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California State Route 65
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California State Route 65

State Route 65 (SR 65), also known as Highway 65, is a north-south state highway in the U.S. state of California. It is composed of two segments. The southern segment begins at SR 99, near Bakersfield and terminates at SR 198 near Exeter. It also serves the communities of Oildale, Terra Bella, Porterville, and Lindsay. The northern segment begins at Interstate 80 in Roseville and terminates at SR 70 at Olivehurst. It also serves Oakhurst and Wheatland.

The route, originally known as the Eastside Freeway, was envisioned as a major freeway connecting northern and southern California. Similar to the Westside Freeway (Interstate 5) on the opposite side of the valley, it would follow the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, traveling almost the entire length of the San Joaquin Valley. However, most of the route was never constructed. Of the estimated , only were constructed. If built, it would also serve the communities of Ivanhoe, Reedley, Sanger, Waterford, and Oakdale.


Route description

This route is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System.[1]

California State Route 65 near Exeter.
California State Route 65 near Exeter.

South segment

The southern segment of State Route 65 begins at a partial interchange with State Route 99 north of Bakersfield. From here to Porterville is a mostly rural two-lane highway through hills and grasslands while passing through the communities of Ducor and Terra Bella. This stretch of roadway is often considered very dangerous given the heavy amount of semi-trucks that drive this corridor. SR 65 expands to a four-lane freeway through Porterville, downgrading into a four-lane expressway upon leaving the city. The highway remains an expressway, passing Strathmore and up to Lindsay. The highway is then reduced to a rural two-lane highway through agricultural areas while passing through Exeter. SR 65's southern segment ends at the junction of State Route 198. This section has been designated the "All America City Highway."[2]

North segment

The northern segment of State Route 65 begins at the interchange with Interstate 80 in Roseville as a freeway heading northwest to Blue Oaks Boulevard where the freeway turns north towards Lincoln. The freeway ends north of Twelve Bridges Drive where the highway continues in a four-lane configuration. The highway is then reduced to roughly two lanes as it enters downtown Lincoln. The highway heads northwest again outside of Lincoln as a rural two-lane highway, passing through the communities of Sheridan and Wheatland. It assumes its freeway designation a few miles north of Wheatland, ending at State Route 70 in Olivehurst.

A bypass around Lincoln is currently being constructed to alleviate traffic congestion in and around the city. The first phase of the bypass will be a four-lane freeway from the northern end of the freeway segment of SR 65 at Industrial Avenue to Nelson Lane and a two-lane expressway from Nelson Lane to Riosa Road in Sheridan, reconnecting with the current SR 65 north of town. There will be a partial interchange at Industrial Avenue, a full interchange at Ferrari Ranch Road and at-grade intersections at Nelson Lane, Wise Road and Riosa Road. Construction began in late 2008 and is scheduled for completion in 2012. A second phase at a later date will add two lanes between Nelson Lane and Riosa Road and upgrade the at-grade intersections to interchanges. Ultimately, SR 65 will become a four-lane freeway from I-80 in Roseville to Riosa Road in Sheridan.[3]

In 2000, Caltrans issued a Project Study Report (PSR) that analyzed six alternative alignments for the proposed Wheatland Bypass. After extensive public meetings, Caltrans identified Alternative E as the preferred alternative. Alternative E would start at the northern end of the Lincoln Bypass, and proceed due north, crossing the Bear River on a new bridge to the east of the existing SR 65 alignment. It would bypass Wheatland to the east, and then turn west and pass along the southern edge of Beale Air Force Base before connecting to south end of the freeway segment at South Beale Road. If completed, the Wheatland Bypass would enable continuous freeway travel from I-80 to Marysville (via SR 70). Although Caltrans completed the PSR in 2000 that identified the preferred alignment, the Wheatland Bypass remains unfunded. State and local officials cannot present a timetable for completing the bypass until $300 million is secured to complete the required environmental studies and construction.

North of its present northern terminus at SR 70 in Olivehurst, the legislative designation of SR 65 continues west/northwest to SR 99 in (or south of) Yuba City. Caltrans has planned since 1986 to extend SR 65 as a freeway west or northwest from SR 70 to SR 99 via a third bridge across the Feather River south of Yuba City to alleviate traffic on the two existing bridges between Yuba City and Marysville. Funding issues and environmental concerns have stalled the extension of SR 65 to Yuba City and the third Feather River Bridge.

The interchange at Sunset Boulevard was opened to traffic in March 2010, eliminating the last traffic signal between I-80 and Sterling Parkway in Lincoln.[4]


Bakersfield to Roseville

The initial segment was created in 1933 as Legislative Route 129. It was defined from LRN 4 (formerly US 99 and currently SR 99) near Bakersfield to LRN 263 (currently SR 180) in Kings Canyon National Park. The entire route was signed Route 65.[5]

In the 1950 s, California was developing plans for a state-wide freeway network. Within the San Joaquin Valley, routes were discussed on the west side and along U.S. Route 99 (Golden State Highway). However, officials in Stanislaus County believed that an additional major north-south freeway was needed to serve the east side of the valley. In 1955, they formally proposed the Eastside Freeway, which would be the eastern companion to the Westside Freeway. In 1959, the state defined Legislative Route 249, which would run from the junction of LRN 10 (currently SR 198) and LRN 129 to LRN 17 (currently I-80).[6] This would mark the birth of the Eastside Freeway.

