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Author Topic: CA 99  (Read 12302 times)

Max Rockatansky

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CA 99
« on: November 10, 2018, 11:18:01 PM »

Finally decided to start doing a photo series on the CA 99 freeway since I was driving over the entire alignment from I-5 north to CA 180 in good lighting.  I'm hoping to have a second part to the series complete in early December all the way to US 50/CA 51:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmmJGnRy

I'll have a blog series worked on the CA 99 at some point probably in the next ten days between I-5 and CA 180.  Luckily I've already done most of the major US 99 historical alignments for Bakersfield and Fresno already that have been on Surewhynotnow for a long time:

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/12/california-state-route-204-former-us-99.html

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/09/hunting-for-forgotten-history-old-us-99.html
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 05:31:55 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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mgk920

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2018, 11:23:25 AM »

Finally decided to start doing a photo series on the CA 99 freeway since I was driving over the entire alignment from I-5 north to CA 180 in good lighting.  I'm hoping to have a second part to the series complete in early December all the way to US 50/CA 51:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmmJGnRy

I'll have a blog series worked on the CA 99 at some point probably in the next ten days between I-5 and CA 180.  Luckily I've already done most of the major US 99 historical alignments for Bakersfield and Fresno already that have been on Surewhynotnow for a long time:

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/12/california-state-route-204-former-us-99.html

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/09/hunting-for-forgotten-history-old-us-99.html

Interesting.

I can't even fathom what modern-day CA 99 would be like today had the decision not been made to build I-5 on a routing that completely bypasses that corridor via the heavily rural west edge of the southern Central Valley.  Four and five lanes each way the whole way?  *STILL* not completed as a full freeway?  Etc?

Does the next part of the photolog include images of that under-construction rail line?

Mike
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 12:07:09 PM »

Finally decided to start doing a photo series on the CA 99 freeway since I was driving over the entire alignment from I-5 north to CA 180 in good lighting.  I'm hoping to have a second part to the series complete in early December all the way to US 50/CA 51:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmmJGnRy

I'll have a blog series worked on the CA 99 at some point probably in the next ten days between I-5 and CA 180.  Luckily I've already done most of the major US 99 historical alignments for Bakersfield and Fresno already that have been on Surewhynotnow for a long time:

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/12/california-state-route-204-former-us-99.html

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/09/hunting-for-forgotten-history-old-us-99.html

Interesting.

I can't even fathom what modern-day CA 99 would be like today had the decision not been made to build I-5 on a routing that completely bypasses that corridor via the heavily rural west edge of the southern Central Valley.  Four and five lanes each way the whole way?  *STILL* not completed as a full freeway?  Etc?

Does the next part of the photolog include images of that under-construction rail line?

Mike

Yes, most of the construction is between CA 180 and CA 145.  I drove by it today on the way to Avenue 7 in the early morning, the the High Speed Rail Bridge over the San Joaquin River is coming along pretty well.  Grading is taking place on the former CA 99 Freeway alignment.

The present CA 99 alignment from I-5 north to US 50/CA 51 is a full four to eight lane freeway.  Whatís interesting is given it isnít an Interstate there is plenty of oddities like right-on/right-off Ramps, plant growth in the median, and soft shoulders.   
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 12:12:18 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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nexus73

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 06:37:37 PM »

Today the 4-lane freeway segments are too crowded in the daytime.  Caltrans is working on 6-laning the 4-lane portions. 

Rick
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sparker

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 11:33:38 PM »

Finally decided to start doing a photo series on the CA 99 freeway since I was driving over the entire alignment from I-5 north to CA 180 in good lighting.  I'm hoping to have a second part to the series complete in early December all the way to US 50/CA 51:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmmJGnRy

I'll have a blog series worked on the CA 99 at some point probably in the next ten days between I-5 and CA 180.  Luckily I've already done most of the major US 99 historical alignments for Bakersfield and Fresno already that have been on Surewhynotnow for a long time:

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/12/california-state-route-204-former-us-99.html

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/09/hunting-for-forgotten-history-old-us-99.html

Interesting.

I can't even fathom what modern-day CA 99 would be like today had the decision not been made to build I-5 on a routing that completely bypasses that corridor via the heavily rural west edge of the southern Central Valley.  Four and five lanes each way the whole way?  *STILL* not completed as a full freeway?  Etc?

Does the next part of the photolog include images of that under-construction rail line?

Mike

Yes, most of the construction is between CA 180 and CA 145.  I drove by it today on the way to Avenue 7 in the early morning, the the High Speed Rail Bridge over the San Joaquin River is coming along pretty well.  Grading is taking place on the former CA 99 Freeway alignment.

