Interstate 5

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Northbound Interstate 5 in Shasta County

Interstate 5 Highway Guides

Interstate 5 north
Interstate 5 leaves Tehama County and enters Shasta County at the midpoint of the Cottonwood Creek bridge. The original Interstate 5 bridge over Cottonwood Creek was replaced in 1998. From this bridge north to Exit 665, Interstate 5 was built in 1964. The Redding bypass section of Interstate 5 was built in 1966 (from Exit 665 to the Sacramento River bridge) and in 1965 (from the bridge north to Exit 681B, Junction California 273 (North Main Street). The entire route of Interstate 5 through Shasta County is located along the Siskiyou Trail, which connects California's Central Valley with Oregon's Willamette Valley. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 664, Fourth Street east (to Shasta County Route A-17/Balls Ferry Road) and Gas Point Road west (to Shasta County Route A-16/Platina Road near Igo) in Cottonwood. Use Fourth Street east to (former) Business Loop I-5 and Historic U.S. 99/Main Street in downtown Cottonwood (an unincorporated community of Shasta County that was founded in 1882); there is no access to Business Loop I-5 south at Exit 665. The population of Cottonwood was 2,960 as of the 2000 Census. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Another interesting gore point sign is located at Exit 664; this appears to be a standard unique to Caltrans District 2. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Interstate 5 was widened to three lanes between Exits 664 and 667 by 2011. After this merge from Gas Point Road, the Path 66 power lines will come into view as they cross over the freeway. Photo taken 08/02/11.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Anderson (two miles) and Redding (13 miles). Photo taken 03/31/05.
A State of California Welcome Center is located at Exit 667 at the factory outlet stores. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The aforementioned Path 66 power transmission lines cross Interstate 5 after Exit 665 and prior to Exit 667. Path 66, which consists of one 500kV power line, connects the Olinda substation west of here with the Captain Jack substation located near Malin, Oregon. The smaller lines (mostly 230kV) will connect with the Cottonwood substation located southeast of here off Trefoil Lane. Path 66 is part of a major interconnection from Washington and Oregon hydroelectric facilities to California. Path 66 generally travels southwest from Captain Jack to Olinda substation, skirting past a Path 15 substation near Round Mountain and the Cottonwood substation, then proceeds south to the Tracy substation in the California Delta region, where it connects with Path 15.1 These power lines cross Interstate 5 near the onramp from Main Street, which is the north end of former Business Loop I-5 through Cottonwood. U.S. 99 will again split from the freeway at Exit 667. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.

Use Exit 667 to follow Historic U.S. 99 north through Anderson and Redding (via California 273, which was designated as Business Loop I-5 through the 1980s). Photo taken 08/02/11.
The next three exits all serve the city of Anderson, which was home to 9,022 people as of the 2000 Census and is rapidly growing. Anderson sits at an elevation of 430 feet above sea level and is considered one of the northernmost cities in the Sacramento River Valley. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 667, Junction California 273, which follows Old U.S. 99 through Redding. This was at one time signed as Business Loop I-5, but those signs were removed, perhaps because this route remained in the state highway system. Some AAA maps of California from the late 1980s reflected the designation of the business loop through Anderson and Redding. Photo taken 03/31/05.
California 273 follows Old U.S. 99 through the cities of Anderson and Redding. This state highway contains several excellent examples of old expressway-style construction that are still in place today. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Use Exit 667 to the Factory Outlets, which has the State of California official welcome center. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 667, Junction California 273. This interchange also leads to the town of Anderson and the factory outlets. There must have been too much information to stuff onto one sign, which may explain the omission of the California 273 shield. Deschutes Road is a major north-south county road that connects Interstate 5 with California 44 near Palo Cedro and California 299 near Bella Vista. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
This mileage sign advises that Redding is ten miles ahead. No other distances are provided. It's been a long time since any sign mentioned the distance to Portland, Oregon. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Interstate 5 enters the city of Anderson, which incorporated on January 16, 1956, and had a population of 9,932 as of the 2010 Census. Photo taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 668, Balls Ferry Road and McMurry Drive to North Street in Central Anderson. McMurry Drive parallels Interstate 5 between Balls Ferry Road and North Street, offering local connections to central Anderson. Photo taken 03/31/05.
