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Author Topic: Modesto Freeways?  (Read 432 times)

AsphaltPlanet

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Modesto Freeways?
« on: August 03, 2018, 04:04:13 PM »

I was perusing google maps the other day (as one does), and noticed that Modesto doesn't really have much of a freeway network.  I found this surprising for a California city, particularly one that appears at least to be about as large as Fresno.  I am curious what happened in Modesto that saw it receive no other freeway corridors aside from Hwy 99?
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Re: Modesto Freeways?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2018, 04:06:32 PM »

I was perusing google maps the other day (as one does), and noticed that Modesto doesn't really have much of a freeway network.  I found this surprising for a California city, particularly one that appears at least to be about as large as Fresno.  I am curious what happened in Modesto that saw it receive no other freeway corridors aside from Hwy 99?

Modesto is only about half as large as Fresno, but it's still unusual.
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TheStranger

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Re: Modesto Freeways?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2018, 04:12:02 PM »

It's been mentioned in several other threads, but the upcoming Route 132 expressway (which will go several miles west of Route 99 once finished) is actually a snippet of what had been planned in the 1950s as part of I-5W (now I-580/I-80/I-505), with the grading for the trumpet interchange of 132/99 done in the mid 1960s!!

As for Route 108, some expressway/bypass planning is active for the portion just northeast of town (at Route 219) towards Oakdale:
https://cahighways.org/105-112.html#108
There is also an unconstructed extension south towards I-5 along the Crows Landing Road corridor that will likely remain unbuilt.
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Chris Sampang

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Re: Modesto Freeways?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2018, 04:39:51 PM »

I was perusing google maps the other day (as one does), and noticed that Modesto doesn't really have much of a freeway network.  I found this surprising for a California city, particularly one that appears at least to be about as large as Fresno.  I am curious what happened in Modesto that saw it receive no other freeway corridors aside from Hwy 99?
Modesto is only about half as large as Fresno, but it's still unusual.
It's been mentioned in several other threads, but the upcoming Route 132 expressway (which will go several miles west of Route 99 once finished) is actually a snippet of what had been planned in the 1950s as part of I-5W (now I-580/I-80/I-505), with the grading for the trumpet interchange of 132/99 done in the mid 1960s!!

As for Route 108, some expressway/bypass planning is active for the portion just northeast of town (at Route 219) towards Oakdale:
https://cahighways.org/105-112.html#108
There is also an unconstructed extension south towards I-5 along the Crows Landing Road corridor that will likely remain unbuilt.

That 99/132 trumpet interchange was laid out and planned in the mid-50's to serve as the southern "split" point for I-5, originally slated to follow US 99 in the San Joaquin Valley, into I-5W, which would follow CA 132 over to CA 33 and then take a new-terrain route to near Altamont, at which point it would follow US 50 into Oakland; and I-5E, simply following US 99 north through Stockton and Sacramento.  Although the switch to the Westside alignment had been done by 1958, the basic plans for the interchange weren't changed -- but only the preliminary grading was done; no structures were built, and the corridor was only cleared for about a mile west of 99.  Currently the route has, after 53 years of existence as a partially cleared corridor, been budgeted for construction; it'll be a 4-lane CA 132 facility immediately west of CA 99 but shrinking to a 2-lane undivided expressway after that.  It's the only limited-access state highway project in the area since the Turlock bypass was opened in 1973.  Instead of freeways, both state and local jurisdictions have concentrated on developing a series of arterials serving the ever-expanding housing area north and east of central Modesto; projects concerning CA 108 (the effective "spine" of the housing expansion) are part & parcel of that regional effort.  Of course, all this is largely a result of the advent of long-distance commuters from the Bay Area seeking affordable residences, augmented by the increased development of warehousing and distribution centers in the area.  If not for the Stanislaus River north of town (which is also the Stanislaus/San Joaquin county line), the housing extending north from Modesto and south from Manteca would be effectively merged!   
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Modesto Freeways?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2018, 06:27:45 PM »

Kind of made for an interesting entry when I visited 132 recently and put something on Surewhynotnow.  At least from 33 eastward the alignment of 132 is essentially the way it always has been.  Given the size of Modesto I find it facinating the Route never had a real upgrade or one that was moving towards being built until recently.  For what it’s worth 99 seems to flow pretty okay through the city. 

sparker

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Re: Modesto Freeways?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2018, 07:20:37 PM »

Kind of made for an interesting entry when I visited 132 recently and put something on Surewhynotnow.  At least from 33 eastward the alignment of 132 is essentially the way it always has been.  Given the size of Modesto I find it facinating the Route never had a real upgrade or one that was moving towards being built until recently.  For what it’s worth 99 seems to flow pretty okay through the city. 

