California Roads - US 66 - National Trails Hwy.

Former US 66, National Trails Highway

This shiny but old truss is hiding around a bend from I-40 just north of Victorville, so you only get to see it by exploring the old road. The only scar marring its finish is the missing bridge plaque.

After a stretch through the desert from Victorville, old US 66 widens back out to four lanes entering Lenwood, a suburb of Barstow.

EB button copy (or not, in the case of the last sign) that may someday disappear for an extension of I-40 along CA 58.

WB in the same spot. The idea is to get I-40 out to I-5 instead of I-15, though nothing has been done west of CA 99 in Bakersfield. Even so, just that much of an extension will help get traffic toward the Bay Area and Sacramento. Right now, there's still a large freeway gap from Barstow to Boron, not to mention general reluctance on the part of many drivers to venture off the Interstate path.

EB at Avenue L, where Business I-15 comes in from the Freeway for a run through Barstow. That's on the page linked at bottom.

EB on the other side of town. It's unclear whether Business I-15 actually ends at 15 or extends the extra feet to I-40 at this interchange.

WB, same spot.

Taking these EB photos out of order, the second photo shows a new sign laid out very poorly, using an older California wide shape standard. Now, the first photo. Obviously it's an old and properly done shield, but it's conspicuous for the lack of its arrow. I'll bet a dollar for every donut you have that this was up during the construction of I-40, maintaining a continuously signed route on the stretches of US 66 pressed into service as an Interstate. This isn't my only evidence, either, but it sure seems like a reassurance marker and not a trailblazer.

California tends to use plastic Botts' dots between lanes. They can generally get away with this because it rarely snows in most of the state, so they don't have to worry about plowing them up. The plastic ones are flexible in case they do get uprooted by passing traffic or what have you, whereas the old ceramic ones broke. It's hard to find a ceramic one, not to mention that no matter what they're made of, they tend to be firmly fixed in the pavement. However, if you want your own, I can vouch that there are plenty more where this came from, where old US 66 crosses I-40 east of Barstow. There's a sharp right-hand turn on the north side of the overpass with a whole mess of dots in the corner, many of which have been thrown out into the adjacent ditch. Because all the modern ones there are plastic (warning drivers they're not following the curve), you'll want to park (it's an empty road, don't worry) and get out into the ditch a bit. Mine came in three pieces, but was held together by a chunk of asphalt so well that I just threw the whole thing in my suitcase and the pieces didn't come apart until an hour of chipping away the pavement stone by stone. Some liberal application of Superglue, and here's an authentic ceramic US 66 Botts' dot. Where's yours?

Remember how I said I had more proof that this was signed as I-40? Take a look at the post marker next to the white bridge tag. See the "40" above the SBD? There's a 99.8% chance that that number would be anything other than 40 or 66 if it were not related to the route number, so logic leads to the inferral that the number is related. That wouldn't surprise me, either - if part of an old US highway is pressed into service as an Interstate for several years, it may be wise to upgrade signs, rebuild bridges, add guiderail, etc. (Yes, it's not like the highway wasn't already serving that corridor's traffic before, but Interstate highways have a way of drawing traffic from other corridors, especially heavy vehicles.) California has a way of assigning state route numbers to roads about to be bypassed by new Interstates - CA 105 (overlaying what remained signed as CA 42) is a great example, and of course see CA 905 slowly becoming I-905 for a modern example.

EB from Crucero Rd. in Ludlow to the Mitchell Caverns turnoff.

Turning onto Goffs Rd. NB, the original routing of US 66 EB through the desert, meeting I-40 at Exit 107. The next routing of US 66 continued east on National Trails Highway to what is now Exit 115 of I-40, but what back then just transitioned into the divided highway. (That's all part of the construction I've been talking about.)

WB (Goffs Rd. SB), same spot.

The other end of Goffs Rd., US 95. The top destinations are both in Nevada, but California tends to omit state abbreviations from signs.

Through Barstow on Business I-15
Continue east on old US 66 to US 95
Back west on old US 66 to Business I-15, Victorville

Non-roads US 66 photos from west of Barstow and east of Barstow

Onto CA 58
Onto I-15
Onto I-40
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