Interstate 5 in California
Interstate 5 is a major north–south route of the Interstate Highway System in the U. S. state of California. It begins at the Mexican border at the San Ysidro crossing, goes north across the length of California, crosses into Oregon south of the Medford-Ashland metropolitan area, it is the more important and most-used of the two major north–south routes on the Pacific Coast, the other being U. S. Route 101, coastal; this highway links the major California cities of San Diego, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, Stockton and Redding. Among the major cities not directly linked by I-5, but which are connected by local highways to it, are San Francisco and San Jose, all of which are about 80 miles west of the highway. I-5 is referred to as "5" in Northern California, is called "the 5" in the Southern California area. I-5 has several named portions: the Montgomery Freeway, San Diego Freeway, Santa Ana Freeway, Golden State Freeway, West Side Freeway. I-5 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.
It is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System. I-5 begins at the San Ysidro Port of Entry from Mexico in the San Ysidro neighborhood of San Diego. After the border, I-805 splits off to the northeast and serves as a bypass of I-5 that avoids the downtown San Diego area. I-5 itself continues northwest and meets the western end of SR 905, a route that connects with the Otay Mesa border crossing. I-5 continues northward and joins the southern end of SR 75, a highway connecting to Coronado via the Silver Strand. I-5 enters Chula Vista leaving the San Diego city limits, it continues along the east side of San Diego Bay where it intersects with SR 54 and enters National City. From there, I-5 reenters the city limits of San Diego. I-5 subsequently intersects with four state routes: the southern end of SR 15, SR 75 and the Coronado Bay Bridge, the western end of SR 94, SR 163. In addition to serving downtown San Diego, I-5 provides access to Balboa Park from the Pershing Drive exit; the portion of I-5 from the Mexican border to downtown San Diego is named the Montgomery Freeway in honor of John J. Montgomery, a pioneer aviator who flew a glider from a location near Chula Vista in 1884.
I-5 continues northwest from downtown as the San Diego Freeway until it reaches its junction with I-8 turns to the north while passing SeaWorld and Mission Bay. Thereafter, I-5 intersections the western end of SR 52 near La Jolla before entering University City. At Nobel Drive, the San Diego LDS Temple towers over I-5. Shortly afterward, I-5 passes through the UC San Diego campus and intersects the northern terminus of I-805 before continuing north and intersecting the western end of SR 56. At this interchange, there is a local bypass that provides the only access to Carmel Mountain Road from both directions and provides the only direct access to SR 56 going northbound. North of the San Diego city limits, I-5 enters the city limits of Solana Beach, three incorporated cities to the north: Encinitas and Oceanside. In Oceanside, I-5 intersects the SR 78 freeway and the SR 76 expressway and continues through Camp Pendleton, it follows the Pacific Ocean coastline for the next 18 miles. Toward the northern end of its routing through Camp Pendleton, I-5 passes through San Onofre State Beach and near the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
This is near the site of the once-proposed interchange with the SR 241 toll road near Trestles, a result of the planned Foothill Toll Road extension. I-5 enters Orange County at the Christianitos Road exit. Upon entering Orange County, I-5 goes through San Clemente. At Dana Point, I-5 turns inland. I-5 heads due north through San Juan Capistrano and Mission Viejo, intersecting the SR 73 toll road heading northwest. I-5 continues to the El Toro Y interchange in southeastern Irvine, splitting into lanes for regular traffic as well as for truck traffic. From that point, I-405 takes over the San Diego Freeway designation, while I-5 becomes the Santa Ana Freeway as it runs southeast to northwest. After the El Toro Y junction, I-5 intersects SR 133, a toll road that connects to SR 241. Just before the Tustin city limits, I-5 passes over SR 261, the final toll road of the Eastern Transportation Corridor, but traffic must use Jamboree Road to access the latter. I-5 intersects SR 55 and enters Santa Ana, the county seat of Orange County.
