Beale’s Cut was completed in 1864 by a crew headed by General Edward F. Beale and was 90 feet deep. This was not the first cut here though. General Beale only deepened the 30-foot-deep cut that was dug by General Phineas Banning in 1854. Sadly, in the Spring of 1998, a large slide occurred filling the cut half way.
In 1910, Beale’s Cut was bypassed by a tunnel to the west, along the current alignment of Sierra Highway. This was a narrow tunnel, a mere 17 feet wide, which made for some tight passes.
Aerial photo taken in 1999 of Newhall Pass. Sierra Highway is to the left, Beale’s Cut in center, and Route 14 to the right. The remains of the old Newhall Refinery can be seen north of the prominent ridgeline in the center of the photo.
It was turned into a cut in 1938 as a part of a major realignment of US 6 as well as to eliminate the bottleneck created by the tunnel. After the tunnel was eliminated, the highway was upgraded to a four lane divided roadway from the US 99 junction to San Fernando Road.
Go East on US 6 and North US 99 (1926-1930) to Mojave / Bakersfield
Go West on US 6 and South US 99 (1926-1930) to Los Angeles
Return to US 6 Introduction