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Author Topic: CA 1 around Carmel  (Read 1152 times)

heynow415

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CA 1 around Carmel
« on: November 01, 2021, 11:45:48 AM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?

Would be news to me, but if it was the 1970s it would have been post CHPW where it could easily be referenced.  The closest freeway segment to Big Sur is Carmel-Castroville.  CA 1 (old CA 3 and US 101A was planned for a freeway upgrade in addition to a segment over Montara Mountain.

Pertaining to the CHPWs it was a publication that ran from 1924-67.  Generally freeways Route adoptions were well publicized in the 1950s/1960s CHPW era.  The blog on did on the overall history on CA 1 in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula has sublinks to the applicable CHPW volumes hosted on archive.org.  You can run a simple search for notable words (example; “Sur”) to narrow down what your looking for.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-1-cabrillo.html?m=1

Also Daniel’s site doesn’t list a freeway alignment being adopted for CA 1 in Big Sur:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE001.html

Here is the relevant text:

[SHC 253.2] From Route 101 near San Luis Obispo to San Simeon; the northern limits of Carmel to the west city limits of Santa Cruz; the Higgins-Purisima Road to Route 280 south of San Francisco. Constructed as freeway for 5 miles near Morro Bay, from Route 68 to Route 156, from south of Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and from Pacifica to Route 280. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959 (Chapter 1062).

It sounds like you might have encountered someone who thinks Cambria and/or Carmel is part of the Big Sur Area in that Wikipedia article.

The current SR1 freeway from north Carmel through Monterey was supposed to extend as far south as Carmel Valley Road, which residents of Carmel fought tooth and nail to kill it.  To do a full freeway south of there would not have made any sense given the lack of development potential (lots of public/National Forest land all the way to San Simeon).  Politics and citizen outrage aside, the terrain would have made building something through there very expensive and would have been very maintenance intensive.  With a perfectly good 101 corridor to the east I would guess leaving it in its current state was deemed suitable for that corridor.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2021, 06:50:31 PM by Alps »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 1 around Carmel
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2021, 12:08:20 PM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?

Would be news to me, but if it was the 1970s it would have been post CHPW where it could easily be referenced.  The closest freeway segment to Big Sur is Carmel-Castroville.  CA 1 (old CA 3 and US 101A was planned for a freeway upgrade in addition to a segment over Montara Mountain.

Pertaining to the CHPWs it was a publication that ran from 1924-67.  Generally freeways Route adoptions were well publicized in the 1950s/1960s CHPW era.  The blog on did on the overall history on CA 1 in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula has sublinks to the applicable CHPW volumes hosted on archive.org.  You can run a simple search for notable words (example; “Sur”) to narrow down what your looking for.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-1-cabrillo.html?m=1

Also Daniel’s site doesn’t list a freeway alignment being adopted for CA 1 in Big Sur:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE001.html

Here is the relevant text:

[SHC 253.2] From Route 101 near San Luis Obispo to San Simeon; the northern limits of Carmel to the west city limits of Santa Cruz; the Higgins-Purisima Road to Route 280 south of San Francisco. Constructed as freeway for 5 miles near Morro Bay, from Route 68 to Route 156, from south of Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and from Pacifica to Route 280. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959 (Chapter 1062).

It sounds like you might have encountered someone who thinks Cambria and/or Carmel is part of the Big Sur Area in that Wikipedia article.

The current SR1 freeway from north Carmel through Monterey was supposed to extend as far south as Carmel Valley Road, which residents of Carmel fought tooth and nail to kill it.  To do a full freeway south of there would not have made any sense given the lack of development potential (lots of public/National Forest land all the way to San Simeon).  Politics and citizen outrage aside, the terrain would have made building something through there very expensive and would have been very maintenance intensive.  With a perfectly good 101 corridor to the east I would guess leaving it in its current state was deemed suitable for that corridor.

