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Author Topic: CA 172; one-lane madness and SSR 36 puzzle  (Read 782 times)

Max Rockatansky

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CA 172; one-lane madness and SSR 36 puzzle
« on: June 25, 2017, 08:37:21 AM »

Given that I was in the area I took a loop on CA 172 to check out one of the last remaining segments of one-lane state highway that I haven't been on:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskXNEDuW

Which actually happens to cross Mineral Summit which was the last pass in the Sierras that I haven't been on.  Granted CA 172 was the original alignment of SSR 36, so does that mean that this technically the dividing point for the Sierras and the Cascades since 36 is often cited as the dividing line?   Anyways, I didn't see any signage from CA 36 at the western junction but there was one shield west bound.  I didn't encounter any vehicles but rather only two people walking along the highway.  This was probably the worst maintained one-lane segment of state highway I've driven on and rumor has it that Caltrans can't rid of it because the three eastern miles are plowed for locals.  Old Mineral Summit is several hundred feet lower than the new summit to the north which CA 36 takes.  There is a nice BGS showing CA 172 and Mill Creek just off the eastern terminus on CA 36/89.  I'm interested to see when everything was shifted on this route.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 12:54:25 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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NE2

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Re: CA 172; one-lane madness on old SSR 36
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2017, 11:06:28 AM »

Are you sure this was SR 36? Most old maps are not detailed enough to show.
Certainly by 1958 (topo) SR 36 was on its modern route.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 172; one-lane madness on old SSR 36
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2017, 12:27:55 PM »

Are you sure this was SR 36? Most old maps are not detailed enough to show.
Certainly by 1958 (topo) SR 36 was on its modern route.

Pretty certain but I haven't checked the maps yet.  Daniel has it as the original alignment of SSR 36 on cahighways. 

Edit:   Actually looks like you might right, it isn't clear what is on the alignment of CA 172 on the 1938 state highway map:

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

Nor on the 1935 Tehama County Map but the modern alignment of CA 36 for sure was already present:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~247373~5515397:Tehama-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=76&trs=163

Here is the stub off of cahighways where the alignment shift is touched on, the site has it in the early 1960s:

http://www.cahighways.org/169-176.html

Since the status of the original alignment of 36 has a reasonable question to it I retitled the thread.  If anyone has any early maps that I'm not aware of confirming where SSR 36 was in the 1930s it would be really appreciated in regards to sorting this all out. 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 01:02:52 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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NE2

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Re: CA 172; one-lane madness and SSR 36 puzzle
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2017, 09:54:15 PM »

Hmmm. I did find a 1935 topo that shows SR 36 on current SR 172: http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5680205
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 172; one-lane madness and SSR 36 puzzle
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 12:11:44 AM »

Hmmm. I did find a 1935 topo that shows SR 36 on current SR 172: http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5680205

Nice, that leaves just pinning down when 36 shifted to the north.  The state highway maps still show LRN 86 running to SSR 89 in 1963 and then LRN 172 appears by 1964:

1963 State Highway Map

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239528~5511852:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1963?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=29&trs=86

1964 State Highway Map

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

Some stuff I forgot to add in the original post.  There is a 55 MPH speed limit sign at the western terminus of CA 172 and actually "reduced to 35 MPH" in Mill Creek.  There is absolutely no way to hold 55 MPH on CA 172, so why bother even putting the signage up?

Edit:  NE2; do you have any other topo maps from the 1950s other than the one from 1958?  If there a couple consistently showing 36 on the modern route it might close in when the swap with LRN 86 was actually done.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 01:46:08 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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sparker

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Re: CA 172; one-lane madness and SSR 36 puzzle
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2017, 04:59:25 PM »

Hmmm. I did find a 1935 topo that shows SR 36 on current SR 172: http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5680205

Nice, that leaves just pinning down when 36 shifted to the north.  The state highway maps still show LRN 86 running to SSR 89 in 1963 and then LRN 172 appears by 1964:

1963 State Highway Map

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239528~5511852:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1963?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=29&trs=86

1964 State Highway Map

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

Some stuff I forgot to add in the original post.  There is a 55 MPH speed limit sign at the western terminus of CA 172 and actually "reduced to 35 MPH" in Mill Creek.  There is absolutely no way to hold 55 MPH on CA 172, so why bother even putting the signage up?

Edit:  NE2; do you have any other topo maps from the 1950s other than the one from 1958?  If there a couple consistently showing 36 on the modern route it might close in when the swap with LRN 86 was actually done.

