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Author Topic: Bitterwater Road, Old SSR 178, more LRN 137, and the 1914 Salinas River Bridge  (Read 2687 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Finally got myself a Flickr account, hopefully this makes uploading my photos easy than Photobucket was.  Anyways, given CA 1 through Big Sur is still closed up I decided to go see a couple things that I've been meaning to go find.  First up I felt like Bitterwater Road needed another look after the whole Parkfield Grade/Soda Lake write up I did.  I followed that up with something I noticed when I was looking into LRN 137 and CA 229, namely a much different alignment SSR 178 took through the La Panza Range from 1934 to 1956.  Speaking of LRN 137 and SSR 178 I also stopped by the 1914 Salinas River Bridge in San Luis Opispo County....but before I get ahead of myself....

Started the day by heading up to CA 46 and heading to Bitterwater Road from the northern San Luis Obispo County segment:

1 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Basically Bitterwater Road is a 32 mile road between CA 41/46 that traverses the Temblor Range more or less on or near the San Andreas Fault.  The very northern part from CA 41/46 is in San Luis Obispo County:

2 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The surface isn't the best and doesn't have a center stripe, but is plenty wide within San Luis Obispo County to the Kern County Line...for the most part:

3 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

For the most part Bitterwater is open range territory, this was just the beginning of something that morphed into a much larger issue:

4 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

There was some low cloud cover that looked to be extending north into the Diablos, southbound towards CA 58 not so much:

5 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Bitterwater Road dips into Kern County briefly at Annette Road which is directly ahead in the picture going up the hill eastbound:

6 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Bitterwater Road takes a sharp right south while Annette Road continues straight and eastward:

7 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

8 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Once Bitterwater Road reaches San Luis Obispo County again it gains a center stripe it mostly keeps all the way to CA 58:

9 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

10 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

And yes Flickr seems to be infinitely more user friendly thus far.  This is a five parter, I should have it much faster than past albums...

Max Rockatansky

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Part 2

There is a brief climb to a rough summit of about 2,300 feet above sea level where Bitterwater gets a little narrow and loses the center stripe periodically:

11 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

12 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

13 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The open range finally bit me in the ass at the top of the hill.  It was about ten minutes before a truck came by and scared the cows off the road:

14 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Up ahead is the La Panza Range where CA 58 runs on the northern flanks and where SSR ran basically on the other side of:

15 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

16 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Basically Bitterwater Road comes up to CA 58 smack dab in the middle of the lonely 71 mile stretch of CA 58 between Santa Margarita and McKittrick.  A lot of people find 58 west of Bakersfield kind of intimidating, I think it is more due to the lack of services for such a long stretch.  58 itself I've found to be a pretty placid and not very difficult drive:

17 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

18 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

19 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

From 1934 to 1956 SSR 178 would have split off to the left here and used Pozo Road to cross the La Panza Range to reach Santa Margarita and US 101:

20 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Max Rockatansky

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Part 3

A look at even Google Maps shows why SSR 178 was realigned, it wasn't a very good route that had a hugely twisty alignment.  The modern route is largely something you can hold a decent 45-55 MPH in most curves much like CA 198 over the Diablos.  When SSR 178 was plotted out in 1934 it went through a town called La Panza (named after the range) and the village of Pozo which is located near Santa Margarita Lake.  Pozo still exists as an inhabited place while La Panza is now a ghost town.  Splitting off of 58 on Pozo Road there was oddly a Calfire Station despite the poor road quality:

21 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

22 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

23 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The terrain is relatively flat on Pozo Road until this warning about 12 Miles of mountain grade roads.  There is a very small climb westward to about 1,800 feet where the La Panza ghost town is located at:

24 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

25 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Approaching La Panza there is a warning not to use the unpaved segment in wet weather.  It rained yesterday and I've heard nightmare stories from some friends about the La Panza Range, given I was in a commuter level of car I refrained from going past the ruins of La Panza ghost town.  Supposedly the town of La Panza was founded after placer gold claim from 1878 was made in La Panza Canyon.  Word is that La Panza had a Post Office until 1908 but it still appears on the state highway maps until 1932:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239597~5511898:Map-Showing-State-Highway-System--C?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=75&trs=86

