The “Ridge Route”
California Historic Civil Engineering Landmark
—Constructed 1914-1915 —
The original Ridge Route was constructed in 1914-1915 by pick, shovel and mule drawn Fresno scrapers. Placed on the ridge to avoid drainage problems and reduce earthwork, the ridge portion of the road was almost a continuous set of short radius reversing curves, 697 curves in 36 miles. This was the first highway crossing of a major mountain range by the newly formed California State Department of Highways. In 1933, the opening of Highway 99 to the west relocated the original roadway off the ridge.
This significant highway was the first primary highway connecting Northern and Southern California. It was a major factor in keeping the state from dividing into two states with the Tehachapi Mountains as the border between them. As traffic increased, upgrades and additions in 1933, 1952 and 1968 created the 8-lane divided freeway, Interstate 5, you see below you. The 1933 and 1952 roadways are beneath the waters of Pyramid Lake behind you.
The "Ridge Route” has progressed considerably since 1915. Starting as a 2-lane gravel road with a 15 M.P.H. speed limit in 1915, today it is an 8-lane concrete paved full freeway with a 65 to 70 M.P.H. speed lmit. The trip between Los
This plaque is dedicated to the men and women who planned, designed, constructed and now maintain this historic civil engineering masterpiece.
Erected 2008 by American Society of Civil Engineers.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks marker series.
Location. 34° 39.774′ N, 118° 45.604′ W. Marker is in Gorman, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Vista Del Lago Road and Interstate 5. Touch for map. Located in the parking lot of the Vista Del Lago Visitor Center, open daily 9-5. Marker is at or near this postal address: 38500 Vista Del Lago Rd, Lebec CA 93243, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 18 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Old Ridge Route (approx. 6.2 miles away); Don Pedro Fages (approx. 13.3 miles away); El Camino Viejo (approx. 15.1 miles away); Tesoro Adobe (approx. 17½ miles away).
More about this marker. This marker is only accessible when the parking lot is open, daily from 9 to 5.
Regarding The “Ridge Route”.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . . Ridge Route Preservation Organization. Working to reopen the road. (Submitted on August 16, 2018.)
Categories. • Man-Made Features • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 1, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 34 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 1, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 4. submitted on July 2, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 5. submitted on July 1, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 6. submitted on July 3, 2018. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.