State Route 275 - Tower Bridge Gateway / Capitol Mall

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The Tower Bridge is a vertical lift bridge that opened on December 15, 1935. The span is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Sacramento, along with the state capitol building.

Legislatively, California State Route 275 was decommissioned in 1996 and all that remains is the 0.138 mile segment across the Tower Bridge, between postmile YOL 13.007 and SAC 0.068. The Tower Bridge spans the Sacramento River, connecting the Tower Bridge Gateway in West Sacramento with Capitol Mall in Sacramento. SR 275 formally extended east along Capitol Mall from the span toward the California State Capitol. Tower Bridge Gateway is the former freeway route in West Sacramento. A locally maintained boulevard, it branches northeast from Business Loop I-80 and U.S. 50 (Capital City Freeway) to Raley Field and the Tower Bridge approach.

California State Route 275 Guides

Historically, this route is largely part of Old U.S. 40 and U.S. 99W. California 275 was created for the state-maintained segments of the former U.S. route. Legislative action to transfer maintenance of California 275 in the cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento took place in 1996, but the route was not officially decommissioned in practice until later.

The Tower Bridge Gateway redevelopment project in West Sacramento transferred the freeway portion of former California 275 to the city in 2001. By converting the freeway to an urban, landscaped boulevard, the project planned to revitalize West Sacramento's neighborhoods on the west bank of the Sacramento River. According to the West Sacramento City web page, the city renamed the former freeway as "Capitol Gateway."1

Originally built in the 1940s as a bypass of West Capitol Avenue, the road segment now serves as a high speed, limited access connection between U.S. 50 / Business Loop I-80 and the Tower Bridge. Planned intersection improvements - including the Riske Lane intersection that is the subject of the City's application to SACOG's Community Design funding program - will significantly alter the nature and function of (former) State Route 275. With the addition of three at-grade intersections, at Third Street / South River Road, Fifth Street, and Riske Lane / Garden Street, former California 275 is no longer a controlled access freeway. The vision for the future is as a major arterial with landscaped edges, more akin to a parkway. While still providing a high-capacity through route linking the Tower Bridge and U.S. 50 / Business 80, the street will also serve emerging West Sacramento neighborhoods better.

The conversion of former California 275 from a freeway into a parkway was partially funded through a grant from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) in July 2004. Construction of the first intersection was tentatively scheduled to begin summer 2005.2 Subsequent construction downgraded the limited access highway into an at-grade expressway with traffic signals. The partial trumpet interchange at what is now Grand Street and Delta Lane (formerly Garden Street / Riske Lane) was removed initially, with the overpass demolished in spring 2007.

Replacing the 1926 M Street bridge across the Sacramento River, the Tower Bridge opened on December 15, 1935. It was repainted yellow after a contest to decide its color in 2002. The four-lane lift bridge has tall towers that lift the central span to allow larger ships to pass underneath the bridge. The Capitol Mall segment of California 275 was officially transferred from Caltrans to the city of Sacramento in 2006. It runs from the east approach to the Tower Bridge to the State Capitol, ending at 9th Street by the traffic circle and fountain. A large turf median separates the travel lanes of Capitol Mall between the bridge and the capitol building.

Former California 275 Freeway

  2. Pascoe, Maureen.

    Connect with:
    Business Loop I-80

    Page Updated 06-22-2018.

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