I don’t know, it sure would have gotten the tourists out Carmel a whole hell of a lot quicker and mitigated some serious back ups during rush hour to/from Monterey.  The original alignment of 1 was always kind of east of downtown Carmel on a bypass.  I’d be curious to see what kind of right of way a freeway to Carmel Valley Road would have been needed.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2021, 06:50:46 PM by Alps »
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kernals12

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Re: CA 1 around Carmel
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2021, 08:19:53 PM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?

Would be news to me, but if it was the 1970s it would have been post CHPW where it could easily be referenced.  The closest freeway segment to Big Sur is Carmel-Castroville.  CA 1 (old CA 3 and US 101A was planned for a freeway upgrade in addition to a segment over Montara Mountain.

Pertaining to the CHPWs it was a publication that ran from 1924-67.  Generally freeways Route adoptions were well publicized in the 1950s/1960s CHPW era.  The blog on did on the overall history on CA 1 in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula has sublinks to the applicable CHPW volumes hosted on archive.org.  You can run a simple search for notable words (example; “Sur”) to narrow down what your looking for.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-1-cabrillo.html?m=1

Also Daniel’s site doesn’t list a freeway alignment being adopted for CA 1 in Big Sur:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE001.html

Here is the relevant text:

[SHC 253.2] From Route 101 near San Luis Obispo to San Simeon; the northern limits of Carmel to the west city limits of Santa Cruz; the Higgins-Purisima Road to Route 280 south of San Francisco. Constructed as freeway for 5 miles near Morro Bay, from Route 68 to Route 156, from south of Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and from Pacifica to Route 280. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959 (Chapter 1062).

It sounds like you might have encountered someone who thinks Cambria and/or Carmel is part of the Big Sur Area in that Wikipedia article.

The current SR1 freeway from north Carmel through Monterey was supposed to extend as far south as Carmel Valley Road, which residents of Carmel fought tooth and nail to kill it.  To do a full freeway south of there would not have made any sense given the lack of development potential (lots of public/National Forest land all the way to San Simeon).  Politics and citizen outrage aside, the terrain would have made building something through there very expensive and would have been very maintenance intensive.  With a perfectly good 101 corridor to the east I would guess leaving it in its current state was deemed suitable for that corridor.

I don’t know, it sure would have gotten the tourists out Carmel a whole hell of a lot quicker and mitigated some serious back ups during rush hour to/from Monterey.  The original alignment of 1 was always kind of east of downtown Carmel on a bypass.  I’d be curious to see what kind of right of way a freeway to Carmel Valley Road would have been needed.

I think the only thing that could've worked would've been a Blue Ridge Parkway-style viaduct.
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heynow415

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Re: CA 1 around Carmel
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2021, 11:58:44 AM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?

Would be news to me, but if it was the 1970s it would have been post CHPW where it could easily be referenced.  The closest freeway segment to Big Sur is Carmel-Castroville.  CA 1 (old CA 3 and US 101A was planned for a freeway upgrade in addition to a segment over Montara Mountain.

Pertaining to the CHPWs it was a publication that ran from 1924-67.  Generally freeways Route adoptions were well publicized in the 1950s/1960s CHPW era.  The blog on did on the overall history on CA 1 in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula has sublinks to the applicable CHPW volumes hosted on archive.org.  You can run a simple search for notable words (example; “Sur”) to narrow down what your looking for.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-1-cabrillo.html?m=1

Also Daniel’s site doesn’t list a freeway alignment being adopted for CA 1 in Big Sur:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE001.html

Here is the relevant text:

[SHC 253.2] From Route 101 near San Luis Obispo to San Simeon; the northern limits of Carmel to the west city limits of Santa Cruz; the Higgins-Purisima Road to Route 280 south of San Francisco. Constructed as freeway for 5 miles near Morro Bay, from Route 68 to Route 156, from south of Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and from Pacifica to Route 280. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959 (Chapter 1062).

It sounds like you might have encountered someone who thinks Cambria and/or Carmel is part of the Big Sur Area in that Wikipedia article.

