Old style US 80 shield US 80 Photo Gallery


There is a wonderful section of old US 80 in Jacumba where time has literally stood still since its construction in 1933. Everything from the road surface to the bridge rails and white painted wooden guardrails has remianed untouched and almost perfectly preserved. It is the only stretch of old US highway I know of where so much has been maintained in such perfect condition. This section is also remarkable because it also has the remnants of the original 16 foot wide road, left exactly as it was when it was replaced by the newer 1933 road. Additionally, this is where it crossed the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railroad (SD&AE Ry), which also played an important role in the history of San Diego. US 80 near Alpine: 1951

The highway is perfectly preserved near Jacumba

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Evolution of US 80

The three photographs show how US 80 evolved from a windy mountain road to one with gradual curves, allowing near freeway speeds - I know. The section at right is east of Boulevard and Jacumba and is where I got a hefty ticket for driving 80 in a 55 zone. The road was easy to drive at that speed, which still impresses me.

Above and right: Original paved alignment in perfect shape which now acts, in part, as a driveway for the nearby rancho. The picture at the above right is an excellent example of how the newer alignment covered the old. The picture at right is near Boulevard.

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US 80 crossing SD&AE Ry

SD&AE Overhead

This bridge was built in 1933 and replaced an even older one. It was recently seismically retrofitted which can be seen in the picture in the upper left with the grey steel casing over the bridge columns.

Above: The concrete bridge rails with the arches look typical of the era, incorporating some Art Deco styling. However this type of railing is unusual for this type of highway as most bridges at the time had wooden railings similar to the nearby fence.

Left: Whitewashed wooden fence. This type of guardrail was prevalent on US highways until the 1940s and the advent of the steel barrier. This also resembles bridge rails on many old US highways built before the 1940s. A portion of the railroad is visible to the middle right of the picture.


US 80 Mileage Sign Whitewashed Fence
Old Mileage Sign. This sign dates back to US 80 and looks similar to such signs on modern state highways. It reads:
Boulevard  6
El Cajon  58
San Diego  73
Another view of the whitewashed fence. This picture shows how much of the fence remains - most of it is in near perfect shape.


1915 Alignment

1915 Alignment

This section was cut through and bypassed by the 1933 realignment of US 80. While the two are separated by less than 20 years, it's interesting to note how much straighter the newer alignment is. The curb, which is visible on the left side of the picture, is very similar to the one on the Ridge Route near Grapevine. The road itself is a single slab of concrete only 16 feet wide!


1915 and 1933 Alignments

Like the picture above, this shows the amazing advances road building technology made within a few years. There was once a bridge over which the 1915 alignment crossed, but it was removed to accommodate the newer bridge. One amazing feature of this section is the preserved whitewashed fence along the 1915 alignment, which is visible to the center of the photograph. The older alignment also had exaggerated banking along the curve, which is identical to many sections of the Ridge Route to the north. Despite the banking, it is likely that cars could not safely exceed 15 mph.

1915 Alignment


Top of Page.

Highway 80 Go west toward San Diego.

Continue to Mountain Spring.

Return to the US 80 Page.

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If you have any questions, comments, or if you would like to send me any updates or pictures, please contact me at: casey@gbcnet.com