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Author Topic: CA 269  (Read 2308 times)

Max Rockatansky

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CA 269
« on: April 23, 2017, 04:30:31 PM »

Felt like clinching another off the beaten path state highway after the Old CA 41 foray in Kings County with CA 269:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskYk696Y

With album narrative below; this one seems to be pretty straight forward history wise all things considered:

CA 269 is a 30 mile state highway running from CA 33 at Avenal in Kings County north to CA 145 at Five Points in Fresno County.   CA 269 traverses the outskirts of the Diablo Range and Kettelman Hills before the descending northward into San Joaquin Valley along the duration of the alignment.  There are major junctions with the Avenal Cut-Off Road, Interstate 5 and CA 198 in addition to the termination points described above.

   Unlike the vast majority California State Highways CA 269 is a relatively new state road.  The highway alignment was adopted off pre-existing roadways in 1972.   Although adopted in 1972 it does not appear that the entirety of what is now CA 269 was upgraded to state highway standards until sometime between 1978 and 1979.   It appears that the State Highway may have been in part built to service Avenal State Prison which opened in the late 1980s.

   From CA 33 in Avenal CA 269 is known as Skyline Blvd north to Interstate 5.  1935 County Maps of Kings County show Skyline Blvd existing but in a much curvier alignment in the Kettelman Hills which is now known as Old Skyline Blvd and occupied largely by oil rigs.   From I-5 north to CA 145 in Five Points is known as Lassen Avenue and largely just a direct north/south run through San Joaquin Valley.

   Five Points apparently was founded some time before World War II as a possible stopping point along the Fresno-Coalinga Road which would eventually become part of CA 145.  It appears that Five Points is named after the five pointed junction of Mount Whitney Avenue, Fresno-Coalinga Road, and Lassen Avenue.  I've never once seen Five Points on any state highway map and it really appears to just have been a collection of bars for the locals to hang out at...weird.


Reference Links

Cahighways.org
http://www.cahighways.org/265-272.html

1935 Kings County Road Map
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~247293~5515357:Kings-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=35&trs=160

1935 Fresno County Road Map
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~247281~5515351:Fresno-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=29&trs=160

1944 State Highway Map
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239579~5511886: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=63&trs=86

1975 State Highway Map
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239506~5511838:California-State-Highways,-December?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=15&trs=86h

1977 State Highway Map
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

1979 state Highway Map
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239500~5511834:California-State-Highways,-December?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=11&trs=86

sparker

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2017, 09:32:29 PM »

Clinched it back in '87; haven't had the opportunity to be back since then, although I've crossed its path several times since on I-5 and CA 33. 
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2017, 09:42:39 PM »

Clinched it back in '87; haven't had the opportunity to be back since then, although I've crossed its path several times since on I-5 and CA 33.

Yeah felt like something different for a change, I'm mainly used to blowing by it on 198.  Finally caught why it is called Skyline Blvd:

IMG_6077 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Looks like the old alignment of Skyline before it was kind of a wild ride before Caltrans straightened it out.

sparker

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2017, 12:41:55 AM »

Clinched it back in '87; haven't had the opportunity to be back since then, although I've crossed its path several times since on I-5 and CA 33.

Yeah felt like something different for a change, I'm mainly used to blowing by it on 198.  Finally caught why it is called Skyline Blvd:

IMG_6077 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Looks like the old alignment of Skyline before it was kind of a wild ride before Caltrans straightened it out.

