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Author Topic: Temporary Interstate 5 shields on CA 99 between Stockton and Sacramento.  (Read 1034 times)

ACSCmapcollector

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Does anyone know of the temporary signage of Interstate 5 on California state route 99 between Stockton and Sacramento?  Any comments on this subject?
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sparker

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Between 1972 and 1981 CA 99 also carried "Temporary I-5" shields as well.  These were smaller (24x24) shields, generally posted on CA 99 reassurance assemblies below the CA 99 shield.  From top to bottom these assemblies read:  (DIRECTION)/CA 99/ (TEMPORARY)/I-5.  Northbound, temporary I-5 signage began at the I-5 CA 4/Charter Way exit in Stockton, extending east on Charter Way (old US 50 and, east of the CA 4 divergence, unsigned CA 26) to CA 99, then north on CA 99 to (then) I-80 (now Biz 80 & US 50).  After I-5 was completed southward into Sacramento by 1976, "temporary" signage ceased and "TO I-5" appeared on the interchange's BGS (as it does today) in order to direct traffic to the new I-5 alignment.  Prior to that time, "Temporary I-5 signage followed the I-80 freeway to northbound CA 113 near Davis, which also received signage as "Temporary I-5" (this was also the routing of the former US 99W).  It followed the old 99W alignment, turning west onto (then) CA 16 at Woodland and following it to a point west of town where 99W had historically turned north.  It then followed the old US 99W routing, which was gradually being bypassed by I-5 construction.  The entire Sacramento to Redding portion of I-5 was completed by 1976, at which time the "Temporary I-5" signage was removed from I-80 west of the I-5 junction as well as to the north. 

Southbound:  Before 1976, Temporary I-5 signage began near Woodland, using CA 113 south to I-80 and I-80 east to CA 99 at the present Biz 80/US 50/CA 99 interchange southeast of downtown Sacramento.  Southbound CA 99 BGS signage on EB I-80 had "Temporary I-5" signage attached in order to expedite through traffic heading for the continuation of I-5 at Stockton.  Post-1976, the southbound I-5 ramp to eastbound I-80/south CA 99 was also marked as "Temporary I-5"; while it's unclear whether east I-80 itself ever received temporary I-5 reassurance signage, the ramp to south CA 99 was definitely also signed "Temporary I-5".  Southbound CA 99/Temporary I-5 signage mirrored northbound; Temporary I-5 exited at Charter Way and continued west to the newly-constructed I-5 alignment.  I-5 itself was built as far north as Hammer Lane in the north reaches of Stockton by 1974; northbound I-5 traffic was instructed to exit at Charter Way; the stub end of I-5 was signed as "Local Traffic Only" (the southbound stub end of I-5 in Sacramento, extending down to Pocket Road, was likewise signed).  The final section of I-5 between Stockton and Sacramento was completed in early 1981, at which time the temporary signage along CA 99 and its approach routes was removed. 
 
I had moved to the Bay Area at the end of 1975; and having a big concentration of family in the Roseville/Rocklin area, I made it up to the Sacramento area often -- partly to see the progress on I-5.  More often than not I used 580 over Altamont, then cut north once in the Valley -- so I got to witness first-hand the various permutations of the corridor, complete with the aforementioned "temporary" signage. 
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nexus73

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June 1974 was when I encountered this routing as I was on my way to SoCal.  Stockton was where I crossed back over to get on the "real" I-5.  It was sad to see Caltrans take so long to fill in the gap between Sacramento and Stockton.  I-5 is just the most important main freeway for the entire West Coast after all!

At least we didn't wind up with a longer wait like the I-95 gap got hit with, which has yet to be finished.  That's another headscratcher.

Rick
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US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

sparker

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The reason for the delay in the completion of I-5 between Stockton & Sacramento was largely due to the fact that the ground along the alignment was highly unstable, the routing essentially lying along the eastern fringe of the Sacramento River delta.  Grading that sunk hours after being completed was more common than not along this section; there was a lot of fill involved, often with rocks and rip-rap trucked in from other projects.  One section, between CA 12 and county road E13 (the western non-state extension of CA 104 west from the Galt area) was particularly problematic; they built twin bridges over the Mokelumne River (at that point practically a bayou rather than a river) -- but every time they tried to build the embankment approaches (there were levees on both sides of the river), it would sag almost immediately because the water-saturated ground upon which they were building wouldn't support the additional weight.  Eventually, they had to resort to pumping as much water out as they could, replacing it with a fill composition more resistant to saturation.  Pretty much every technique used along that route was trial-and-error; neither Caltrans nor their various contractors had encountered anything like it previously.  The preliminary grubbing for that route segment had started about 1967; it was 14 more years until it finally opened.   
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