Bayshore Freeway highlighted in red
|Maintained by Caltrans|
|Length||56.4 mi (90.8 km)|
|South end||at Blossom Hill Road (former SR 82) in San Jose|
|North end||/ in San Francisco|
|Counties||Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco|
The Bayshore Freeway is a part of U.S. Route 101 (US 101) in the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California. It runs along the west shore of the San Francisco Bay, connecting San Jose with San Francisco. Within the city of San Francisco, the freeway is also known as James Lick Freeway, named after the California philanthropist. The road was originally built as a surface road, the Bayshore Highway, and later upgraded to freeway standards. Before 1964, it was mostly marked as U.S. Route 101 Bypass, with US 101 using the present State Route 82 (El Camino Real).
The Bayshore Freeway begins at the Blossom Hill Road interchange on US 101. The freeway curves north and northwest, bypassing downtown San Jose to the east, and then curves west-northwest, crossing I-880 and SR 87, the latter just north of the San Jose International Airport. The portion of the highway from San Jose to South San Francisco is relatively straight and flat, running near the west edge of the San Francisco Bay. Junctions here include SR 237 in Sunnyvale, SR 85 in Mountain View, SR 84 in Menlo Park and Redwood City, SR 92 in San Mateo, and the San Francisco International Airport and I-380 in San Bruno. In South San Francisco, the freeway curves northeast around San Bruno Mountain, crossing its east edge at Sierra Point, and then heads north on a causeway across the former Candlestick Cove to the San Francisco city line.
In San Francisco, where the road is also known as the James Lick Freeway, it continues north-northwesterly between Bayview Park and McLaren Park, and crosses I-280 at the Alemany Maze. There it curves north-northeasterly around Bernal Heights and then northwest around Potrero Hill, meeting the Central Freeway at the border between the Mission District and South of Market. The Bayshore Freeway ends at the intersection of US 101 and Interstate 80, which, although signed as Interstate 80, is not officially Interstate 80 until the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The freeway that goes from US 101 to the Bay Bridge that is signed as I-80 but not officially I-80 is called the San Francisco Skyway.
Before the Dumbarton and San Mateo-Hayward Bridges were built across the San Francisco Bay in the 1920s, San Francisco was bottled up at the north end of a long peninsula, with driving south on El Camino Real towards San Jose as the only reasonable alternative to the ferries for crossing the bay. The first of several highways built as an alternate to El Camino Real was the Skyline Boulevard, which was added to the state highway system in 1919. A second route, the Bay Shore Highway (Route 68), became a state highway in 1923, but only from the San Francisco city limits into San Mateo County, where the Dumbarton Bridge would begin. Just prior to the start of construction on the Dumbarton Bridge, San Francisco Supervisor Richard J. Welch noted that the Bay Shore Highway would need to be built all the way to San Jose as an escape valve for the additional traffic that the bridge would attract. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in South San Francisco for the Bayshore Highway on September 11, 1924. The route used a right-of-way that was 125 feet (38 m) wide with a four-lane undivided highway 40 feet (12 m) wide.
The state legislature extended the highway in 1925, defining it to run from near the intersection of Army Street (Cesar Chavez Street) and San Bruno Avenue in San Francisco to a point in San Jose. The governor approved the bill with the stipulation that only the portion between the city limits of San Francisco and San Jose would be a state highway. Construction between South San Francisco and Burlingame had begun by 1924, funded by a $500,000 contribution from San Francisco, and was completed in 1928. A disconnected segment north of San Mateo was built by the state at the same time. It was not until February 1929 that the road was fully paved between San Francisco and Burlingame, and on October 20, 1929 the new highway was officially dedicated to San Mateo, several months after the connecting San Mateo-Hayward Bridge opened (at what is now Third Avenue). Even then, motorists had to wait until May 7, 1931 to reach Jefferson Avenue in Redwood City (near the west end of the four-year-old Dumbarton Bridge). The roadway was extended to Oregon Avenue in Palo Alto in mid-1932,Lawrence Station Road in mid-1933, and to Lafayette Street near Santa Clara, across the Guadalupe River from San Jose, by 1934. The final piece to Oakland Road (13th Street) in San Jose, which was then the main road - Legislative Route 5 and Sign Route 17 - between San Jose and Oakland, was dedicated on June 12, 1937, over ten years after the Dumbarton Bridge opened in January 1927.
