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Interstate 805


Looking north from the Roscoe E. Hazard Memorial Bridge, Interstate 805 travels from North Park and Normal Heights toward the Jack Schrade Bridge that crosses Mission Valley, the San Diego River and Interstate 8. I-805 continues toward the northern San Diego communities of Serra Mesa, Clairemont and University City before ending in Sorrento Valley near Torrey Hills.

Interstate 805 is the Inland Freeway that provides an alternate route to Interstate 5 through the city of San Diego. Named after Jacob Dekema, a pioneering force from Caltrans who helped shape the San Diego freeway system, I-805 was completed in stages, with the final section opening to traffic in 1975. The highway includes the towering Jack Schrade Bridge over Mission Valley, which carries Interstate 805 over Interstate 8 and connects to that freeway via Diego County's only symmetrical stack interchange.

With eight to ten lanes throughout its approximately 29-mile length, Interstate 805 has evolved into a busy commuter route from the International Border into the exploding South Bay bedroom communities of Chula Vista, including Rancho del Rey and Eastlake, and National City. The freeway passes through the Mid-City community of San Diego, then leads into the business parks at the Golden Triangle (via Governor Drive and La Jolla Village Drive) and Sorrento Valley. The freeway continues to be very busy as it rejoins Interstate 5 near Carmel Valley.

As more companies located along the route of Interstate 805 (especially the north end) and more residences were built toward the south end, additional traffic utilizes the freeway as a commuter route. Along with Interstate 5 and California 125, I-805 is one of three north-south freeways that reach Mexico.

Interstate 805 Highway Guides

Key Opening Dates of Interstate 805:

  • Interstate 5 to Main Street - July 8th, 1975
  • Main Street to Telegraph Canyon Road - March 17th, 1971
  • Telegraph Canyon Road to California 54 - July 29th, 1975
  • California 54 to Plaza Boulevard - April 24th, 1975
  • Plaza Boulevard to California 94 - September 4th, 1975
  • California 94 to Interstate 805 - March 11th, 1974
  • Interstate 805 to University Avenue - July 16th, 1970
  • University Avenue to California 52 - March 22nd, 1972
  • California 52 to Interstate 5 - October 5th, 1972

Many thanks to C.J. Moon for his assistance in providing this historical chronology.

Interstate 805 scenes
Phyllis Place east meets Interstate 805 at a diamond interchange in the Serra Mesa community of San Diego. Murray Ridge Road extends the road north from the exchange. Photo taken 10/01/00.
Murray Ridge Road south at Interstate 805, just north of Mission Valley in Serra Mesa. Photo taken 10/01/00.
32nd Street leads drivers south one block from Adams Avenue to Madison Avenue and the northbound on-ramp for Interstate 805. Photos taken 04/14/05.
Adams Avenue crosses over Interstate 805 on the arched Roscoe E. Hazard Memorial Bridge at the Normal Heights community in San Diego. This bridge was built along with the freeway in 1970, and it is named for Roscoe E. "Pappy" Hazard (1881-1975), a rancher who was involved in constructing several of the roads and highways around San Diego. For I-805 northbound travelers, this bridge frames the trip over Mission Valley. Photo taken 04/14/05.
Some of the first reflective signs installed in California that displayed an Interstate shield appeared along Home Avenue north in City Heights, San Diego. These signs were replaced in 1999 as part of the project to redesignate California 94 as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freeway. Photo taken 11/19/05.
The southbound on-ramp from Home Avenue serves both Interstate 805 south and nearby California 94 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Freeway) east. The button copy sign for I-805 north was still in place as of 2017. Photo taken 11/19/05.
Non-reflective button copy signs along Home Avenue for I-805 dated back to the freeway's construction in the early 1970s. This ground level assembly for the northbound on-ramp was replaced by 2015. Photo taken 11/19/05.
A loop ramp joins Interstate 805 (Jacob Dekema Freeway) north from Home Avenue to the adjacent California 15 freeway. Photo taken 11/19/05.
Adams Avenue west passes over Interstate 805 without direct access through Normal Heights in San Diego. A northbound on-ramp connects the residential street grid one block to the south with the freeway. Photo taken 04/15/05.
I-805 trailblazer formerly posted at North Park Way west at 32nd Street in North Park. 32nd Street heads north one block to University Avenue east, which offers a connection to Interstate 805 north.
This assembly was removed by 2014 with sidewalk reconstruction. Photos taken 12/16/10.
Viewing Interstate 805 crossing Mission Valley from the Adams Avenue over crossing (Roscoe E. Hazard Bridge) in Normal Heights, San Diego. Photos taken 04/14/05.
Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Interstate 805 come together at a full cloverleaf interchange (Exit 22) by the Clairemont Mesa community in San Diego. Photo taken 02/16/05.
Westbound Mira Mesa Boulevard approaches the six-ramp parclo interchange (Exit 27) with Interstate 805 in the Sorrento Valley area of San Diego. Photo taken 05/02/10.
Vista Sorrento Parkway north provides the connection to I-805 north from Mira Mesa Boulevard west. Sorrento Valley Road extends the arterial west, parallel to the Jacob Dekema Freeway north through to the I-5/805 merge. Photo taken 05/02/10.
A two lane loop ramp follows Vista Sorrento Parkway to link Mira Mesa Boulevard west with Interstate 805 south directly. Photo taken 05/02/10.
Vista Sorrento Parkway stems north from Mira Mesa Boulevard to the northbound on-ramp for I-805 to its merge with Interstate 5. Photo taken 05/02/10.
2012-13 construction reconfigured Sorrento Valley Road east at I-805 and Mira Mesa Boulevard to accommodate Carroll Canyon Road leading south. This view looks at the arterial east at the southbound ramp for Clairemont, Mission Valley, North Park, National City and Chula Vista ahead of that work. Photo taken 02/11/11.
Replaced button copy sign ahead of the intersection with Vista Sorrento Parkway and Mira Mesa Boulevard on Sorrento Valley Road east. Interstate 805 ends just north of this exchange, with I-5 continuing en route to Carmel Valley, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside. Photo taken 02/11/11.
The northbound off-ramp from I-805 to Mira Mesa Boulevard ties into Vista Sorrento Parkway north. Photo taken 02/11/11.

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Photo Credits:

2000-10-01, 2005-02-16, 2005-04-14, 2005-04-15, 2005-11-19, 2010-05-02, 2010-12-16, 2011-02-11 by AARoads

Page Updated 05-29-2011.

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