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Topics - jethrosire

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Near the Escondido High School, Centre City Parkway crosses over Grove Creek. 

According to this website, the dual bridges were built in 1964.

However, the bridges are not identical.  The southbound two lane bridge appears to be 1964 construction.  The northbound two lane bridge appears to be constructed of rock.  It has a date painted on it stating it was constructed in 1947. 

When US Highway 395 was realigned in 1948, it traveled north from West Grant Ave (Mission Ave) on present day Centre City Parkway.  According to the topographic maps, the highway was a narrow two lane road heading north to the Riverside County line. 

Please let us know if you have any further information or history on the mixed construction of these two bridges over Grove Creek. 

Highway 395 / Crystal Canyon Springs
« on: March 28, 2011, 07:29:44 PM »
Recently, I came upon this entry in the newspaper.  I have never heard of Crystal Canyon Springs before.  Can someone tell me where this is located?   

Lake Elsinore Valley Press
Murrieta Gossip Column
May 25, 1923

George Lambert is spending some time at Crystal Canyon Springs on the Bonsall Vista road near Bonsall.  The water there is said to be good for many troubles. 

Highway 395 / Bridges over Lake Hodges
« on: February 03, 2011, 08:41:43 PM »
We are currently looking for articles and photos of the bridges over Lake Hodges.  Special thanks to Janet Coles for this information. 

From the information I've been able to glean, these are the various
bridges that have supported roads/highways over Lake Hodges:

1) Bridge built to accomodate Inland Mission Road (constructed ca.
1908-1910, purported under San Diego's first highway engineer, Austin B.
Fletcher). This bridge was apparently destroyed in 1916 due to flooding.
(source: "3 Lake Hodges bridges have spanned the decades," Rancho Bernardo
News, Oct. 18, 1990, p. A13.)

2) Bernardo Station Bridge (dedicated Sept. 19, 1919).  Inland Mission
Road (and this bridge) became part of the state highway system in 1931
(designated as state route 77 and 3 years later as US 395). The bridge
appears in the first bridge list compiled by the Division of Highways in
1935 as bridge no. 57-40, Lake Hodges Bridge. Torn down in 1968. (sources:
"3 Lake Hodges bridges have spanned the decades," Rancho Bernardo News,
Oct. 18, 1990, p. A13; 1935 Division of Highways bridge list; Caltrans
bridge information system).

3) Lake Hodges Bridge (constructed 1955). Built when US 395 was realigned.
Contract no. 54-11VC31, bridge no. 57-40. The old bridge (Bernardo
Station/Lake Hodges) was left standing as an alternate until 1968.
(Sources: "What's old is new at Lake Hodges," San Diego Union-Tribune,
Jan. 7, 2006; Caltrans bridge information system)

4) Lake Hodges Bridge (constructed 1969). Replaced 1955 structure.
Contract no. 11-037764.  Widened in 1981 when Interstate 15 replaced
Highway 395 (contract no. 11-105673). Bridge no. 57-0040 (L & R, double
structure) (Sources: "What's old is new at Lake Hodges," San Diego
Union-Tribune, Jan. 7, 2006; Caltrans bridge information system)

5) Lake Hodges Bridge (constructed 2008).  Replaced 1969 bridge. Contract
no. 11-080924. Bridge no. 57-1134 (L & R). (Source: Caltrans bridge
information system).

I'm not sure about the first bridge, given that I've found no confirmation
in other sources and there were other inaccuracies in the article where I
found the reference. I've contacted the Escondido History Center to see if
they have any information about this bridge, can confirm its existence,
who built it and when.

Janet Coles
Supervising Librarian
Transportation Library and History Center
California Department of Transportation

