Colorado Fwy

Large-OH-Colorado-Fwy-sign-b-wPasadena to Eagle Rock and Glendale

Easterly view of the freeway near the Linda Vista Avenue exit.

Easterly view of the freeway near the Linda Vista Avenue exit.

Closeup of the Linda Vista Avenue exit signage.

Closeup of the Linda Vista Avenue exit signage.

Westerly view of the east end of the Colorado Freeway. Many structures are visible here including both Arroyo Seco bridges, the Linda Vista Avenue exit ramps, and the east end of the freeway.

Westerly view of the east end of the Colorado Freeway. Many structures are visible here including both Arroyo Seco bridges, the Linda Vista Avenue exit ramps, and the east end of the freeway.

1966 view of the Arroyo Seco bridges.

1966 view of the Arroyo Seco bridges.

1955 view looking easterly toward the Arroyo Seco Bridge.

1955 view looking easterly toward the Arroyo Seco Bridge.

Freeway entrance on Figueroa St in the late 1950's.

Freeway entrance on Figueroa St in the late 1950′s.

Signage at the Figueroa Street eastbound onramp.

Signage at the Figueroa Street eastbound onramp.

Photos above Courtesy of Caltrans

Maps:

Colorado Freeway as it was in 1954

Colorado Freeway as it was in 1954

Colorado Freeway as it was from 1955 to 1971

Colorado Freeway as it was from 1955 to 1971

Western Segment of the Colorado Freeway in 1957.

Western Segment of the Colorado Freeway in 1957.

New photos of the existing freeway:

Eastbound along the old freeway. Bridges coming up are over Figueroa Street.

Eastbound along the old freeway. Bridges coming up are over Figueroa Street.

Figueroa Street UC 53-1024R

Figueroa Street UC 53-1024R

Old END FREEWAY sign at Colorado Street. Note the anti-vandalism razor wire.

Old END FREEWAY sign at Colorado Street. Note the anti-vandalism razor wire.

View of the western freeway segment. Note the raised curb median.

View of the western freeway segment. Note the raised curb median.

Western end of the Colorado Freeway.

Western end of the Colorado Freeway.

The Colorado Freeway was first opened to traffic on June 25, 1954. The first segment ran from Orange Grove Blvd in Pasadena west to Avenue 64 in Eagle Rock. However, the westbound lanes of the Arroyo Seco Bridge were opened a little earlier on October 8, 1953. This first segment included four structures. The largest and most interesting structure was the Arroyo Seco Bridge. It was designed to compliment the 1913 Colorado Street Pioneer Bridge.

In 1955, the freeway was extended further west from Avenue 64 to Colorado Blvd at Eagle Vista Drive. In 1957, the Golden State Freeway was also extended from Western Avenue in Burbank to Los Feliz Blvd in Glendale. Along with many other interchanges, a freeway-grade exit to Colorado Street was built. This is known as the Colorado Street Freeway Extension and was signed as SR-134.

In 1971, the eastern Colorado Freeway was rebuilt to higher standards. It was widened, repaved, and realigned. It was also renamed as the Ventura Freeway. Part of the old Colorado Freeway still exists, however, as the westbound Colorado Blvd exit. The western segment of the freeway still exists almost unmodified and still remains in heavy use. One aspect of the western segment is rather unique. It remains as the last freeway in Los Angeles with an intact raised median with no barrier.

Signage:

The Colorado Freeway bore many shields. From the western end to Figueroa Street, it was SR-134. At Figueroa Street, SR-134 ended. SR-11 and US 66 Alternate took over at Figueroa. SR-11 then left the freeway at the Linda Vista Blvd exit and headed north to SR-118. US 66 Alternate stayed on the freeway to its eastern end at Orange Grove Blvd and continued east to Arroyo Parkway, ending there. The western segment of the freeway bore only SR-134 shields. In 1964, US 66 Alternate was removed entirely and SR-11 left the Colorado Freeway for the Pasadena Freeway. SR-134 took over the entire freeway and remains there today.

Interchange listing for the Colorado Freeway as it existed in 1957:

Eastbound
ExitsEntrances
Linda Vista AvenueColorado Blvd
Colorado Blvd
Orange Grove Blvd
Figueroa Street
Melrose Avenue
WESTERN SEGMENT
Golden State Freeway
Edenhurst AvenueEdenhurst Avenue
San Fernando RoadColorado Street
WESTBOUND
ExitsEntrances
San Rafael AvenueColorado Blvd
Avenue 64San Rafael Avenue
Figueroa Street
Colorado Blvd
WESTERN SEGMENT
Colorado Street
Edenhurst AvenueEdenhurst Avenue
Golden State Freeway NORTH / SOUTH

Bridge Log as of 1958: Runs west to east covering both segments of the freeway.

Western Segment
Postmile (current)NameNumberYear Built
4.55Rte 134/5 Separation53-1073E1957
4.60Los Angeles River53-10721957
4.83Edenhurst Avenue UC53-11081957
5.03San Fernando Road West UC53-11071957
5.04Colorado Blvd UP53-10711957
5.06San Fernando Road East UC53-11061957
Eastern Segment (main freeway)
Postmile (current)NameNumberYear Built
Monte Bonito UC53-1023L1955
Monte Bonito UC53-1023R1955
Figueroa Street UC53-1024L1955
Figueroa Street UC (11/134 Separation)53-1024R1955
Eagle Vista Drive OC53-10251955
Melrose Avenue UC53-07601954
Club Road OC53-08051955
Arroyo Seco Bridge and 134/11 Separation53-01661953
Colorado Street Onramp OC53-07621954
Orange Grove Blvd OC1953

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