To Lassen Volcanic National Park, use North Street (which changes into Airport Road after crossing the Sacramento River), then turn east onto Shasta County Route A-16/Dersch Road, which eventually merges onto California 44 east. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Interstate 5 north approaches Exit 668, Balls Ferry Road and McMurry Drive to North Street in Central Anderson. Balls Ferry Road, which has intersected with Interstate 5 previously in Cottonwood, looks like a backward "C" when seen on the Shasta County map. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 668, Balls Ferry Road and McMurry Drive to North Street in Central Anderson. Notice the tall billboard on the east side of Interstate 5: Could it be that the last In-N-Out Burger restaurant along northbound Interstate 5 is located at Exit 678 (which has a connection to Hilltop Drive)? Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 670, Riverside Avenue. The power line adjacent to the freeway carries power from the power generated from turbines at Shasta Dam to the transmission grid. Shasta Dam holds back Sacramento River water into massive Shasta Lake, which supplies water for most of the state of California. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 meets Exit 670, Riverside Avenue. Use Riverside Avenue east to North Street and Airport Road or west to California 273/Old U.S. 99 (Market Street). Photo taken 08/02/11.
The gore point for Exit 670, Riverside Avenue, is signed with an exit number. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Speaking of the Sacramento River, it passes under Interstate 5 on this bridge, which was widened to allow for a future six-lane configuration in 2000. From this point, the Sacramento River will remain west of Interstate 5 until the freeway passes over Shasta Lake. Photo taken 08/02/11.
A mileage sign provides the distance to Redding (seven miles) and Portland (430 miles). Photo taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 673, Knighton Road to Redding Municipal Airport. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 673, Knighton Road. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Upon exiting, turn left on Knighton Road west to residential properties located between Interstate 5 and the Sacramento River. Turn right on Knighton Road east to the Redding Municipal Airport. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Back on the mainline, we spot this Interstate 5 reassurance route marker. Photo taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 is Exit 675, Bechelli Lane and Churn Creek Road. Photo taken 03/31/05.
As we enter the vicinity of Redding, the next six exits from Interstate 5 north all serve Redding: Exit 675, Bechelli Lane and Churn Creek Road; Exit 677, Cypress Avenue; Exit 678, Junction California 44; Exit 680, Junction California 299; Exit 681, Twin View Boulevard; and Exit 682, Oasis Road. Work was underway to expand Interstate 5 to six lanes through Redding between May 2011 and February 2012 at a cost of $27,113,000.4 Photo taken 08/02/11.
Use Exit 675 to South Bonnyview Road, which travels west over the Sacramento River to California 273/Old U.S. 99 (South Market Street) and Churn Creek Road east to Airport Road. Use South Bonnyview Road west to Bechelli Lane, which travels north on an alignment parallel to Interstate 5 east of the Sacramento River. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 675, Bechelli Lane, South Bonnyview Road, and Churn Creek Road. Note the changes in the roadway as a result of lane reconfigurations due to the six-laning project. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
At the South Bonnyview Road overpass, Interstate 5 enters the city of Redding, the seat of Shasta County and the largest city along Interstate 5 north of Sacramento (population was 80,865 as of the 2000 Census, but with population growth and increased annexations, has grown over 100,000 people). At an elevation of 495 feet above sea level, Redding is the northernmost city in the Central Valley/Sacramento Valley. The city currently consists of 59.6 square miles (as of 2008) but this number may increase as more annexations to the city occur. Redding was incorporated on October 4, 1887, and has a Mediterranean climate (wet winter and dry summer). Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is is Exit 677, Cypress Avenue. This is a major interchange, as Cypress Avenue is the old alignment of California 44 and is the best route into the southern part of downtown Redding. Photo taken 03/31/05.
This mileage sign along northbound shows the distance to Exit 677, Cypress Avenue; Exit 678, Junction California 44 east to Lassen Volcanic National park and west to Central Redding; and Exit 680, Junction California 299/Lake Boulevard east to Alturas. This implies a brief overlap of California 299 on Interstate 5 between Exits 678 and 680. These signs changed significantly between 2003 and 2005. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 01/20/03.