Although the highway was designed and built to what were, at the time, high standards, with a 100-foot (30 m) wide right-of-way in most places, it was accident-prone because it lacked a median barrier. One segment of the so-called "Bloody Bayshore" was "Boneyard Hill", a steep grade through the Visitacion Valley near the San Francisco city line, running past a bone meal plant. Causes of the crashes included turning conflicts at intersections, and speeding drivers crossing the centerline to use the oncoming lanes as a passing lane. The roadway was entirely at-grade except for crossings of rail lines. It generally followed the present alignment of the Bayshore Freeway, but deviated in several places: Old Bayshore Highway in San Jose, Veterans Boulevard in Redwood City, Bayshore Highway in Burlingame, a destroyed section of road through San Francisco International Airport, and Airport and Bayshore Boulevards from South San Francisco through Brisbane into San Francisco. Within that city, the new highway continued three miles (5 km) along the present Bay Shore Boulevard to Army (Cesar Chavez) Street and Potrero Avenue.
When the Bayshore Highway was completed in 1937, U.S. Route 101 signs were moved to it from El Camino Real, and El Camino became U.S. Route 101 Alternate. Businesses along El Camino created the El Camino Real Association to protest the move and resulting loss of business, and by 1939 the main route had been moved back, with the Bayshore Highway becoming U.S. Route 101 Bypass. The two routes split in San Jose at the junction of First and Second Streets near Keyes Street, with the El Camino route mostly following the present SR 82 and the Bayshore route using locally maintained Second, Reed, and Fourth Streets to reach the state-maintained Bayshore Highway. In San Francisco, they rejoined at the present location of the Alemany Maze, with the El Camino route following Alemany Boulevard from near the city line; from there US 101 continued north on Bay Shore Boulevard, Potrero Avenue, and 10th and Fell Streets to Van Ness Avenue, meeting the Bay Bridge approach (US 40/US 50) at Bryant and Harrison Streets. The Bryant/Harrison one-way pair was added to Route 68 (which already included the bridge) in 1937 and removed in 1947 along with the bridge; in 1961 the new freeway approach became part of Route 68, which was extended back over the bridge to Route 5 at its Oakland landfall.
Construction of an extension to Route 115 (Santa Clara Street, now SR 130) at 30th Street in San Jose began in 1939, and was completed by late 1940. As with the portion between Fourth and 13th Streets, it was not marked as a numbered route. The state legislature authorized an extension beyond San Jose back to El Camino Real near Ford Road in 1947, which was already under construction, and was completed that year. This was the first segment built with interchanges, and included a median barrier. Despite this, most crossings were at-grade; only the two ends at Route 115 (Santa Clara Street) and regular US 101 included bridges, the former a diamond interchange and the latter a simple split with additional access to Ford Road. It also crossed over Coyote Road, though with no access, just south of the Coyote Creek bridge. The original 1947 bridge over Coyote Road remains, though widened in 1990, and is one of the oldest road-road grade separations on the present freeway.
The Bayshore Highway through San Francisco and San Mateo counties was considered complete in 1940, at the dawn of the freeway era; that year, the California Department of Public Works announced plans to convert the Bayshore Highway into a six-lane divided freeway between San Francisco and Palo Alto. It was the first freeway planned for Northern California, and the second in the state, after the Arroyo Seco project. In general, the goals of the Bayshore Freeway project were to grade-separate the freeway from surface streets and railroad tracks to accommodate projected traffic and to reduce the rate of accidents. At the time, it was anticipated that traffic along the San Francisco Peninsula would reach the capacity of both El Camino Real and the Bayshore Highway within ten years. In addition, the accident rate along the Bayshore Highway was 2.9 per million vehicle miles, compared with the state-wide average of 1.4; current traffic on the Bayshore Highway was estimated at 30,000 vehicles per day and in 1939 alone, there were 276 accidents, resulting in 19 fatalities and 235 injuries. Twenty years later in 1959, the accident rate on the new Bayshore Freeway had dropped to 0.75 per million vehicle miles, carrying 59,000 vehicles per day.
The first segment rebuilt as a modern freeway was finished in 1947, stretching from Peninsula Avenue (then called Peninsular) at the San Mateo-Burlingame line to Broadway Avenue in Burlingame, including the overpass for Peninsula. Subsequent contracts in 1948 and 1949 extended the freeway section north to South San Francisco, a total distance of 9 miles (14 km). This segment converted the existing two-way traffic on Bayshore Highway to a single three-lane one-way road and added a new three-lane roadway running parallel to it. The new roadway, intended for northbound traffic, was constructed east of the existing alignment, separated by a 36-foot (11 m) wide median, permitting a future expansion to four lanes in each direction. This six-lane freeway followed the existing highway to Broadway in Burlingame, but then took a more inland alignment past the airport at Mills Field (now SFO), and crossed the old road at South San Francisco, running just east of it to near the south end of the cut at Sierra Point. The routing had been adjusted to the west to allow an additional mile (0.80 km) for airport expansion. Since this segment was being constructed on predominantly marshy land, 2,000,000 cubic yards (1,500,000 m3) of fill was taken from the arm of San Bruno Mountain that extended into the water as Sierra Point; the hill was essentially levelled and the remaining fill was used for airport expansion.