The present CA 99 alignment from I-5 north to US 50/CA 51 is a full four to eight lane freeway.  Whatís interesting is given it isnít an Interstate there is plenty of oddities like right-on/right-off Ramps, plant growth in the median, and soft shoulders.   

Plenty of plant growth on CA Interstate routes:  more oleanders on I-10 out in San Bernardino and Riverside counties (at least west of Indio) and I-5 north of Sacramento -- they do a reasonable job of reducing ongoing headlight glare.  Not too many fully right-angle RIRO's left; most have been reconfigured into a shallow folded-diamond (albeit with very slow exit speeds); most if not all of the ones in San Joaquin County have been eliminated by the freeway expansion between Manteca and Stockton.  The soft shoulders remain between Delano and CA 198; most of the inside ones have been replaced (gradually) by macadam and/or chip-seal mix. 

What is unusual is that the "master plan" for CA 99, gradually being implemented by the various construction projects undertaken over the past couple of decades and continuing today, actually exceeds minimal Interstate standards; but the funding has largely been directed to areas experiencing population and commercial growth -- and most of that has been north of CA 198; the Delano-CA 198 segment, except for "spot" projects to eliminate obvious substandard issues (such as the LH exit to the Tulare business route), has been placed on the back burner, so to speak.  Not surprising, as agricultural products tend to move northward to distribution and processing plants in the area north of Fresno, with particular concentration in the "triangle" between Modesto, the Bay Area, and Sacramento.  When it comes to accommodating commercial traffic, that corridor section has been the "squeaky wheel" that has drawn the most attention; add to that the emergence of the CA 99 corridor from Turlock to Sacramento as a locale of housing spreading east from the Bay Area.  Probably the only thing that will expedite upgrades in Tulare County would be a concerted effort to implement the "master plan" over that segment of the highway rather than continuing the approach of dealing primarily with the more heavily-traveled (and trucked!) segments of the corridor.     
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 11:21:56 PM »

Finished my blog post on the CA 99 freeway from I-5 at Wheeler Ridge the first 133 miles northbound to CA 180 in Fresno.  This one took far longer to put together than I thought given the copious amounts of route article links that I put in from previous entries.  The second part of this series definitely will cover the new High Speed Rail Corridor north of CA 180 but I'm not sure if I'll get all the way to Sacramento until a part three:

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2018/11/california-state-route-99old-us-route.html
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2018, 02:22:16 PM »

Maybe portions of the old alignment could have Historic US 99 signs erected. That seems more likely to me than the CA 99 corridor between Mettler and Sacramento becoming an Interstate Highway.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2018, 02:41:53 PM »

Maybe portions of the old alignment could have Historic US 99 signs erected. That seems more likely to me than the CA 99 corridor between Mettler and Sacramento becoming an Interstate Highway.

My personal opinion is 6 lanes minimum between Wheeler Ridge and Sacramento is the way to go. If that somehow accomplishes Interstate standards great...if not the improvements will be welcome. Sparker has a lot more information on the long term future of 99, it seems at some point the corridor is destined for Interstate status. 

Regarding US 99 there are segments that could be signed as historic routes but much of the alignment was built over by the current freeway.  Bakersfield has essentially intact historical alignments and believe Sacramento does as well. Fresno has butchered up Broadway too much to make a Historic alignment outside of Golden State Boulevard not very viable. 
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sparker

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2018, 06:16:29 PM »

Maybe portions of the old alignment could have Historic US 99 signs erected. That seems more likely to me than the CA 99 corridor between Mettler and Sacramento becoming an Interstate Highway.

My personal opinion is 6 lanes minimum between Wheeler Ridge and Sacramento is the way to go. If that somehow accomplishes Interstate standards great...if not the improvements will be welcome. Sparker has a lot more information on the long term future of 99, it seems at some point the corridor is destined for Interstate status. 

Regarding US 99 there are segments that could be signed as historic routes but much of the alignment was built over by the current freeway.  Bakersfield has essentially intact historical alignments and believe Sacramento does as well. Fresno has butchered up Broadway too much to make a Historic alignment outside of Golden State Boulevard not very viable. 

