So much has been going on lately, so this may seem “rambling”. From massive fires to massive mudslides and more, it seems that the Earth just doesn’t like us. Sometimes I feel like the San Gabriel Mountains, for example, doesn’t like roadways and every once and a while – it removes them from its shoulders. I remember watching the news in Los Angeles many years ago, probably in the early 1990’s, and one of the newscasters said “Malibu must be an old Indian name for “don’t live here”” referring to the then recent fire/mudslide/rockslide problem. Such is the cycle in this climate and geology.
With this in mind, I know I have been somewhat lax in updates to the site recently. It happens from time to time. A recent project I have started is something I should have started long ago – adding California Highways and Public Works references to my “Official Highway Logs” for US 6, US 99, and other major routes in Southern California. Some of these are available on the site, although not always up to date. I’ve also been traveling. I went to the Mojave Desert with my husband and a friend over New Years weekend and will eventually add photos of the journey. It was a lot of fun, hiking the Kelso Sand Dunes as well as other areas nearby. I am also attending a Ridge Route meeting in mid-January soon. I hope this meeting is fruitful, as I believe it will be.
Keep watching the site for further updates. There is much to discuss and much more to come. Highway tours will commence sometime in February, most likely coming to US 80 and US 395 here in San Diego County. For the highway tours, please contact me for more information and to express interest.
US Highway 6, now known as Sierra Highway, crossed the Santa Clara River near Solemint, California. The bridge it originally used, constructed in 1938, is planned to be replaced in the near future. This bridge is one of the oldest remaining in the Santa Clarita area and is the longest span on former US 6 in California. The bridge has remained almost intact from its original construction. The only changes have been minor to the bridge itself. The highway, however, has changed quite a bit. In 1968, Sierra Highway, then State Route 14, was widened to four lanes. A second bridge for northbound traffic was added, with the original bridge being used for southbound traffic.
Presently, Sierra Highway is six lanes wide at the river crossing. As the bridges were built with a four-lane highway in mind, only a narrow shoulder along both directions exists. This condition is one of the reasons the bridges across the Santa Clara River are being replaced.
In March of 2017, I took a trip to inspect in more detail the bridge and the surrounding area. It was nice to see the bridge again, as it brought back a lot of memories. I used to live near the bridge and crossed it almost daily. It will be sad to see it go as it is one of the last remaining pieces of the old highway. So, please, check it out yourself while you still can. I’m not quite sure when the construction will begin, it may have already.
Before the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension was opened, I was contacted by Nobuho Nagasawa. She was commissioned to create the artwork for the 1st St and Soto St Metro Gold Line station. She was looking for maps of the area surrounding the 1st / Soto station and found my website on the East Los Angeles Interchange. After searching my collection, I did find two maps that covered that area. The Los Angeles and Alhambra 6′ map sheets from the late 1920’s covered the area she needed with the right resolution. They were then scanned in at high resolution and sent along to her for use. As they were USGS maps, they were within the public domain and easy to transfer.
As I had obtained the maps from a geologist that had marked them up, cleaning them up prior to scanning was essential. I got most of the marks off, but some still remained. It seems they were just enough to “watermark” the maps as indeed from my collection. While not intentional, it did help me identify the maps when I saw them in a video on the opening of the line. In December 2009, I was finally able to see the station in person. The sheer size of the artwork created from these maps was astounding. A portion of a 6′ USGS quad sheet had been transformed into a 30′ x 60′ map going from one side of the station to the other.
I wish to thank Nobuho Nagasawa for allowing me the privilege of contributing to the Los Angeles Metro Rail system. It gives me great pleasure to know that something I have in my collection is seeing use in a way I never expected.