From what I can tell or what I've read the brick building which is largely incorporated into the more modern shack is the only building left from La Panza itself.  There was a door frame foundation sticking out of the ground behind the metal shack also which probably is from the town.  Kind of neat but not a ton to really explore since the ruins are on private property:

27 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

28 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

29 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

30 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Max Rockatansky

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Part 4

Heading back down the hill to CA 58 there was a decent old piece of farm machinery and somewhat decent overlook:

31 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

32 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The changes to SSR 178 and LRN 58 are best demonstrated by map.  The 1938 and 1954 maps show a clear alignment through Pozo directly east:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239588~5511892:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=69&trs=86

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239555~5511870:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=47&trs=86

Note; on the maps above LRN 137 runs from SSR 178 just outside of Santa Margarita over the Salinas River up to Creston.  In 1956 SSR 178/LRN 58 was realigned along what was LRN 137 to the modern southern terminus of CA 229 east along modern CA 58.  US 101 was also shifted west to the modern bypass which meant SSR 178/LRN 58 was extended through Santa Margarita:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239549~5511866:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=43&trs=86

Of course in 1964 SSR 178 west of Bakersfield became CA 58:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239525~5511850:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1964?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=27&trs=86

Which if you really think about it extremely odd.  I get why 58 was used for US 466 east of Bakerfield to Barstow but what was wrong with 178?  The current surface alignment of 58 still meets up with 178 at CA 99 in Bakersfield.  I guess it will make more sense once the Westside Parkway gets completed but I would have assumed it would be more simple to just keep 178 to Santa Margarita...weird...

Edit:  I did find some Youtube videos of the dirt section of Pozo Road, this was the best quality which really isn't saying much:


Given that on the video (incidentally the Faultline 500 looks like my kind of rally) they say they are "3 miles from pavement" and heading down hill I'm guessing that they are at La Panza Summit heading west towards Pozo.  Given that it is a very low clearance car and it is going at a pretty clip I'd say that would probably be a good indicator that Pozo Road is very well maintained.  That might be something I go fully explore this summer, if I do or don't get a high clearance vehicle in that time frame.

This is where the 1956 alignment for SSR 178/LRN 58 would have begun at the modern CA 229 junction.  Basically SSR 178/LRN 58 would have continued straight and to the left after 1956 and prior to that it would have been just another part of LRN 137:

33 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

In this picture LRN 137 would have continued to the right past the END 229 sign to SSR 178 prior to 1956:

34 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

35 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

West at the Salinas River is the 1914 Salinas River Bridge:

36 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

This bridge was in use from 1914 to 1997 and would have saw service on; LRN 137, SSR 178, LRN 58, and finally CA 58 before being replaced:

https://bridgehunter.com/ca/san-luis-obispo/bh64341/

And it is actually quite a nice little one-lane truss bridge:

37 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

38 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

39 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

40 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 07:47:35 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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Max Rockatansky

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Part 5, starting with more of the Salinas River Bridge:

41 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

42 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Prior to 1956 this was terminus of LRN 137 at SSR 178 which would have continued in both directions at Pozo Road.  Left goes back east towards Pozo and La Panza while right heads west to Santa Margarita:

43 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

44 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

This would have been where the western terminus of SSR 178/LRN 58 would been at US 101 in Santa Margarita on the El Camino Real:

45 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Of course in 1956 US 101 was realigned and SSR 178/LRN 58 was extended through Santa Margarita to terminate at it:

46 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

47 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

And that's it, really strange story of alignment changes on top of all the route numbers.  Anyways, I'm hoping to head to the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road next week if CA 1 reopens.  I have some business up in the Bay Area soon so hopefully I'll be able to clear the Santa Lucias before then.  I'm looking at maybe CA 9, 238, and 35 maybe next.

hm insulators

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Beautiful countryside!
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Max Rockatansky

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Beautiful countryside!