The current Caltrans "master plan" for CA 99 calls for a minimum 6 lanes overall, with some 8-lane segments around Bakersfield, Fresno, and in the Modesto-Stockton area.  And Max is correct; many of the original US 99 alignments in the smaller towns were directly overlaid with freeway from the '50's on; however the larger towns:  Bakersfield, Delano, Tulare, the stretch from Kingsburg north into central Fresno, parts of Fresno itself, Madera, Merced/Atwater, Turlock, Modesto, Stockton, Lodi, and Galt all have viable segments of the original road that could lend themselves to historical signage -- besides functioning as virtual business loops in the process.  In Fresno, the part through downtown has, as Max avers, been chopped into segments; north of downtown and through the traffic circle near Roebling Park there is still a functioning "old highway" that could be utilized -- signing downtown would require a system of "bridging trailblazers" to get interested folks from one actual existing segment to the next. 

A historical route through Sacramento would be fun inasmuch as there are several alignments to select depending upon timeframe.  Personally, I'd stick with the first -- straight up Stockton Blvd. to Alhambra, then north to "L" Street, and west to the northeast corner of the state capitol grounds at 15th Street. 

I had an idea that I posited some time ago -- if and when CA 99 becomes Interstate 7 or, more likely, 9, the whole thing from Wheeler Ridge to Sacramento could be co-signed with the usual rectangular beige signs as "Historic US 99" -- but the difference would be that the historic route would depart the freeway through the larger towns with viable original alignment to serve as a business loop through each.  IMO, the (arguably) 2nd most important westward-migration route in the country -- and often the last leg of such a journey -- deserves at least as much.   
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oscar

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 07:49:38 PM »

however the larger towns:  Bakersfield, Delano, Tulare, the stretch from Kingsburg north into central Fresno, parts of Fresno itself, Madera, Merced/Atwater, Turlock, Modesto, Stockton, Lodi, and Galt all have viable segments of the original road that could lend themselves to historical signage -- besides functioning as virtual business loops in the process.

Many of those communities already have signed CA 99 business loops. However, some of them are poorly signed. The communities might have more enthusiasm for erecting and maintaining Historic US 99 signs, than maintaining CA 99 Business signs.
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Bobby5280

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 07:59:11 PM »

The situation with CA-99 and the historic, decommissioned US-99 segments reminds me of how historic US-66 lives on in some cities and towns and is completely gone elsewhere. In the case of CA-99 and historic US-99 it's all up to Caltrans and a few locales in California.

As for the CA-99 freeway, it's surprising the road still does not fully meet modern Interstate standards despite the traffic load between the split with I-5 up to Sacramento. Shoulder design is sub-par in many places. Many on/off ramps have very dated (and arguably dangerous) geometry. The main lane pavement is terrible in many segments.

Some sporadic segments have been modernized with new concrete super-slab, proper shoulders and ramp geometry. It almost looks like the upgrades are being done in random whack-a-mole fashion. It doesn't look like any sort of comprehensive plan is being followed at all. The progress sure doesn't resemble other major highway overhauls, such as the expansion (and almost complete re-build) of I-35 between Austin and Dallas. That upgrade started over 10 years ago and is still in progress (major work going on in Temple). The I-35 upgrade has taken a long time and caused lots of its own aggravation. But at least motorists in Texas can see there is some sense of direction on where the upgrades will start and finish.

If they can get a fully organized effort going at upgrading all the sub-standard parts of CA-99 to modern Interstate quality that would be great. Seeking an actual Interstate designation is another matter. I'm not against it at all. But if I was able to choose I would have a hard time choosing between an I-7 or I-9 designation.

I-7 would actually be the more logical designation, given the CA-99 freeway's close, parallel proximity to I-5. Where else could an I-7 route be designated without violating the Interstate grid rules? An I-9 designation on CA-99 would effectively use up both I-7 and I-9 at once. The primary reasons to use the I-9 designation on the CA-99 route are frankly pretty sentimental. It keeps the 9-theme going on that corridor.

Another distinct possibility for I-9 (or I-7) would be a complete Eastern & Northern bypass of the greater Los Angeles and San Diego region. A number of different highways sort of function in that regard now. It starts with CA-111 in El Centro moving North to Brawley and then the CA-86 corridor up to I-10 in Indio. Then there's CA-62 going from I-10 up to Yucca Valley, then CA-247 & CA-18 up over to Victorville, Palmdale & Lancaster. CA-138 runs West from Lancaster and meets I-5 by Quail Lake. The only problem with this route being marked as I-7: it's physically East of the CA-99 corridor.
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sparker

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 12:56:09 AM »

however the larger towns:  Bakersfield, Delano, Tulare, the stretch from Kingsburg north into central Fresno, parts of Fresno itself, Madera, Merced/Atwater, Turlock, Modesto, Stockton, Lodi, and Galt all have viable segments of the original road that could lend themselves to historical signage -- besides functioning as virtual business loops in the process.