Highway 395 / The Keys Creek Bridge
« on: January 12, 2011, 01:14:18 PM »
On Old Highway 395, at the base of Shearer’s Grade, north bound motorists first cross the Keys Creek Bridge and then almost immediately they cross the San Luis Rey River Bridge.  These two bridges almost look like one crossing, but they are two separate bridges.   
Beginning in the Rincon Indian Reservation, Keys Creek flows west to northwest, through Keys Canyon and empties into the San Luis Rey River.  The modern realignment of US Highway 395 crosses near the mouth of Keys Creek.     
Work had begun on the realignment of US Highway 395 from Escondido to Rainbow in 1943.  The new route could not be open until the two bridges were completed.  Bridge construction began in January 1946.  $150,000 was allocated for the project.  The San Luis Rey River Bridge was 650 feet and the Keys Creek Bridge was 150 feet.
On April 17, 1948, the 19 ½ mile highway from Escondido to Rainbow was officially open.  Soon the bridges became a bottleneck for highway travelers as highways 395 and 76 intersected north of the river crossing.  It was not until the opening of Interstate 15 in the early 1970s that the bottleneck was finally broken. 
During the 1992-1993 flood seasons, extensive damage occurred to the foundation of the San Luis Rey River Bridge.  The bridge was closed and necessitated a $4.5 million bridge replacement.
Today local residents of Bonsall and Fallbrook drive over the newly constructed San Luis Rey River Bridge, not realizing that they are also traveling over the Keys Creek Bridge.  It would be nice if there was a sign identifying this small forgotten bridge.   

Highway 395 / The Poway Grade Tunnel
« on: January 07, 2011, 09:12:47 PM »
When the State Highway System took over the Inland Route on August 15, 1931, the first area of concern was the Poway Grade.  How could the highway be made safer for drivers?  One option was to tunnel under the Poway Grade.   

State surveyors have been at work the past few days, surveying a route for a proposed tunnel to take the place of the long, steep Poway grade. 
State engineers announced at the time that they took over the inland highway that one of the first steps in the improvement of that route would be the elimination of the Poway grade by a tunnel.  It is the plans of the engineers to follow the old Poway grade route for a distance, tunnel through the hill and have the road continue on the south side of the hill to a point near the Murphy Canyon road.  There it will connect with the present inland highway, according to plans.
This means not only that a new route is being selected, but also that there will be about 18 miles of new paving laid. 
(Vista Press, September 17, 1931)

Was this tunnel concept a new idea?  No it was not.  As early as 1908, during the construction of the Inland Route, there were discussions about tunneling under the Poway Grade.

Engineer George Cooke of the highway commission said that surveyors are now at work on the San Diego end of a road to Escondido and that survey and estimates would be made either for a tunnel or cut through the crown of the old Poway grade leading to the new road down Murphy canyon and through Mission Valley.(Los Angeles Herald, July 19, 1908)

By 1932, the highway commission was still contemplating tunneling under the Poway Grade.   

The official statement also calls for seven miles of new route from Poway corners to San Clemente canyon, which would eliminate the present Poway grade.  As previously announced, the highway commission contemplates tunneling through Poway hill. 
(Vista Press, April 21, 1932)

What happened to the Poway Grade tunnel?  Unfortunately, the Vista Press did not report the commission’s final decision.  I checked the Poway Public Library, but there were no newspapers for the 1930s.  I will have to search the San Diego Union Tribune to find further answers.   

On September 14, 1950, the Miramar to Lake Hodges stretch of the realigned Highway 395 was officially opened.  The Poway Grade was finally by-passed.  In 1951, Poway Road was extended from the old highway to the new highway, allowing Poway residents to by-pass the grade as well.

If you find any articles related to the Poway Grade Tunnel, please let us know.           

Highway 395 / The Inland Route becomes a part of the State Highway System
« on: January 04, 2011, 09:00:56 PM »
In 1931, the Inland Route became a part of the State Highway system. 

Inland Route Made a State Highway

The Edwards-Kline highway measure adding approximately 800 miles to the State’s secondary highway system has been signed by Governor Rolph.
The bill provides that the Inland highway, passing through Vista is to become a State highway.
Supervisor Tom Hurley played an important part in the passage of the bill.  As president of the Supervisors Association of California, and as a director of the State of Chamber of Commerce, he was active in pressing the legislation.
Improvements in the highway are looked for after the State takes it over.  There are many short curves that need straightening and it will probably be widened along its entire length through Riverside and San Diego counties in time. 

(The Vista Press, April 2, 1931)

Even though the bill was signed by April 2, the Inland Route did not become part of the State Highway system until August 15, 1931. 