Sure way more green than what I'm used to with all the rain.  I took Bitterwater Road about a year ago when it was bone dry and it resembled a desert more than anything.  I did some of the photos in Monochrome, they're on the Flickr page and in the Monochrome Roads thread on the Photo Board.

kkt

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Part 3

A look at even Google Maps shows why SSR 178 was realigned, it wasn't a very good route that had a hugely twisty alignment.  The modern route is largely something you can hold a decent 45-55 MPH in most curves much like CA 198 over the Diablos.  When SSR 178 was plotted out in 1934 it went through a town called La Panza (named after the range) and the village of Pozo which is located near Santa Margarita Lake.  Pozo still exists as an inhabited place while La Panza is now a ghost town.  Splitting off of 58 on Pozo Road there was oddly a Calfire Station despite the poor road quality:

...

The terrain is relatively flat on Pozo Road until this warning about 12 Miles of mountain grade roads.  There is a very small climb westward to about 1,800 feet where the La Panza ghost town is located at:

Wow, some of that pavement looks like it was last paved as a Works Progress Administration project about 1936...
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 04:13:17 PM by kkt »
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Max Rockatansky

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Part 3

A look at even Google Maps shows why SSR 178 was realigned, it wasn't a very good route that had a hugely twisty alignment.  The modern route is largely something you can hold a decent 45-55 MPH in most curves much like CA 198 over the Diablos.  When SSR 178 was plotted out in 1934 it went through a town called La Panza (named after the range) and the village of Pozo which is located near Santa Margarita Lake.  Pozo still exists as an inhabited place while La Panza is now a ghost town.  Splitting off of 58 on Pozo Road there was oddly a Calfire Station despite the poor road quality:

...

The terrain is relatively flat on Pozo Road until this warning about 12 Miles of mountain grade roads.  There is a very small climb westward to about 1,800 feet where the La Panza ghost town is located at:

Wow, some of that pavement looks like it was last paved as a Works Progress Administration project about 1934...

You might be more right than you know.  I'll have to double check all my maps from the 30s but they definitely show the progression of the paving from gravel.  A lot of early Signed State Route surfaced that survived end up looking like that over time.   

On the flip side I'm getting close to tracking down when most of Bitterwater was built.  I have a map San Luis Obispo County from 1935 which doesn't show Bitterwater Road there. 

Max Rockatansky

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Speaking of asphalt on SSR 178, the maps really show what the progress of Pozo Road being paved really was:

1934

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239594~5511896:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=pub_list_no_initialsort%2Cpub_date%2Cpub_list_no%2Cseries_no&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:pub_list_no_initialsort%2Cpub_date%2Cpub_list_no%2Cseries_no;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=73&trs=86

All of SSR 178 on Pozo Road is shown as unimproved.


1938

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239588~5511892:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=pub_list_no_initialsort%2Cpub_date%2Cpub_list_no%2Cseries_no&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:pub_list_no_initialsort%2Cpub_date%2Cpub_list_no%2Cseries_no;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=69&trs=86

SSR 178 appears to be paved south of Santa Margarita a couple miles east of LRN 137 and improved over all of Pozo Road.


1942

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239582~5511888:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=pub_list_no_initialsort%2Cpub_date%2Cpub_list_no%2Cseries_no&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:pub_list_no_initialsort%2Cpub_date%2Cpub_list_no%2Cseries_no;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=65&trs=86

SSR 178 is paved from Santa Margarita to almost all the way to Pozo.


1955

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239552~5511868:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=pub_list_no_initialsort%2Cpub_date%2Cpub_list_no%2Cseries_no&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:pub_list_no_initialsort%2Cpub_date%2Cpub_list_no%2Cseries_no;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=45&trs=86


Of course 1956 was the big shift northward for SSR 178.  What that would seem to indicate is that the paving seen in the pictures on old SSR 178 from modern CA 58 west to the La Panza ghost town would have been done by San Luis Obispo County past when it ceased being a state highway.  So when is that pavement from?...who really knows?  I would venture a guess it is somewhat recent given the Calfire station and major ranches in the area.

