All posts by Michael Ballard

I have been the author and host of the Southern California Regional Rocks and Roads website - http://socalregion.com - since 1995. I study geology and highway history.

Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup – May 20, 2017

On May 20, 2017, I am planning a cleanup of my section on I-5 in Grapevine Canyon. Specifically, this is KER-005-6.0/8.0. For those interested in joining, please send us a message to add your name to the list. The plan, thus far, is to meet in Lebec in the morning and carpool to the cleanup site to reduce the number of vehicles along the roadway. Let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in joining us. A partial tour of the remaining sections of US 99 and the Ridge Route in Grapevine Canyon, including Deadman’s Curve, will also be included in the cleanup.

Image of the Week – 4/25/2017

State 79 at Samagatuma Creek with new bridge railing. This is a new style of metal railing that Caltrans has been installing on bridges lately.

San Diego Electric Railway Exposed!

For the first time since 1949, a section of the San Diego Electric Railway, double track at that, is exposed for only a short time before it will be destroyed in Hillcrest. They last saw service on April 23, 1949 as a part of the #7 streetcar line. The City of San Diego is currently restoring the 1914 Georgia St bridge over University Ave. As a part of this project, they are also lowering University Ave between Park Blvd and Florida St.

These tracks represent a bit of San Diego history and I highly recommend a visit in the next week or so before they are gone. Remnants of the former railway are getting harder to find as time passes and more roads are torn up for various projects.

Looking east from Georgia St, tracks are in the median.
Looking easterly toward Georgia St
Looking toward the Georgia St bridge with the tracks in the median
Angled view of the tracks between Georgia St and Park Blvd.
Looking down at the torn up eastbound tracks.
Railroad ties on top of the Georgia St bridge from the roadway below.
Torn up tracks and a #7 bus
Looking west from near Florida St.

More information about the San Diego Electric Railway

Maps for purchase

I am selling some of my map collection. For those interested, please use this link and contact me.

Los Angeles County Survey Records

Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has a wealth of information available on their website. With a bit of patience and some looking around, you can find quite a few treasures using their mapping application. I’ve so far found the original survey data for the “Bridge To Nowhere” roadway, plans for other roadways that were never built in the Sierra Pelona Mountains, as well as the forest service permit for the Shoemaker Canyon Road that was never completed.

http://dpw.lacounty.gov/sur/landrecords/index.cfm

Image of the Week – 4/9/2017

I-8 at Laguna Summit, looking east. This will be my newest section of Adopt-A-Highway in the near future.

US 6 Tour goes east!

It has been a while since I’ve added to my US 6 tour. For quite some time, it “only” went to Tonopah, Nevada. While that town makes for a good end point, it left quite a bit of very interesting and scenic highway out of the tour. US 6 across Nevada is one of the emptiest highways in the lower 48 states. It gives travelers and geologists alike a very good cross section of the Great Basin as well as a look at the mining past of Nevada. With that in mind, my US 6 tour now extends to the Utah / Nevada State Line, covering approximately 620 miles of roadway.

Take your time and enjoy the tour!

Virtual Tour of US 6 Introduction

Joshua Tree National Park link

Here is a very detailed site covering, among other things, Joshua Tree National Park.

http://liveoncelivewild.com/

Image of the Week – 4/2/2017

Hiking to the Bridge to Nowhere with my husband while in a wetsuit

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner train has a really good site with lots of information at:

http://www.pacificsurfliner.com/