Towards the northern side of Santa Ana, I-5 intersects both SR 57 and SR 22 in what is known as the Orange Crush interchange. Following this, I-5 enters the city of Orange and traverses Anaheim, passing along the north side of Disneyland. I-5 intersects SR 91, passes through Buena Park and crosses into Los Angeles County. After crossing the county line, I-5 goes through several cities southeast of Los Angeles, including La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs, Norwalk. In Downey, I-5 intersects I-605, which serves as a north-south connector route between the cities east of Los Angeles, including those in the San Gabriel Valley. I-5 passes through Commerce and intersects I-710 before entering the large unincorporated community of East Los Angeles and the city proper of Los Angeles; when the freeway reaches the East Los Angeles Interchange one mile east
California State Route 14
State Route 14 is a north–south state highway in the U. S. state of California in the Mojave Desert. The southern portion of the highway is signed as the Antelope Valley Freeway; the route connects Interstate 5 on the border of the city of Santa Clarita to the north and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Granada Hills and Sylmar to the south, with U. S. Route 395 near Inyokern. Legislatively, the route extends south of I-5 to SR 1 in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles; the southern part of the constructed route is a busy commuter freeway serving and connecting the cities of Santa Clarita and Lancaster to the rest of the Greater Los Angeles area. The northern portion, from Vincent to US 395, is legislatively named the Aerospace Highway, as the highway serves Edwards Air Force Base, once one of the primary landing strips for NASA's Space Shuttle; this section is rural, following the line between the hot Mojave desert and the forming Sierra Nevada mountain range. Most of SR 14 is loosely paralleled by a main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, used for the Antelope Valley Line of the Metrolink commuter rail system as well as a connection between Los Angeles and the Central Valley via Tehachapi Pass.
Linked with US 395, this road connects Los Angeles with such places as Mammoth Mountain, Mono Lake, Yosemite National Park and Reno, Nevada. SR 14 was part of US 6 prior to truncation in 1964, when US 6 was a coast-to-coast route from Long Beach to Provincetown, Massachusetts; the non-freeway segment of SR 14 from Silver Queen Road north of Rosamond to Mojave is known as Sierra Highway, as is the old routing between I-5 and Silver Queen Road where SR 14 has been moved to a newer freeway alignment. Portions of SR 14 remain signed with names associated with US 6, including Midland Trail, Theodore Roosevelt Highway, Grand Army of the Republic Highway. SR 14 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration; the southern portion of the freeway, from I-5 to the Avenue D exit near Lancaster, has been designated the Antelope Valley Freeway by the state legislature.
The Antelope Valley Freeway begins in the Santa Susana Mountains at the Newhall Pass interchange by splitting from the Golden State Freeway. This is the busiest portion of the route with an annual average daily traffic count of 169,000 vehicles per day; the freeway forms much of the eastern boundary of Santa Clarita along its route. Past Santa Clarita, the road continues northeast and crosses the Sierra Pelona Mountains and western San Gabriel Mountains via the canyon of the seasonal Santa Clara River; the ascent is rugged and rural terrain, with only two small towns along the ascent, first Agua Dulce and Acton. Between the two towns, the freeway forms the southern boundary of a county park; the highway crests the Sierra Pelona Mountains via Escondido Summit, at an elevation of 3,258 feet, before descending and passing by Acton to the north. The highway crests the San Gabriel Mountains via Soledad Pass, at an elevation of 3,209 feet; the route of the highway through the mountains loosely parallels that of the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, used for the Metrolink Antelope Valley Line.
After cresting both mountain passes, the highway descends into the Antelope Valley, a large valley within the Mojave Desert. The highway crosses the California Aqueduct in the descent. SR 14 serves as the primary north -- south thoroughfare for the communities of Lancaster. Between Palmdale Boulevard and Avenue D in Lancaster, SR 14 runs concurrently with SR 138. From the Pearblossom Highway exit south of Palmdale to its northern terminus at US 395 near Inyokern, SR 14 has been designated the Aerospace Highway. Between Pearblossom Highway and Avenue S, there is a vista point overlooking Lake Palmdale, which features a historic plaque that honors aviation accomplishments including the space shuttle, breaking the sound barrier and the speed record; the freeway passes the Los Angeles–Kern county line at Avenue A, continues to run north through Rosamond and Mojave. In Rosamond, the highway passes close to Edwards Air Force Base, used as one of the main landing strips for NASA's space shuttle, as the base for the X-15 and many other air and spacecraft.
