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Author Topic: CA 103 (Terminal Island Freeway) - still signed north of CA 1 (PCH)  (Read 2231 times)

M3100

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I saw an older topic on this route/segment (dated 2014) and after getting the warning in red, elected to make a new thread vs. appending the old one.

Wikipedia notes the CA 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Willow segment as 'CA 103U' with U = Unrelinquished, though I don't know if that information is the most current.

I did not see any CA 103 shields en route, just at the end points.

I drove this route on 6/20/20; here are some pics from south to north:
1. Sign at junction with Ocean/Seaside Fwy on Terminal Island.


2. New Dock northbound onramp; no mention of CA 103.


3. Offramp for CA 47 at Henry Ford Ave; both BGSs almost completely boarded over.


4. Onramp from PCH CA 1


5. Southbound entrance from Willow St.  UP (Salt Lake Route) RR truss bridge is in the background
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DTComposer

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Re: CA 103 (Terminal Island Freeway) - still signed north of CA 1 (PCH)
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2020, 01:07:56 AM »

I think I lot of this signage may change/update with the completion of the Desmond Bridge project - most of the signage seems to be the same as it was when I still lived there (~5 years ago). That said, picture 3 is intriguing, as it looks like the signage considers the Henry Ford/Pier A ramp "Exit 5" for CA-47, even though CA-47 itself is what takes that ramp.

The entire Terminal Island Freeway corridor (from the Seaside Freeway to Willow Street) had been part of CA-47, which on paper was to continue north to I-10. I say "corridor" because from what I can tell the TI Freeway itself (which I think was a City of Long Beach project from the late '40s) was not going to be Caltrans' ultimate routing (their maps from the early 60s show the route as the dotted lines, meaning the final route wasn't yet adopted).

In the early '80s the entire CA-47 corridor was shifted west to the Alameda Street corridor, so CA-103 was assigned to the orphaned TI Freeway, but only to CA-1. I imagine Caltrans wanted to hold onto that part since it was still receiving the brunt of the truck traffic from the port and naval base; they didn't need the part from CA-1 to Willow, but Long Beach wasn't ready to take it over, hence the "U" designation.

Since 2014 or so the plan has been to de-freeway the portion between CA-1 and Willow - basically removing one side of the freeway, putting both directions on the remaining side, and turning the rest into a greenbelt. I don't think there's been any significant movement on that in the last few years.
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mrsman

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Re: CA 103 (Terminal Island Freeway) - still signed north of CA 1 (PCH)
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 08:07:18 AM »

I think I lot of this signage may change/update with the completion of the Desmond Bridge project - most of the signage seems to be the same as it was when I still lived there (~5 years ago). That said, picture 3 is intriguing, as it looks like the signage considers the Henry Ford/Pier A ramp "Exit 5" for CA-47, even though CA-47 itself is what takes that ramp.

The entire Terminal Island Freeway corridor (from the Seaside Freeway to Willow Street) had been part of CA-47, which on paper was to continue north to I-10. I say "corridor" because from what I can tell the TI Freeway itself (which I think was a City of Long Beach project from the late '40s) was not going to be Caltrans' ultimate routing (their maps from the early 60s show the route as the dotted lines, meaning the final route wasn't yet adopted).

In the early '80s the entire CA-47 corridor was shifted west to the Alameda Street corridor, so CA-103 was assigned to the orphaned TI Freeway, but only to CA-1. I imagine Caltrans wanted to hold onto that part since it was still receiving the brunt of the truck traffic from the port and naval base; they didn't need the part from CA-1 to Willow, but Long Beach wasn't ready to take it over, hence the "U" designation.

Since 2014 or so the plan has been to de-freeway the portion between CA-1 and Willow - basically removing one side of the freeway, putting both directions on the remaining side, and turning the rest into a greenbelt. I don't think there's been any significant movement on that in the last few years.

I believe the layout of the highways in TI is needlessly confusing.  part of the problem is that certain routes, namely I-710 and CA-47, change directions.  There should be one E-W highway, CA-47, from San Pedro to Downtown LB.  I-710 should either end at the CA-47 ramps or whatever point the freeway ramps end toward the Queen Mary.  The N-S TI Fwy should be CA-103 from the island to at least PCH.  The CA-47 along surface streets does not need to be signed, but bettter signage along the "TO ALAMDEA STREET" would be wonderful there.
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sparker

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Re: CA 103 (Terminal Island Freeway) - still signed north of CA 1 (PCH)
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 12:40:14 PM »

I think I lot of this signage may change/update with the completion of the Desmond Bridge project - most of the signage seems to be the same as it was when I still lived there (~5 years ago). That said, picture 3 is intriguing, as it looks like the signage considers the Henry Ford/Pier A ramp "Exit 5" for CA-47, even though CA-47 itself is what takes that ramp.

