U.S. 199 Oregon

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While U.S. 99 was decommissioned 1972, U.S. 199 remains within the system connecting Crescent City, California with Grants Pass, Oregon. 80 miles in length, U.S. 199 passes through Gasquet, California to O'Brien, Cave Junction and Selma, Oregon. It follows the northernmost segment of the Redwood Highway, which follows U.S. 101 from San Francisco to Crescent City and U.S. 199 from there north to Grants Pass. Most of U.S. 199 in Oregon is a two lane highway, passing from the foothills of Oregon Mountain north to Grants Pass.

The city of Grants Pass began in 1865 as the site of a stage station and post office. The site was named "Grant" in honor of Union General Ulysses S. Grant, however that would quickly be changed as another Grant, Oregon already existed at the time. At the same time a new roadway linking the area with Merlin to the north was constructed. Crews working on the project suggested calling the road over the pass of Merlin Hill, Grant's Pass. The name caught on and eventually encompassed the post office. In 1883 the Southern Pacific Railroad line entered the valley and the community of Grants Pass grew. Expansion of Grants Pass followed as the town prospered as a shipping center. Incorporation followed in 1885 at the same time Grants Pass became the seat of government for Josephine County.

Grant's Pass motto is "It's the Climate." Annual rainfall in 2005 was 37.92 inches, with average July temperatures in the low 90s and average January temperatures in the upper 40s. Nevertheless, rain has caused flooding in Grants Pass, with flooding events along the Rogue River in 1997 and 1964. Excessive rain in those years both resulted in widespread flooding and related damage in southern Oregon and northwest California.

