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Author Topic: Singley Lane / "CA 345" / Old Redwood Highway?  (Read 220 times)

tawnuskgrevy

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Singley Lane / "CA 345" / Old Redwood Highway?
« on: January 14, 2021, 02:56:31 AM »

Hey there all,

I have a question about a possible old routing of US 101 near Loleta, CA, just south of Eureka. Essentially, I saw something on Google Maps that caught my eye and warranted further investigation.

There's a road that Google Maps labels as both "Singley Ln" and "345" (using their generic version of a state highway symbol), running from the US 101 freeway exit at Loleta Drive east, then briefly south, then north until it intersects Tompkins Hill Road, for a total distance of about three miles. Most of the stretch of road is not currently accessible to the public as it is now on private property; only the short section between the 101 freeway and Singley Hill Road is driveable.

What I want to know is:

1) Is there any reason why Google Maps calls this stretch of road out as State Highway 345? As far as I know, that number is not currently in use in the California Highway System, nor was there an LRN 345 in that area, and I don't believe Humboldt County has any signed county routes. Is it just a bug?

2) Was this stretch of road ever a part of US 101 and/or Old Redwood Highway? There's a small stub of a road in Loleta, just west of where Eel River Drive crosses under a railroad bridge, labeled as "Old State Highway", and I found both a topographic map from 1947 and an aerial view from 1940 (both c/o Historic Aerials) that depict a continuous road running diagonally across the southeast edge of Loleta from that stub road to present-day Loleta Drive and continuing on to Singley Ln beyond. The 1947 topographic map predates the current US 101 freeway and calls out present-day Eel River Drive as Redwood Highway, but the road in question is unnamed on that map and appears to be discontinuous as it descends into Deering Gulch.

Unfortunately I do not live in that area and can't check it out in person for more clues. One final piece of information I can add is that the road at its northern end, where it veers off from Tompkins Hill Road, does follow a power line for quite some distance, but that might be mere coincidence.

I've attached a few pictures to this post for reference and will label them below. Hopefully someone on here can help figure out this mystery!

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Google Maps Satellite View of the area:



Google Maps Satellite View, zoomed in on Loleta to show "Old State Highway":



Aerial View dated 1940 (c/o Historic Aerials) showing a continuous road skirting the southeast side of Loleta:



Topographic Map dated 1947 (c/o Historic Aerials) showing a discontinuity east of Singley Hill Road through Deering Gulch:



Google Street View showing the point where "CA 345" splits off from Tompkins Hill Road, following a power line:



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Thanks all,

Tawnus
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oscar

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Re: Singley Lane / "CA 345" / Old Redwood Highway?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2021, 04:32:00 AM »

1) Is there any reason why Google Maps calls this stretch of road out as State Highway 345? As far as I know, that number is not currently in use in the California Highway System, nor was there an LRN 345 in that area, and I don't believe Humboldt County has any signed county routes. Is it just a bug?

GM seems to sometimes pull route numbers out of its ass. I don't rely on it at all. But that's been more of a problem in some other states, such as New Mexico, than California.

For one specific example, non-US GM staffers took it upon themselves to rearrange the entire US highway network in Del Rio TX.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Singley Lane / "CA 345" / Old Redwood Highway?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2021, 08:24:50 AM »

The 1935 Division of Highways Map shows US 101/LRN 1 over on Eel River Drive:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/ll/thumbnailView.html?startUrl=%2F%2Fwww.davidrumsey.com%2Fluna%2Fservlet%2Fas%2Fsearch%3Fos%3D0%26lc%3DRUMSEY~8~1%26q%3DCalifornia%20division%20of%20highways%20Humboldt%26sort%3DPub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No%26bs%3D10#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&r=0&xywh=1417%2C5037%2C467%2C766

Note; 101 is shown west of the railroad until Beatrice.  There is an existing road shown east of the railroad which appears to be Tompkins Hill Road.  The 1917 CSAA map shows LRN 1 crossing the rail grade in Loleta and following it as an eastern frontage to Beatrice:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/ll/thumbnailView.html?startUrl=%2F%2Fwww.davidrumsey.com%2Fluna%2Fservlet%2Fas%2Fsearch%3Fos%3D0%26lc%3DRUMSEY~8~1%26q%3DCalifornia%20state%20automobile%20association%26sort%3DPub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No%26bs%3D10#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&r=0&xywh=2174%2C2104%2C392%2C643

Is what probably likely is that part of Tompkins Hill Road was the existing right of way and through road when the First State Highway Bond Act of 1909 was passed.  Much of the early First Bond Act roads had an emphasis on building improved/new grades that didnít have viable roadways.  In the case of LRN 1 the biggest was from Cummings following the South Eel River northward towards Dyerville Bar (which was just as a big of a deal at the time as the construction of the Old Ridge Route) which bypassed the seasonal Rattlesnake Grade to the east.  Itís likely this was just a road that was streamlined later on to eliminate an unnecessary rail crossing.  Even the 1925 CSAA map shows LRN 1 east of the railroad through Beatrice by way of Loleta:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/ll/thumbnailView.html?startUrl=%2F%2Fwww.davidrumsey.com%2Fluna%2Fservlet%2Fas%2Fsearch%3Fos%3D0%26lc%3DRUMSEY~8~1%26q%3DCalifornia%20state%20automobile%20association%26sort%3DPub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No%26bs%3D10#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&r=0&xywh=2745%2C2381%2C820%2C1343

The answer to when this rail crossing was eliminated can possibly be found in the CHPWs given they started in 1924.  That said, there was never a CA 345 nor a Sign County Route in Humboldt County.  So to answer your question; yes itís an old LRN 1/Redwood Highway alignment and probably a very early iteration of US 101. 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 08:29:14 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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