Friday, May 23, 2014

Spurs, Bypasses and Beltways: Northern California

(1) Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, (2) Golden Gat...
(1) Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, (2) Golden Gate Bridge, (3) San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, (4) San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, (5) Dumbarton Bridge, (6) Carquinez Bridge, (7) Benicia-Martinez Bridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The San Francisco-Oakland area has many highways that are connected to Interstate 80.  I-80 crosses the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from Oakland and ends on the other side in San Francisco. Interstate 280 begins near that point and continues west almost to the Pacific Ocean. West of Daly City I-280 turns south and completes its journey of 57 miles in San Jose where it joins US 101. This highway runs along the San Andreas Fault Zone. The 1.5 miles of Interstate 380 join I-280 to US 101 near San Bruno and the Golden Gate National Cemetery.

Interstate 580 which is 71 miles long leaves US 101 in San Rafael and travels east crossing the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. It continues south to the east of San Francisco Bay going through Richmond, Oakland and San Leandro. Near Castro Valley I-580 turns to the east and joins Interstate 5 near Westley. Interstate 680 is also 71 miles long. It heads south from its juncture with Interstate 80 at Cordelia and crosses the Benicia-Martinez Bridge. I-680 travels through Benicia, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon and Milipitas before joining US 101 and I-280 at San Jose.

Interstate 780 is less than seven miles long and joins I-80 in Vallejo with I-680 in Benecia north of the Carquinez Strait. The 45 miles of Interstate 880 begin in Oakland where it heads south from its intersection of I-80 and I-580. I-880 runs almost parallel to the west of I-580 until San Leandro where it turns south heading through Hayward, Newark and Fremont. It joins I-280 in San Jose and becomes SR 17. Interstate 980 has a journey of just over two miles before joining I-580 and State Route 24 to I-880 in Oakland.

The east-west route of Interstate 238, which is just over two miles long, joins I-580 and I-880 near San Leandro. The nearly 13 miles of Interstate 205 joins I-580 to I-5 near Tracy. West of Sacramento, Interstate 505 leaves I-5 and travels 33 miles south to join I-80 at Vacaville.

Even though a GPS will serve as a guide through the maze of auxiliary interstates in the San Francisco-Oakland area, drivers would be wise to consult a map to have a working knowledge of the layout of these highways before traveling in the area.
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