U.S. 199 North
U.S. 199 (Grants Pass Parkway) weaves northeast through Grants Pass while OR 99 follows the couplet of 6th/7th Streets through the city center. U.S. 199 ties into Interstate 5 at a trumpet interchange. 03/31/05
U.S. 199 traffic partitions into ramps for I-5 south to Medford and I-5 north to Eugene, Salem, and Portland. 03/31/05
U.S. 199 South
U.S. 199 commences west from I-5 at Exit 55 along Grants Pass Parkway ahead of Agness Avenue. Agness Avenue provides connections to Foothill Boulevard, a parallel roadway to I-5 from Grants Pass east to Rogue River. Foothill Boulevard became discontinuous with the construction of the exchange joining I-5/U.S. 199. 03/31/05
The first reassurance marker for U.S. 199 west appears between I-5 and Agness Avenue on Grants Pass Highway west. U.S. 199 bypasses Downtown Grants Pass to the southeast between Beacon Drive and OR 99 (Rogue River Highway). 03/31/05
Oregon Route 99 South
OR 99 branches south from Interstate 5 at Exit 58 into Grants Pass via 6th Street. Northbound traffic uses 7th Street. 05/28/06
The first traffic signal on southbound U.S. 199 and OR 99 (6th Street) is with Morgan Lane. Motorist services such as gas stations and restaurants are located on both sides of 6th Street. 05/28/06
This is the first reassurance shield for U.S. 199 and OR 99 on southbound 6th Street. The street carries three southbound lanes. 05/28/06
Continuing south, the next traffic signal is with Hillcrest Drive. To Interstate 5, turn left to follow Hillcrest Drive, then turn left again to follow 7th Street north to Interstate 5. 05/28/06
The next traffic signal is with Savage Street. This east-west route connects with 10th Street to the east and Highland Avenue to the west. 05/28/06
Another set of reassurance shields for U.S. 199 and OR 99 is posted as 6th Street gets closer to downtown Grants Pass. 05/28/06
Southbound U.S. 199 and OR 99 (6th Street) approach Evelyn Avenue, which connects to 7th Street to the east and 2nd Street to the west. Sixth Street turns a bit to the southwest after the Evelyn Avenue intersection. 05/28/06
The next traffic signal is with A Street. Downtown Grants Pass ("Where the Rogue River Runs" is one of the city's mottos) comes into view. On A Street is a green guide sign for U.S. 199 and OR 99 south to the city center of Grants Pass. Use A Street to the Civic Center and City Hall. 05/28/06
Another trailblazer shield for Interstate 5 is posted after the A Street traffic signal. Home to approximately 30,930 (2006 estimate), Grants Pass is the largest city within Josephine County. The county is home to 75,726 people as of the 2000 Census. 05/28/06
A third set of reassurance shields for U.S. 199 and OR 99 is posted shortly thereafter on both sides of 6th Street. 05/28/06
Southbound U.S. 199 and OR 99 (6th Street) approach D Street and enters downtown Grants Pass. 05/28/06
The next traffic signal is with E Street. The control city for southbound U.S. 199 and OR 99 becomes Crescent City, California, although OR 99 does not travel in that direction (it will turn east toward Medford after crossing the Rogue River bridge). 05/28/06
Southbound OR 99 (6th Street) intersects F Street just ahead of a Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad crossing. 05/28/06
An overhead sign preceding G Street welcomes all to Grants Pass: "It's the Climate." 05/28/06
Downtown Grants Pass continues as 6th Street meets G Street at this intersection. 05/28/06
S 6th Street south at H Street. 05/28/06
OR 99 (6th Street) south at I Street. 05/28/06
J Street leads west to the Josephine County Library, Historical Society, and Museum. 05/28/06
The next traffic signal is for L Street, which is part of the downtown Grants Pass street grid. 05/28/06
Southbound U.S. 199 and OR 99 (6th Street) approach M Street. From here, U.S. 199 and OR 99 leave downtown Grants Pass. 05/28/06
Shortly thereafter, U.S. 199 and OR 99 prepare to cross the Rogue River via the Caveman Bridge, which is a concrete through arch bridge, which comes into view after turning a bit to the south. Only two lanes cross the bridge, marking the first time the highway has less than southbound lanes. 05/28/06
The Rogue River bridge is partially shrouded by leafy, green trees as U.S. 199 becomes the Redwood Highway and begins its journey southwest toward Crescent City. This art deco sign provides the destinations along the Redwood Highway, including the Redwood Empire, Oregon Caves National Monument, and the Golden Gate Bridge. 05/28/06
A Caveman Bridge sign is posted on the northern approach to the bridge. At the south end of the bridge, U.S. 199 and OR 99 divide, with the left lane connecting to OR 99 southeast to Medford and OR 238 to Murphy and Jacksonville. The right lanes continue southwest along U.S. 199 to Cave Junction and Crescent City. 05/28/06