Skyline Blvd. my ass!  WTF are all the redwood trees?  Or the reservoir?  Or the missing couple hundred yards of roadway?  The designation may be there, but, really!
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2017, 05:21:22 AM »

I'm surprised it just wasn't renamed "SR 269" since most highways in California tend to just tend to get renamed after the route when they are straightened out.  The other one I looked at the same day was the original alignment of 41 out in Kings County which had street blades showing the name of the road as "SR 41" on the street blade instead of stuff like 19th 1/2 Avenue or 20th Avenue.  The section of Old Skyline where I took that picture looks like it took a 180 degree loop crossed over the modern highway which faces it directly at the Diablo Range.  I had to pull a couple yards of CA 269 to get an unobstructed overlook view, everything on the actual route is obstructed. 

sparker

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2017, 11:23:36 AM »

I'm surprised it just wasn't renamed "SR 269" since most highways in California tend to just tend to get renamed after the route when they are straightened out.  The other one I looked at the same day was the original alignment of 41 out in Kings County which had street blades showing the name of the road as "SR 41" on the street blade instead of stuff like 19th 1/2 Avenue or 20th Avenue.  The section of Old Skyline where I took that picture looks like it took a 180 degree loop crossed over the modern highway which faces it directly at the Diablo Range.  I had to pull a couple yards of CA 269 to get an unobstructed overlook view, everything on the actual route is obstructed. 

Not surprised that the original route was a bit twisty -- those who are uninitiated regarding the Kettleman Hills are often shocked at how high they actually rise above the valley floor.  For an isolated range, they're pretty impressive (not as visually striking as the Sutter Buttes, but significant in that they extend some 20-25 miles tucked between I-5 and CA 33).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2017, 12:13:11 PM »

I'm surprised it just wasn't renamed "SR 269" since most highways in California tend to just tend to get renamed after the route when they are straightened out.  The other one I looked at the same day was the original alignment of 41 out in Kings County which had street blades showing the name of the road as "SR 41" on the street blade instead of stuff like 19th 1/2 Avenue or 20th Avenue.  The section of Old Skyline where I took that picture looks like it took a 180 degree loop crossed over the modern highway which faces it directly at the Diablo Range.  I had to pull a couple yards of CA 269 to get an unobstructed overlook view, everything on the actual route is obstructed. 

Not surprised that the original route was a bit twisty -- those who are uninitiated regarding the Kettleman Hills are often shocked at how high they actually rise above the valley floor.  For an isolated range, they're pretty impressive (not as visually striking as the Sutter Buttes, but significant in that they extend some 20-25 miles tucked between I-5 and CA 33).

Even 41 was like that originally, it took a weird swing southeast of Kettleman City on 25th Avenue and dig a couple doglegs south to reach the Kettleman Plains.  Oddly with 41 it stayed that way almost to the remembering, I suspect I-5 might have been the driving factor to straighten the route.  At least the terrain is workable in the Kettleman Hills, pretty much both 269 and 41 are about as straight of mountain routes you'll find the state.  Old Skyline appears to be mostly accessible still though, I didn't really see any "no trespassing" signs but rather 15 MPH instead through the oil derricks.

sparker

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2017, 04:59:33 PM »

Even 41 was like that originally, it took a weird swing southeast of Kettleman City on 25th Avenue and dig a couple doglegs south to reach the Kettleman Plains.  Oddly with 41 it stayed that way almost to the remembering, I suspect I-5 might have been the driving factor to straighten the route.  At least the terrain is workable in the Kettleman Hills, pretty much both 269 and 41 are about as straight of mountain routes you'll find the state.  Old Skyline appears to be mostly accessible still though, I didn't really see any "no trespassing" signs but rather 15 MPH instead through the oil derricks.

The Kettlemans are essentially packed up loam soil, common in the West Valley; seismic activity was the likely culprit in their formation; there's little bedrock to get in the way of activities such as scraping chunks off the top to place highway alignments or even drilling down to the oil underneath the upper layers.  Originally it would have been cheaper just to follow the topology as it existed; when interregional traffic on 41 and other area routes started to increase, it became necessary to do whatever cut & fill was necessary to effect an efficient and faster routing.  The coming of I-5 in the mid-late 60's likely was prominent among those factors that brought about the various realignments; the Division of Highways figured that the new freeway would bring additional traffic to the intersecting routes (particularly 41), so upgrades were in order.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2017, 07:59:34 AM »

Even 41 was like that originally, it took a weird swing southeast of Kettleman City on 25th Avenue and dig a couple doglegs south to reach the Kettleman Plains.  Oddly with 41 it stayed that way almost to the remembering, I suspect I-5 might have been the driving factor to straighten the route.  At least the terrain is workable in the Kettleman Hills, pretty much both 269 and 41 are about as straight of mountain routes you'll find the state.  Old Skyline appears to be mostly accessible still though, I didn't really see any "no trespassing" signs but rather 15 MPH instead through the oil derricks.