The current SR1 freeway from north Carmel through Monterey was supposed to extend as far south as Carmel Valley Road, which residents of Carmel fought tooth and nail to kill it.  To do a full freeway south of there would not have made any sense given the lack of development potential (lots of public/National Forest land all the way to San Simeon).  Politics and citizen outrage aside, the terrain would have made building something through there very expensive and would have been very maintenance intensive.  With a perfectly good 101 corridor to the east I would guess leaving it in its current state was deemed suitable for that corridor.

I don’t know, it sure would have gotten the tourists out Carmel a whole hell of a lot quicker and mitigated some serious back ups during rush hour to/from Monterey.  The original alignment of 1 was always kind of east of downtown Carmel on a bypass.  I’d be curious to see what kind of right of way a freeway to Carmel Valley Road would have been needed.

Agreed - seemed like a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.  Don't know if the State still owns it but the alignment would have been in the bow-shaped corridor east of the existing road  https://www.google.com/maps/place/Carmel-By-The-Sea,+CA+93923/@36.5552594,-121.9158164,3192m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x808de615b717ec53:0xd2c22ba6ca51541c!8m2!3d36.5552386!4d-121.9232879   Now it's mostly a hiking/biking path.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 1 around Carmel
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2021, 12:13:51 PM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?

Would be news to me, but if it was the 1970s it would have been post CHPW where it could easily be referenced.  The closest freeway segment to Big Sur is Carmel-Castroville.  CA 1 (old CA 3 and US 101A was planned for a freeway upgrade in addition to a segment over Montara Mountain.

Pertaining to the CHPWs it was a publication that ran from 1924-67.  Generally freeways Route adoptions were well publicized in the 1950s/1960s CHPW era.  The blog on did on the overall history on CA 1 in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula has sublinks to the applicable CHPW volumes hosted on archive.org.  You can run a simple search for notable words (example; “Sur”) to narrow down what your looking for.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-1-cabrillo.html?m=1

Also Daniel’s site doesn’t list a freeway alignment being adopted for CA 1 in Big Sur:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE001.html

Here is the relevant text:

[SHC 253.2] From Route 101 near San Luis Obispo to San Simeon; the northern limits of Carmel to the west city limits of Santa Cruz; the Higgins-Purisima Road to Route 280 south of San Francisco. Constructed as freeway for 5 miles near Morro Bay, from Route 68 to Route 156, from south of Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and from Pacifica to Route 280. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959 (Chapter 1062).

It sounds like you might have encountered someone who thinks Cambria and/or Carmel is part of the Big Sur Area in that Wikipedia article.

The current SR1 freeway from north Carmel through Monterey was supposed to extend as far south as Carmel Valley Road, which residents of Carmel fought tooth and nail to kill it.  To do a full freeway south of there would not have made any sense given the lack of development potential (lots of public/National Forest land all the way to San Simeon).  Politics and citizen outrage aside, the terrain would have made building something through there very expensive and would have been very maintenance intensive.  With a perfectly good 101 corridor to the east I would guess leaving it in its current state was deemed suitable for that corridor.

I don’t know, it sure would have gotten the tourists out Carmel a whole hell of a lot quicker and mitigated some serious back ups during rush hour to/from Monterey.  The original alignment of 1 was always kind of east of downtown Carmel on a bypass.  I’d be curious to see what kind of right of way a freeway to Carmel Valley Road would have been needed.

Agreed - seemed like a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.  Don't know if the State still owns it but the alignment would have been in the bow-shaped corridor east of the existing road  https://www.google.com/maps/place/Carmel-By-The-Sea,+CA+93923/@36.5552594,-121.9158164,3192m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x808de615b717ec53:0xd2c22ba6ca51541c!8m2!3d36.5552386!4d-121.9232879   Now it's mostly a hiking/biking path.