In 1964, California s state highways were renumbered. The portion of LRN 129 between Exeter and SR 180 would be removed and become SR 245. The remainder of LRN 129, all of LRN 249, and U.S. Route 99E (section north of Roseville), would be combined to created SR 65.[5] By 1969, except for Merced County, all eight counties which the route would traverse had it included in their general plans.[6] This created a continuous roadway plan from Bakersfield to Roseville.

The first segment to be constructed as a freeway was in 1964. A short freeway segment (about ) was built at SR 99 in Kern County in conjunction with a portion of the freeway upgrade to the Golden State Freeway (SR 99). However, development of the rest of the corridor was difficult. The California Highway Commission put a greater emphasis on the construction of the Westside Freeway, which would be included in the Interstate Highway System. In addition, efforts were underway for the upgrade of the Golden State Freeway through the center of the valley. As a result, the Eastside Freeway was given a much lower priority.[6]

Most of the construction efforts for the freeway were conducted in Tulare County. In 1970, the segment through the City of Porterville was constructed as a freeway. The two-lane highway between the Tulare County Line and SR 198 was converted to a two-lane expressway with land reserved for future interchanges (or interchange footprint). In Sacramento County, land was reserved south of Roseville, and a freeway-to-freeway interchange was constructed at U.S. Route 50 and Sunrise Boulevard.[5]

By the mid 1970 s, California began to abandon some of its freeway projects, which included the Eastside Frereway. The land reserved in Sacramento County was sold and the freeway-to-freeway interchange was converted to a local interchange.[5] The project was considered dead. None of the original LRN 249 segment (between Roseville and Exeter) was constructed.

Roseville to Yuba City

The northern section originally was US 99E, running from Marysville to Roseville, and was converted to SR 65 during the state highway renumbering effort in 1964. A freeway section (named the Harold T. "Bizz" Johnson Expressway) bypassing downtown Roseville was completed later, with the original downtown Roseville section of SR 65 (former US 99E) released from the state highway system. In the 1950s, a right-of-way was reserved for a SR 65 freeway running from Roseville through Citrus Heights and Fair Oaks to Rancho Cordova, but plans for this freeway were abandoned in the 1970s and the right-of-way has been relinquished to private owners. The portion of Sunrise Boulevard south of US 50 was added to the SR 65 routing during the 1970s, but has since been relinquished back to Sacramento County.


With the projected growth of the Central Valley, interest has reemerged in constructing all or part of the unconstructed portion of SR 65. A multi-county committee has been formed to discuss the transportation needs of the Eastern Central Valley, including the construction of SR 65 over twenty years. The committee will look at what route the road will take, what type of road would be built (highway, expressway, or freeway), and what the road would eventually become (also known as the ultimate transportation corridor or UTC).[7][5]

In order to alleviate traffic congestion between the northern parts of Highway 65 and Highway 80 and downtown Sacramento, the Placer Parkway project, a bypass from Highway 65 to Highway 99 to the West, has been initiated and is expected to be finished by 2020.

In addition, another study is looking at extending SR 65 north to a future extension of SR 152. Currently, five cities exist on the eastern Central Valley with population between 15,000 and 20,000 as of the 2000 census. These communities currently do not have a north/south state highway. This project would create a state highway that would connect these cities together and to SR 99. This connection would be north of Madera, providing a bypass to Visalia, and Fresno. It would also provide an alternative route for travelers in Southern California/South Central Valley, to access mountain vacation spots in areas east of Fresno.[5][7]

In the southern section, plans are underway to convert all of the 2-lane highway portions to a 4-lane expressway. In addition, the short segment to Exeter would be moved to allow for a continuous roadway. Originally, the widening project was going to be a joint effort between Kern and Tulare counties, but priority changes in Kern County will delay its portion to a future date.[5]

Major intersections

|- |colspan=4 align=center|South end of freeway |- |colspan=4 align=center|North end of freeway |- |colspan=4 align=center|North end of freeway |- |colspan=5 align=center|South end of freeway

Other names

Route 65 has the following names, as designated by various state laws:[8]

  • All America City Highway: From Route 99 to Route 198. Named for linking "All American Cities" Lindsay, Porterville, and Bakersfield together (it is commonly called Porterville Highway).
  • Harold T. "Bizz" Johnson Expressway: The Roseville bypass from Interstate 80 to Blue Oaks Boulevard.
  • Officer Mark A. White Memorial Highway: From Sunset Boulevard near Rocklin to Route 193 in Lincoln.


es:Ruta Estatal de California 65

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