California 283/Business U.S. 101


This view of the Eagle Prairie Bridge and Eel River is afforded from downtown Rio Dell looking south. Built in 1940, this through truss bridge is part of the Old Redwood Highway that carried U.S. 101 through Scotia and Rio Dell until 1976 with the completion of the freeway bypass. Photo taken 05/29/06.

Routing

California 283 is the old U.S. 101 bridge over the Eel River between Scotia and Rio Dell in Humboldt County. It is also designated as part of Business U.S. 101 through Rio Dell.

Shortest Unsigned State Highway in California

With a distance of approximately a third of a mile, California 283 is a candidate for being among the shortest state highways in the California State Highway System. According to signs on California 153, the honors for shortest state highway go to California 153 at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. However, California 283 may be shorter than California 153. Perhaps California 153 is the shortest signed state highway? There is at least one shield for California 153, but there are none for California 283 (except one bridge identification sign at the south end of the Eagle Prairie Bridge).

Highway Guide

Business U.S. 101 and California 283/Eagle Prairie Bridge north
After departing U.S. 101/Redwood Highway at Exit 679, Business U.S. 101 and California 283 travel north toward the Prairie Eagle Bridge over the Eel River. The approach to the bridge is located immediately after turning onto Main Street north of Scotia. Photo taken 05/29/06.
Continuing north, the road narrows substantially to cross the Eel River. Photo taken 05/29/06.
The Prairie Eagle Bridge over the Eel River was built in 1940, as evidenced by this date stamp found on the bridge rail. Photo taken 05/29/06.
The only sign that verifies this route is a state highway is this bridge identification marker, which shows California 283 and the mileage of 0.12. Only 0.20 mile is left in this short state highway! Photo taken 05/29/06.
Built in 1940, the Eagle Prairie bridge over the Eel River survived the devastating floods of 1964. A small plaque identifies the year of fabrication in 1940, and the manufacturer is Judson Pacific Co. Photo taken 05/29/06.
This view of the Eagle Prairie Bridge is afforded looking northbound. Photos taken 05/29/06.
A pedestrian walkway parallels the roadway on both sides of the Eel River bridge. Photo taken 05/29/06.
The city of Rio Dell, known as the "Warm Hearted City," sits on a bend of the Eel River adjacent to the Scotia Bluffs. The estimated 2005 population of Rio Dell is 3,174 people. First settled by Lorenzo Painter in the 1870s, the city of Rio Dell was incorporated in 1965. Photo taken 05/29/06.
California 283 ends at the point where the painted centerline ends. From here, unsigned Business U.S. 101/Wildwood Avenue continues north into downtown Rio Dell and onward to U.S. 101 Exit 681. Photo taken 05/29/06.
Business U.S. 101/Wildwood Avenue south
After departing from U.S. 101 at Exit 681, the business route begins as an unsigned route leading south into Rio Dell on Wildwood Avenue. California 283 (state highway) does not begin until the Eel River Bridge. Here, southbound Business U.S. 101 meets the ramp to U.S. 101 south (left turn) at Belleview Avenue. Photo taken 05/29/06.
The city of Rio Dell, known as the "Warm Hearted City," sits on a bend of the Eel River adjacent to the Scotia Bluffs. The estimated 2005 population of Rio Dell is 3,174 people. First settled by Lorenzo Painter in the 1870s, the city of Rio Dell was incorporated in 1965. Photo taken 05/29/06.
Wildwood Avenue begins as a divided highway with one lane in each direction. A meandering sidewalk parallels the old alignment. There are no reassurance shields for Business U.S. 101 south. Photo taken 05/29/06.
Downtown Rio Dell comes into view as Wildwood Avenue continues south. The city of Rio Dell consists of three main communities: Belleview (northwest of downtown), Eagle Prairie (west of downtown), and Wildwood (downtown). Photo taken 05/29/06.
The approach to the Eagle Prairie bridge over the Eel River comes into view as the business route (Wildwood Avenue) continues through downtown Rio Dell. Photo taken 05/29/06.
Business U.S. 101 approaches the Eagle Prairie bridge over the Eel River. At the point where the painted centerline begins, state highway maintenance begins and California 283 starts its brief southbound journey. Photo taken 05/29/06.
California 283-Business U.S. 101/Eagle Prairie Bridge south
The Eagle Prairie bridge over the Eel River at Rio Dell-Scotia used to carry U.S. 101 through Rio Dell until the bridge was bypassed with the modern freeway alignment in 1976. Today the bridge carries a fraction of the traffic, but it remains of importance for connecting Rio Dell with Scotia to the south. Photo taken 05/29/06.
Built in 1940, the Eagle Prairie bridge over the Eel River survived the devastating floods of 1964. A small plaque identifies the year of fabrication in 1940, and the manufacturer is Judson Pacific Co. Photo taken 05/29/06.
A pedestrian walkway parallels the roadway on both sides of the Eel River bridge. Photo taken 05/29/06.
Reaching the south end of the steel through truss bridge, California 283 will descend from the bridge into Scotia. Photo taken 05/29/06.
The two-lane northern approach features sidewalks on both sides of California 283. Photo taken 05/29/06.
After leaving the Eagle Prairie Bridge, California 283 will soon approach an interchange with U.S. 101 at Exit 679. Photo taken 05/29/06.
After crossing the bridge, Wildwood Avenue changes into Main Street, and the old alignment proceeds into Scotia. The state highway (California 283) ends upon connecting with U.S. 101. Photo taken 05/29/06.
Turn left here to connect to U.S. 101 north to Eureka and south to Ukiah and San Francisco. Continue straight ahead to enter the company town of Scotia, which is privately owned. Photo taken 05/29/06.
Scenes Pertaining to California 283 and Business U.S. 101
Looking west from the Eagle Prairie Bridge, the scenic Eel River finds its way between Rio Dell and Scotia. Photo taken 05/29/06.
A bridge number marking is located at the south end of the Eagle Prairie Bridge. Photo taken 05/29/06.
This view of the Eagle Prairie Bridge and Eel River is afforded from downtown Rio Dell looking south. Photo taken 05/29/06.

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Page Updated October 1, 2007.

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