Like many bridges of its era, the Caveman Bridge has ornate concrete guardrail. Built in 1931, there are few remaining concrete through arch bridges left in service. 05/28/06
This view is afforded between the first and second arch of the Caveman Bridge on southbound U.S. 199 and OR 99. 05/28/06
This view shows the third and final arch of the Caveman Bridge as seen from the right shoulder. 05/28/06
After crossing the Caveman Bridge, U.S. 199 and OR 99 prepare to split, with the intersection visible in the distance. 05/28/06
The left lane continues along OR 99 southeast to Medford, while U.S. 199 uses the right lanes to Cave Junction and Crescent City, California. The middle lane connects to OR 238 en route to Murphy and Jacksonville. 05/28/06
At this point, OR 99 and U.S. 199 split ways. OR 99 follows the Rogue River Highway east to Medford with a two lane left exit from U.S. 199; this is also the connection to northbound Bypass U.S. 199. Mainline U.S. 199 travels south for one more block, then turns southwest toward Cave Junction at the next traffic signal. The split with OR 238 (Williams Highway) is at the traffic signal ahead. 05/28/06
U.S. 199 South
U.S. 199 travels south on 6th Street to the next traffic signal, which is the junction with Bypass U.S. 199/Grants Pass Highway and OR 238/Williams Highway. Go straight here (left two lanes) to follow OR 238 south, and turn right to continue south on U.S. 199. 05/28/06
The left two lanes continue south on OR 238 to Murphy and Jacksonville; the right lane continues southwest on U.S. 199. No left turn is permitted onto U.S. 199 Bypass north. 05/28/06
A trailblazer sign advises of the destinations for OR 238 south (Murphys and Jacksonville) and U.S. 199 south (Rogue Community College, Cave Junction, Oregon Caves National Monument, and Crescent City). 05/28/06
After the split from OR 99 and OR 238, U.S. 199 travels west on the Redwood Highway as it passes through suburban areas in Grants Pass. A safety corridor is in place for the first seven miles after the junction. 05/28/06
As U.S. 199 travels southwest past the Josephine County Fairgrounds, this distance sign provides the distance to Cave Junction (28 miles) and Crescent City (86 miles). U.S. 199 ends just north of Crescent City, making U.S. 199 one of the shortest U.S. highways. 05/28/06
An old alignment of U.S. 199 splits to the right along Redwood Avenue, while the mainline continues along the divided highway segment. Redwood Avenue continues due west, while U.S. 199 turns southwest. The two route reunite again a few miles southwest of here. 05/28/06
No turns are permitted at the traffic signal with Redwood Avenue (old U.S. 199) after the exit ramp. 05/28/06
The next traffic signal is with Allen Creek Road. A shopping center is located on the south side of U.S. 199/Redwood Highway. 05/28/06
Another distance sign is posted, this time for Cave Junction (27 miles), Crescent City (85 miles), and Brookings (101 miles via U.S. 101 north). Brookings is in Oregon, but a brief detour through California is required in order to reach that city on the Oregon Coast. 05/28/06
After the Dowell Road traffic signal, four lane U.S. 199 approaches Willow Lane. Use Willow Lane north to Schroeder Park, which provides access to the Rogue River (boat ramp), picnic areas, and other day use activities. 05/28/06
After the Willow Lane intersection, U.S. 199 continues south as an undivided expressway. The next three intersections are Hubbard Lane, Dawn Drive, and Midway Avenue. This expressway segment has a painted median and is built on a level route. (Redwood Avenue, the old alignment, follows U.S. 199 to the north.) 05/28/06
At the Redwood Avenue intersection, U.S. 199 again meets its old alignment. Old U.S. 199 crosses mainline U.S. 199, switching from the north side of the highway to the south side of the highway. A flue crosses over the highway at this point as well (it is not a highway overpass). 05/28/06
After the Redwood Avenue intersection, U.S. 199 continues as an expressway. The next three intersections are: Robinson Road, Applegate Avenue, and Helms Road. At Helms Road, the old alignment of U.S. 199 (Redwood Avenue) returns to U.S. 199. The highway narrows from expressway standards to two lane rural highway configuration. 05/28/06
Reaching the intersection, a left turn connects to Helms Road, and a right turn connects to Neill Road (no outlet). Turn left to Redwood Avenue (Old U.S. 199). 05/28/06
After passing under an overhead sign gantry, U.S. 199 reverts to a two lane conventional highway. The speed limit is 55 miles per hour. 05/28/06
This distance sign provides the distance to Crescent City (80 miles) and Brookings (96 miles), with Cave Junction omitted. 05/28/06