The freeway portion terminates just south of Mojave, where SR 14 serves as the main street and runs through the downtown area. To the east of the route is Mojave Air & Space Port, home to the National Test Pilot School and SpaceShipOne, the first funded human spaceflight, as well as a vast airplane graveyard. SR 58 was routed concurrently with SR 14 through Mojave, before it was rerouted onto a bypass running north and east of the town; the character of the highway changes. The road, now a divided highway with at-grade intersections, departs the corridor of the main Southern Pacific Line, to follow the crest of the forming Sierra Nevada mountains; the route continues to follow a branch line of the Southern Pacific used as a connector for the Trona Railway. The main line of the railroad proceeds towards the Central Valley via Tehachapi Pass. Though SR 14 heads away from the pass, the highway has views of the mountains and the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm; the scenery changes, as the highway departs the Mojave Desert and crosses Red Rock Canyon State Park.
Traffic counts drop as the highway becomes more rural
California State Route 1
California State Route 1 is a major north–south state highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U. S. state of California. At a total of just over 659 miles, it is the longest state route in California. SR 1 has several portions designated as either Pacific Coast Highway, Cabrillo Highway, Shoreline Highway, or Coast Highway, its southern terminus is at Interstate 5 near Dana Point in Orange County and its northern terminus is at U. S. Route 101 near Leggett in Mendocino County. SR 1 at times runs concurrently with US 101, most notably through a 54-mile stretch in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, across the Golden Gate Bridge; the highway is designated as an All-American Road. In addition to providing a scenic route to numerous attractions along the coast, the route serves as a major thoroughfare in the Greater Los Angeles Area, the San Francisco Bay Area, several other coastal urban areas. SR 1 was built piecemeal in various stages, with the first section opening in the Big Sur region in the 1930s.
However, portions of the route had several numbers over the years as more segments opened. It was not until the 1964 state highway renumbering that the entire route was designated as SR 1. Although SR 1 is a popular route for its scenic beauty, frequent landslides and erosion along the coast have caused several segments to be either closed for lengthy periods for repairs, or re-routed inland. SR 1 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, through the Los Angeles metro area, Santa Cruz, San Francisco metro area, Leggett is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration. SR 1 is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System; the Big Sur section from San Luis Obispo to Carmel is an official National Scenic Byway. The entire route is designated as a Blue Star Memorial Highway to recognize those in the United States armed forces. In Southern California, the California State Legislature has designated the segment between Interstate 5 in Dana Point and US 101 near Oxnard as the Pacific Coast Highway.
Between US 101 at the Las Cruces junction and US 101 in Pismo Beach, between US 101 in San Luis Obispo and Interstate 280 in San Francisco, the legislature has designated SR 1 as the Cabrillo Highway, after the explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo who sailed along the coast line. The legislature has designated the route as the Shoreline Highway between the Manzanita Junction near Marin City and Leggett. Smaller segments of the highway have been assigned several other names by the state and municipal governments; the legislature has relinquished state control of segments within Dana Point, Newport Beach, Santa Monica, Oxnard. In addition to connecting the coastal cities and communities along its path, SR 1 provides access to beaches and other attractions along the coast, making it a popular route for tourists; the route annually helps bring several billion dollars to the state's tourism industry. The route runs right besides the coastline, or close to it, for the most part, it turns several miles inland to avoid several federally controlled or protected areas such as Vandenberg Air Force Base, Diablo Canyon Power Plant and Point Reyes National Seashore.
Segments of SR 1 range from a rural two-lane road to an urban freeway. Because of the former, long distance thru traffic traveling between the coastal metropolitan areas are instead advised to use faster routes such as US 101 or I-5. At its southernmost end in Orange County, SR 1 terminates at I-5 in Capistrano Beach in Dana Point, it travels west into the city center. After leaving Dana Point, Pacific Coast Highway becomes "Coast Highway" while at the same time continues northwest along the coast through Laguna Beach and Crystal Cove State Park. SR 1 enters Newport Beach and passes through several affluent neighborhoods, including Newport Coast and Corona Del Mar, spans the entrance to the Upper Newport Bay, which marks the boundary between East Coast Highway and West Coast Highway, crosses California State Route 55 near its southern terminus. Upon entering Huntington Beach, SR 1 regains the Pacific Coast Highway designation, it passes Huntington State Beach and the southern terminus of California State Route 39 before reaching Bolsa Chica State Beach and the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.