An auxiliary sign advises motorists to use California 44 west into downtown Redding, but either Cypress Avenue or California 44 works. The east-west corridor that carries California 44 at Exit 678 is a freeway, so it is probably a bit faster. Both Cypress Avenue and California 44/Lassen Peak Highway must cross the Sacramento River before entering downtown, which is located on the west bank of the river. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 meets Exit 677, Cypress Avenue. Old porcelain enamel button copy signs have been replaced between 2003 and 2005. The next exit is Exit 678, Junction California 44 east to Lassen Volcanic National Park and Susanville and Junction California 44 (former California 299) west to Central Redding and Eureka. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 01/20/03.
Exit 678 is the major Redding interchange, and it connects Interstate 5 with California 44/Lassen Peak Highway. To the east, California 44 begins its journey toward Lassen Volcanic National Park and Susanville (via California 36). To the west, California 44 follows Old California 299 into downtown Redding. This exit also provides local access to Hilltop Drive. Mount Shasta Mall, a wide variety of restaurants, hotels, and shops, and plenty of other services are available via the Hilltop Drive exit. Photo taken 03/31/05.
To the west, California 44/Lassen Peak Highway leads into downtown Redding, with a connection to the world famous Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay via the Auditorium Drive exit from California 44 west. The Sundial Bridge is a pedestrian and bicycle cable stay/cantilever bridge over the Sacramento River. In downtown Redding, California 44 ends; from that point, California 299 continues onward along Eureka Way toward Eureka, passing through Whiskeytown Shasta Trinity National Recreation Area (Whiskeytown Unit) and Weaverville (at the junction of California 299 and California 3) in Trinity County. A two-lane ramp connects Interstate 5 north with California 299 west. Despite the former designation of California 299 west at this interchange, U.S. 299 did not use this particular interchange; instead, U.S. 299 intersected with Interstate 5 at Exit 680, which is two miles ahead. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 meets Exit 678, Junction California 44 east to Lassen Volcanic National Park and Junction California 44 west to Central Redding. Use this exit for Hilltop Drive for local access. Upon exiting, the ramp will split, with Hilltop Drive and California 44 east exiting to the right, and the ramp to California 44 west widens into two lanes before merging onto the freeway into downtown Redding. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 01/20/03.
By the time these photos were taken, the signage showed Exit 678 as solely connecting to California 44, as opposed to the older signage that showed California 299. Today, the ramps show California 44 east and California 44 west at Exit 678 with no mention of California 299. This numbering change occurred in 2004-5 in order to reduce motorist confusion, eliminate the overlap between Interstate 5 and California 299, and to provide a common designation for the freeway east of downtown Redding. Note the increased signage in place by 2011. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
A power transmission line crosses over Interstate 5 that brings electricity from Shasta Dam to the Cottonwood substation. Photos taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 680, Junction California 299/Lake Boulevard . For the next mile, northbound Interstate 5 used to be merged with California 299 east, but it is not since the change in designation from 2004-5. Photos taken 03/31/05 and 01/20/03.
In addition to California 299 east, this exit along northbound also serves California 299/Lake Boulevard west to California 273/North Market Street and Shasta County Route A-18 northwest to Lake Shasta. Use California 299 east to Shasta College via California 299's Exit 143, Old Oregon Trail north. Photos taken 03/31/05 and 01/20/03.
The next three exits along Interstate 5 north are Exit 680, Junction California 299/Lake Boulevard; Exit 681, Twin View Boulevard; and Exit 682, Oasis Road. Median upcoming exits signs appear to be the design standard for this section of Interstate 5. Plenty of room is left in the median for additional lanes in case they are built. Photos taken 03/31/05 and 01/20/03.
This view of the Sacramento Valley is seen as Interstate 5 north and California 299 east descend toward Exit 680. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 680, Junction California 299 (to Shasta County Route A-18 west). The first several miles of California 299 east are freeway. As noted earlier, Lake Boulevard is the old alignment of Old U.S. 299. Prior to 1964, California 299 between U.S. 101 at Eureka and U.S. 395 at Alturas was designated as U.S. 299. However, when many U.S. routes were curtailed or eliminated within California in 1964, U.S. 299 was shifted to a state route because it was wholly located within California and less than 300 miles long, the minimum criteria for a standalone U.S. route. California 299 replaced all of the original routing of U.S. 299 and also includes an extension east of U.S. 395 to the Nevada State Line (where California 299 changes into Nevada 8A, an unpaved highway). Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 681, Twin View Boulevard. Photo taken 03/31/05.