Many of those communities already have signed CA 99 business loops. However, some of them are poorly signed. The communities might have more enthusiasm for erecting and maintaining Historic US 99 signs, than maintaining CA 99 Business signs.

My thoughts exactly.  Establishing a "continuum" of Historic US 99" from Wheeler Ridge to at least Sacramento  -- actually cosigning with the usual rectangular signage below or alongside the Interstate shield between the in-town segments -- would likely be well-received in those Valley communities bypassed post-1957 by the Interstate.  They'll likely appreciate a "twofer":  the Interstate some feel they deserve plus a tip of the hat to their past glories.  All that's needed then are a few "Big Orange" juice stands complete with orange-shaped facilities!

If they can get a fully organized effort going at upgrading all the sub-standard parts of CA-99 to modern Interstate quality that would be great. Seeking an actual Interstate designation is another matter. I'm not against it at all. But if I was able to choose I would have a hard time choosing between an I-7 or I-9 designation.

I-7 would actually be the more logical designation, given the CA-99 freeway's close, parallel proximity to I-5. Where else could an I-7 route be designated without violating the Interstate grid rules? An I-9 designation on CA-99 would effectively use up both I-7 and I-9 at once. The primary reasons to use the I-9 designation on the CA-99 route are frankly pretty sentimental. It keeps the 9-theme going on that corridor.

Another distinct possibility for I-9 (or I-7) would be a complete Eastern & Northern bypass of the greater Los Angeles and San Diego region. A number of different highways sort of function in that regard now. It starts with CA-111 in El Centro moving North to Brawley and then the CA-86 corridor up to I-10 in Indio. Then there's CA-62 going from I-10 up to Yucca Valley, then CA-247 & CA-18 up over to Victorville, Palmdale & Lancaster. CA-138 runs West from Lancaster and meets I-5 by Quail Lake. The only problem with this route being marked as I-7: it's physically East of the CA-99 corridor.

IMO either I-7 or I-9 would work fine for CA 99.  As stated above, the sentimental choice would call for the retention of the "9" integer for history's sake.  But "7" would be much easier on Caltrans; I hardly think that renumbering the short border-serving CA 7 would disturb much of anything, whereas present CA 9 still has some semblance of local history in these parts.  Not to get too Fritzy here, but whichever designation remains -- I-7 or I-9 -- could conceivably be used down the line for the US 97 corridor in far northern CA and into OR and possibly WA.  When I lived out in Hesperia nearly a decade ago, I imagined much the L.A. bypass corridor Bobby is contemplating -- but I used the designation of I-18 for that, since the Lucerne Valley-I-5 segment would partially subsume/parallel existing CA 18.  For that bypass, either an odd-numbered designation would have a substantial E-W segment or an even-numbered designation would have a long N-S segment down by the Salton Sea.  No clear choice here; I chose what I thought would be halfway appropriate for the location.     
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Henry

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2018, 10:13:53 AM »

I've read all about the sentiments of keeping a 9 in place with a new I-9 designation, but if it were up to me, I'd stick with I-7, because of the same reasons stated above, plus there wouldn't be too much uproar over having to renumber CA 7 when compared to a similar situation involving CA 9. Failing those, I'd happily settle for Historic US 99; hopefully OR and WA can get on board with whatever surviving sections they have in their respective jurisdictions.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2018, 11:59:44 AM »

Iíve said it in many threads but I also favor I-7 over I-9.  CA 9 holds way more significance than the third iteration of CA 7 does, Iíd probably rank it as one of the best Bay Highways.  Leaving I-9 unused opens the possibility for to be placed elsewhere sometime in the future. 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 12:55:08 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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nexus73

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2018, 06:03:19 PM »

I-5E for 99 and I-5W for I-5 is not an idea I have seen appear but given how I-35 had a pair of E's and W's along with I-69's fracturing in Texas, it might be a better idea than using up another number. 

Now if it was up to me, US 99 would be revived.

Rick
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2018, 06:25:03 PM »

I-5E for 99 and I-5W for I-5 is not an idea I have seen appear but given how I-35 had a pair of E's and W's along with I-69's fracturing in Texas, it might be a better idea than using up another number. 

Now if it was up to me, US 99 would be revived.

