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Interstate 80 (California)

 

Interstate 80 (California)

This article is about the section of Interstate 80 in California. For the entire length of the highway, see Interstate 80.

Interstate 80
;">Route information
Defined by S&HC § 380
Maintained by Caltrans
Length:
Existed: August 7, 1947 by FHWA[1]
June 26, 1956
July 1, 1964 by Caltrans[2] – present
;">Major junctions
West end: Template:Jct/extra US 101 in San Francisco
  Template:Jct/extra I-580 / I-880 in Oakland
Template:Jct/extra I-780 in Vallejo
Template:Jct/extra I-680 in Fairfield
Template:Jct/extra I-505 in Vacaville
Template:Jct/extra US 50 / I-80 Bus. in West Sacramento
Template:Jct/extra I-5 / SR 16 / SR 99 in Sacramento
East end: Template:Jct/extra I-80 at Nevada state line
Length:
Length:
Length:
Length:
;">
;">Highway system

In the U.S. state of California, Interstate 80 (I-80), a major east–west route of the Interstate Highway System, has its western terminus (ending point) in San Francisco, California, United States. From there it heads east across the Bay Bridge to Oakland, where it turns north and crosses the Carquinez Bridge before turning back northeast through the Sacramento Valley. I-80 then goes northeast and east over the Sierra Nevada mountain range before crossing into the state of Nevada within the Truckee (River) Canyon. The speed limit is 65 miles per hour instead of the state's maximum of 70 since the road passes exclusively through urban and mountainous areas in California.

Interstate 80 has portions designated as either the San Francisco Skyway, Eastshore Freeway, or Roseville Freeway.

Route description

I-80 is recognized as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway and a Blue Star Memorial Highway for its entire length. It was part of the Lincoln Highway from Sacramento to Reno (except in vicinity of Donner Summit). I-80 is also known as the Kent D. Pursel Memorial Freeway from the Bay Bridge to the Alameda/Contra Costa County line, the Linus F. Claeys Freeway from SR 4 to the Carquinez Bridge, the Alan S. Hart Freeway from the Sacramento/Placer County line to the Nevada state line, and the Dutch Flat and Donner Lake Wagon Road from Emigrant Gap to Donner Lake (except in vicinity of Donner Summit).[3]

West end in San Francisco

According to the California State Highway system, I-80 begins at its intersection with U.S. Route 101 in San Francisco. However, the San Francisco Skyway (officially known to Caltrans as the Bayshore Viaduct), the elevated freeway that runs from this junction of the James Lick Freeway and the Central Freeway to the Western Approach of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge at 4th Street, may not be officially part of the Interstate Highway System, although it is consistently shown as I-80 on most maps of San Francisco. The Interstate designation is interpreted by some to actually beginning on the Bay Bridge approach itself, at the location of the Fremont Street off-ramp (previously known as the Terminal Separator Structure (TSS) that once connected it to the Embarcadero Freeway). Thus, the first 1.20 miles (1.93 km) of the signed Interstate may not be officially an actual Interstate.[4][5]

When I-80 was first approved, it was to begin at planned I-280 (CA 1) in Golden Gate Park, head east on the never-built Panhandle Freeway, then run south and southeast on the Central Freeway (US 101) to the San Francisco Skyway. A January 1968 amendment moved I-280 to its present alignment, removed Interstate 480, and truncated the origin point of I-80 to the Embarcadero Freeway (then I-280, formerly I-480).[1] These changes were made on the state level later that year, but Route 80 was only truncated to US 101. (The Central Freeway remained part of US 101, and the Panhandle Freeway became State Route 241. The Panhandle Freeway was later cancelled in the wake of the Freeway Revolts, and the State Route 241 designation has since been reassigned to an unrelated stretch of highway in Orange County) The San Francisco Skyway, which had already been signed as part of I-80, has remained a de facto section of Interstate 80 to the present day and remains listed as part of Interstate 80 in California.

Eastshore Freeway

The Eastshore Freeway is a segment of Interstates 80 and 580 along the northeast shoreline of San Francisco Bay in northern California. It begins at the Carquinez Bridge and ends at the MacArthur Maze interchange just east of the eastern end of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. Interstate 580 joins the Eastshore Freeway at an interchange in Albany. The section of the Eastshore Freeway between the MacArthur Maze and the 580 split in Albany is a wrong-way concurrency where the northbound direction is signed as I-80 east and I-580 west, while the southbound direction is signed as I-80 west and I-580 east.


The Eastshore Freeway was created in the mid 1950s (construction commenced in 1954) by re-engineering the Eastshore Highway, a thoroughfare constructed in the 1930s (1937–39) as one of the approaches to the Bay Bridge and designated as part of U.S. Route 40.[6] The Eastshore Highway began in El Cerrito at an intersection with San Pablo Avenue at Hill Street between Potrero Avenue and Cutting Blvd., adjacent to the location today of the El Cerrito Del Norte station of BART. It was not a freeway in that access was at intersections with adjoining streets rather than by ramps. The Eastshore Highway ran from El Cerrito to the Bay Bridge along the same routing as today's freeway, although it was much narrower. A causeway was constructed for this purpose by filling in part of the mudflats along the bayshore. In the stretch from University to Ashby Avenues in Berkeley, this resulted in the creation of an artificial lagoon which was developed by the WPA in the late 1930s as "Aquatic Park".