PCH continues along the coast into Seal Beach, the final city on its journey in Orange County. PCH enters the city of Long Beach after crossing the San Gabriel River. SR 1 continues northwest through the city to its junction with Lakewood Boulevard and Los Coyotes Diagonal at the Los Alamitos Circle, more than 2 miles from the coast. From the traffic circle, it continues inland west through Long Beach, including one mile adjacent to the southern boundary of Signal Hill. PCH is marked as such in Long Beach, but bore the name of Hathaway Avenue east of the traffic circle and State Street west of there. PCH passes through the Los Angeles districts of Wilmington and Harbor City. While bypassing the immediate coastline of Palos Verdes, SR 1 continues to head west
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highways that forms part of the National Highway System in the United States; the system is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Construction was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, the original portion was completed 35 years although some urban routes were cancelled and never built; the network has since been extended. In 2016, it had a total length of 48,181 miles; as of 2016, about one-quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the country use the Interstate system. In 2006, the cost of construction was estimated at about $425 billion; the United States government's efforts to construct a national network of highways began on an ad hoc basis with the passage of the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, which provided for $75 million over a five-year period for matching funds to the states for the construction and improvement of highways.
The nation's revenue needs associated with World War I prevented any significant implementation of this policy, which expired in 1921. In December 1918, E. J. Mehren, a civil engineer and the editor of Engineering News-Record, presented his "A Suggested National Highway Policy and Plan" during a gathering of the State Highway Officials and Highway Industries Association at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. In the plan, Mehren proposed a 50,000-mile system, consisting of five east–west routes and 10 north–south routes; the system would include two percent of all roads and would pass through every state at a cost of $25,000 per mile, providing commercial as well as military transport benefits. As the landmark 1916 law expired, new legislation was passed—the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921; this new road construction initiative once again provided for federal matching funds for road construction and improvement, $75 million allocated annually. Moreover, this new legislation for the first time sought to target these funds to the construction of a national road grid of interconnected "primary highways", setting up cooperation among the various state highway planning boards.
The Bureau of Public Roads asked the Army to provide a list of roads that it considered necessary for national defense. In 1922, General John J. Pershing, former head of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during the war, complied by submitting a detailed network of 20,000 miles of interconnected primary highways—the so-called Pershing Map. A boom in road construction followed throughout the decade of the 1920s, with such projects as the New York parkway system constructed as part of a new national highway system; as automobile traffic increased, planners saw a need for such an interconnected national system to supplement the existing non-freeway, United States Numbered Highways system. By the late 1930s, planning had expanded to a system of new superhighways. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave Thomas MacDonald, chief at the Bureau of Public Roads, a hand-drawn map of the United States marked with eight superhighway corridors for study. In 1939, Bureau of Public Roads Division of Information chief Herbert S. Fairbank wrote a report called Toll Roads and Free Roads, "the first formal description of what became the interstate highway system" and, in 1944, the themed Interregional Highways.
The Interstate Highway System gained a champion in President Dwight D. Eisenhower, influenced by his experiences as a young Army officer crossing the country in the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway, the first road across America. Eisenhower gained an appreciation of the Reichsautobahn system, the first "national" implementation of modern Germany's Autobahn network, as a necessary component of a national defense system while he was serving as Supreme Commander Of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, he recognized that the proposed system would provide key ground transport routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion. The publication in 1955 of the General Location of National System of Interstate Highways, informally known as the Yellow Book, mapped out what became the Interstate Highway System. Assisting in the planning was Charles Erwin Wilson, still head of General Motors when President Eisenhower selected him as Secretary of Defense in January 1953.