Construction began inside San Francisco in 1950 on a mi (2.1 km) segment north from Augusta to 25th at a contracted cost of $6.5 million, including the cost of acquiring the right-of-way (approximately half the budget) and two grade separations over Alemany and Army. This first segment was dedicated and opened on June 1, 1951. Also in 1951, the state legislature renamed the portion within San Francisco after James Lick, a California pioneer and philanthropist. San Francisco construction included segments to the north, opened in 1953, and the south. The northernmost segments included connectors to the Bay Bridge. All construction in San Francisco was completed by 1958.
A new causeway across Candlestick Cove connected the completed section in South San Francisco with San Francisco and was dedicated on July 11, 1957. Planning began in 1951, when bids were taken for an experimental causeway 132 feet (40 m) wide extending 0.6 miles (0.97 km) south from Candlestick Point; rather than pumping out soft bay mud and back-filling with sand, fill dirt would be dumped directly into the Bay to see if the mud underneath could be displaced instead. This section of the Bay had water up to 12 feet (3.7 m) deep, overlying soft mud 40 to 80 feet (12 to 24 m) deep, which in turn was overlying harder, compacted mud. The compacted mud was deemed sufficiently strong to support the weight of the freeway, but it was hoped that excavation of the soft mud layer could be avoided by dumping fill at a sufficient rate, later calculated to be 5,000 cubic yards (3,800 m3) per day. The experiment was deemed a success, and the remaining 0.9 miles (1.4 km) of causeway was put out for bid in 1954, awarded in 1955 to Guy F. Atkinson Co. By that time, over 4,000,000 cubic yards (3,100,000 m3) of fill had already been placed.
Meanwhile, construction had progressed south from San Mateo through San Carlos, with that segment completed in 1954, and continuing on into Redwood City (Marsh Road relocation, July 1958), Menlo Park (Willow Road Interchange, 1956), and Palo Alto (June 1958).
A movement to make the four-lane undivided "Bloody Bayshore" safer all the way to San Jose began in Palo Alto. As a temporary measure, the state lowered the speed limit, installed traffic signals, closed minor crossroads, and prohibited left turns in places. The community convinced the state to extend the six-lane freeway. Contracts for the projects in Santa Clara County had been awarded by 1959, and the Bayshore Freeway was completed to San Jose in 1962, officially opening on February 2 of that year. The total cost of freeway conversion was US$114,619,100 (equivalent to $949,360,000 in 2018), including US$42,500,000 (equivalent to $352,020,000 in 2018) to acquire right-of-way. The freeway continued to end at the old El Camino Real merge near Ford Road until the early 1980s, when the South Valley Freeway was constructed.
Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, based on the alignment that existed at the 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). 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.
|San Jose||R28.61||south (South Valley Freeway) - Los Angeles||Continuation beyond CR G10 (Blossom Hill Road)|
|R28.61||378||To / Blossom Hill Road (CR G10), Silver Creek Valley Road|
|31.00||381||Yerba Buena Road||Exit was separated northbound in 2014|
|31.70||382||Capitol Expressway (CR G21)|
|34.55||385A||Story Road||Signed as exit 385 northbound|
|34.87||385B||north / north - San Francisco, Downtown San Jose, Sacramento||Signed as exit 384 northbound; I-680 exit 1B|
|R35.76||386A||(Alum Rock Avenue) / Santa Clara Street|
|R36.14||386B||McKee Road, Julian Street|
|||387||Mabury Road, Taylor Street||Planned interchange scheduled to open in late 2021|
|37.73||388A||Oakland Road, 13th Street||Former SR 238|
|38.30||388||(Nimitz Freeway) - Oakland, Santa Cruz, Los Gatos||Signed as exits 388B (north) and 388C (south); I-880 exits 4B-C|
|38.80||389A||Old Bayshore Highway, 4th Street||No southbound exit|
|39.29||389B||Brokaw Road, First Street||Signed as exit 389 southbound|
|San Jose||39.93||390||south (Guadalupe Parkway)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; SR 87 north exit 9B|
|San Jose-Santa Clara line||40.70||391||Trimble Road, De la Cruz Boulevard - Santa Clara||Signed as exits 391A (Trimble Road) and 391B (De la Cruz Boulevard) southbound|
