Interstate 580 West - San Joaquin County


Between Interstate 5 and Interstate 205, Interstate 580 travels northwest along the foothills of the Diablo Range. Upon reaching the Interstate 205, Interstate 580 will turn from northwest to west. Photo taken 11/25/10.

Interstate 580/William Elton Brown Freeway west
This series of pictures follows Interstate 580 as it travels northwest from the split with Interstate 5 toward its rendezvous with California 132 and onward Altamont Pass and to the San Francisco Bay Area. The first overpass carries the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 over the mainline of Interstate 580. Photos taken 11/25/10.
A Pacific Gas & Electric power transmission line crosses over Interstate 580 between Interstate 5 and California 132. This line will travel west to join the Path 15 power lines that generally stay west of Interstate 580 until the freeway turns west at the Interstate 205 merge. Photos taken 11/25/10.
The first exit along westbound Interstate 580 is Exit 76, California 132 and Chrisman Road (one mile). In the 2002 picture, the standalone California 132 shields are difficult to read at high speed, so hopefully the replacement signs will have the shield included in the sign assembly. The exit signage was standardized when it was replaced around 2009. This interchange marks the western terminus of California 132. Photos taken 11/25/10 and 11/28/02.
This view looks northwest along Interstate 580 as we approach California 132. Photos taken 11/25/10.
Use Chrisman Road north to the city of Tracy (Motto: "Think Inside the Triangle," which is a reference to the triangle of freeways that surround Tracy: Interstate 580 to the southwest, Interstate 205 to the north, and Interstate 5 to the east). Tracy had a population of 82,922 as of the 2010 Census and incorporated on July 22, 1910. Much of the population growth of Tracy is due to residential development for those commuting to work in the San Francisco Bay Area. The newer sign does not contain the California 132 shield, since it is referring to the primary route to Tracy. California 132 does not directly serve Tracy. Photos taken 11/25/10 and 11/28/02.
Westbound Interstate 580 meets Exit 76, California 132/Vernalis Road east to Modesto and Chrisman Road north to Tracy. California 132 is a freeway between Interstate 580 and Interstate 5; plans call for the freeway (or expressway) to be extended from Interstate 5 east to Modesto. California 132 leads east from this interchange to Modesto and toward Yosemite National Park (but ends at California 49 in Coulterville, before it connects with California 120 on the way into Yosemite). In the mornings and evenings every day, this road is busy with commuters who live in the Central Valley and travel to the Bay Area. Photos taken 11/25/10 and 11/28/02.
The interchange between Interstate 580 and California 132 is unusual. It features a half diamond between Interstate 580 and north-south Chrisman Road and high-speed ramps from Interstate 580 east to California 132 east and from California 132 west to Interstate 580 west. Chrisman Road, in turn, has its own diamond interchange with California 132, thus enabling connections between Interstate 580 and California 132. Photos taken 11/25/10.
The first Interstate 580 west reassurance shield is posted after the on-ramp from Exit 76, California 132 and Chrisman Road. Photo taken 11/25/10.
A mileage sign provides the distance to Livermore (24 miles) and San Francisco (67 miles). The most direct route to downtown San Francisco is via Interstate 580 west to Interstate 80/San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge west, but there are alternative routes depending on your exact destination. Interstate 580 itself will pass through Oakland, then cross the bay at Richmond en route to San Rafael, ending at U.S. 101 in Marin County. Photo taken 11/25/10.
The next exit along Interstate 580 northwest is Exit 72, Corral Hollow Road (one mile). This sign was replaced between 2009 and 2010 to include the exit number. Photos taken 11/25/10 and 07/15/09.
As I-580 progresses northwest through the foothills of the Diablo Range, winds become increasingly common. Upon ascending the Altamont Pass, Interstate 580 will meander through a sprawling wind farm that generates power. Photo taken 11/25/10.
Westbound Interstate 580 reaches Exit 72, San Joaquin County J-2 (Corral Hollow Road). San Joaquin County J-2 changes into Alameda County Route J-2/Tesla Road as it passes by the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area and Lawrence National Laboratory. Photos taken 11/25/10 and 11/28/02.
The gore point sign also contains the exit number for Exit 72. Photo taken 11/25/10.
An Interstate 580 reassurance shield is posted after the on-ramp from Exit 72. Photo taken 11/25/10.
Interstate 580 has two lanes in each direction between Interstate 5 and Interstate 205. The freeway widens substantially west of the Interstate 205 merge. Photos taken 11/25/10.
A Pacific Gas & Electric power line crosses over Interstate 580 at about the same place where a dynamic message sign is posted. Photos taken 11/25/10.
The next exit along Interstate 580 west is Exit 67, Mountain House Parkway and Patterson Pass Road (one mile). This is the last exit before Interstate 580 merges with Interstate 205 and turns west toward Altamont Pass and Livermore. Photo taken 11/25/10.
The California Aqueduct, which followed Interstate 5 north through the Central Valley, now follows Interstate 580 northwest toward the California Delta. Photo taken 11/25/10.
Westbound Interstate 580 meets Exit 67, Mountain House Parkway and Patterson Pass Road. This route connects to the acres of giant windmills that generate electricity, and power lines emanate from this area to disperse electricity imported from various power generation locations from throughout the region. A major Path 15 substation is located west of here. Patterson Pass Road roughly parallels Interstate 580 from this point west to Livermore, and it is an alternative route even though it is comparably narrow and windy. Photos taken 11/25/10 and 07/15/09.
An Interstate 580 reassurance shield is posted after the on-ramp from Exit 67. Photo taken 11/25/10.
Speaking of power lines, the area swarms with power lines, mostly owned by Pacific Gas & Electric. These two lines travel east-west to connect to Path 15 at the large, Tesla substation west of here (and duck under the Path 66 500kV power lines). Photos taken 11/25/10 and 11/24/11.
This series of pictures showcases another major power line that crosses over Interstate 580. A rare double-circuit, 500kV power line interconnects Path 15' 500kV power lines with Path 66' 500kV power line. Another 500kV substation is located north of here to make that connection. Photos taken 11/25/10.
While passing under the double-circuit 500kV power line and its companion 230kV power line, this sign advises motorists on Interstate 580 northwest to prepare for the Interstate 205 merge (Exit 65). While there is no direct access from Interstate 580 west to Interstate 205 east, traffic will divide between local and express lanes for the merge with Interstate 205 west. Local traffic and trucks should stay right (and anyone using Exit 63, Grant Line Road must use the local lanes, which are curiously called the "Bypass" lanes). Photo taken 11/25/10.
We're still not done with the power lines, as a 230kV line passes over Interstate 580 shortly thereafter. Photo taken 11/25/10.
To Exit 63, Grant Line Road, it is much easier to use the local lanes by exiting onto the Interstate 580 "Bypass" ahead. Originally, all traffic had to use the "Bypass" lanes, but that changed when a new connecting ramp was constructed that brought through traffic directly onto the left lanes while passing through the Interstate 205 interchange (Exit 65). There have been some modifications to this sign between 2009 and 2010 due to a grass fire. Photos taken 11/25/10 and 07/15/09.
Interstate 580 splits. Through traffic and automobiles should stay left, as the left lanes will transition directly onto Interstate 205, merging from the left. Local traffic and trucks and trailers should stay right, so they can more easily access Exit 63 and have an easier merge from the right. At this point, Interstate 580 leaves San Joaquin County and enters Alameda County. Photos taken 11/25/10.


Continue west on I-580 to Oakland  Return to the Interstate 580 Guide  Return to the California Gateway

Page Updated November 13, 2011.

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