U.S. 99 shields. Business California 99 will follow Atwater Boulevard north from this interchange and rejoins the freeway at Exit 196. Photo taken 11/25/04.
The next exit along California 99/Golden State Highway north is Exit 195, Sycamore Avenue and Applegate Road (one mile). Photo taken 07/31/11.
Use Applegate Road south to California 140 and north to Winton. Photo taken 11/25/04.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 195, Applegate Road (the second Atwater exit). Applegate Road leads northeast to meet Merced County Route J-7/Santa Fe Drive in Winton. Note the use of a separate exit number tab on this reflective sign, which added after the sign was initially installed. California 99 is angled in a northwesterly direction between Merced and Livingston via Atwater, then turns a bit more north around Turlock. Photos taken 07/31/11 and 11/25/04.
This series of pictures follows California 99 north in the former expressway segment between Exit 195 and Exit 201. The at-grade intersections were with Grove Avenue, Merced County Route J-18/Westside Boulevard and Central Avenue, Stein Road, and Hunter Road. All of these at-grade intersections have been eliminated in favor of two interchanges as shown in the following pictures. Photos taken 11/25/04.
Now on the modern freeway alignment, this mileage sign along California 99 north provides the distance to Livingston (six miles), Modesto (29 miles), and San Francisco (123 miles). Modesto and Sacramento, which appeared in the previous mileage sign, are omitted here. A newly constructed, six-lane freeway now exists between Atwater and Livingston, replacing a former expressway segment with multiple at-grade intersections. See the series of 2004 pictures to see the old configuration of California 99 through here. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 198, Bellevue Avenue east and Merced County Route J-18/Westside Boulevard west across the Central Valley to meet Interstate 5 at the Stuhr Road interchange (Exit 423). Photo taken 07/31/11.
California 99 north approaches Exit 198, Bellevue Avenue east and Merced County Route J-18/Westside Boulevard west. Use Exit 198 to north-south Central Avenue, which used to intersect California 99 directly before the freeway was built. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 reaches Exit 198, Bellevue Avenue east and Merced County Route J-18/Westside Boulevard west. To Olive Avenue and Stein Avenue, use Bellevue Avenue east. Olive Avenue serves as the eastern frontage road as California 99 continues northwest (Olive Avenue changes into Campbell Boulevard northeast of here). Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next two exits along California 99 north are Exit 200, Sultana Drive and Liberty Avenue and Exit 201, Hammatt Avenue. Photo taken 07/31/11.
A California 99 north confirming route marker is posted after the onramp from Westside Boulevard and Bellevue Avenue. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 200, Sultana Drive and Liberty Avenue. Use Exit 200 to Arena Way, Peach Avenue, and Hunter Road. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 reaches Exit 200, Sultana Drive and Liberty Avenue. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next interchange along northbound California 99 is Exit 201, Hammatt Avenue (one mile). This sign was replaced as a result of the conversion of the expressway into six-lane freeway. Photos taken 07/31/11 and 11/25/04.
This upcoming exits mileage sign provides the distance to the next three interchanges along northbound California 99: Exit 201, Hammatt Avenue; Exit 203, Winton Avenue; and Exit 204, Collier Avenue. Photos taken 07/31/11 and 11/25/04.
The next two interchanges (Exit 201, Hammatt Avenue and Exit 203, Winton Avenue) serve the city of Livingston. Photos taken 07/31/11 and 11/25/04.
The six-lane segment of California 99 comes to an end just before the Hammatt Avenue offramp. Photo taken 07/31/11.
A rest area is nine miles ahead along California 99. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next two interchanges (Exit 201, Hammatt Avenue and Exit 203, Winton Avenue) serve the city of Livingston. Photos taken 07/31/11 and 11/25/04.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 201, Hammatt Avenue to Livingston. Although there is no designated Business California 99 through Livingston, there are extant segments of Historic U.S. 99 in the city. Photo taken 11/25/04.
California 99 enters the city of Livingston ("The Last Stop"), which had a population of 13,058 as of the 2010 Census and was incorporated on September 11, 1922. Photo taken 11/25/04.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 203, Winton Avenue (one-half mile). Photo taken 11/25/04.
This unusual bridge allows the railroad to pass over California 99. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 203, Winton Avenue. Connections may be made from Winton Avenue east to Livingston-Cressey Road en route to the McConnell State Recreation Area along the Merced River and the community of Cressey at Merced County Route J-7/Santa Fe Drive. Gas and food are available at this interchange. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 204, Collier Avenue (0.75 mile). Photo taken 07/31/11.
The grain elevator to the east of California 99 indicates how agricultural the Central Valley is. Use Collier Avenue to the unincorporated community of Hilmar. Photo taken 11/25/04.
Northbound California 99 reaches Exit 204, Collier Avenue. Photo taken 08/15/03.
Continue north along California 99 for a rest area five miles ahead. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next two exits along California 99 north serve the unincorporated community of Delhi in Merced County: Exit 205, South Avenue and Exit 207, Shanks Road. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The unincorporated community of Delhi had a population of 10,755 as of the 2010 Census. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 205, South Avenue (one-half mile). Most of the community of Delhi lies west of the freeway. Photo taken 11/25/04.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 205, South Avenue. There are no signs indicating that this is a business route, but a connection to old U.S. 99 into the community of Delhi may be reached via South Avenue. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99 north is Exit 207, Shanks Road (three-quarters mile). This sign is mounted on the South Avenue overpass. Photo taken 11/25/04.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 207, Shanks Road. Use Shanks Road southwest into Delhi. We are now about midway between Livingston and the next city of consequence, Turlock. Photo taken 11/25/04.
The next exit along northbound is Exit 208, Bradbury Road. As recently as the mid-1990s, this interchange was an at-grade intersection. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Northbound California 99 meets Exit 208, Bradbury Road. Bradbury Road leads east-west, with westbound entering Stanislaus County near its junction with California 165. Heading east, it connects to Merced County Route J-7/Santa Fe Drive. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99/Golden State Highway north is Exit 209, Junction Business California 99/Golden State Boulevard north into the city of Turlock (0.50 mile). Along a route laden with business routes, many are poorly or unsigned from California 99. The Turlock business loop, which serves the city of Turlock (located in Stanislaus County) begins at Exit 209 and is well-signed (by California standards) from northbound California 99. The loop follows aptly named Golden State Boulevard. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Business California 99 follows Golden State Boulevard for approximately eight miles, from Exit 209 north to Exit 217, Taylor Road. Photo taken 07/31/11.
Passing under Bradbury Road, this mileage sign provides the distance to Turlock (four miles), Modesto (18 miles), and Sacramento (92 miles). Photo taken 11/25/04.
Northbound California 99 reaches Exit 209, Junction Business California 99/Golden State Boulevard north to Turlock. The southern end of this business loop is reminiscent of the south end of the Bakersfield business route at the far southern end of Union Avenue. Photo taken 07/31/11.
The next exit along California 99/Golden State Highway north is Exit 210, Enoch Christoffersen Safety Rest Area (one-half mile). Facilities include restrooms, pet walking area, parking, and related facilities. Shortly after this sign and before the rest area, California 99 will leave Merced County and enter Stanislaus County. Photo taken 07/31/11.

Continue north on California 99 to Modesto and Sacramento Go to California 99 Index Return to the California Gateway

Page Updated March 11, 2012.