The Kettlemans are essentially packed up loam soil, common in the West Valley; seismic activity was the likely culprit in their formation; there's little bedrock to get in the way of activities such as scraping chunks off the top to place highway alignments or even drilling down to the oil underneath the upper layers.  Originally it would have been cheaper just to follow the topology as it existed; when interregional traffic on 41 and other area routes started to increase, it became necessary to do whatever cut & fill was necessary to effect an efficient and faster routing.  The coming of I-5 in the mid-late 60's likely was prominent among those factors that brought about the various realignments; the Division of Highways figured that the new freeway would bring additional traffic to the intersecting routes (particularly 41), so upgrades were in order.

I was just looking at my notes on the Old 41 thread, that older alignment in the Kettleman Hills wasn't replaced until 1960.  What really was interesting to me was no so much the alignment but rather that the state maps show it as a oiled/gravel road right up until it was replaced.  Granted I know 41 wasn't likely the transportation favorite it is today for commercial trucking but there had to be some pretty heavy traffic using that dirt road from US 466 by the start 1960s.  Given that the Division of Highways had already realigned 25 in the Diablos back in the 1950s it is kind of surprising to me that 41 at minimum didn't get paved in the Kettlemans if not outright realigned.  Even stranger was that even after 41 was realigned onto the modern routing through the Kettlemans it was still a dirt surfaced road through to 1962 along with the Kettleman Plain segment.  Granted I want to the construction to build the 198 expressway in Kings County started in 1960/61, so maybe that had some influence to getting funds for improvement in the region in general as well?

sparker

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 03:33:07 PM »

Back before the Caltrans era, the Division of Highways considered macadam pavement as "oiled earth" and marked it on the maps as such, even though driving over it was only marginally different than driving over asphalt, right down to the painted center lines on the carriageways.  When I acquired my first official state highway map back about '63, I was shocked to see many state highways, particularly those in the San Joaquin Valley as well as in the Sierra Nevada -- extending all the way up into NE CA, showing that they were "oiled earth", although I had ridden on them and assumed they were simply asphalt (albeit more prone to ruts than other roads on which I had traveled).  My cousin-in-law, who worked for the Division, set me straight on that; he also mentioned that they were in the process of re-doing all but the least travelled (e.g., what's now CA 172 or CA 36 west of Red Bluff) with modern asphalt overlays.   It's likely the CA 41 surface back in the day was indeed some type of macadam; that surface type likely persisted until the route was realigned (which would have been just about the same time as the alphalt overlay program).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2017, 08:26:20 PM »

Back before the Caltrans era, the Division of Highways considered macadam pavement as "oiled earth" and marked it on the maps as such, even though driving over it was only marginally different than driving over asphalt, right down to the painted center lines on the carriageways.  When I acquired my first official state highway map back about '63, I was shocked to see many state highways, particularly those in the San Joaquin Valley as well as in the Sierra Nevada -- extending all the way up into NE CA, showing that they were "oiled earth", although I had ridden on them and assumed they were simply asphalt (albeit more prone to ruts than other roads on which I had traveled).  My cousin-in-law, who worked for the Division, set me straight on that; he also mentioned that they were in the process of re-doing all but the least travelled (e.g., what's now CA 172 or CA 36 west of Red Bluff) with modern asphalt overlays.   It's likely the CA 41 surface back in the day was indeed some type of macadam; that surface type likely persisted until the route was realigned (which would have been just about the same time as the alphalt overlay program).