This mileage sign provides the distance to the next three exits along Interstate 5 north: Exit 681, Twin View Boulevard; Exit 682, Oasis Road; and Exit 684, Pine Grove Avenue. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 681, Twin View Boulevard. Use Twin View Boulevard west to California 273/North Market Street south. All motorist services (gas, food, lodging) are available at Exit 681. Photo taken 08/02/11.
After Twin View Boulevard, traffic from California 273/North Market Street (U.S. 99) north merges onto northbound Interstate 5 at Exit 681B, but there is no access to California 273 south from Interstate 5 north. Instead, the next exit along northbound Interstate 5 is Exit 682, Oasis Road. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Food, gas, RV hookup, boat ramp to the Sacramento River, and the California Highway Patrol are located at Exit 682, Oasis Road. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 682, Oasis Road. This is the final Redding interchange. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 684, Pine Grove Avenue to the city of Shasta Lake. This reflective sign did not feature an exit number in 2005 but had one by 2011. Typically, Caltrans does not like to place exit number tabs above existing overhead sign panels, and there is no room within the sign to rivet an exit number onto the existing sign without covering up some of the text. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Dunsmuir (46 miles) and Portland (419 miles). Portland generally serves as the northbound control city for Interstate 5 in Shasta and Siskiyou Counties. Interstate 5 between Pine Grove Avenue (Exit 684) and O'Brien (Exit 695) was constructed in 1968, except for the Pit River Bridge, which was built in 1941 and expanded to its current configuration in 1966. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next two exits serve the city of Shasta Lake. This city developed along with Shasta Dam, which was built between 1938 and 1945. The city consists of three major communities: Project City, Central Valley, and Summit City. Voters approved incorporation of Shasta Lake on July 2, 1993. The population increased between the 2000 Census (9,008 people) and 2010 Census (10,164 people). Photo taken 08/02/11.
Using an upcoming exits mileage sign format, this sign indicates the distance to Exit 684 (Pine Grove Avenue) and Exit 685 (Junction California 151), both of which serve the city of Shasta Lake. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 684, Pine Grove Avenue. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 685, Junction California 151/Shasta Dam Boulevard. California 151 leads northwest from this exit to Shasta Dam, which holds back the Sacramento River to form Lake Shasta. Photo taken 03/31/05.
As a state highway, California 151 is a spur from Interstate 5 to Shasta Dam. At the dam is a visitors center and incredible view of Shasta Lake. Boating, fishing, hiking, and bicycling are among the many activities available at Shasta Lake. Power is generated at Shasta Lake, and 138kV power lines (seen crossing Interstate 5 near Exit 670 (Riverside Avenue) carry electricity generated by the dam's turbines into Path 66, the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) 500kV power line system. The Path 66 power lines crossed Interstate 5 in Cottonwood near Exit 665; it travels northeast toward Round Mountain near California 299, then turns north toward Grizzly Peak, the Modoc Plateau, and ultimately the Captain Jack substation near Malin, Oregon.1 Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 685, Junction California 151/Shasta Dam Boulevard. This scenic route is worth an hour's detour from Interstate 5 just to see the massive structure that holds back Lake Shasta as well as distant Mount Shasta reflecting on the lake. A visitor's center contains information related to the Shasta Dam construction, hydroelectric power generation, and water resources in California. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
This mileage sign after Exit 685 provides the distance to Dunsmuir (45 miles) and Mount Shasta City (54 miles, Junction California 89). Unmentioned on this sign are Weed, Yreka, and the control city of Portland. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 687, Wonderland Boulevard to Mountain Gate (one mile). Photo taken 08/02/11.
Food, phone, and camping are available at Exit 687, Wonderland Boulevard. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Visitors information about the recreational opportunities at Shasta Lake are available at this interchange. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 687, Wonderland Boulevard to Mountain Gate. Leaving behind the Central Valley, Interstate 5 begins a journey through a mountainous region that can see snow during winter months and includes magnificent scenery. This section of freeway was generally built on top of Old U.S. 99, but many sections of old alignment still remain in use today. Photo taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 689, Fawndale Road and Wonderland Boulevard. Photo taken 03/31/05.
A tire chain installation area is located on Interstate 5 prior to Exit 689. Chains are required in certain winter environments, especially during or after snow storms. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 689, Fawndale Road and Wonderland Boulevard. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 690, Bridge Bay Road. Photo taken 03/31/05.