The entire Terminal Island Freeway corridor (from the Seaside Freeway to Willow Street) had been part of CA-47, which on paper was to continue north to I-10. I say "corridor" because from what I can tell the TI Freeway itself (which I think was a City of Long Beach project from the late '40s) was not going to be Caltrans' ultimate routing (their maps from the early 60s show the route as the dotted lines, meaning the final route wasn't yet adopted).

In the early '80s the entire CA-47 corridor was shifted west to the Alameda Street corridor, so CA-103 was assigned to the orphaned TI Freeway, but only to CA-1. I imagine Caltrans wanted to hold onto that part since it was still receiving the brunt of the truck traffic from the port and naval base; they didn't need the part from CA-1 to Willow, but Long Beach wasn't ready to take it over, hence the "U" designation.

Since 2014 or so the plan has been to de-freeway the portion between CA-1 and Willow - basically removing one side of the freeway, putting both directions on the remaining side, and turning the rest into a greenbelt. I don't think there's been any significant movement on that in the last few years.

I believe the layout of the highways in TI is needlessly confusing.  part of the problem is that certain routes, namely I-710 and CA-47, change directions.  There should be one E-W highway, CA-47, from San Pedro to Downtown LB.  I-710 should either end at the CA-47 ramps or whatever point the freeway ramps end toward the Queen Mary.  The N-S TI Fwy should be CA-103 from the island to at least PCH.  The CA-47 along surface streets does not need to be signed, but bettter signage along the "TO ALAMDEA STREET" would be wonderful there.

Interestingly, the Alameda freight rail corridor trench between the major east-of-downtown railyards (UP & BNSF) and the harbor area (it surfaces directly under the CA 91 overpass) construction project was considered part of the CA 47 corridor; all projects let contained a CA 47 reference.  Not coincidentally, the signed portion of CA 47 along the reconstructed Alameda Ave. commences southward from where the trench ends.   There are extensive transloading facilities (rail-truck and vice-versa) centered around where the signed CA 47 and CA 91 cross; trucks loaded at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach bring cargo north to these facilities (ostensibly via CA 47/Alameda), since the railroads have declined to expand their port-area yard facilities due to "green" regulations limiting particle output from diesel locomotives (the Port of L.A., which operates most trackage around the northern/western perimeter of the channel, actually commissioned some "hybrid" diesel rebuilds that operate on rechargeable battery cells -- just like a Prius!).  But accommodation of truck traffic from the port to the transload points is the entire purpose of the CA 47 surface-road project.  And those trucks are subject to "greening" in the next 10 years; eventually, all-fossil-fuel transport modes will be banned from the port region altogether. 
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cahwyguy

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Re: CA 103 (Terminal Island Freeway) - still signed north of CA 1 (PCH)
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2020, 08:02:18 PM »

I'm now going through AAroads in preparation for the next round of updates. The mystery of Route 103 touches upon one of the weirder pieces of the state highway system: LRN 231. Here's what I will have on the Route 47 page; you can see the referenced map on the current Route 710 page:

In 1933, the route from "Long Beach via Atlantic Boulevard to [LRN 26] near Monterey Park" was added to the state highway system. In 1935, it was added to the highway code as LRN 167, with the same routing. Note the starting point of the route is not the Port of Los Angeles -- it is Pacific Coast Highway (US 101A, US 6) in the city of Long Beach. This is what would eventually become Route 710.

In 1949, Chapter 1261 defined LRN 231 as

    “[LRN 165] in San Pedro to [LRN 167] in Long Beach, via the mainland portion of Long Beach Outer Harbor and Terminal Island, subject to the following conditions:

    1. Except as provided in paragraph number 2, no expenditure shall be made from state highway funds for the acquisition of rights of way for or construction, improvement, or maintenance of said highway until the following conditions have been met:

        (a) The Federal Government shall have made available all funds necessary for the construction of said route, other than funds provided under paragraph 2.

        (b) The Federal Government and the Cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach shall have granted a sufficient and adequate right of way without cost to the State of California for that portion of said route traversing lands owned or controlled by each of them.

        (c) The authorized representatives of the Cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the appropriate agency of the Federal Government shall have approved the proposed alignment and the proposed location of all major structures on the route submitted by the State Department of Public Works.

    2. Any city or county may contribute to, and the California Highway Commission may allocate monies from the State Highway Fund for the improvement of portions of [LRN 231] on the mainland when such improvement is found necessary to complete and integrated system of freeways between San Pedro, Long Beach, and the Civic Center in the City of Los Angeles.

    3. If funds from sources other than state highway funds have not been made available for the construction on all portions of said [LRN 231] that are not on the mainland prior to January 15, 1953, said [LRN 231] shall on that date cease to be a state highway and this section shall have no further force or effect. ”

This is a reference to the fact that the Terminal Island Freeway was not part of the state highway system before 1964. The segment from Seaside Blvd to Willow St. (3.1 mi) was designed by the State Division of Highways and constructed under State and US Navy contracts, and financed by the US Navy and Federal Aid Funds for $12 million. The State Division of Highways was reimbursed in full for its services. At one point, this was called the "Seaside Freeway".