No additional improvements have yet been made from just west of Pozo east to La Panza.

mrsman

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The changes to SSR 178 and LRN 58 are best demonstrated by map.  The 1938 and 1954 maps show a clear alignment through Pozo directly east:



Note; on the maps above LRN 137 runs from SSR 178 just outside of Santa Margarita over the Salinas River up to Creston.  In 1956 SSR 178/LRN 58 was realigned along what was LRN 137 to the modern southern terminus of CA 229 east along modern CA 58.  US 101 was also shifted west to the modern bypass which meant SSR 178/LRN 58 was extended through Santa Margarita:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239549~5511866:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=43&trs=86

Of course in 1964 SSR 178 west of Bakersfield became CA 58:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239525~5511850:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1964?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=27&trs=86

Which if you really think about it extremely odd.  I get why 58 was used for US 466 east of Bakerfield to Barstow but what was wrong with 178?  The current surface alignment of 58 still meets up with 178 at CA 99 in Bakersfield.  I guess it will make more sense once the Westside Parkway gets completed but I would have assumed it would be more simple to just keep 178 to Santa Margarita...weird...



Just an educated guess on my part, US 466 was demoted to state highways, since it no longer was cosigned with I-15 and no longer left California.  The Caltrans authorities decided that they wanted a corridor from Barstow to Bakersfield to the ocean (or at least to US 101) in a most direct way as being one state number.  This was to be the main east-west corridor through this part of the state and it should have one number.  This desire to make this one corridor overrode other concerns like keeping the old highway number on the Bakersfield-Santa Margarita route.  So if you have two highways approaching Bakersfield from the east (Ridgecrest-Lake Isabella-Bakersfield and Barstow-Mojave-Bakersfield) and only one of those highways will continue to the west (Bakersfield-Santa Margarita) it was felt that it would be better to have the more travelled route from the east continue to the west and the less travelled route would end in Bakersfield.  So it was decided taht Barstow-Bakersfiled-Santa Margarita should be one number, and Bakersfield-Lake Isabella should be a different number.

At the same time, there was also the Paso Robles - Calico corridor that needed to be renumbered since it was also no longer going to be US 466.  So they decided to rename the Paso Robles - Calico corridor CA 46 (which is derived from US 466, by lobbing off one of the 6's).  And then rename the corridor from Santa Margarita - Bakersfield as CA 58 after the LRN for the route.   Then CA 58 was extended to Barstow and CA 178 was truncated as being only from Bakersfield to the northeast.

 
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Max Rockatansky

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^^^

With US 466 I'd say it was more than an educated guess since US 399 and US 299 were wiped out in the initial renumbering as well as in-state only.  466 really didn't have much purpose east of Barstow as it largely multiplexed US 91 and US 93 for most of the service life of the highway.  The renumbering from 99 west to 1 as 46 was kind of cleaver, I'm actually surprised that 466 as a state highway number wasn't considered since 299 remained...perhaps it was but the availability of 46 made it too simple?  58 seems like a simple swap out given the LRN for Bakersfield east to Barstow.

Why I think the change from 178 to 58 west of Bakersfield is strange is that it required a multiplex of US/CA 99 to get to there.  It seemed like a big part of the renumbering was to eliminate multiplexed routes or at least make them more minimal in nature.  Considering CA 166 was probably more viable as a truck route even in the 1960s over SSR 178/LRN 58 it seems kind of pointless to yank a ton of signage to make the swap for 58.  Supposedly in the very beginning back 1934 lower numbers had significance while triple digits were more rural routes.  That largely went away over time as more routes were added and some like 152, 180, and 198 San Joaquin Valley rose in importance.  I'm to understand that basically that whole theory went out the window for the 1964 renumbering which makes it more odd that SSR 178 west of Bakersfield was renumbered at all?  The character of the roadway west of Bakersfield is so much more in keeping with east of Bakersfield 178 rather than he expressway laden route 58 takes.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 11:29:35 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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Why I think the change from 178 to 58 west of Bakersfield is strange is that it required a multiplex of US/CA 99 to get to there.  It seemed like a big part of the renumbering was to eliminate multiplexed routes or at least make them more minimal in nature. 
There was no overlap until the freeway was built east of SR 99.
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Max Rockatansky

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Why I think the change from 178 to 58 west of Bakersfield is strange is that it required a multiplex of US/CA 99 to get to there.  It seemed like a big part of the renumbering was to eliminate multiplexed routes or at least make them more minimal in nature. 
There was no overlap until the freeway was built east of SR 99.