U.S. 199 reassurance shield posted at the Applegate River. Many of the bridges along U.S. 199 have been replaced, and it is likely that this bridge will also be replaced as part of that effort. The older guardrail is typical of this era of highway bridge. At the southwest end of the bridge is a cut off north along Riverbank Road to Griffin Park. 05/28/06
Southbound U.S. 199 enters Wilderville in one half mile. An old alignment of U.S. 199 (Old Redwood Highway) is available alongside the modern highway. 05/28/06
Continuing southwest, U.S. 199 prepares to climb a grade before entering Illinois Valley. An old alignment of U.S. 199 is available by making a left at the intersection shown here, before the uphill climbing lanes begin. 05/28/06
At the top of the hill, U.S. 199 enters Illinois Valley. U.S. 199 travels south now, heading toward Selma and Cave Junction. 05/28/06
Continuing south, U.S. 199 approaches the turn off for Lake Selmac. Fishing, hiking, and picnicking are among the activities at the lake. 05/28/06
U.S. 199 approaches Selma, passing through some forested and flat areas. The highway is generally two lanes wide, with some sections wider. 05/28/06
Southbound U.S. 199 enters unincorporated Selma. A few shops line U.S. 199/Redwood Highway as the route passes through the very small town. 05/28/06
Another distance sign is posted on southbound U.S. 199 after the highway passes through Selma. Cave Junction is two miles ahead, while Crescent City is 60 miles ahead. 05/28/06
At Laurel Road is this flashing beacon. A distance sign is posted on Laurel Road for U.S. 199 north and south (the sign is visible from southbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway). 05/28/06
Southbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway enters Cave Junction. The main intersection is the junction with OR 46 east to Oregon Caves National Monument. 05/28/06
U.S. 199 south approaches OR 46. An Oregon Visitors Center is located at the intersection with OR 46. 05/28/06
Southbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway meets Watkins Street at this signalized intersection. A pair of older shields mark the pending junction with OR 46. Note the smaller size and age of the U.S. 199 shield. 05/28/06
Southbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway meets OR 46 at this traffic signal. An overhead sign advises that OR 46/Caves Highway travels east to Oregon Caves National Monument. OR 46 ends at the national monument and does not connect with other state routes. 05/28/06
This distance sign is located along southbound U.S. 199 as the route leaves Cave Junction en route through national forest land toward California. Limited services are available until reaching Gasquet or Crescent City. 05/28/06
Several bridge replacement projects were underway in 2006 along U.S. 199 in southern Oregon. For these replacements, a temporary bridge was erected next to the old bridge, and the old bridge was upgraded to current state standards. 05/28/06
Stacks of lumber line the highway as U.S. 199 continues south through the lumber producing forests of southwestern Oregon. 05/28/06
Southbound U.S. 199/Redwood Highway meets Waldo Road at this intersection. Waldo Road travels to Takilma and Happy Camp. 05/28/06
Entering unincorporated O'Brien, U.S. 199 approaches O'Brien Road and a single gas station on the right (west) side of the highway. 05/28/06
A recently completed bridge carries U.S. 199 south. 05/28/06
A few miles further south, U.S. 199 uses an older bridge to cross Elk Creek. This is the last reassurance shield for U.S. 199 within the state of Oregon. 05/28/06
Southbound U.S. 199 (Redwood Highway) enters the Golden State of California. 05/28/06
U.S. 199 scenes
This view shows the Rogue River as seen from the Caveman Bridge looking west in Grants Pass. 05/28/06
Now looking east past the ornate concrete guardrail is this view of the Rogue River and the 7th Street Bridge, which was built in 1959 and carries northbound U.S. 199 and OR 99 over the river. 05/28/06
These views show the northernmost arch (facing east) and middle arch (facing west) of the three-arch Caveman Bridge, which was opened to traffic in 1931. 05/28/06
Looking north on the south bank of the Rogue River are these views of the Caveman Bridge in Grants Pass. 05/28/06
These views show the Caveman Bridge from the south bank of the Rogue River as seen from the park. 05/28/06
Now standing on the 7th Street bridge, this view shows the Caveman Bridge from the sidewalk on the 7th Street bridge, with the Rogue River passing below the busy bridge. 05/28/06

Photo Credits:

    03/31/05 by AARoads. 05/28/06 by AARoads and Joel Windmiller.

Connect with:
Interstate 5
U.S. 101
Route 99 and Historic U.S. 99

Page Updated 03-14-2007.

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