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California State Route 275

  (Redirected from West Sacramento Freeway)

State Route 275 (SR 275) is a short unsigned state highway in the U.S. state of California that is defined to be the length of the Tower Bridge between West Sacramento and Downtown Sacramento.

State Route 275 marker

State Route 275
SR 275 highlighted in red, with recently-relinquished portions in pink
Route information
Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 575
Maintained by Caltrans
Length0.140 mi (0.225 km)
Existed1965-1996, 2010–present
HistoryState highway in 1910; became US 40/99W in 1928-29, I-80 in 1964, and SR 275 in 1967
Major junctions
West endWest side of Sacramento River in West Sacramento
East endEast side of Sacramento River in Sacramento
CountiesYolo, Sacramento
Highway system
SR 273I-280

Prior to 1996, SR 275 was also known as the West Sacramento Freeway, and was a short spur from Interstate 80 Business / U.S. Route 50 in West Sacramento over the Tower Bridge into Sacramento. Within the Sacramento city limits, SR 275 also included the Capitol Mall from the bridge to 9th Street, just west of the California State Capitol. West Sacramento completed a project to replace the freeway with a pedestrian-friendly street named Tower Bridge Gateway.

Route descriptionEdit

Since 1996, SR 275 has been defined to be the length of the Tower Bridge, a four-lane lift bridge across the Sacramento River that formerly carried a Sacramento Northern Railroad track in the center.

Prior to 1996, SR 275 was part of the West Sacramento Freeway. The West Sacramento Freeway designation begins on Interstate 80 at exit 81 (West Capitol Avenue), the east end of the Yolo Causeway. It soon splits, with I-80 exiting to bypass Sacramento to the north and Interstate 80 Business (legislatively U.S. Route 50) continuing east via exit 82 towards downtown. After one interchange, at Harbor Boulevard (exit 1/1B), the freeway splits again, with Bus. 80 turning abruptly southeast over the Pioneer Memorial Bridge to avoid downtown Sacramento. The original SR 275 designation then began here, at exit 3 of Bus. 80, with full access to and from the intersecting Jefferson Boulevard (State Route 84).[1]

Capitol Mall, with 9th Street — the former east end of SR 275 — behind the fountain

After the Jefferson Boulevard interchange, the road — now maintained by the city of West Sacramento as Tower Bridge Gateway — crosses the new Garden Street at an at-grade intersection. This intersection replaced a partial trumpet interchange, oriented towards West Capitol Avenue with a missing westbound entrance, in 2007. After Tower Bridge Gateway crosses under the Union Pacific Railroad line that used to cross the Tower Bridge, it approaches an intersection with 5th Street. It was formerly a ramp that entered the westbound lanes from the intersection of West Capitol Avenue and 5th Street, which completed the former interchange at Riske Lane. Two blocks to the east, Tower Bridge Gateway approaches its final intersection in West Sacramento with 3rd Street. A westbound offramp formerly led to West Capitol Avenue and 3rd Street, with eastbound access to Broderick to the north and the formerly industrial area to the south, now containing Raley Field.[1]

State maintenance resumes once again as SR 275 as the road crosses the Sacramento River on the Tower Bridge. At the east end of the bridge, SR 275 ends and the roadway becomes Capitol Mall, maintained by the city of Sacramento, and crosses over Interstate 5. Seven blocks later, the main road ends at 9th Street; the last block of Capitol Mall to 10th Street, on which the State Capitol fronts, is a two-lane road with a mid-block traffic circle around a fountain.[1]

SR 275 is part of the National Highway System,[2] a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.[3]


SR 275 began as part of Legislative Route 6, one of the shorter main routes of the initial system funded by the 1910 bond issue. This highway, which included the several-mile-long Yolo Causeway, connected Sacramento with the north–south Route 7 at Davis, thereby linking the capital city with the San Francisco Bay Area. Route 6 traffic initially left Sacramento on the 1911 I Street Bridge, heading southwest through the small settlement of Washington via D Street, 5th Street, and present Tower Court to West Capitol Avenue.[4][5] The state highway was moved to the M Street Bridge in 1926, as part of an improvement that also took it through a two-lane subway under the Sacramento Northern Railroad, still present on West Capitol Avenue.[6] The M Street Bridge was replaced by the Tower Bridge in 1935.[7]

U.S. Routes 40 and 99 (soon 99W) were marked along Route 6 in 1928.[8] These two routes remained on West Capitol Avenue[9] until 1954, when the new West Sacramento Freeway opened, connecting the west end of the Tower Bridge with the east end of the Yolo Causeway. Traveler-oriented businesses along the bypassed West Capitol Avenue were hit hard by the shifting of through traffic.[10]