This Interstate 5 reassurance shield is posted after Exit 689. From here, the freeway gains elevation as it prepares to cross Shasta Lake at the Pit River bridge. Photo taken 03/31/05.
For the first time since leaving the Grapevine section of Interstate 5 in southern Kern County, Interstate 5 rises above 1,000 feet in elevation. Through northern Shasta County and Siskiyou County, Interstate 5's elevation will change with much more regularity than seen elsewhere in the state of California. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Interstate 5 enters the Lake Shasta National Recreation Area, operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Photo taken 08/02/11.
A rock formation and what appears to be mining activity comes into view on the east (right) side of the freeway. Photo taken 03/31/05.
For Exit 690, Bridge Bay Road, use the right lane of Interstate 5. Through traffic should use the left two lanes. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 690, Bridge Bay Road. Photo taken 03/31/05.
After Exit 690 (Bridge Bay Road), Interstate 5 turns to the northeast and prepares to cross the Pit River branch of Shasta Lake. This reassurance shield was relocated a bit further south between 2005 and 2011. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 692, Turntable Bay Road. This is the southern approach to the Pit River Bridge, which was built in 1941 and widened as part of Interstate 5 construction in 1966. There are no shoulders on this deck truss bridge, which is double decked and also serves as a railroad bridge on the lower deck. This sign was moved a half-mile south of here by 2011. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
The Pit River (Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial) Bridge carries Interstate 5 over part of Shasta Lake. The bridge was built in 1941 by the Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Central Valley water project, and it was widened by the California Division of Highways in 1966. Photos taken 08/02/11.
There are no shoulders on this deck truss bridge, which is double decked and also serves as a railroad bridge on the lower deck. The Pit River bridge is 3,588 feet long. This bridge replaces the original 1915 U.S. 99 Pit River Bridge, which was a concrete arch bridge and is now under Lake Shasta's waters. The new bridge was built around the same time frame as the Shasta Dam (1938-1945) so that the main north-south route could remain in operation as the water level rose.2 Photos taken 03/31/05 and 08/02/11.
This series of photos shows Shasta Lake as seen from the Pit River (Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial) Bridge looking east. The last picture takes Interstate 5 away from the Pit River and back onto mainland. Photos taken 03/31/05 and 08/02/11.
As Interstate 5 turns east along the north bank of the Pit River, a view of the Pit River Bridge reveals the substructure associated with a typical deck truss bridge and also shows the lower deck, which is used by the railroad. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The two carriageways of Interstate 5 divide just prior to the offramp for Exit 692. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Northbound Interstate 5 meets Exit 692, Turntable Bay Road for recreational access to the north shore of the lake and the adjacent McCloud River arm of the lake. Photo taken 03/31/05.
From the Pit River Bridge north to the Shasta-Siskiyou County Line, Interstate 5 is known as the Stone Turnpike Memorial Freeway as well as the Cascade Wonderland Highway. The Stone Turnpike name originates from the Stone family, which built the original Siskiyou-Shasta County link via former U.S. 99 and modern Interstate 5 as a toll road along the Sacramento River Canyon in 1861. Through the years, the turnpike was replaced by the Central Pacific Railroad, followed by Pacific Highway (which was later designated as U.S. 99), followed by Interstate 5.3 Photo taken 03/31/05.
This series of photos follows Interstate 5 between Turntable Bay Road and Shasta Caverns Road. The northbound lanes stay separated from the southbound lanes. This section of freeway needed major rock cuts to maintain Interstate-standard grades and sight distances. Photos taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 694, Rest Area (one mile). Photo taken 08/02/11.
Across the McCloud River branch of Lake Shasta is Horse Mountain. Interstate 5 will remain above Lake Shasta for a few miles, then follow the Sacramento River north through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest toward Siskiyou County. Photos taken 03/31/05.
After the rest area offramp, the next exit along northbound Interstate 5 will be Exit 695, Shasta Caverns Road to O'Brien. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 694, Rest Area with restrooms, vending machines, and telephone. After this exit, Interstate 5 will briefly gain a third lane for climbing and passing. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
A third lane for slow traffic continues from the rest area uphill to Exit 695. Photo taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 695, Shasta Caverns Road to O'Brien. Hiking, boat launching to Lake Shasta, and other recreational opportunities are available at this exit. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 695, Shasta Caverns Road to O'Brien. Photo taken 03/31/05.