All things considered I always thought the freeway alignment of 1 was handled very well in the Monterey Peninsula.  Much of the alignment either cut along the ocean or through largely excavated terrain in the hills above downtown.  It looks as though Carmel would have a minimal impact considering most of the right of way set aside for a freeway remains just as clear as it ever has.
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heynow415

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Re: CA 1 around Carmel
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2021, 02:40:50 PM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?



Would be news to me, but if it was the 1970s it would have been post CHPW where it could easily be referenced.  The closest freeway segment to Big Sur is Carmel-Castroville.  CA 1 (old CA 3 and US 101A was planned for a freeway upgrade in addition to a segment over Montara Mountain.

Pertaining to the CHPWs it was a publication that ran from 1924-67.  Generally freeways Route adoptions were well publicized in the 1950s/1960s CHPW era.  The blog on did on the overall history on CA 1 in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula has sublinks to the applicable CHPW volumes hosted on archive.org.  You can run a simple search for notable words (example; “Sur”) to narrow down what your looking for.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-1-cabrillo.html?m=1

Also Daniel’s site doesn’t list a freeway alignment being adopted for CA 1 in Big Sur:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE001.html

Here is the relevant text:

[SHC 253.2] From Route 101 near San Luis Obispo to San Simeon; the northern limits of Carmel to the west city limits of Santa Cruz; the Higgins-Purisima Road to Route 280 south of San Francisco. Constructed as freeway for 5 miles near Morro Bay, from Route 68 to Route 156, from south of Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and from Pacifica to Route 280. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959 (Chapter 1062).

It sounds like you might have encountered someone who thinks Cambria and/or Carmel is part of the Big Sur Area in that Wikipedia article.

The current SR1 freeway from north Carmel through Monterey was supposed to extend as far south as Carmel Valley Road, which residents of Carmel fought tooth and nail to kill it.  To do a full freeway south of there would not have made any sense given the lack of development potential (lots of public/National Forest land all the way to San Simeon).  Politics and citizen outrage aside, the terrain would have made building something through there very expensive and would have been very maintenance intensive.  With a perfectly good 101 corridor to the east I would guess leaving it in its current state was deemed suitable for that corridor.

I don’t know, it sure would have gotten the tourists out Carmel a whole hell of a lot quicker and mitigated some serious back ups during rush hour to/from Monterey.  The original alignment of 1 was always kind of east of downtown Carmel on a bypass.  I’d be curious to see what kind of right of way a freeway to Carmel Valley Road would have been needed.

Agreed - seemed like a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.  Don't know if the State still owns it but the alignment would have been in the bow-shaped corridor east of the existing road  https://www.google.com/maps/place/Carmel-By-The-Sea,+CA+93923/@36.5552594,-121.9158164,3192m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x808de615b717ec53:0xd2c22ba6ca51541c!8m2!3d36.5552386!4d-121.9232879   Now it's mostly a hiking/biking path.

All things considered I always thought the freeway alignment of 1 was handled very well in the Monterey Peninsula.  Much of the alignment either cut along the ocean or through largely excavated terrain in the hills above downtown.  It looks as though Carmel would have a minimal impact considering most of the right of way set aside for a freeway remains just as clear as it ever has.

Absolutely.  Weekend traffic notwithstanding, it's a really nice drive, meandering through the forest for some portions and traversing the dunes for others while leaving the various towns along the way generally intact.  This would have been the same - instead of taking a bunch of property fronting the current highway it circumscribed the whole of Carmel.  But it's totally dead.  Was able to dig up this article from 2000 on its demise:  https://www.montereycountyweekly.com/news/local_news/new-state-budget-kills-hatton-canyon-freeway--once-and-for-all/article_2a500098-5697-5dc9-a22e-62c9cc0be761.html
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 1 around Carmel
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2021, 03:01:41 PM »

Amusingly the 101 Prunedale Bypass was never built either.  I chuckled a little when I read funding was diverted from Hatton Canyon to Prunedale. 

Mods, if anyone is watching can we split this CA 1/Carmel discussion onto a new thread?  There is a solid information that I thought out to be it’s own topic.
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