The Interstate Highway System was authorized on June 29, 1956 by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956. Three states have claimed the title of first Interstate Highway. Missouri claims that the first three contracts under the new program were signed in Missouri on August 2, 1956; the first contract signed was for upgrading a section of US Route 66 to what is now designated Interstate 44. On August 13, 1956, Missouri awarded the first contract based on new Interstate Highway funding. Kansas claims. Preliminary construction had taken place before the act was signed, paving started September 26, 1956; the state marked its portion of I-70 as the first project in the United States completed under the provisions of the new Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. The Pennsylvania Turnpike could be considered one of the first Interstate Highways. On October 1, 1940, 162 miles of the highway now designated I‑70 and I‑76 opened between Irwin and Carlisle.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania refers to the turnpike as the Granddaddy of the Pikes. Milestones in the construction of the Interstate Highway System include: October 17, 1974: Nebraska becomes
California Department of Transportation
The California Department of Transportation is an executive department of the US state of California. The department is part of the cabinet-level California State Transportation Agency. Caltrans is headquartered in Sacramento. Caltrans manages the state's highway system, which includes the California Freeway and Expressway System, is involved with public transportation systems throughout the state, it supports Amtrak's Capitol Corridor. In 2015, Caltrans released a new mission statement: "Provide a safe, sustainable and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability." The earliest predecessor of Caltrans was the Bureau of Highways, created by the California Legislature and signed into law by Governor James Budd in 1895. This agency consisted of three commissioners who were charged with analyzing the state road system and making recommendations. At the time, there was no state highway system. California's roads consisted of crude dirt roads maintained by county governments, as well as some paved roads within city boundaries, this ad hoc system was no longer adequate for the needs of the state's growing population.
After the commissioners submitted their report to the governor on November 25, 1896, the legislature replaced the Bureau with the Department of Highways. Due to the state's weak fiscal condition and corrupt politics, little progress was made until 1907, when the legislature replaced the Department of Highways with the Department of Engineering, within which there was a Division of Highways. California voters approved an US$18 million bond issue for the construction of a state highway system in 1910, the first California Highway Commission was convened in 1911. On August 7, 1912, the department broke ground on its first construction project, the section of El Camino Real between South San Francisco and Burlingame, which became part of California State Route 82; the year 1912 saw the founding of the Transportation Laboratory and the creation of seven administrative divisions, which are the predecessors of the 12 district offices in use as of 2018. The original seven division headquarters were located in: Willits Mercantile Building for Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties Redding C.
R. Briggs Building for Lassen, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties Sacramento Forum Building for Alpine, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Plumas, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Tuolumne and Yuba counties San Francisco Rialto Building for Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Sonoma counties San Luis Obispo Union National Bank Building for Monterey, San Benito, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo counties Fresno Forsythe Building for Fresno, Kern, Madera, Merced and Tulare counties Los Angeles Union Oil Building for Imperial, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura countiesIn 1913, the California State Legislature began requiring vehicle registration and allocated the resulting funds to support regular highway maintenance. In 1921, the state legislature turned the Department of Engineering into the Department of Public Works; the history of Caltrans and its predecessor agencies during the 20th century was marked by many firsts. It was one of the first agencies in the United States to paint centerlines on highways statewide.
In late 1972, the legislature approved a reorganization, suggested by a study initiated by then-Governor Ronald Reagan, in which the Department of Public Works was merged with the Department of Aeronautics to become the modern California Department of Transportation. For administrative purposes, Caltrans divides the State of California into 12 districts, supervised by district offices. Most districts cover multiple counties; the largest districts by population are District 4 and District 7. Like most state agencies, Caltrans maintains its headquarters in Sacramento, covered by District 3. Transportation in California State highways in California United States Department of Transportation List of roads and highways Official website Named Highways, Freeways and Other Appurtenances in California
U.S. Route 395 in California
In the U. S. state of California, U. S. Route 395 is a 557-mile route which traverses from Interstate 15 in Hesperia, north to the Oregon state line in Modoc County near Goose Lake; the route clips into Nevada, serving the cities Carson City and Reno, before returning to California. Prior to truncation, US 395 served the metropolitan areas of San Diego and San Bernardino; the highway serves as a connection to the Los Angeles area for the communities of the Owens Valley, Mammoth Lakes and Mono Lake. The highway is used as an access route for both the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, the lowest point in North America, Death Valley; the corridor has been used since the California gold rush, before numbering was known by several names including El Camino Sierra. The route of US 395 in California is split into two segments, as the highway exits and reenters California via Nevada; the southern segment crosses the Mojave Desert and Owens Valley and passes east of the Sierra Nevada.