Inland Highway Now a Part of State System

Last Saturday the Inland highway in this county from San Diego to the county line at Rainbow was taken over by the State and hereafter will be maintained as a State highway.  It will be known as State route No. 78.  This route carries a large percentage of State traffic between Los Angeles and San Diego.  The average traffic for Sunday, according to a check made by the State, is 1450 vehicles and 820 on week days, of which 59 percent is through and 41 per cent local on week days, the percentage being reversed for Sundays.  The total to be maintained on this route is 112 miles in length. 
T. W. Martin of Vista has received the appointment as foreman, and D. M. Marshall, as assistant.  Martin will have his headquarters at Escondido and Marshall will be located at Fallbrook.  They will have a crew of 10 men, all being employed under civil service rules.
Foreman Martin will have charge of 60 miles of road for maintenance all in the county.
According to Martin, his equipment at the present time includes two 1 ½ ton trucks, one Ford express truck, one power blade, one caterpillar tractor, and one 8 foot scraper.
The first work to be done under the new arrangement will be to cut weeds along the highway, build up the shoulders to the pavement, and as fast as practicable to take out some of the sharper curves.  As no large appropriation for this highway is available now it will not be possible to make major improvements that are badly needed. 

(The Vista Press, August 20, 1931)

It is interesting to note, the reporter states that the route number was Route No. 78.  The original route number was Route No. 77.  This may have been a typo error.  Route No. 78 was later signed between Oceanside and Escondido.

Here is a map link of the roads that were added to the State Highway system in 1931.   

Highway 395 / Why Murphy Canyon Road?
« on: December 18, 2010, 07:56:04 AM »
Why Murphy Canyon Road?

The Inland Route became part of the State Highway System in August 1931.  It was first reported to be Route 78 in an article August 20, 1931.  It was then stated that it was Route 77 in an article April 21, 1932.  It is unknown whether Route 78 was the original number over if it was a typo. 


On July 9, 1931 a rumor was reported that the State Highway system planned to realign the inland route from Moosa Canyon to Rainbow.  C. H. Purcell, State Highway Engineer, denied the rumors.  He stated there wasn’t a budget for such a construction project. 


The first realignment project reported was trying to bypass the Poway Grade.  On September 17, 1931 it was reported that the State Highway system was considering constructing a tunnel under the grade.  A survey team was sent to assess the feasibility.  By April 1932, the State was still contemplating tunneling through Poway’s hill.  Unfortunately, The Vista Press newspaper didn’t report the story to its conclusion.  I will have to search local papers to discover the final story.     


When the Inland Route was taken over by the State, Murphy Canyon was not on the route.  Supervisor Hurley petitioned the State to include Murphy Canyon in the highway system. 

Here is an excerpt from the Vista Press Newspaper:

State Urged to Take over Highways

One road in San Diego County was proposed by Supervisor Hurley to be included in the State secondary highway system. 
Murphy Canyon Road, a continuation of the Inland Highway which was taken into the State Highway system during the 1931 sessions of the legislature, and designed to carry traffic over the Fairmont extension to join the State Highway at San Ysidro.
At present, Hurley reported, the Inland Highway joins the State or Coast Highway at Old Town Bridge, which places all traffic on the inland route through a bottle neck going into San Diego and on south to the border.
It is Hurley’s contention that the Murphy Canyon Road would divert some of this traffic.  He asserted that this highway is justified because it connects the inland and coast highways, and is also an international highway, starting from the border.  The distance is about 25 miles, half of which traverses incorporated cities, leaving approximately 12 miles to be taken over by the State.  December 3, 1931
Source:  (Page 2)

I haven’t found a follow up article to this story yet.  I will have to search San Diego’s papers. 

Murphy Canyon wasn’t paved in August 1931, and according to a report, wasn’t paved until after July 1932.

Another clip from the Vista Press Newspaper:

Postpone Paving Murphy Canyon

Paving of Murphy Canyon Road, connecting East San Diego and the Inland highway, must wait until after July 1, the board of supervisors decided last week, when told by the county auditor that the fund from which the cost of the work would be met is already overdrawn.  April 7, 1932


Finally, on April 21, 1932, C. H. Purcell confirmed the rumors of a new route for the highway.  He stated that in the next ten years, several million dollars would be spent improving the highway, including a new bridge over the San Luis Rey River.  A new route would be built between Moosa Canyon and Rainbow.  However, the States first priority was the elimination of the Poway Grade.  There was no more information given on Murphy Canyon Road.   


Unfortunately, The Vista Press Newspaper stopped reporting on road construction midway through 1932.  Very little road activity was reported in the 1930s.  To further the Murphy Canyon story I will have to search the San Diego’s Union Tribune newspapers.  Hopefully I will have more to report later.

Here is a link to a 1947 San Diego City map that shows the route to Murphy Canyon Road.  It also shows the Cabrillo Freeway construction route through Murray Canyon.   

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