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Author Topic: California SR 173 - western segment near Hesperia  (Read 524 times)

M3100

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California SR 173 - western segment near Hesperia
« on: April 10, 2021, 05:37:10 PM »

I drove this somewhat remote section of highway yesterday; it is in the high desert south of Hesperia and ends near where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses over it.  I found an AA thread from about 10 years ago that shows CalTrans closed the unpaved middle section of SR 173 around that time; there is another paved segment further east that I have not explored yet.  There were no route shields along the highway, though there were post mile markers.

This pic shows the locked gate where the unpaved section begins.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California SR 173 - western segment near Hesperia
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2021, 05:49:39 PM »

CA 173 was once part of the original definition of CA 2.  Its too bad that the dirt segment is presently shuttered given how unique it was.  I for one love to drive dirt roads, especially when they were are maintained as State Highways.  I believe it was originally constructed as a spur of the Mormon Road to the mines of Holcomb Valley:

https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~215908~5502250:California,-Nevada,-Utah-And-Arizon?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:Bancroft%27s;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=18&trs=589
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oscar

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Re: California SR 173 - western segment near Hesperia
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2021, 06:15:22 PM »

^ I heard that CA 173 was repurposed for access to the Lake Arrowhead dam construction site, and once the dam was built the unpaved segment fell into disuse. Anything to that?
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California SR 173 - western segment near Hesperia
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2021, 06:26:31 PM »

^ I heard that CA 173 was repurposed for access to the Lake Arrowhead dam construction site, and once the dam was built the unpaved segment fell into disuse. Anything to that?

Considering Arrowhead Dam was finished in 1922 it probably did see substantial freight and materials traffic at the time.  The state picked up as an extension Legislative Route Number 59 and it seems that they had some grand designs for it given it was assigned as part of CA 2.

Interesting to note the Division of Highways had CA 2 over current CA 173 with a traffic count of 0-100 on the 1935 Map of San Bernardino County:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/ll/thumbnailView.html?startUrl=%2F%2Fwww.davidrumsey.com%2Fluna%2Fservlet%2Fas%2Fsearch%3Fos%3D0%26lc%3DRUMSEY~8~1%26q%3DCalifornia%20division%20of%20highways%20san%26sort%3DPub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No%26bs%3D10#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&r=0&xywh=2491%2C-107%2C1992%2C3263
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sparker

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Re: California SR 173 - western segment near Hesperia
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2021, 11:22:42 PM »

^ I heard that CA 173 was repurposed for access to the Lake Arrowhead dam construction site, and once the dam was built the unpaved segment fell into disuse. Anything to that?

Considering Arrowhead Dam was finished in 1922 it probably did see substantial freight and materials traffic at the time.  The state picked up as an extension Legislative Route Number 59 and it seems that they had some grand designs for it given it was assigned as part of CA 2.

Interesting to note the Division of Highways had CA 2 over current CA 173 with a traffic count of 0-100 on the 1935 Map of San Bernardino County:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/ll/thumbnailView.html?startUrl=%2F%2Fwww.davidrumsey.com%2Fluna%2Fservlet%2Fas%2Fsearch%3Fos%3D0%26lc%3DRUMSEY~8~1%26q%3DCalifornia%20division%20of%20highways%20san%26sort%3DPub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No%26bs%3D10#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&r=0&xywh=2491%2C-107%2C1992%2C3263


When SSR 2 was completed along the Angeles Crest in the late '50's (with the CA 39 extension completed a couple of years after that), it was signed as multiplexed with SSR 138 east to (then) US 66/91/395 in Cajon Pass, but signed SSR 2 continued east on its own over what is now CA 138 along LR59, but, as CA 138 does today, segued onto LRN 188 toward Crestline and LRN 43/SSR 18.  D8 obviously though better of continuing a main mountain connector over a dirt road and chose the path of least resistance (and greater population).   

In a more perfect world -- and from the standpoint of a former Hesperia resident -- Caltrans/D8 would adopt East Main Street in Hesperia as a new state highway either to a junction with I-15 west of central Hesperia or CA 18 in Apple Valley as a regional connector, subsuming the western section of CA 173 from CA 138 to Main Street, deleting the section east of there to the locked gate, and limiting the CA 173 designation to the eastern segment around Lake Arrowhead.  It certainly would make navigation from the mountain areas down to the desert cities considerably more straightforward.  But with the agency's reticence toward adopting any more surface mileage, that's something unlikely to occur (I always though a relocated CA 171 would be a nice available number for the old 173).
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