Interstate 80 East - San Francisco and Alameda Counties

The Bay Bridge connects San Francisco with Oakland, but it also connects Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island with the two cities. This view shows the cantilever span of the Bay Bridge as seen from Yerba Buena Island looking east toward Oakland. Photo taken 03/19/06.

U.S. Highway 101/James Lick Freeway north
U.S. 101 (James Lick Freeway) northbound on the approach to Interstate 80 eastbound near the Mission district of San Francisco. U.S. 101 splits from the James Lick Freeway onto the stub Central Freeway at the split with Interstate 80 eastbound. Interstate 80 continues the James Lick Skyway northward to downtown and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Photos taken 03/19/06 and 11/29/04.
U.S. 101 north partitions from Interstate 80 east onto the Central Freeway westbound. The two left-hand lanes default onto the Central Freeway ahead of its off-ramp to Ninth Street and the San Francisco Civic Center. The Central Freeway ends prematurely at Mission Street within one mile of Interstate 80. The Central Freeway was to directly connect to the Golden Gate Freeway but opposition from the citizens and city government curtailed that and much of the rest of the San Francisco freeway network. Thus U.S. 101 follows a surface street routing along Van Ness Avenue, Lombard Street, and Richardson Avenue between Interstate 80 and the Golden Gate Freeway. Photo taken 03/19/06.
The eastbound beginning of Interstate 80 departs U.S. 101 northbound at the Central Freeway. The Central Freeway was shortened during the late 1990s as the ramp to Fell Street was removed. All traffic now defaults onto Mission Street. An alternate route to U.S. 101 northbound is provided via the Seventh Street off-ramp (Exit 1) of Interstate 80 east. Photos taken 03/19/06 and 11/29/04.
Interstate 80/James Lick Skyway east
Interstate 80 commences on its 2,899.54 mile journey east to Fort Lee, New Jersey. Through traffic is afforded just two lanes as the James Lick Skyway departs the elevated interchange with U.S. 101 (Central Freeway). The right-hand lane defaults onto the Seventh Street off-ramp (Exit 1) ahead. Photo taken 11/29/04.
The Central Freeway on-ramp to Interstate 80 (James Lick Skyway) eastbound merges onto the freeway ahead of the Seventh Street half-diamond interchange. Seventh Street stems northwest from 16th Street at Interstate 280 to Market and McAllister Streets near the Civic Center. Photo taken 11/29/04.
Interstate 80 eastbound expands to three lanes with the addition of the Central Freeway on-ramp. Exit 1 departs ahead via a two-lane off-ramp onto Seventh Street below. Use Seventh Street for the South of Market and China Basin districts of San Francisco. Photo taken 11/29/04.

A bannerless shield represents the first of many reassurance markers posted along the 11-state journey of Interstate 80. Photos taken 07/06/07 and 11/29/04.
Exit 1 departs Interstate 80 eastbound for Seventh Street and the alternate route to U.S. 101 northbound. Travelers bound for U.S. 101 (Van Ness Avenue) may take Seventh Street north to McAllister Street west or Leavenworth Street north for the U.S. highway. Photo taken 11/29/04.
The views of the San Francisco skyline are phenomenal from the eastbound approach of Interstate 80 toward downtown. A variable message sign advises motorists of conditions ahead on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in this scene. Photo taken 11/29/04.
The second off-ramp (Exit 2) of Interstate 80 serves Fourth Street and downtown San Francisco. Fourth Street flows southbound from Union Square and Market Street to China Basin and Channel Street. Interstate 80 otherwise continues three miles to Yerba Buena Island. Photos taken 07/06/07 and 11/29/04.
Towers of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge rise along the eastern horizon as Interstate 80 (James Lick Skyway) widens for ramps to/from Fifth Street below. Photo taken 11/29/04.
The two right lanes will exit onto Exit 2, Fourth Street, with the right lane being exit only. Photo taken 07/06/07.
Eastbound Interstate 80/James Lick Skyway reaches Exit 2, Fourth Street (temporary construction sign still in place in 2007). Exit 2 descends to the intersection of Fourth and Bryant Streets. Bryant Street travels alongside the James Lick Skyway between Eighth Street and the Embarcadero. Photo taken 11/29/04.