The northern segment follows the Sierra Nevada and crosses the Modoc Plateau. US 395 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration. US 395 is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System, is designated as a scenic highway by the California Department of Transportation from Fort Independence to Fort Springs Road in Inyo County, from the Inyo–Mono county line to south of Walker; this designation means that there are substantial sections of highway passing through a "memorable landscape" with no "visual intrusions", where the potential designation has gained popular favor with the community. U. S. Route 395 begins in Hesperia at a partial interchange with Interstate 15; the road enters Adelanto, on the western edge of Victorville. Victorville, founded by the Santa Fe Railroad to take advantage of water along the Mojave River, for most of its history home to George Air Force Base, was the second fastest growing city in the United States from July 2006 to July 2007.
Although US 395 was once a rural road passing to the side of these cities, with growth these cities are encroaching on the highway and changing its character from rural to suburban. After leaving the Victorville area, the scenery changes as suburban neighborhoods disappear and the highway traverses the Mojave Desert. While crossing the desert, the route clips the northeastern corner of Edwards Air Force Base. Just past the base, the road intersects SR 58 at Kramer Junction; this is an at-grade intersection. After leaving Kramer Junction 395 passes the Kramer Junction Solar Electric Generating Station. US 395 crosses the Rand and El Paso Mountains, where the highway crosses into San Bernardino–Kern county line, near Johannesburg. While traversing these mountains the route crosses a former Southern Pacific rail line, now owned by the Union Pacific Railroad that loosely follows the route of State Route 14 through the Mojave. Though the railroad is abandoned north of Searles Station, US 395 parallels the old railroad grade from this point to Lone Pine.
On the other side of the mountains is Indian Wells Valley, US 395 passes between the cities of Ridgecrest and Inyokern, where US 395 Business is located and is routed on South China Lake Boulevard. US 395 follows the western boundary of the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, not far from Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons, where the Coso People created prolific rock art and traded with distant tribes using tools crafted of stone; the highway proceeds diagonally across the valley, until merging with State Route 14. Prior to July 1, 1964, the part of State Route 14 between Interstate 5 and US 395 was part of US 6 that continued south to Long Beach. Between Mojave and its junction with Route 395, Route 14 follows the edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains. US 6 and US 395 ran concurrent from this junction north to Bishop. US 395 follows the valleys along the eastern edge of the Sierra as the mountains increase in altitude until reaching their peak at over 14,000 feet near Lone Pine. After passing by three small lakes, Little Lake and South Haiwee Reservoirs, the highway enters the Owens Valley.
US 395 traverses the entire length of the Owens Valley, entering the valley near the former site of the Owens Lake. The valley, named for one of explorer John C. Fremont's guides, was home to Timbisha and Paiutes before European settlement. A fertile lake and valley, Owens Lake and the southern portion of the valley are now dry. Water from the valley is channeled for use by the City of Los Angeles, via the Los Angeles Aqueduct, in what is called the California Water Wars. Along the shores of Owens Lake, the highway passes by Olancha. Just north of the lake is Lone Pine. Lone Pine is noted as an access for both the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, the lowest point in North America, Death Valley. Both Mount Whitney and the mountains surrounding Death Valley are visible from US 395. From Lone Pine to Bishop, the US 395 corridor loosely follows another abandoned rail line, the Carson and Colorado Railroad, although for most of this run the rail line runs on the eastern edge of the valley, while the road runs on the west edge.