In 1957, Chapter 1911 extended the origin of LRN 167 to [LRN 165] (Harbor Freeway): “[LRN 165] in San Pedro Long Beach to Huntington Drive via Long Beach”. This seemed to absorb the former LRN 231, and created the routing for future Route 7/I-710 to San Pedro instead of Long Beach. But as one can see from the map, the routing wasn't quite the current routing yet.

In 1958, Chapter 74 added the San Pedro-Terminal Island Bridge to LRN 167: "[LRN 165] in San Pedro to Huntington Drive via Long Beach, and including a bridge with at least four lanes from San Pedro at or near Boschke Slough to Terminal Island"
By 1960, the routing in the port had assumed the current approach running to Route 47 (portions of which were LRN 167 across the Vincent Thomas Bridge).

Setting aside the Seaside Freeway portion, this was LRN 270 between Seaside Blvd (Route 47/Route 103 junction) and the future I-10 (LRN 173). The LRN 167 portion (between Long Beach and San Pedro) was a 1957 extension of LRN 167; the LRN 270 portion was defined in 1959. There is a possibility the portion along Seaside was LRN 231 between 1949 and 1953, before the Federal Government actually constructed the route. No maps confirm this.

Route 47 was realigned in 1983 to create Route 103; the new alignment did not exist in the highway system before 1983.

Here's the LRN 231 mystery: LRN 231 does not show on any pre-1963 state highway maps, although Seaside is shown, and the freeway that would eventually become Route 103 is shown without an LRN. By the 1958 map, LRN 167 is shown as extended to LRN 165, but not along Seaside Blvd. However, in the 1959 map, LRN 167 is partially along Seaside, and by 1960, it is along Seaside. This may have been what became LRN 167 (and later Route 47 and Route 710), or it could have been Route 103.
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Re: CA 103 (Terminal Island Freeway) - still signed north of CA 1 (PCH)
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2021, 11:55:52 PM »

Today I decided to clinch CA-103. I always knew of it as a freeway for all of its length, but it's never a freeway that gains notoriety for anything. And frankly, I saw why first hand. The route seems to be in rough shape, with the asphalt (also not typical of a freeway) in desperate need for a repave. One would think that with all of the large truck traffic that CalTrans would make an effort to make the road as smooth as possible. Also, the exits did not have any exit numbers. All of this paled in comparison to neighboring CA-47, which is well signed and is a very smooth ride. Any thoughts on this?
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Occidental Tourist

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Re: CA 103 (Terminal Island Freeway) - still signed north of CA 1 (PCH)
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2021, 01:08:54 AM »

Today I decided to clinch CA-103. I always knew of it as a freeway for all of its length, but it's never a freeway that gains notoriety for anything. And frankly, I saw why first hand. The route seems to be in rough shape, with the asphalt (also not typical of a freeway) in desperate need for a repave. One would think that with all of the large truck traffic that CalTrans would make an effort to make the road as smooth as possible. Also, the exits did not have any exit numbers. All of this paled in comparison to neighboring CA-47, which is well signed and is a very smooth ride. Any thoughts on this?

It gained notoriety for being featured in several movies, including the infamous freeway chase scene in To Live And Die In LA, where, for some unexplained reason, they ran the cars on the opposite sides of the freeway.  More recently it was in Being John Malkovich (as the New Jersey Turnpike) and The Island.

Along with the 710 stub in Alhambra and the freeway portion of Shoreline Drive in Long Beach, the Terminal Island Freeway seems to be a favorite location for film, TV, and advertising shoots where a freeway is part of the scene.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 01:11:06 AM by Occidental Tourist »
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mrsman

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Re: CA 103 (Terminal Island Freeway) - still signed north of CA 1 (PCH)
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2021, 10:31:23 AM »

^^^^^

Given its location, its an "orphan" freeway, so closing it would not have repercussions on the rest of the freeway system.  So it is used for filiming and probably can substitute for a road scene on any freeway in the country.
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ClassicHasClass

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Re: CA 103 (Terminal Island Freeway) - still signed north of CA 1 (PCH)
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2021, 08:21:30 PM »

CA 47 plays that role as well, right next door (Terminator 2, Inception, ...).  :popcorn:
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DTComposer

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Re: CA 103 (Terminal Island Freeway) - still signed north of CA 1 (PCH)
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2021, 12:24:31 AM »

the freeway portion of Shoreline Drive in Long Beach, the Terminal Island Freeway seems to be a favorite location for film, TV, and advertising shoots where a freeway is part of the scene.

Having lived on Ocean Boulevard for 8 years and using Shoreline as my main access to I-710, I can attest that Shoreline was closed down at least a couple times a month for filming. (it's also a portion of the track for the Long Beach Grand Prix)
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