OLD CONFIGURATION (gone as of Summer 2007): Interstate 80 eastbound prepares to travel underneath the westbound lanes of the James Lick Skyway beyond the Fifth Street interchange. A daylight headlight requirement is effective for all of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge as Interstate 80 eastbound travels the lower deck throughout. The scene ahead was once the location of the Interstate 80 interchange with the Embarcadero Freeway (California 480). California 480 represented a double-decker freeway spur from the James Lick Skyway northward into the Financial District and Chinatown. The 1989 Loma Prieto Earthquake gave officials the out they were looking for to tear down the freeway in 1992. Residents disliked the freeway and its location between downtown and the Embarcadero, so the freeway removal met little resistance. The upside of its demolition is the vast improvement of the Embarcadero's economic health as an unobstructed surface arterial. Photo taken 11/29/04.
OLD CONFIGURATION: Interstate 80 eastbound descends below the westbound carriageway ahead of the Second Street under crossing. Remnant ramps from California 480 remain in use between Harrison and Freemont Streets to Interstate 80. California 480, once signed as Interstate 480, was planned as an urban freeway loop from the Financial District northwest to U.S. 101 and the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo taken 11/29/04.
With the reconstruction of the western approach to the Bay Bridge, eastbound Interstate 80 shifts to a new alignment under the westbound lanes between Fourth Street and the Bay Bridge. Photos taken 11/29/04.
This view shows the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 traveling toward the Bay Bridge. Photos taken 11/29/04.
Interstate 80/San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge east (lower deck)
The eastbound Interstate 80 lanes follow the lower deck on the crossing over the San Francisco Bay. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge carries eight overall lanes. Photos taken 11/29/04.
There are two exits at the middle of the bridge, one for Treasure Island and the other for Yerba Buena Island. As noted in these overheads, Exit 4A is a left exit for Treasure Island and Exit 4B is a right exit for Yerba Buena Island. Photos taken 03/19/06 and 11/29/04.
Drawing to within one half mile of the Treasure Island (Exit 4A) off-ramp. Exit 4A joins Treasure Island Road northbound to Avenue Palms over the isthmus that connects Treasure Island to Yerba Buena Island. Treasure Island is a former Navy Base that was decommissioned in 1996. The island was created with fill dredged from San Francisco Bay in the 1930s. Photos taken 03/19/06 and 11/29/04.
Eastbound Interstate 80 reaches Exit 4A, Treasure Island (left exit). The freeway passes under the island via a tunnel, then emerges on the lower deck of the steel truss section of the Bay Bridge. Exit 4B joins Hillcrest Road near Macella and North Gate Roads. North Gate Road serves the United States Coast Guard-Group SF. Photos taken 04/06/09, 03/19/06, and 11/29/04.
The ramp from the lower deck of the Bay Bridge (Interstate 80 east) turns sharply to Exit 4A, Treasure Island. There is not much room for deceleration. Since the Yerba Buena Island off-ramp (Exit 4B) was temporarily closed during the construction of the eastern Bay Bridge span, this exit has served both island connections. Photo taken 04/06/09.
A look at the Yerba Buena Island tunnel on Interstate 80 eastbound. The westbound lanes travel above through the same tunnel. Photos taken 11/29/04 and 07/06/07.
Eastbound Interstate 80 reaches Exit 4B, Yerba Buena Island. This exit was closed again in 2007, so access may be achieved via Exit 4A. This situation is expected to change once the Bay Bridge reconstruction project is completed. Photo taken 03/19/06.
Light streams into the lower deck of the Bay Bridge from the sides on the steel truss section. Somewhere in this general area, Interstate 80 leaves San Francisco County and enters Alameda County. Land comes into view as the lower deck (eastbound) turns a bit to the south to emerge from underneath the bridge. Photos taken 08/16/03 & 11/29/04.