Rick

Iím in agreement, personally I think US 99 had merit as a designation even if it was just in California.  Strangely the I-5W/E concept was originally pushed early in the Interstate planning phases.  There was a ton of discussion on it in the CA 132 thread. 
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2018, 05:32:39 PM »

Updated my photos north from CA 180 to CA 145 through the High Speed Rail corridor under construction.  I stopped at Avenue 7 to check out the new grade:

https://flickr.com/photos/151828809@N08/sets/72157697579756430

Iím working on updating my blog post, itís up to Avenue 7 as a write this. 
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Bickendan

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2018, 09:36:57 PM »

I-5E for 99 and I-5W for I-5 is not an idea I have seen appear but given how I-35 had a pair of E's and W's along with I-69's fracturing in Texas, it might be a better idea than using up another number. 

Now if it was up to me, US 99 would be revived.

Rick

Iím in agreement, personally I think US 99 had merit as a designation even if it was just in California.  Strangely the I-5W/E concept was originally pushed early in the Interstate planning phases.  There was a ton of discussion on it in the CA 132 thread. 
And if CA 65 were ever built, that could be I-5E, with 99 being I-5C... :meh:
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2018, 10:49:29 PM »

I-5E for 99 and I-5W for I-5 is not an idea I have seen appear but given how I-35 had a pair of E's and W's along with I-69's fracturing in Texas, it might be a better idea than using up another number. 

Now if it was up to me, US 99 would be revived.

Rick

Iím in agreement, personally I think US 99 had merit as a designation even if it was just in California.  Strangely the I-5W/E concept was originally pushed early in the Interstate planning phases.  There was a ton of discussion on it in the CA 132 thread. 
And if CA 65 were ever built, that could be I-5E, with 99 being I-5C... :meh:

Given that there is such a push for that High Speed Rail I don't foresee that being a problem for Caltrans any time in the near future.

That said speaking of the High Speed Rail...  I just updated my blog post on the CA 99 freeway to include CA 180 north to CA 145 in Madera.  I had a look at all the High Speed Rail corridor construction currently under way at the San Joaquin River.  The San Joaquin River Viaduct is coming along pretty well but there is substantial grading and bridge work that needs to be done over the river and the Madera County side.  I'll definitely be finishing this series as a two-parter with the second part covering CA 99 north from CA 145 to US 50/CA 51 in Sacramento:

https://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2018/11/california-state-route-99old-us-route.html

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2018, 11:58:17 PM »

Here are some of the photos I took of the High Speed Rail corridor off CA 99 in Fresno and north of the San Joaquin River.

The sign notifying travelers on CA 99 northbound past the CA 180 interchange that they are on the High Speed Rail Corridor:

IMG_3630 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The recently relocated CA 99 freeway from Clinton Avenue to North Golden State Boulevard.  The grade on the right is the former freeway and future HSR grade:

IMG_3639 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3644 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3645 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3647 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The approach to the San Joaquin River on CA 99 northbound and the San Joaquin River Viaduct under construction on the right:

IMG_3661 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3662 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3664 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3666 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3668 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3669 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The San Joaquin River Viaduct grade looking southbound from Avenue 7:

IMG_3674 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3675 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3678 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_3679 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

A segment of the San Joaquin River Viaduct under construction on the north side of Avenue 7:

IMG_3677 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr


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Occidental Tourist

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2018, 12:37:14 PM »

Thanks for the photos!
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compdude787

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2018, 01:43:25 PM »

Wait a sec. How can the high speed rail be funded by the 2009 stimulus (ARRA) if that was supposed to be only for "shovel ready" projects? I mean, this is occurring nine years after the passage of that stimulus.

bing101

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2018, 04:58:19 PM »

Wait a sec. How can the high speed rail be funded by the 2009 stimulus (ARRA) if that was supposed to be only for "shovel ready" projects? I mean, this is occurring nine years after the passage of that stimulus.


Political debates over the High Speed Rail routing was taking place at the time. 
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Bobby5280

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2018, 07:08:23 PM »

I'm surprised they have anything tangible built for the high speed rail line at this point. The good thing is now that there's actual structures going up on an established route they'll have to work at finishing it.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 99
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2018, 10:20:33 PM »

I'm surprised they have anything tangible built for the high speed rail line at this point. The good thing is now that there's actual structures going up on an established route they'll have to work at finishing it.

I believe the Fresno River Viaduct is essentially complete, the San Joaquin River Viaduct has been under construction I believe since 2015?  A whole set of lanes along 99 were shifted through the course of the year.  There is also another viaduct going over near the 99/41 junction.  Whether the project goes anywhere ultimately I don't know, but it sure has been interesting to see ambitious structures like these pop up in Fresno of all cities.
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