After Exit 695, Interstate 5 reduces from three to two northbound lanes. With limited sight distance, curves, and mountain grades, traveling through the Lake Shasta area is significantly different from driving through the Central Valley. Photos taken 03/31/05 and 08/02/11.
The northbound lanes of Interstate 5 remain separated from the southbound lanes. Photo taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 698, Gilman Road and Salt Creek Road. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Scenic mountain beauty becomes the theme as Interstate 5 continues north on the peninsula formed between the McCloud River and Sacramento River branches of Shasta Lake. Photo taken 03/31/05.
A variable (changeable) message sign was added along northbound around the same place as the previous picture. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Northbound Interstate 5 meets Exit 698, Gilman Road and Salt Creek Road. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Interstate 5 again climbs uphill after the Gilman Road interchange. A third lane for slower traffic and trucks becomes available as we climb. Photos taken 08/02/11.
While ascending this grade between Exits 698 and 702, this mileage sign provides the distance to Dunsmuir (32 miles) and the new control city of Portland (400 miles). The freeway continues with three northbound lanes until we reach the summit. Photo taken 08/02/11.
At the top of the short grade, the third lane ends. Views like this make the journey worthwhile as Interstate 5 descends toward the Antlers Bridge, where the freeway will again crosses over the Sacramento River at the north end of Shasta Lake. Watch downhill speed. Photos taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 702, Lakeshore Drive and Antlers Road (Junction Historic U.S. 99 north) to Lakehead. Old U.S. 99 passes through the town of Lakehead, while Interstate 5 bypasses the town to the east. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Built in 1941 and widened in 1967 to accommodate Interstate 5, the Antlers Bridge carries Interstate 5 over Lake Shasta. The Antler Bridge is a four-lane, continuous span steel truss structure supported by six concrete piers. Like the Pit River Bridge to the south, the Antlers Bridge was constructed as part of U.S. 99 by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Central Valley Water Project that constructed Shasta Lake. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Plans call for replacement of the Antlers Bridge (see Replacement of the Antlers Bridge (Bridge No. 06-0089) Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration and Environmental Assessment/Finding of No Significant Impact (January 2007). Reasons for replacement of the Antlers Bridge include: seismic deficiency, examples of metal fatigue, higher than normal accident rate, and end of expected service life. Construction of the new five-lane bridge (extra lane southbound) is expected to begin in 2009 on a new alignment. The new bridge would be a concrete cast-in-place segmental box girder with large diameter piles. In addition to replacing the bridge, this project would also provide for realigning approximately one-half mile of the approach to the bridge from the south would be realigned to improve safety. Completion is expected in 2012; construction was underway in 2011. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Now traveling north on the Antlers Bridge, a casual traveler might notice the new concrete deck on the bridge. This may allay concerns about the structural integrity of the Antlers Bridge, which was repaired as part of an emergency project in 2004. However, due to structural problems with the bridge, replacement is still necessary. There are no shoulders on this bridge, but the replacement bridge would have 10-foot shoulders added. Photo taken 03/31/05.
This 2011 picture shows ongoing construction at the endpoints of the bridge to create new abutments and prepare for the installation of a new highway bridge before the structure shown here is removed. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Upon reaching the north bank of the Sacramento River at the conclusion of the Antlers Bridge, northbound Interstate 5 approaches Exit 702, Lakeshore Drive and Antlers Road to the unincorporated community of Lakehead. The Lakehead bypass section of Interstate 5 was built in 1972. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Interstate 5 enters unincorporated Lakehead after crossing the bridge. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 702, Lakeshore Drive and Antlers Road to Old U.S. 99 into the unincorporated community of Lakehead. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 704, Riverview Drive to Lakehead. Photo taken 08/02/11.
An Interstate 5 north reassurance shield is posted shortly after the onramp from Lakeshore Drive. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 704, Riverview Drive to Lakehead. This sign was replaced and relocated behind a street light pole by 2011. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Exit 704 is a standard diamond interchange. Photo taken 08/02/11.