Here are more recent photos of the lower deck of the eastbound Bay Bridge. With the ongoing reconstruction of the Bay Bridge, this span will be in service until 2013 when the new span opens. The self-anchored suspension span will not be double decked, and the transition between Yerba Buena Island and the east span changed on Labor Day Weekend 2009 as a result of new construction. The bridge was again closed in late October/early November 2009 as a result of an unrelated structural issue; it was repaired and reopened to traffic. The Labor Day 2009 closure was notable for moving the entire bridge. According to the official web page, "While the bridge is closed, a 300-foot-long double-deck section of the structure will be cut and rolled out of the way above Yerba Buena Island (YBI). A new double-deck section will be slid into its place connecting the bridge with a detour structure that will route traffic away from construction work that will ultimately connect the new East Span of the bridge to the YBI tunnel." Photos taken 07/06/07.
Interstate 80 (Eastshore Freeway) east
Interstate 80 emerges from underneath the substructure of the bridge and returns to land at Oakland. Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway) begins via the Exit 8A off-ramp ahead. Interstate 880 travels south along the eastern bay shore through such communities as San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Newark and Fremont. Photos taken 04/06/09 and 11/29/04.
A roadside sign advises the right two lanes connect to Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway) south to San Jose. Photo taken 04/06/09.
Long distance travelers bound for Los Angeles should use Interstate 80 east to Exit 8B (Interstate 580/MacArthur Freeway east). Truckers should use Interstate 880 south to Interstate 238 east to Interstate 580 in lieu of the MacArthur Freeway due to truck restrictions on Interstate 580 through parts of Oakland. Photo taken 04/06/09.
Nearing "The Maze" the interchange confluence of Interstates 80, 580, and 880 in the city of Oakland. Interstate 880 provides connections to Alameda and Oakland International Airport nearby on its 47.22-mile drive to Interstate 280 at San Jose. Exit 8A more specifically connects Interstate 80 east with Grand Avenue ahead of its intersection with Mandela Parkway. Interests to downtown Oakland and Walnut Creek (via California 24 east) should use Exit 8B (Interstate 580 / MacArthur Freeway east). Notice how the California 24 shield was exposed in 2009 but covered in 2004. Photos taken 04/06/09 and 11/29/04.
Another roadside sign advises that access to the Port of Oakland, Naval Supply Center, and Oakland Army Base is available via Exit 8A, Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway) south. Photo taken 04/06/09.
The southbound beginning of Interstate 880 (Exit 8A) departs Interstate 80 eastbound for Alameda, Oakland International Airport, and San Jose. Interstate 880 replaced California 17 along its routing north of Interstate 280 in 1983. The freeway is best remembered for the disaster of the 1989 Loma Prieto Earthquake when the upper deck of the Nimitz Freeway collapsed onto the lower deck. That portion of freeway was demolished and replaced with the seismically ready Cypress Street Viaduct in the mid 1990s. The viaduct stems south from Grand Avenue to I-980. Photos taken 04/06/09 and 11/29/04.
The gore point sign is currently (as of 2009) the only indication that the ramp to Interstate 880 south is Exit 8A. Photo taken 04/06/09.
This view shows the split between Interstate 80 east and Interstate 880 south. Next up: Exit 8B, Interstate 580 east to California 24. Historically, this split is where U.S. 40 and U.S. 50 split, with U.S. 40/Victory Highway proceeding north along the Bayshore Freeway (now Interstate 80) and U.S. 50 (Lincoln Highway) turning southeast via Interstate 580 toward Castro Valley and then east toward Tracy and Stockton. Photo taken 04/06/09.
Eastbound Interstate 80 approaches Exit 8B, Interstate 580/MacArthur Freeway east to Hayward and Stockton. The overpass is a connection from westbound Interstate 80 onto Grand Avenue eastbound. Meanwhile, East Interstate 80 and West Interstate 580 merge together onto the Eastshore Freeway for access to Berkeley, Vallejo, and Sacramento. Photo taken 04/06/09.
View of the first exit along southbound Interstate 880 as seen from eastbound Interstate 80 just before the Interstate 580 interchange ("The Maze"). Interstate 880 southbound travels a elevated section over Grand Avenue between Interstate 80 and the Nimitz Freeway. The Grand Avenue off-ramp includes connections to Maritime Street and the former Oakland Army Base below. Photo taken 04/06/09.