That's right, I forgot that everything was still on the Edison Highway at the time.  Anyways the progression shows SSR 178 continuing west on LRN 58 in 1963 with US 466 still using LRN 204 to reach US 99.  1964 shows SSR 178 west of US 466 replaced by CA 58 but US 466 still being present.  1965 shows CA 58 taking over the Edison Highway alignment and 204 being its own thing.  Interestingly 155 is still around at the time also in Bakersfield, I completely forgot when that alignment switched west from Woody to Delano.

1965 City Insert

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239524~5511849:-Verso--State-Highway-Map,-Californ?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:california%2Bdivision%2Bof%2Bhighways;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=94&trs=160 

1964 City Insert

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239527~5511851:-Verso--State-Highway-Map,-Californ?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:california%2Bdivision%2Bof%2Bhighways;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=96&trs=160

1963 City Insert

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239530~5511853:-Verso--State-Highway-Map,-Californ?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:california%2Bdivision%2Bof%2Bhighways;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=98&trs=160

Still....kind of strange that such a long segment of 178 was renumbered when 58 easily could have used LRN 204 to reach 99.  That could have been easily straightened west with the freeway being built to modern CA 99.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 01:16:16 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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It's likely that in the '64 renumbering the Division of Highways simply designated anything that was previously LRN 58 as the new CA 58 (except, of course, the US 66/I-40 portion).  Occasionally they have shown a tendency to oversimplify such things; the truncation of 178 back to Bakersfield would be such an instance.  Or, alternately, they may have elected to re-define CA 178 as specifically a connector from Bakersfield east to the Nevada state line. 

There was never any field signage of the original CA 155 from CA 204 to the point where it was realigned toward Delano, which occurred in late 1966.  Also involved in that process was the former CA 211, which headed east from Delano to the diagonal road that paralleled the (former) SP tracks northeast to CA 65 at Ducor.  That diagonal alignment was the original CA 65 route, which diverged from US 99 near Famoso, where former US 466/present CA 46 intersects CA 99 today.  In one fell swoop in 1966, CA 155 was commissioned from the turning point on CA 211 (which was never signed in the field) eastward on Garces Highway to the original CA 155 (former LRN 142) alignment, continuing northeast and east on the original alignment to the Lake Isabella area and its CA 178 terminus.  The CA 211 designation was deleted from the books (but later re-used in Humboldt County).  The portion of CA 155 from Bakersfield to the realignment point was subsequently relinquished. 
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Max Rockatansky

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Something that really has stopped me from going too in depth on LRN 142 and CA 155 is what is probably an early alignment south of the modern highway called Old State Road that runs from Alta Sierra to Wofford Heights.  I've never been able to pin down exactly when the highway shifted north the present location, quite frankly it doesn't really have the feel of a 1950s/60s upgrade:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~247291~5515356:Kern-County-?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:california%2Bdivision%2Bof%2Bhighways;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=34&trs=160

Weird seeing Kernville and Isabella at their previous locations though...

NE2

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Something that really has stopped me from going too in depth on LRN 142 and CA 155 is what is probably an early alignment south of the modern highway called Old State Road that runs from Alta Sierra to Wofford Heights.  I've never been able to pin down exactly when the highway shifted north the present location, quite frankly it doesn't really have the feel of a 1950s/60s upgrade:
Looks like it changed between 1970 and 1975. The R mileage means it was definitely post-1963.
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Max Rockatansky

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Looks like you're right, there is a huge straightening of the route east from Alta Sierra to Wofford Heights in the 7 year time span between the two maps below:

1970

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239509~5511840:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1970?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=17&trs=86

1977

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239503~5511836:State-Highway-Map,-1977-?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=13&trs=86

Makes me wonder, I know a lot of Old State Road is dirt.  That being the case of a recent relinquishment I wonder how good the surface has held up?  I think that I could have pulled off Pozo Road if the weather was nice and try, I might have to go check out 155 in the summer.

 


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