The two carriageways of Interstate 5 separate again briefly between Exits 704 and 707. Photo taken 03/31/05.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Dunsmuir (27 miles) and Portland (395 miles). This section of Interstate 5 was the last to be converted from U.S. 99 expressway to full Interstate standards with interchanges. Between Exits 704 and 714, work to convert Interstate 5 was converted to freeway standards was completed between 1989 and 1991. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Passing through a major rock cut, the next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 707, Dog Creek Road and Delta Road to Vollmers and Delta. Interstate 5 continues to follow the Sacramento River as the freeway continues north. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Use Exit 707 to Dog Creek Road and Delta Road. At this exit is one of many swimming holes along the Upper Sacramento River. Several more such swimming holes are located along the river; if interested, review the Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce list of swimming holes. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 707, Dog Creek Road and Delta Road to Vollmers and Delta. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 710, Slate Creek Road to La Moine. The freeway closely follows the Sacramento River now that we've left the Lake Shasta National Recreation Area. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
This view shows the approach to Exit 710, Slate Creek Road to La Moine. The median of this section of Interstate 5 includes a wide left shoulder and a jersey barrier to separate the two directions of traffic. Mount Shasta briefly comes into view, after being hidden by the steep canyon walls for the last several miles. Photos taken 03/31/05 and 08/02/11.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 710, Slate Creek Road to La Moine. This interchange is a trumpet interchange. Use Exit 710 to the Lamoine Hole, located along the Sacramento River. This swimming hole is one of many along the upper Sacramento River. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 712, Eagles Roost Road to Pollard Flat. Old U.S. 99 is traversable alongside Interstate 5 between the Pollard Flat (Exit 712) and Sims Road (Exit 718) interchanges. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 712, Eagles Roost Road to Pollard Flat. Unincorporated Pollard Flat is located near the site of historical Portugese Flat. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 714, Gibson Road. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 714, Gibson Road. No services are available at this exit. Photo taken 03/31/05.
This mileage sign provides the distance to Dunsmuir (16 miles) and Yreka (61 miles). This is the first time that Yreka appears on a mileage sign. Omitted is Portland or any other Oregon city. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 718, Sims Road. Old U.S. 99 comes back onto the Interstate at this point. Interstate 5 from Sims Road to Sweetbrier Avenue was built in 1962. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Mount Shasta again comes into view as northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 718, Sims Road. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 720, Flume Creek Road. An exit number tab had been placed above this sign by 2011. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 720, Flume Creek Road. This sign was in place as of 2005. Photo taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 721, Conant Road to the Conant Cemetery. This exit only provides local access and is neither a through route nor has any motorist services. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 721, Conant Road. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 723, Sweetbrier Road. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
For the first time since leaving the Grapevine section near Tejon Pass, Interstate 5 ascends 2,000 feet above sea level. The freeway is still faithfully following the Upper Sacramento River. Both the peaks of Castle Crags State Park and Mount Shasta come into view fleetingly along this stretch of Interstate 5. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 723, Sweetbrier Road. This exit marks the resumption of Old U.S. 99, which serves the unincorporated communities of Sweetbrier and Castella at Exits 723 and 724. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Mt. Shasta clearly comes into view as we meet the offramp to Exit 723 and pass under Sweetbrier Road. Photo taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 724A, Vista Point (with great views of Mount Shasta in the distance), followed by Exit 724, Castle Creek Road to Old U.S. 99 and the community of Castella. Old U.S. 99 continues north to Exit 726, Soda Creek Road. Photo taken 03/31/05.
A "bear crossing" sign is posted (mother and cub) along Interstate 5 north after the Sweetbrier Road overpass. Photo taken 03/31/05.
An Interstate 5 north reassurance shield is posted shortly thereafter, with Mount Shasta providing an awesome backdrop. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 meets Exit 724A, Vista Point. Photo taken 08/02/11.