The entire freeway was designated as part of Interstate 80 in the late 1950s. However, two bypasses were planned — a realignment of Route 6 that would take I-80 over a new bridge and around the south side of downtown, and a northern bypass of the entire city (I-880).[11] Since the southerly bypass had not been completed in time for the 1964 renumbering, the route over the Tower Bridge — and along downtown streets — became Route 80,[12] but US 99W signage remained (initially following Capitol Mall to near the State Capitol, later turning south onto 3rd and 5th Streets east of the bridge)[13][14] until the late 1960s,[15] before I-5 had finished replacing old US 99W north of Woodland.[16]

Normally, upon completion of the new I-80 south of downtown, the old alignment over the Tower Bridge and through downtown would be relinquished. The legislature recognized that it might be useful to keep a state highway to the Capitol, and so in 1966 it passed a concurrent resolution requesting that the California Highway Commission delay relinquishment west of 9th Street until the last day of the 1967 legislative session.[17] During that session, a new Route 275 was created from that portion of former Route 80. This consisted of the eastern part of the West Sacramento Freeway, the Tower Bridge, and Capitol Mall up to 9th Street, just west of the capitol building. The portion in Sacramento, east of the bridge, was not to be beautified with state highway funds.[18] Due to the cancellation of a replacement of the North Sacramento Freeway, I-80 was moved to former I-880 around the city in 1981, giving the West Sacramento Freeway three numbers: I-80, US 50, and SR 275.[19]

In 1993, the West Sacramento City Council approved the "Triangle Specific Plan" for a new downtown in the triangle bounded by the Sacramento River, SR 275, and US 50;[20] this plan included downgrading the freeway to a surface road.[21] The state legislature passed a law in 1994 that allowed Caltrans to come to an agreement with West Sacramento or Sacramento for the relinquishment of any part of SR 275.[22] Although no portions had yet been relinquished, the legislature deleted Route 275 from the Streets and Highways Code in 1996.[23]

The Triangle redevelopment happened slowly, with the first part — Raley Field — opening in 2000.[21] Effective January 1, 2001, Caltrans relinquished SR 275 to West Sacramento between postmiles 12.4 (west of Riske Lane) and 13.0 (the west end of the Tower Bridge).[24][25] The city renamed the road Tower Bridge Gateway and demolished the Riske Lane overpass in early 2007, replacing it with a signalized intersection that now serves the new Garden Street.[26]

The city of Sacramento also wished to modify its section of SR 275, which, while not a freeway, was still designed for motor vehicle traffic. Capitol Mall east of postmile 0.11 (the east end of the Tower Bridge) was relinquished to the city effective January 1, 2006.[27][28] A ramp from the bridge to N Street was closed in July 2007, allowing the block it had cut diagonally through to be sold.[29] The ramp's counterpart, from L Street to the Tower Bridge, remained open, though the lot that includes it was sold to the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency in 2005.[30] The ramp finally closed to traffic in 2016 in conjunction with a project to connect 2nd Street in Old Sacramento to Capitol Mall.[31]

These 2001 and 2007 relinquishments left Caltrans maintaining only two pieces of SR 275 — the Tower Bridge and the west end through the Jefferson Boulevard (SR 84) interchange — for a total of about 0.9 miles (1.4 km), under half of the 1967-2001 length. A joint project to widen the bridge sidewalks was carried out by Sacramento, West Sacramento, and Caltrans. The project was completed in May 2008.[32]

A second phase to convert the remaining section of freeway of Tower Bridge Gateway to a city street began in 2010. The 3rd Street underpass and subsequent interchange was removed and signalized intersections at 5th and 3rd streets were created. The project was completed in November 2011.[33]

The legislature added Route 275 back to the Streets and Highways Code in 2010, but its definition now only includes "Tower Bridge from the west side of the Sacramento River near the City of West Sacramento to the east side of the Sacramento River near the City of Sacramento."[34]

As of 2016, only two interchanges of the former SR 275 remain: a diamond interchange at Jefferson Boulevard (SR 84) and the split at Business Loop 80 / US 50.

Major intersectionsEdit

Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, based on the alignment of Route 80 as it existed at that time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary (for a full list of prefixes, see the list of postmile definitions).[35] Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.