The US 395 corridor from Lone Pine north to the Nevada state line is noted for a high concentration of natural hot springs leading to the area being known as the "hot springs jackpot". Past Lone Pine, the highway passes by Manzanar National Historic Site, a concentration camp where Japanese Americans were imprisoned
1955 Louisiana Highway renumbering
In 1955, Louisiana passed a law that undertook a comprehensive revision to the state highway classification and numbering system. The new system designated roads by importance to travel patterns and rectified the previous numbering system under new unified designations. Highway numbers in Louisiana first appeared in 1921, per Act 95 of the 1921 Special Session of the Louisiana Legislature. Routes 1 through 98 were defined that year; these first 98 routes remained consistent throughout the pre-1955 era. The lowest numbered routes seem to have followed major auto trails; the remainder of the numbering system seemed to work on a lower-number, higher-order principle, with some clustering. When US highways were added in 1926, the US designations were overlaid over the preexisting state route designations in a method similar to modern Georgia. Other routes were added as time went on, numbered in consecutive fashion, starting with LA 99 in 1924. By 1926 there were 162 defined routes; the number of routes increased precipitously during the Huey Long era, with 1325 routes defined by 1930 and more to come.
A few routes were given "half" numbers, such as LA 99½ and LA 1315½, for reasons related to numerical duplications in the official legal descriptions of the routes. The pre-1955 system reached the 22xx numeric range at its zenith. There were "C-xxxx" roads, the purpose of, unclear. All roads were numbered in the order that they were taken into the system, which led to anarchy and disorder prevailing among the system of numbered routes. Major through routes were divided up into several different route designations, the routing of several primary marked routes came to make little sense from a traffic flow perspective. Route designations were somewhat sacrosanct. Former route segments retained the same number with a letter suffix added, starting with "D" and increasing with other bypassed segments in the same area. For example, bypassed LA 7 west of Hammond became LA 7D while a bypassed segment east of Hammond became LA 7E. However, the major routes by and large retained consistent numbers despite the lack of major reroutings.
Suffixes were used in a way similar to the "spur" routes in the present system. Unlike today's system, clustering of the higher numbers seems to have occurred only when multiple routes in an area were added at the same time. For example, LA 1225 to 1251 all existed within Jefferson Parish and were designated by the same act of legislature in 1930. Otherwise, routes appear to have been numbered sequentially. Not all numbers were assigned to existing roads. State roads were improved only "if funds were available." This resulted in routes being nonexistent in the field, in whole or in part, or signed along routes that sometimes differed from their legal description. LA 33 was always discontinuous as ten miles of the New Orleans–Hammond Highway was never completed as planned through St. John the Baptist and St. Charles Parishes. LA 1 did not match its legal description until 1928 when the Jefferson Highway was completed between Shrewsbury and New Orleans. Post-war efforts to make improvements to Louisiana's unorganized highway-numbering system reached fruition at the 1955 legislative session, where a comprehensive highway bill was passed that year and enacted into law.
The new law effected a comprehensive revision of state highway classification and numbering, in order to designate roads by importance to travel patterns and to rectify the confusing numbering system by marking primary travel routes under unified designations. One element of the highway reform lobby's efforts, left out of the 1955 highway law was a proposal to reduce the amount of state-maintained mileage by shedding the many miles of minor and local service roads the state had accumulated over the years for political and other reasons. According to one proposal by the Louisiana Legislative Council, the 16,000 miles or so which existed in the state system at the time would have been reduced to around 9,000 miles through the turnback of all but the most important farm-to-market roads, thus to this day, Louisiana retains an inordinately large state highway system which continues to contain many miles of roads that would be otherwise locally maintained in other states. Louisiana's state highway system ranks 10th nationally as a proportion of all road miles in the state.
The 1955 renumbering renumbered all routes based on an A-B-C system of route classification: A was primary, B secondary, C farm-to-market. The A routes comprised one and two digit highways; the B routes comprised three digit routes below 300. All routes 300 through 1241, along with parts or all of a few lower-numbered routes, were classified C routes. Numerical clustering was and is still apparent in the ranks of routes 300 and up with routes 700 and above; the A and B "primary" route range was 1 to 185. No 2xx numbers were used. LA 191 was added around 1980 as the Toledo Bend Scenic Drive.