Mt. Shasta is the primary focus of the Vista Point. Resting at an elevation of 14,179 feet above sea level, Mt. Shasta sits at the southern end of the Cascade Mountains, which span from this point north through the rest of California, Oregon, and Washington. This volcano is the fifth tallest peak in the state of California (Mt. Whitney in the Sierra Nevada off U.S. 395 is the tallest in the Golden State). Visible from up to 150 miles away on a clear day, Mt. Shasta sits alone on its perch near Dunsmuir, making it a sight to behold in Shasta and Siskiyou Counties. Photo taken 08/02/11.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 724, Castle Creek Road to Castella. This sign is posted after the onramp from the Vista Point. By 2011, this sign had been changed to include the exit number. Dominating the view behind these signs is Mt. Shasta, which had significantly more snow in early spring 2005 as compared to summer 2011. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
To Castle Crags State Park, use Castle Creek Road west and follow the signs. Camping, hiking, and sightseeing are among the many activities available at this park. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
The craggy peaks of Castle Crags State Park come into view from Interstate 5. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 meets Exit 724, Castle Creek Road to Castella and Castle Crags State Park. The section of Interstate 5 from Castella north to the Shasta-Siskiyou County line was built in 1960. To an extant section of U.S. 99, exit here, turn right on Castle Creek Road, then turn left (north) on Main Street. This segment will rejoin Interstate 5 at Exit 726 (Soda Creek Road). Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
This Interstate 5 north reassurance shield is posted after the Castle Creek Road interchange. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Dunsmuir, the next city along Interstate 5, is only three miles ahead after crossing the Shasta-Siskiyou County Line. The city of Weed is listed second (25 miles). Mount Shasta, Yreka, Ashland, Medford, Eugene, and Portland are omitted (not that all these cities should be listed!). This sign was replaced by 2011 with a reflective sign with the same content. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 726, Soda Creek Road. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Approaching the Soda Creek Road interchange, Mount Shasta again comes into view as Interstate 5 continues north. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 726, Soda Creek Road. The extant section of Old U.S. 99 (Main Street/Frontage Road) that began at Exit 724 will end at Soda Creek Road. Another U.S. 99 segment begins at Exit 727. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 727, Crag View Drive. This exit only serves the connection from northbound Interstate 5 to northbound Crag View Drive. Use this exit to continue along U.S. 99 north toward Dunsmuir. This guide sign is posted near the point where Interstate 5 crosses over Soda Creek Road. A few trees seem to have disappeared between 2005 and 2011. Photos taken 08/02/11 and 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 727, Junction Historic U.S. 99/Crag View Drive north. This extant section connects to Railroad Park Road, then ends. A longer section of Old U.S. 99 north is available at Exit 729, where Dunsmuir Avenue departs the freeway and leads into the city of Dunsmuir. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next exit along Interstate 5 north is Exit 728, Railroad Park Road to Crag View Drive. This is the final Shasta County exit. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 728, Railroad Park Road to Crag View Drive. Photo taken 03/31/05.
The next three exits along Interstate 5 north all serve the city of Dunsmuir: Exit 729, Junction Business Loop I-5/Dunsmuir Avenue (Historic U.S. 99) north; Exit 730, Junction Business Loop I-5/Old U.S. 99 (Dunsmuir Avenue/Central Dunsmuir); and Exit 732, Siskiyou Avenue to Mott Road north and Business Loop I-5 south. Photo taken 03/31/05.
Shortly thereafter, Interstate 5 leaves Shasta County and enters Siskiyou County. This county line sign was replaced by 2011 with a sign that reads, "Welcome to Siskiyou County - We Honor Veterans." Photo taken 03/31/05.

Footnotes:

  1. Wikipedia: Path 66
  2. Delays Expected Thanksgiving Weekend on Interstate 5 Pit River Bridge, Business Wire, November 9, 2007.
  3. California Highways (Daniel Faigin) - Interstate 5 Naming
  4. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 - Grants for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grants: Interstate 5 South Redding Six Lane Project - "WHAT? Widen Interstate 5 from four lanes to six lanes by adding one new lane in each direction in the existing center median area. Caltrans will complete the project for $27,113,000. WHERE? Shasta County, in south and central Redding, connecting to State Routes 44, 299W, and 299E, and several major local roads. WHEN? Start construction in May 2011. End construction February 2012. (NEPA/CEQA completed in September 2009) WHY? This is the most congested section of I-5 north of the Sacramento area. The level of service is projected to fail within 10 years. I-5 is the backbone of north-south goods movement on the West Coast, supporting jobs and the economies of the region, state, and nation. While many capacity investments congest again shortly after opening, early planning through the Fix 5 Partnership (www.fixfive.org) aims to avoid congestion in the project area for over 20 years. The project will be a lasting investment in the federal interest.

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Page Updated December 24, 2011.