YOL 11.70-13.08
West Sacramento12.903rd Street, Riverfront StreetFormer interchange with South River Road and West Capitol Avenue; west end of SR 275
county line
West SacramentoSacramento
city line
13.08Tower Bridge over the Sacramento River
SAC 0.00-0.70
Sacramento0.07Neasham CircleNo left turn from SR 275 east; east end of SR 275
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Google Maps street maps and USGS topographic maps, accessed December 2007 via ACME Mapper
  2. ^ Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: Sacramento, CA (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  3. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  4. ^ Ben Blow, California Highways: A Descriptive Record of Road Development by the State and by Such Counties as Have Paved Highways, 1920 ( or Google Books), pp. 101-102, 206, 285
  5. ^ Map of state highway project X-Yolo-6-C Archived 2008-08-26 at the Wayback Machine, ca. 1925
  6. ^ Oakland Tribune, Automotive Section, July 4, 1926
  7. ^ Oakland Tribune, Sacramento Bridge to Open Dec. 15, November 17, 1935
  8. ^ California Highways and Public Works, United States Numbered Highways, January 1928
  9. ^ Division of Highways, Sacramento, 1944
  10. ^ City of West Sacramento General Plan: Background Document Archived 2007-07-09 at the Wayback Machine, revised and adopted June 14, 2000, pp. II-24, VII-14
  11. ^ Division of Highways, Sacramento, 1963
  12. ^ Division of Highways, Annual Traffic Census, 1965, p. 70 (Route 80)
  13. ^ Rand McNally, Road Atlas: United States, Canada, Mexico, 1964
  14. ^ H.M. Gousha Company, Sacramento, California Archived 2008-04-11 at the Wayback Machine, 1967
  15. ^ Division of Highways, Sacramento Archived 2007-10-08 at the Wayback Machine, 1969
  16. ^ a b California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.
  17. ^ California State Assembly. "Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 17—Relative to delaying relinquishment of a portion of Interstate 80 leading to the State Capitol". 1966 Session of the Legislature, 1st extraordinary session. Statutes of California (Resolution). State of California. Ch. 94 p. 872.
  18. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to add Section 575 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to state highways". 1967 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1350 p. 3183.
  19. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to amend...the Streets and Highways Code, relating to state highways". 1981–1982 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 292 p. 1419.
  20. ^ Sacramento Bee, West Sac OKs a New Downtown, July 2, 1993, p. G1
  21. ^ a b Sacramento Bee, Appetite for W. Sac Development, July 13, 2000, p. B1
  22. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to amend Section 2982.2 of, and to add Section 3068.2 to, the Civil Code, to amend Sections 40084.5, 40088, and 40089 of the Education Code, to amend Section 29601 of, to amend and renumber Section 14035.6 of, to..." 1993–1994 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1220.
  23. ^ California State Assembly. "An act to amend Section 564 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to amend Section 19993.7 of, and to add Section 65088.5 to, the Government Code, and to amend Sections 11474, 44013.5, and 44521 of, and to repeal Sections 39047.4..." 1995–1996 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1154.
  24. ^ West Sacramento, Major Public Projects: Tower Bridge Gateway Intersections, accessed December 2007
  25. ^ California Transportation Commission, Agenda Archived 2007-07-13 at the Wayback Machine, February 23, 2000, p. 8
  26. ^ West Sacramento, Traffic Advisory: West Sacramento Roadway Reopens with a Reduced Speed Limit and Lane Reduction, April 20, 2007
  27. ^ Sacramento Bee, Face-lift on Capitol Mall menu, February 5, 2006, p. B1: "City leaders have said something should be done to spruce up the concourse. But until January, the state Department of Transportation controlled it as a state highway. Control now has passed to the city, and city staff members say Sacramento should do something to make the mall more inviting for pedestrians and visitors."
  28. ^ California Transportation Commission, Minutes, July 13–14, 2005, p. 13
  29. ^ Sacramento, Traffic Alert: City to permanently close ramp between Capitol and N Street as sale of adjacent property nears Archived 2012-02-08 at the Wayback Machine, June 29, 2007
  30. ^ Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, L Street connector ramp to Capitol Mall to remain open Archived 2008-09-07 at the Wayback Machine, January 24, 2005
  31. ^ "I-5 Riverfront Reconnection". City of Sacramento. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  32. ^ Tower Bridge Pedestrian/Bikeway Improvements Project: Frequently Asked Questions Archived 2008-09-05 at the Wayback Machine, accessed December 2007
  33. ^ Sacramento Bee, West Sac Gateway completed Archived 2011-12-08 at the Wayback Machine, December 4, 2011, p. B1
  34. ^ California State Assembly. " Session of the Legislature". Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 421.
  35. ^ a b California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (XLS file) on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  36. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS Archived 2007-12-24 at the Wayback Machine, 2004 (the last year before it was updated to remove the relinquished part)

External linksEdit