Old US 99 Shield

US 99 Photo Gallery:

Tejon Pass to Grapevine

Tejon Summit | Lebec and Grapvine

 

 

Lebec and Grapevine

looking_up_grapevine-1934.jpg (62537 bytes) grapevine-1934_three_lane.jpg (38074 bytes)

1934 Grapevine Grade Realignment and Widening

After less than 20 years, the original Ridge Route proved inadequate for the volume of traffic it had to carry. It also had become a very dangerous road, especially the Grapevine Grade section which a notoriously high accident rate due to its many sharp curves. This situation was rectified by the 1934 opening of a high speed three lane alignment. This new alignment crossed the old in many different places and

 

99-lebec.jpg (21381 bytes)
Photograph courtesy of Caltrans
99-chpw_grapevine_1960.jpg (33236 bytes)
Photograph courtesy of Caltrans

US 99 in the Grapevine Grade: 1943 and 1960

The picture at left shows US 99 descending the Grapevine Grade in 1943, soon after the completion of its widening to the four lane divided highway in the picture. This widening merely consisted of adding two asphalt lanes (under the bus, to the left) to the existing three concrete lanes (on the right side of the picture). The metal divider was simply placed down the middle one of the outside concrete lanes of the old roadway. It was replaced by a parabolic divider, an ancestor of today's "jersey curb," which was placed to prevent trucks from rubbing against it in order to slow down on the grade.

The picture at right shows US 99/I-5 in 1960 at the same location, immediately following its widening to modern eight lane standards. The lanes on the right are on the original alignment, but are new pavement: the old pavement was removed. The shoulder of the orginal alignment is visible to the right of the northbound lanes. In fact, the same white barrier fence is visible to the right and vertical center of both pictures.

 

US 99 and the Ridge Route (1932) Ridge Route at Grapevine (1997)

Old and New US 99 (1932)

The blacktopped road in the foreground is the Ridge Route from 1915, recently bypassed by the newer, three lane alignment of US 99 in the background. That alignment of US 99 is now under the southbound lanes of I-5. Grapevine, a popular stop both then and now, is visible just below the cut for the newer alignment of US 99, toward the left.

Ridge Route, 1997

The ruins in the center of the picture is the only thing that remains of the original Grapevine. The cut for the 1932 alignment of US 99 is still visible toward the background.

 

US 99: Grapevine Grade, 1943 US 99/I-5: Grapvine Grade, 1960

More pictures of the Ridge Route

The curbs in both pictures are original, dating from when the road was paved in 1919. The asphalt overlay is also very old, dating from the 1920s. It is the same one that is visible in the 1932 Caltrans photograph. The picture at right shows the ill effects of overlaying concret with asphalt. The remnants of the original Grapevine stop are very visible in the picture at left.

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If you have any questions, comments, or if you would like to send me any updates or pictures, please contact me at: casey@gbcnet.com.

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