Once the CA 120 freeway bypass of Manteca was done circa 1980, quite a few folks, particularly commuters, started using that to get to Modesto rather than the 2-lane CA 132, although the latter combined with the I-580 cutoff saves a few miles.  Apparently Caltrans didn't see a pressing need to upgrade 132 until recently; must have been either an AADT tipping point or applied local pressure to make a change.  Even so, it seems they're doing pretty much the minimum -- essentially getting traffic off the present surface road.  Don't see any such activity pertaining to 132 east of 99; any freeway would probably have to begin down around Ceres to avoid the denser housing and industrial developments along Yosemite Ave; and the need probably just isn't there anyway.  I imagine eventually the new westerly expressway will find its way all the way out to I-5 as a divided facility -- but certainly not in the immediate future.   
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TheStranger

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Re: Modesto Freeways?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2018, 07:55:08 PM »

Is the short route 132 freeway from 580 to 5 also along what would've been the 5W alignment?

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Chris Sampang

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Re: Modesto Freeways?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2018, 12:42:44 AM »

Is the short route 132 freeway from 580 to 5 also along what would've been the 5W alignment?

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Pretty much so.  The original planning maps showed it crossing 33, then gradually curving north toward US 50.  The junction point with the latter highway would have likely been at or just west of the current 580/205 interchange.  When the alignment shifted to the Westside back around '57-'58, it's likely the 132 trajectory was simply straightened out to provide a straight shot between (originally) I-5E and I-5W (now 5 & 580).  Also note that the initial California Aqueduct construction next to the I-5 alignment (and tucked between 580 and 5 in that area) would have more or less dictated a "straight shot" of 132 west to 580, since 132 crosses both the Aqueduct and the older Delta-Mendota Canal in quick succession, and curving the alignment around would have just complicated the planning and construction of the combined projects.
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TheStranger

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Re: Modesto Freeways?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2018, 12:48:14 AM »

Is the short route 132 freeway from 580 to 5 also along what would've been the 5W alignment?

SAMSUNG-SM-G930A



Pretty much so.  The original planning maps showed it crossing 33, then gradually curving north toward US 50.  The junction point with the latter highway would have likely been at or just west of the current 580/205 interchange.  When the alignment shifted to the Westside back around '57-'58, it's likely the 132 trajectory was simply straightened out to provide a straight shot between (originally) I-5E and I-5W (now 5 & 580). 

A little bit out of the scope of this thread but it came to mind just now: when I-5E was planned along the 99 alignment, was there a defined corridor like today's WX Freeway/US 50 to connect the South Sacramento Freeway with the eventual riverfront I-5 corridor, or was there any proposal to have it as a direct north-south route in much the same way that today's 580 and the short 132 spur were originally planned as one freeway?
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Chris Sampang

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Re: Modesto Freeways?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2018, 01:28:44 AM »

Is the short route 132 freeway from 580 to 5 also along what would've been the 5W alignment?

SAMSUNG-SM-G930A



Pretty much so.  The original planning maps showed it crossing 33, then gradually curving north toward US 50.  The junction point with the latter highway would have likely been at or just west of the current 580/205 interchange.  When the alignment shifted to the Westside back around '57-'58, it's likely the 132 trajectory was simply straightened out to provide a straight shot between (originally) I-5E and I-5W (now 5 & 580). 

A little bit out of the scope of this thread but it came to mind just now: when I-5E was planned along the 99 alignment, was there a defined corridor like today's WX Freeway/US 50 to connect the South Sacramento Freeway with the eventual riverfront I-5 corridor, or was there any proposal to have it as a direct north-south route in much the same way that today's 580 and the short 132 spur were originally planned as one freeway?

Since the first comprehensive California Freeway and Expressway System map wasn't published until 1959, after the I-5 alignment shifted to the Westside Freeway (LRN 238) alignment, which included the Sacramento segment parallel to and west of (then) US 99, there didn't seem to be any definite plans for exactly how I-5 would have traversed central Sacramento.  AFAIK, originally I-5E would have entered town from the south along today's CA 99 freeway; that alignment adoption preceded the Interstate era by a few years.  The E-W "W-X" freeway through town -- the original I-80, then Biz 80 and now US 50 -- wasn't adopted until about 1959-60, so it wouldn't have figured into pre-Westside discussions as a possible I-5 multiplex.  So it was likely even the Division themselves didn't know where the hell I-5E would have gone to get through Sacramento until the Westside alignment switch narrowed down the options.  And even then, there was quite a bit of controversy about that routing; one option took it across the Sacramento River, intersecting the original I-80 just east of the Yolo Bypass near the Harbor Blvd. interchange.  The final alignment that exists today wasn't adopted until the early/mid '60's, just about the time the renumbering to plain old I-5 occurred. 
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