Interstate 80 eastbound partitions with the MacArthur Freeway south at Exit 8B. Interstate 580 east leaves Interstate 80 east for downtown Oakland and Interstate 980 west & California 24 east. California 24 heads east from Oakland via the Caldecott Tunnel to Orinda, Lafayette, and Interstate 680 at Walnut Creek. Interstate 580 meanwhile follows the original corridor of U.S. 50 east from downtown Oakland to Hayward, Castro Valley, Dublin, Livermore, and ultimately Interstate 5 near Tracy. Interstate 205 provides connections to Interstate 5 north for Stockton. Photo taken 04/06/09.
This view shows the split between Interstate 80 (left lanes) and Interstate 580 (right lanes). Photo taken 04/06/09.
Interstate 80 is the Purple Heart Trail as evidenced by this sign (view seen from the off-ramp to Interstate 580 east). Photo taken 04/06/09.
This suite of photos follows the transition ramp from Interstate 80 east to Interstate 580 east through the Maze interchange. The third photo shows the section of ramp that was replaced after an explosion destroyed the original bridge. To continue on Interstate 580 east, click here. Photos taken 04/06/09.
This view looks south from the Interstate 80 east-Interstate 580 east transition ramp at the transition ramp from Interstate 80 west to Interstate 880 south. Photo taken 04/06/09.
Interstate 80 east, Interstate 580 west, and Eastshore Freeway north
Westbound Interstate 580 and eastbound Interstate 80 reach Exit 9, Powell Street to Emeryville. The next exit is Exit 10, California 13 (Ashby Avenue) to Emeryville and Berkeley. Powell Street stems west from the intersection of California 123 (San Pablo Avenue) and Stanford Avenue to the Emeryville City Marina. Photo taken 05/08/05.
The next three exits serve the city of Berkeley: Exit 10, California 13 (Ashby Avenue); Exit 11, University Avenue; and Exit 12, Gilman Street. Photo taken 05/08/05.
Eight lanes of Interstate 80 and Interstate 580 line the Eastern shore of San Francisco Bay through Emeryville and Berkeley. An interchange sequence sign lists the distances to the three Berkeley interchanges (California 13, University Avenue, and Gilman Street). Photo taken 11/26/04.
Interstate 80 east & 580 west at the Exit 10 directional interchange with California 13 (Ashby Avenue) and Shellmound Street. California 13 travels east through the heart of Berkeley along Ashby Avenue. The state route turns south at Clairemont Avenue onto Tunnel Road for California 24 and the upgrade to the Warren Freeway. Photo taken 05/08/05.
The Exit 10 off-ramp partitions into ramps for California 13 (Ashby Street) south and Shellmound Street. Shellmound Street enters the city of Emeryville south of California 13. Ashby Street descends into a subway before emerging ahead of the Seventh Street intersection. Photo taken 11/26/04.
California 13 begins and travels Ashby Street east of the ramp split with Shellmound Street. Ashby Street provides a local through route for Berkeley but is nowhere near as efficient as the area freeway networks. Photo taken 11/26/04.
Continuing northbound on the Eastshore Freeway through the California 13 (Exit 10) interchange. Note the old style overpasses for the ramps to/from Ashby Street and Interstates 80-580. A small auxiliary guide sign directs motorists bound for the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Graduate Theological Union to take Exit 11 (University Avenue). Photo taken 11/26/04.
Attached to the Exit 10 off-ramp from the Eastshore Freeway south to California 13 south is a button copy interchange sequence sign listing the final three interchanges of the Interstate 80 & 580 overlap. Photo taken 05/08/05.
Exit 11 provides the most direct route between Interstates 80 & 580 and the University of California, Berkeley. The UC Berkeley campus lies between downtown and Vollmer Peak (el. 1,905 feet) at the east end of University Avenue. Use Exit 11 for Vista Community College as well. Photo taken 11/26/04.
The first of two sets of Interstate 80 east & 580 westbound reassurance markers resides between California 13 (Exit 10) and University Avenue (Exit 11). The overlap is one of a handful between an Interstate parent and child route. Others that come to mind are Interstates 87 & 287 at Nyack, New York and Interstates 94 & 694 northwest of Minneapolis. Photo taken 11/28/04.
