US 101 Photo Gallery
Mexico to Downtown San Diego
The International Border Crossing at San Ysidro has transformed from little more than a sign and a shack for customs to a modern marvel of buildings and a maze of highways. One of the major steps toward this happening is the construction and upgrade of the crossing commensurate with the construction of the Montgomery freeway in 1951. The two pictures below show this crossing shortly after the completion of the freeway. The International Border is visible as a faint line crossing from left to right toward the bottom of the pictures, just above the split in the roads. (Photographs courtesy of Caltrans)
The Montgomery Freeway was constructed during 1950-51 as a southerly extension of a wartime project built in 1943. The previous project was 8.7 miles of divided highway was built to serve the defense industry and is now Harbor Drive, but was called Harbor Blvd. then. US 101 followed this road from its southern terminus at Seventh St. in National City to the intersection with Pacific Highway. The California Highway Commission passed a resolution to construct a freeway from the Mexican border at San Ysidro to the southern terminus at Harbor Blvd. on August 21, 1947. The freeway was given the name "Montgomery Freeway" in honor of John J. Montgomery, a pioneer in the field of gliders who is said to have made the first glider flight in 1883 along his farm which was on the right of way. This freeway was upgraded eight lanes in 1973, eliminating almost all traces of the old freeway.
These pictures accompanied an article in the January/February 1951 volume of California Highways and Public Works titled "Montgomery Freeway. Will Relieve Traffic in South San Diego."
|"This is the F Street Union Pacific bridge in Chula Vista."|
|"This is the E Street freeway overcrossing in Chula Vista."|
|This crossing is in the process of being widened, as can be seen by the crane driving in pilings for the northbound bridge. The existing bridge was used for southbound traffic.|
|"This is the 24th Street Union Pacific under crossing structure in National City."|
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