The city of Sacramento is the capital of the state of California and serves as the seat of Sacramento County. A regional employment center, Sacramento sits at the intersection of Interstate 5, Interstate 80 (former U.S. 40), U.S. 50, and California 99 (former U.S. 99). Several state routes -- including California 16, California 65, California 84, California 113, California 104, California 160, California 193, and California 275 (Tower Bridge) -- all converge in the metropolitan area. Interstate 80 divides into bypass and business routes, with Interstate 80 avoiding downtown by staying to the north and Business Loop I-80 (Capital City Freeway) directly entering the city as a freeway and looping from Interstate 80 between West Sacramento and Roseville.
Located at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers in the Central Valley near the California Delta, Sacramento had a population of 466,488 as of the 2010 Census, which represents an increase from the 2000 city population of 407,018. Not counted in this total are the nearby suburban cities and unincorporated communities. Sitting at an elevation of 25 feet, Sacramento lays at the valley floor. Sacramento was incorporated as a city on February 27, 1850. The centerpiece of downtown is the state capitol building, which lays at the end of Capitol Mall. The state capitol building was constructed between 1860 and 1874.
Interstate 5 parallels the Sacramento River as it enters the metropolitan area. At some points lower than the nearby riverbed, Interstate 5 snakes through a depressed section of freeway as it passes through downtown Sacramento. The freeway emerges on the north side to meet Interstate 80, then continues to the Sacramento International Airport, the Sacramento River Bridge, the northern Central Valley, following old U.S. 99W. Interstate 5 is the major north-south corridor for the movement of goods and services along the West Coast, and the traffic delays in the city of Sacramento have created some ideas of either relocating the freeway to a new alignment or creating a bypass around the city. Such talk is in the preliminary stages and may result in a very expensive project.
Interstate 80 is the region' primary east-west route, following Old U.S. 40. It begins in the San Francisco Bay Area, then heads northeast into Sacramento via Vallejo, Fairfield, Vacaville, and Davis. Interstate 80 used to follow Business Loop I-80 into the city, but it was rerouted in the 1980s to follow old Interstate 880 around Sacramento to the north. Interstate 80 continues northeast into suburbia, passing through a variety of bedroom communities on its way up the hill to Donner Pass and Truckee. The freeway continues its cross-country journey, entering Reno as the next city of significance.
Business Loop I-80 is the Capital City Freeway. It is the original route of Interstate 80 prior to the mid-1980s when it was renumbered due to substandard segments of the Elvas Freeway. Business Loop I-80 is hidden Interstate 305 between Interstate 80 in West Sacramento and California 99 in Sacramento, and it is hidden California 51 between California 99 and Interstate 80/California 244 (Auburn Boulevard).
U.S. 40 is the historic route of Interstate 80. It is signed in some areas with brown shields, but it is generally difficult to follow without a good old map. In West Sacramento and in Roseville, Historic U.S. 40 is signed with a black and white historic rectangular shield along West Capitol Avenue.
U.S. 50 is the primary freeway leading from Lake Tahoe, Carson City, and central Nevada. It rapidly changes from a two-lane mountain highway into a ten-lane freeway as it enters Sacramento. The cross country route concludes at an interchange with Interstate 80 in West Sacramento. A mileage sign posted at the eastbound beginning shows the distance to Ocean City, Maryland.
California 99 is Historic U.S. 99 as it approaches the capital city from the south. Joining with Business Loop I-80 and silently merging onto Interstate 5 northbound, California 99 is hard to locate without a map from downtown Sacramento. The freeway frees itself from Interstate 5 just east of the Sacramento International Airport, and it continues north into the Sacramento Valley, serving Yuba City and Chico en route to Redding. North of Sacramento, U.S. 99 used to divide into eastern and western segments. U.S. 99E followed U.S. 40 northeast to Roseville, then followed California 65 and California 99 to Red Bluff. U.S. 99W followed U.S. 40 west to Davis, then followed California 113 north and Interstate 5 north to Red Bluff, where the two routes merged back together to reform U.S. 99. While certain sections of U.S. 99, U.S. 99E, and U.S. 99W are posted with brown historic route markers, they are inconsistently applied and not reliable (generally) for navigation.
California 16 is a split route, with the western segment connecting California 20 in Colusa County with Interstate 5 in Woodland. At one time, California 16 continued into downtown Sacramento via Sacramento Avenue, but it was decommissioned in the city center. The eastern segment of California 16 begins at its junction with U.S. 50 and continues southeast toward the Gold Country.
California 84 is Jefferson Boulevard, a north-south route leading from the delta north into West Sacramento. This route is not signed in Yolo County but is mileposted. In Solano County, it is signed.
California 160 is now a split route, having the portion through downtown decommissioned in the early 2000s. The northern segment is the North Sacramento Freeway, and the southern segment follows the Sacramento River via Freeport Boulevard en route to the California Delta.
California 275 is the Tower Bridge across the Sacramento River, including the link to the Capitol Mall. This route is not signed, but some mileposts remain. Previously, the state route included a former spur freeway route between Business Loop I-80 in West Sacramento and the foot of the Tower Bridge over the Sacramento River. This section was decommissioned and returned to local maintenance in October 1999. The freeway has since been converted to a surface boulevard.
Sacramento International Airport
|Leaving Sacramento International Airport Terminal A is this sign for Interstate 5. A short expressway spur leads from the airport to Interstate 5. Photos taken 02/17/07.|
Historic Rainbow Bridge over American River in Folsom
|Traveling north on Greenback Lane (which changes into Riley Street south of Scott Street in downtown Folsom), the historic truss bridge comes into view prior to crossing the Rainbow Bridge. Photo taken 02/17/07.|
Historic Bike/Pedestrian Truss Bridge over American River in Folsom
Folsom Boulevard Bridge over Lake Natoma (American River) in Folsom
New American River Bridge in Folsom
Riley Street - Historic U.S. 50
Sutter Street - Folsom Boulevard Interchange
|Traveling northeast on Folsom Boulevard is this interchange with Sutter Street just west of downtown Folsom after the Natoma Street intersection. Use Natoma Street east to the Folsom Lake Crossing near Folsom Dam. Photos taken 02/17/07.|
Folsom' Bike Path System
Page Updated December 4, 2011.