The Eastshore Freeway travels a causeway between Aquatic Park and Eastshore State Park between California 13 and University Avenue. Pictured here is the advance guide sign for Exit 11 (University Avenue). University Avenue travels west from UC Berkeley to California 123 (San Pablo Avenue), Interstates 80 & 580, and Berkeley Yacht Harbor. Photo taken 11/26/04.
Exit 11 departs Interstate 80 east and Interstate 580 west near a pedestrian overcrossing (the arch bridge carries the San Francisco Bay Trail over the busy freeway). A partial-cloverleaf interchange facilitates the movements between the Eastshore Freeway and University Avenue between the West Frontage Road and Sixth Street. Photos taken 11/28/04.
University Avenue follows a viaduct from Interstates 80 & 580 east to Sixth Street. The Exit 11 ramps ascend to meet the road in this scene. A small guide sign advises motorists of the Interstate 580 crossing of San Francisco Bay via the San Rafael Bridge. Photo taken 11/28/04.
Northbound at the University Avenue over crossing. Interstate 80 east & 580 west partition in 1.25 miles in the city of Albany. Two exits remain ahead with Gillman Street for Berkeley and Buchanan Street for Albany. Photo taken 11/28/04.
The second set of Interstate 80 east & 580 westbound reassurance markers posted ahead of the Gilman Street diamond interchange (Exit 12). Note that Interstate 80 is neutered in both assemblies. Photos taken 11/26/04 and 11/28/04.
Since there is no access to University Avenue westbound at Exit 11, interests to the Berkeley Marina should use Exit 12 (Gilman Street) west to the West Frontage Road south. Golden Gate Fields racetrack resides on the swath of land between Interstates 80 & 580 and San Francisco Bay north of Gilman Street. Photo taken 11/28/04.
Interstate 580 west prepares to split from Interstate 80 east at the Exit 12 ramp departure to Gilman Street. Gilman Street heads east from Eastshore State Park to California 123 (San Pablo Avenue) and Hopkins Street. Photo taken 11/26/04.
One half mile south of the Interstate 580 (John T. Knox Freeway) west and Interstate 80 (Eastshore Freeway) split at Exit 13A. The Eastshore Freeway enters the city of Albany ahead of the Exit 13A diamond interchange with Buchanan Street. Photo taken 11/26/04.
An auxiliary lane departs Interstate 80 east & 580 west for Exit 13A (Buchanan Street) ahead of the freeway split. Buchanan Street ventures east from Golden Gate Fields to Marin Avenue and California 123 (San Pablo Avenue). Marin Avenue meets San Pablo Avenue at Albany City Hall. Photo taken 11/28/04.
Exit 13A leaves the Eastshore Freeway for Buchanan Street and the city of Albany. Interstate 580 departs next from Exit 13B onto the John T. Knox Freeway westbound for the San Raphael Bridge and Marin County. Interstate 80 continues north to central Richmond, San Pablo, Vallejo, and Sacramento. Photo taken 11/28/04.
Interstate 80 (Eastshore Freeway) eastbound maintains four through lanes at the Exit 13B split with Interstate 580 (John T. Knox Freeway) west. Interstate 580 travels through south Richmond en route to the San Rafael Bridge. The tolled San Rafael Bridge links Richmond with San Quenton and San Rafael (U.S. 101). It should be noted that the San Rafael Bridge was briefly touted as Interstate 180 in the early 1980s before Interstate 580 saw extension northwest from Oakland. Photo taken 11/28/04.
Interstate 80 (Eastshore Freeway) east
Interstate 80 parts ways with Interstate 580 and nears the Central Avenue (Exit 14A) diamond interchange. Central Avenue travels east-west between Point Isabel Regional Shoreline and Ashbury Avenue within the city of El Cerrito. Photo taken 07/18/09.
Interstate 80 (Eastshore Freeway) crosses into Contra Costa County at the Exit 14A ramp departure to Central Avenue and El Cerrito. Carlson Boulevard intersects the freeway next at Exit 14B. Photo taken 11/28/04.

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Page Updated November 5, 2009.

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