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Author Topic: Former US 101 in Salinas  (Read 407 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Former US 101 in Salinas
« on: January 20, 2020, 01:39:35 PM »

Over the past three years I've collected a lot of surface highway photos in the City of Salinas which got me interested in tracking the history of US 101 within the City.  Originally Legislative Route 2 (which became part of US 101 by late 1926) crossed through Salinas using; Abbott Street, John Street, South Main Street, and North Main Street before heading towards San Juan Bautista on the San Juan Grade near Santa Rita.  By summer 1932 US 101/LRN 2 from Santa Rita shifted onto the Prunedale Cut-Off whereas the alignment within Salinas remained the same.  The first shift of US 101 onto what was called the "Salinas Freeway" which bypassed most of downtown Salinas on a new alignment that ended at Market Street.  The Salinas Freeway was built to North Main Street in 1954 which allowed traffic on US 101 bypass all of downtown Salinas.  At the time traffic on US 101 was still required to use North Main Street through Santa Rita to reach the Prunedale Cut-Off.  It wasn't until late 1965 that US 101 on the Salinas Freeway was built north to Espinosa Road which connected it directly with the Prunedale Cut-Off.   Segments of former US 101 on surface streets within Salinas have been repurposed into parts of CA 68 and CA 183.


For reference here are the maps I drew showing the original surface alignment of US 101 in Salinas:

K Salinas (2) by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

L Salinas (1) by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr


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Re: Former US 101 in Salinas
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2020, 09:34:48 PM »

Curiously, the old porcelain/button copy BGS's along US 101 at the Sanborn Ave. interchange had room reserved on them for a shield; it's likely that at some point a reroute of CA 68 away from downtown was planned.  Also, for years (I first saw such signage back in early 1969) there was no mention of CA 183 except for a single stand-alone trailblazer shield assembly SB on US 101 at North Main; nothing NB, since there is no direct NB101>SB Main access at that interchange.  This was finally remedied circa the late '80's with a "TO CA 183" addition to the BGS at the NB US 101 Market Street interchange, which also included directional signage once on the surface facility.   Obviously D5 was concerned with route continuity 30 years ago -- but then they've historically been better than most Caltrans districts about such things.


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