The frontage road along the east side of today's Eastshore Freeway between Buchanan Street in Albany and Hearst Avenue in Berkeley retains the name "Eastshore Highway". The terminal segment of the old Eastshore Highway in El Cerrito between Potrero and San Pablo Avenues is today named "Eastshore Blvd.".

Originally, the name "Eastshore Freeway" was applied first to what is today known as the "Nimitz Freeway" (I-880) upon its construction in 1947. This freeway was dedicated in 1958 to Admiral Nimitz, and so for a few years in the 1950s prior, the Eastshore Freeway stretched the entire length of the east shore of San Francisco Bay. (Caltrans still shows this in its current highway name book referenced below - see p.16, p.28 of PDF) Until the late 1960s, the Eastshore Freeway was also designated as part of State Highway 17 together with the Nimitz.

The Eastshore Freeway was officially renamed the "Kent D. Pursel Memorial Freeway"[7] in 1968, but it is hardly recognized as such by the public. The maps of the California State Automobile Association (CSAA), for instance, still show the name "Eastshore Freeway".

The interchange where I-580 joins I-80 is still known locally as the "Hoffman Split", an allusion to the time before the I-580 freeway replaced Hoffman Blvd. as the highway leading to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The same interchange today also serves the Buchanan Street exit in Albany.

The section of the Eastshore Freeway between the MacArthur Maze and the 80/580 split suffers from severe traffic congestion during rush hour due to the merger of three freeways (Interstate 80, Interstate 580, and Interstate 880) at the MacArthur Maze.

Sacramento portion

Legislative Route 242 was defined in 1957, connecting pre-1964 Legislative Route 6 west of Sacramento to pre-1964 Legislative Route 3 northeast of Sacramento.[8] Interstate 880, a bypass of I-80, was approved along Legislative Route 242 by the American Association of State Highway Officials on November 10, 1958.[1] The Route 880 designation was adopted by the state in the 1964 renumbering; the bypass was completed in 1972.

Interstate 80 has run north of Sacramento on the Beltline Freeway which was originally Interstate 880, a bypass freeway. The I-80 routing alignment was moved from a route through Sacramento, now Interstate 80 Business, after the proposed Interstate 80 replacement of the North Sacramento Freeway was cancelled. The Beltline Freeway runs northeast from the junction of I-80 and I-80 Business (U.S. Route 50 there) in West Sacramento across Interstate 5 to its junction northeast of Sacramento with I-80 Business (which is State Route 51). State Route 244 heads east as a short freeway spur from that interchange.



Sierra Nevada portion

Crossing the Sierra Nevada, I-80 regularly gets snow at higher elevations from fall to spring. Caltrans sometimes requires vehicles to use snow tires, snow chains or other traction devices in the mountains during and after snowstorms.[9] Checkpoints are often set up to enforce chain restrictions on vehicles bound for icy or snowy areas. When chain restrictions are in effect vehicles must have chains on the driving wheels, except 4WD vehicles with snow tires.[10] Additionally, during the winter season, trucks are required to carry chains whether or not controls are in force. When controls are in effect or possible, trucks are checked for chains in their possession at Applegate (eastbound) and Mogul, NV (westbound).

I-80 crosses the Sierra Nevada crest at Donner Summit (also known as Euer Saddle) at an elevation of 7,239 feet (2,206 m) westbound and 7,227 feet (2,203 m) eastbound.[11] The summit is located in Nevada County, California. The pass is generally open year-round; it is plowed in winter, but may temporarily close during the worst snowstorms. The older, original Lincoln Highway route (Historical U.S. 40) over Donner Pass is about two miles (3 km) to the south; this highway was replaced as the official trans-Sierra route by I-80 in 1964. Although the current Donner Pass is lower, Euer Saddle was chosen for the interstate because of more gradual approaches.

Future

Portions of I-80 through the Sierra-Nevada mountain range are in rough condition. The concrete road surface is badly cracked and eroded due to severe weather that occurs in the area and a result of an outdated concrete paving system of the 1950s and 1960s where the concrete was poured in 40 foot sections, as compared to a monolithic pour, (as is used in today's road construction). All the older concrete highways across the nation also suffer from this. Work is underway to fix the driving lanes.[12]

Exit list

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Napa
NAP 6.81-8.00
No major junctions
Sierra
SIE 0.00-1.59
No major junctions
  • Caltrans District 4: Current major projects on Route 80


Interstate 80
Previous state:
Terminus
California Next state:
Nevada

Template:California Interstate Highways

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