I don't know, I went specifically looking for that alignment in the Kettlemans and found some evidence for both dirt and asphalt.  Look at Reply #2 on this thread:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=20078.0

The gate in the reply I listed is the alignment of Old 41.  Leading up to the gate from the modern alignment there is evidence of some kind of paving but it disappears before the gate and beyond looking back towards Tulare Lake.  The satellite view of the old alignment seems to look like gravel to me....granted it could have been top layered by whoever owns the property. 

sparker

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2017, 06:43:13 AM »

Old unmaintained macadam tends to deteriorate rapidly and, well, crumble.  Not surprising that either the county or private concerns have overlaid gravel or dirt on top of the previous layer just to preserve the utility of any remaining portion of the old roadway.   
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2017, 09:58:04 AM »

Old unmaintained macadam tends to deteriorate rapidly and, well, crumble.  Not surprising that either the county or private concerns have overlaid gravel or dirt on top of the previous layer just to preserve the utility of any remaining portion of the old roadway.   

You're probably right, I forgot that the older state maps even had a clear distinction between Oiled Earth and Straight up Dirt like CA 25 was on Lewis Creek Road prior to the mid-1950s.  I might just have to kick up a layer and see what's a couple inches down the next time I'm driving by that gate in the Kettlemans. 

sparker

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2017, 02:29:09 PM »

Old unmaintained macadam tends to deteriorate rapidly and, well, crumble.  Not surprising that either the county or private concerns have overlaid gravel or dirt on top of the previous layer just to preserve the utility of any remaining portion of the old roadway.   

You're probably right, I forgot that the older state maps even had a clear distinction between Oiled Earth and Straight up Dirt like CA 25 was on Lewis Creek Road prior to the mid-1950s.  I might just have to kick up a layer and see what's a couple inches down the next time I'm driving by that gate in the Kettlemans. 

With all the PCB's and assorted other toxic shit used as commercial oil treatments in days gone by, you might want to take some sort of hazmat precautions before digging down into "oiled earth".  When the Roseville rail yard was reconfigured back in the mid-70's, some of what they dug up would have raised welts if handled.  Of course, in those days you needed fog lamps to see through the L.A. smog!  Good old days indeed!!!!
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 269
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2017, 02:48:28 PM »

Old unmaintained macadam tends to deteriorate rapidly and, well, crumble.  Not surprising that either the county or private concerns have overlaid gravel or dirt on top of the previous layer just to preserve the utility of any remaining portion of the old roadway.   

You're probably right, I forgot that the older state maps even had a clear distinction between Oiled Earth and Straight up Dirt like CA 25 was on Lewis Creek Road prior to the mid-1950s.  I might just have to kick up a layer and see what's a couple inches down the next time I'm driving by that gate in the Kettlemans. 

With all the PCB's and assorted other toxic shit used as commercial oil treatments in days gone by, you might want to take some sort of hazmat precautions before digging down into "oiled earth".  When the Roseville rail yard was reconfigured back in the mid-70's, some of what they dug up would have raised welts if handled.  Of course, in those days you needed fog lamps to see through the L.A. smog!  Good old days indeed!!!!

Yeah kind of amazing even what effect this winter has had on smog levels even this far north in the Centeal Valley.  This is the first year that I can remember living here where I can consistently see the Sierras most days beyond sunrise.  Hell I could actually see Visalia and Fresno from Sequoia National Park yesterday which I've never been able to previously.  Amazing what a large amount of rain coupled with reduced emissions could do...makes me curious see what the Inland Empire or even San Fernando Valley looks like. 

I would imagine what I was initially walking on before the dirt was probably the original pavement.  I'm talking about just maybe walking about 100 yards down the road towards the gate and kicking a little dirt up with my boot to see what is underneath.  Surprisingly that method seems to be fairly decent to detect old chunks of pavement.  I did something similar on St Thomas Road out in Clark County Nevada to detect broken up asphalt under a dirt layering.  Nothing too much that I think would really cause a Hazmat concern.

Speaking of Hazmat, it's about time to start considering Idria Road now that rain has stopped.  I really like to try to make it that road to the old town site but I don't want to do it in the summer.  I'd hate to run afoul of the Mercury run-offs coming downstream out of that mine after a storm.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 02:50:54 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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