|Santa Clara||41.98||392||San Tomas Expressway, Montague Expressway (CR G4)|
|42.73||393||Great America Parkway, Bowers Avenue|
|Sunnyvale||43.85||394||Lawrence Expressway (CR G2)|
|44.83||395||Fair Oaks Avenue||Signed as exits 395A (north) and 395B (south) southbound|
|45.68||396A||To east / Mathilda Avenue north||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|45.68||396B||Mathilda Avenue south - Sunnyvale||Signed as exit 396A southbound; former SR 85|
|46.13||396B||east - Alviso, Milpitas||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; SR 237 west exit 3A|
|46.13||396C||west (Mountain View Alviso Road)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; SR 237 east exit 3A|
|Mountain View||47.01||397||Ellis Street|
|47.89||398A||Moffett Boulevard, NASA Parkway||Signed as exit 398 northbound|
|48.10||398B||south - Cupertino, Santa Cruz||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; SR 85 north exit 24B|
|48.60||399A||Shoreline Boulevard - Mountain View||Signed as exit 399 southbound|
|48.97||399B||Old Middlefield Way||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|49.61||400A||Amphitheatre Parkway, Rengstorff Avenue||Signed as exits 400A (Amphitheatre Parkway) and 400B (Rengstorff Avenue) northbound|
|Mountain View-Palo Alto line||50.32||400C||San Antonio Road||Signed as exits 400B (north) and 400C (south) southbound|
|Palo Alto||52.01||402||Oregon Expressway (CR G3), Embarcadero Road|
|East Palo Alto||0.89||403||University Avenue (to SR 109)|
|East Palo Alto-Menlo Park line||1.87||404||Willow Road (SR 114)|
|Menlo Park||3.59||406||east (Marsh Road) - Dumbarton Bridge||South end of SR 84 overlap|
|Redwood City||5.39||408||west (Woodside Road) / Seaport Boulevard||North end of SR 84 overlap|
|6.62||409||Whipple Avenue - Redwood City|
|San Carlos||||411||Brittan Avenue||Southbound exit and entrance|
|8.40||411||Holly Street, Redwood Shores Parkway - San Carlos|
|||||412||Harbor Boulevard||Southbound exit and entrance|
|Belmont||9.55||412||Marine Parkway, Ralston Avenue - Belmont||Former Legislative Route 214|
|San Mateo||11.15||414A||Hillsdale Boulevard - Foster City|
|11.90||414B||- Hayward, San Mateo Bridge, Half Moon Bay||SR 92 exits 13A-B|
|11.90||414B||Fashion Island Boulevard||No northbound exit|
|12.69||415||Kehoe Avenue||Northbound exit and entrance|
|13.46||416||3rd Avenue||Former SR 92|
|14.33||417A||Dore Avenue||Northbound exit and entrance|
|14.33||417||Poplar Avenue||Southbound exit and entrance|
|14.69||417B||Peninsula Avenue - Burlingame||Northbound exit and entrance|
|Burlingame||||419A||Anza Boulevard||Northbound exit and entrance|
|16.58||419B||Broadway - Burlingame|
|Millbrae||17.95||421||Millbrae Avenue - Millbrae||Signed as exit 420 southbound|
|San Bruno||19.12||422||San Francisco International Airport||Southbound exit is part of exit 423A|
|R20.39||423A||San Bruno Avenue|
|R20.72||423B||west to - San Bruno||I-380 west exit 6, east exits 6A-B|
|South San Francisco||R20.72||423C||North Access Road (I-380 east) - North Cargo Area||Southbound exit is part of exit 423A|
|21.69||424||South Airport Boulevard|
|21.92||425A||Grand Avenue - Downtown South San Francisco||No southbound entrance|
|22.71||425B||Oyster Point Boulevard|
|||425C||South San Francisco (Airport Boulevard)||Southbound exit and entrance|
|Brisbane||23.39||426A||Brisbane, Cow Palace (Bayshore Boulevard)||Northbound exit only|
|23.66||426B||Sierra Point Parkway, Marina Boulevard - Brisbane||Signed as exit 426 southbound; southbound exit and entrance are located 1.2 miles (1.9 km) north of northbound exit and entrance|
|City and County of San Francisco|
|0.03||429A||Tunnel Avenue - Candlestick Park|
|0.77||429B||Third Street - Cow Palace|
|1.11||429C||Paul Avenue||No northbound entrance; signed as exit 430A southbound|
|1.77||430B||Silver Avenue||No northbound entrance|
|1.98||430A||north - Downtown San Francisco||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; I-280 south exit 54|
|1.98||431||south - Daly City||I-280 north exits 54A-B|
|2.00||431||Alemany Boulevard, Bayshore Boulevard|
|2.92||432||Cesar Chavez Street, Potrero Avenue|
|4.10||433A||Vermont Street||Northbound exit only|
|R4.24||433B||east - Bay Bridge, Oakland||Signed as exit 433 southbound; I-80 exit 1A|
|R4.24||north (Central Freeway) - Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Civic Center||Continuation beyond I-80|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|