Brea Canyon – Old Highway 57

Even in heavily built up Orange County, there can still be places where old highways can be seen. One of the best examples is located in Brea Canyon, where the Orange Freeway winds its way through open and undeveloped lands between Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Before the freeway, State 57 followed Brea Canyon Road. This two-lane roadway has changed little through here and has a few interesting features.

Old pipe railing and current 1936 alignment.

Old pipe railing and current 1936 alignment.

Section of original concrete, bypassed in 1936.

Section of original concrete, bypassed in 1936.

Former weigh station platform.

Former weigh station platform.

1936 bridge over Brea Creek.

1936 bridge over Brea Creek.

Detail of the railing from the 1936 bridge.

Detail of the railing from the 1936 bridge.

Old concrete just past the lower 1936 bridge.

Old concrete just past the lower 1936 bridge.

Last section of old concrete just north of State College Blvd.

Last section of old concrete just north of State College Blvd.

April 2010 Baja Quake – Part 2

In July 2010, I was able to go to Baja California with a friend. Part of our route traversed Federal Highway 2 (Mexico), which suffered some damage from the April 2010 quake. Hwy 2 had been repaired but the adjacent old alignment had not been. I was rather amazed at the amount of offset from this earthquake. I observed about 2′ of horizontal and about 5′ of vertical offset at the highway crossing.

East of the fault, bridge embankments on the Hwy 2 Mexicali Bypass show signs of settling.

East of the fault, bridge embankments on the Hwy 2 Mexicali Bypass show signs of settling.

Offset right of way fence next to Hwy 2.

Offset right of way fence next to Hwy 2.

Old alignment of Hwy 2, now offset by about 2 feet horizontally and 5 feet vertically.

Old alignment of Hwy 2, now offset by about 2 feet horizontally and 5 feet vertically.

Side view of the old alignment showing the vertical offset.

Side view of the old alignment showing the vertical offset.

Breaks in the soil to the north. Two distinct scarps can be noted here.

Breaks in the soil to the north. Two distinct scarps can be noted here.

At the break, the old alignment now has a steep ramp and crack.

At the break, the old alignment now has a steep ramp and crack.

Fixing problems in San Diego – And how you can help

In the City of San Diego, there are many roadways with problems. Some are badly cracked, crumbling, filled with potholes, and worse. The City has been working toward repaving a lot of roads over the past couple years, which has helped greatly. However, more is needed. In the case of smaller problems, you can contact the City online and report issues. I’ve done this for many locations and have had good results. The latest was to help correct a striping problem on Park Blvd. Bike lanes were added on Park Blvd between Morley Field Drive and Cypress Ave. To do so, the median of the roadway had to be reduced. This left older, albeit somewhat faded, striping left behind. This striping tended to confuse motorists who would then either drive in the bike lane or really close to it, when they had a lot more lane left. Having had some problems here myself with this issue, I contacted the City and they fixed it. I strongly encourage anyone to make these requests and help make our city a better place to live.

Before the striping was fixed. You can still see the old setup.

Before the striping was fixed. You can still see the old setup.

Southbound from Cypress Ave. Note how the old striping is far to the right from the new stripe.

Southbound from Cypress Ave. Note how the old striping is far to the right from the new stripe.

Northbound toward Cypress Ave. The old striping was painted over in black.

Northbound toward Cypress Ave. The old striping was painted over in black.

Poppies in bloom!

On a trip to Grapevine Canyon today, I saw quite a few poppies in bloom. Grapevine Canyon and the area around the California Poppy Reserve were quite spectacular, considering the dry winter. The recent rains, which have been well timed, seemed to have made the drought a little prettier to look at.

Deadman's Curve and Poppies

Deadman’s Curve and Poppies

Poppies high on the canyon walls in Grapevine Canyon.

Poppies high on the canyon walls in Grapevine Canyon.

Brawley Bypass

A new bypass highway was completed a couple years ago by Caltrans around Brawley. Signed as State 78 and State 111, it forms a northeast loop around town. It is an expressway, not a freeway. This distinction makes for some unusual signage where there is an interchange with State 111.

Confusing sign at the exit on the bypass. Is it current or old?

Confusing sign at the exit on the bypass. Is it current or old?

At the bypass, State 111 turns. Signage is a bit confusing with Old Highway 111 signed at the same exit as current Highway 111.

At the bypass, State 111 turns. Signage is a bit confusing with Old Highway 111 signed at the same exit as current Highway 111.

Heading south, only State 111 is signed, though State 78 also runs here.

Heading south, only State 111 is signed, though State 78 also runs here.

Expressway signage for 78

Expressway signage for 78

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