IIRC from the official '63 state highway map, what is now CA 172 was always part of LRN 29 (Red Bluff - Nevada along US 395) until the demise of the LRN/SSR dichotomy in '64.  LRN 86, from LRN 83/SSR 89 up the hill on the way to Lassen NP down to the west 36/172 junction, was physically added to the state highway system circa 1938, although planning for that bypass (and the allocation of the LRN 86 designation), specifically to realign SSR 36, preceded construction by several years.  Apparently the Division of Highways wanted to get the one-lane segment, now part of CA 172 -- and the various  facilities along it -- bypassed as much as its regular users did; that "loop" went unsigned from 1938 to at least 1964!
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 172; one-lane madness and SSR 36 puzzle
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2017, 05:15:49 PM »

Hmmm. I did find a 1935 topo that shows SR 36 on current SR 172: http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5680205

Nice, that leaves just pinning down when 36 shifted to the north.  The state highway maps still show LRN 86 running to SSR 89 in 1963 and then LRN 172 appears by 1964:

1963 State Highway Map

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239528~5511852:State-Highway-Map,-California,-1963?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=29&trs=86

1964 State Highway Map

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

Some stuff I forgot to add in the original post.  There is a 55 MPH speed limit sign at the western terminus of CA 172 and actually "reduced to 35 MPH" in Mill Creek.  There is absolutely no way to hold 55 MPH on CA 172, so why bother even putting the signage up?

Edit:  NE2; do you have any other topo maps from the 1950s other than the one from 1958?  If there a couple consistently showing 36 on the modern route it might close in when the swap with LRN 86 was actually done.

IIRC from the official '63 state highway map, what is now CA 172 was always part of LRN 29 (Red Bluff - Nevada along US 395) until the demise of the LRN/SSR dichotomy in '64.  LRN 86, from LRN 83/SSR 89 up the hill on the way to Lassen NP down to the west 36/172 junction, was physically added to the state highway system circa 1938, although planning for that bypass (and the allocation of the LRN 86 designation), specifically to realign SSR 36, preceded construction by several years.  Apparently the Division of Highways wanted to get the one-lane segment, now part of CA 172 -- and the various  facilities along it -- bypassed as much as its regular users did; that "loop" went unsigned from 1938 to at least 1964!

Strange it took that long but there truly was some strange alignments up really until the remembering.  Really all the times are matching up but I'd love to get a look at the topo map NE2 mentioned from the 1950s.  It's kind of interesting CA 172 has managed to stay in the state highway system for this long considering so little of it is actually plowed in the winter.  There was a "not plowed beyond this point" immediately at the western terminus that was in effect to Mill Creek.  Hard to buy the theory that Caltrans can't relinquish the route just because of about three miles of year long plowed roadway.

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Re: CA 172; one-lane madness and SSR 36 puzzle
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2017, 05:25:20 PM »

Many old topos (including the 1958 one I referenced) are here:
http://historicalmaps.arcgis.com/usgs/
http://historicaerials.com/viewer
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sparker

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Re: CA 172; one-lane madness and SSR 36 puzzle
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2017, 11:44:01 PM »

Hard to buy the theory that Caltrans can't relinquish the route just because of about three miles of year long plowed roadway.

From what I'm aware of (via my Caltrans engineer cousin) much of the property along CA 172 belongs to very influential folks, mostly from the Chico area (2nd homes, etc); keeping partial access to those properties is considered more beneficial to Caltrans' general well-being (at least regionally) than what could be gained (or simply loss-stopped) from relinquishment.   
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 172; one-lane madness and SSR 36 puzzle
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2017, 01:38:49 AM »

Many old topos (including the 1958 one I referenced) are here:
http://historicalmaps.arcgis.com/usgs/
http://historicaerials.com/viewer

Those are pretty neat and seem like they'll be pretty useful in looking up future alignments.  That definitely shows 36 on LRN 86 by 1958....

Hard to buy the theory that Caltrans can't relinquish the route just because of about three miles of year long plowed roadway.

From what I'm aware of (via my Caltrans engineer cousin) much of the property along CA 172 belongs to very influential folks, mostly from the Chico area (2nd homes, etc); keeping partial access to those properties is considered more beneficial to Caltrans' general well-being (at least regionally) than what could be gained (or simply loss-stopped) from relinquishment.   

I suppose it isn't exactly hurting anything since 172 clearly isn't maintained to the same level other one-lanes are like 146 and 4.  172 is comparably in very poor shape with some really gnarly pot holes along with general asphalt break-up.   Now you got me curious how much money it really takes to keep the eastern 3 miles open given some of the political influence Mill Creek apparently has.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 01:41:27 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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Re: CA 172; one-lane madness and SSR 36 puzzle
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2017, 04:54:10 PM »

All those mountain pictures you've been taking are beautiful! Now where did I put my new hiking boots and daypack? :D
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