California State Route 4

State Route 4 marker

State Route 4
Route information
Defined by S&HC § 304
Maintained by Caltrans
Length: 197 mi[2] (317 km)
Existed: 1934[1] – present
Major junctions
West end: I-80 in Hercules
  SR 242 in Concord
SR 160 in Antioch
I-5 in Stockton
SR 49 in Angels Camp
East end: SR 89 near Markleeville
Highway system

State highways in California(list • pre-1964)
History • Unconstructed • Deleted • Freeway • Scenic

SR 3 I-5

State Route 4 (SR 4) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California, routed from Interstate 80 in the San Francisco Bay Area to State Route 89 in the Sierra Nevada. It passes through Ebbetts Pass and contains the Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, a National Scenic Byway.

SR 4 roughly parallels the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a popular area for boating and fishing. There are a number of accesses to marinas and other attractions.


Route description

State Route 4 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System[3] and is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System.[4] However, it is only a scenic highway as designated by Caltrans from a point east of Arnold to SR 89.[5] SR 4 is also known as the John Muir Parkway from I-80 in Hercules to I-680 near Martinez, named for the environmentalist John Muir.[6] The stretch through Franklin Canyon was once known as "Blood Alley."[7]

SR 4, an east–west highway, begins in Hercules at San Pablo Avenue next to the Interstate 80 junction as part of John Muir Parkway. (The actual parkway extends a bit past the western terminus.) The road is an expressway between from its starting point until it approaches Martinez, at which point it becomes a full freeway (the California Delta Highway) passing Concord, Pittsburg, and Antioch. The John Muir National Historic Site, located directly north of Route 4 on Alhambra Avenue in Martinez. Also on Alhambra Avenue at SR 4 is the Franklin Canyon Adobe. BART tracks run in the median of the freeway from the Port Chicago Highway interchange in Concord to the Bailey Road interchange in Bay Point, where the line currently ends at the Pittsburg/Bay Point Station. Access to that station is provided by a pedestrian bridge crossing over the eastbound lanes of Highway 4. After Antioch, the freeway turns northward toward the Antioch Bridge to become State Route 160, and Route 4 separates to become a suburban and rural road passing through the Bay Area's outermost eastern suburbs (Oakley and Brentwood). Route 4 continues to Stockton, where it briefly joins I-5 and then enters a separate freeway (known locally as the Crosstown Freeway) routing almost directly through downtown Stockton. The route then runs concurrent with State Route 99 before running eastward into the Sierra through Angels Camp, one of the richest quartz mining sections of the Mother Lode and home of "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", and Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The route runs through the 8,050 ft (2,450 m). (2,454 m) Pacific Grade Summit on its way up to the 8,730 ft (2,660 m). (2,661 m) Ebbetts Pass (being Northern California's highest road) and ends at State Route 89 ten miles (16 km) west of Topaz Lake, on the California–Nevada border. The portion from Arnold to its terminus is designated the Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, which is eventually one lane.

Through the mountains, SR 4 is not suitable for large trucks, buses, or RVs, as it becomes very steep and narrow, with no center dividing line shortly after the Mount Reba Turnoff to Bear Valley Ski area, with tight switchbacks. The pass is not plowed for snow, and thus closes during the winter months often from November through as late as May. Thus, no passage between the Mount Reba Turnoff and Markleeville is possible. The western slope is plowed and rarely closes, even for a few hours, but often has chain restrictions during and immediately following storms, usually just east of Arnold. The eastern slope is not plowed.

As of March 2008, a freeway extension from the SR 160 junction, bypassing Oakley and Brentwood to the south and west, has been opened to vehicular traffic.[8][9]


Although segments of SR 4 were part of the state highway system since 1909, SR 4 was officially designated as such between US Route 40 (now Interstate 80) and State Route 99 in 1934. Prior to that date, the then existing segment was officially known as the "Borden Highway", and the bridge over the San Joaquin River is still referred to as the "Borden Highway Bridge" in tidal tables. Construction of SR 4 did not finish until 1935, however.[1]

The portion of SR 4 from US Route 40 to State Route 24 was added to the highway system in 1933 as LRN 106. East of the concurrency with State Route 24 to State Route 49, SR 4 was designated as LRN 75 from 1931-1934. Finally, the segment from State Route 49 to State Route 89 was signed as LRN 24 from 1909 to 1934.[1]

The freeway segment of SR 4 in Stockton is part of a proposed route to upgrade SR 99 into a future Interstate highway. Under one proposal, the new interstate would go along SR 99 from the split with I-5 at Wheeler Ridge north through Fresno to Stockton, where the proposed route would then turn west via the SR 4 freeway to a terminus at I-5.

The segment of Route 4 between Stockton and Antioch has been designated as a "safety corridor."

Major intersections

Note: Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured in 1964, based on the alignment as it existed at that time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.
County Location Postmile
Destinations Notes
Contra Costa
CC 0.00-48.39
Hercules 0.00 1A San Pablo Avenue At-grade intersection; former US 40
0.00 1B I-80 (Eastshore Freeway) – Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento No exit number eastbound
0.78 1C Willow Avenue Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
R1.70 1 Sycamore Avenue Eastbound exit and entrance
East end of freeway
R1.70 Carbon Way Interchange; westbound exit and entrance; refinery traffic only[citation needed]
2.70 3 Franklin Canyon At-grade intersection eastbound; interchange westbound
West end of freeway
T4.89 5 I-80 (CA).svg Cummings Skyway to I-80 east – Crockett, Port Costa, Vallejo
R5.17 6 McEwen Road – Port Costa Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Martinez R8.55 9 Alhambra Avenue – Martinez
R9.19 10 Pine Street, Center Avenue
R10.33 11 Morello Avenue, Glacier Drive
12.41 12A Pacheco Boulevard – Pacheco Former SR 21
12.67 12 I-680 – Benicia, Sacramento, Walnut Creek, San Jose Signed as exits 12B (south) and 12C (north)
R13.65 13 Solano Way
Concord R14.67 15A SR 242 – Concord, Oakland
R15.42 15B Port Chicago Highway
R16.83 17 Willow Pass Road
R18.83 19 San Marco Boulevard, Willow Pass Road – Bay Point
R20.10 20 Bailey Road Signed as exits 20A (south) and 20B (north)
Pittsburg 23.05 23 Railroad Avenue, Harbor Street
24.32 24 Loveridge Road – Pittsburg
Antioch 26.01 26 Somersville Road, Auto Center Drive Signed as exits 26A (Somersville Road) and 26B (Auto Center Drive)
26.94 27A Contra Loma Boulevard, L Street Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
27.29 27B G Street – Central Antioch Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
R27.79 28 A Street, Lone Tree Way
R28.94 29 Hillcrest Avenue
31.13 Bypass Road (SR 4 Byp. east) – Oakley, Brentwood Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
East end of freeway
T31.52 SR 160 north / East 18th Street – Rio Vista, Sacramento Interchange
Oakley R34.91 Cypress Road – Bethel Island
Brentwood 37.07 Lone Tree Way
Sand Creek Road
Balfour Road
Byron Highway – Knightsen
43.97 Marsh Creek Road (to SR 4 Byp. west) – Antioch, Clayton, Concord
Byron R44.37 CR J4 (Byron Highway) – Byron, Tracy
San Joaquin
SJ 0.00-38.06
5.96 CR J2 (Tracy Boulevard) – Tracy
Stockton 15.91
25.36[N 1]
I-5 south / Charter Way (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) – Tracy, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Angels Camp Interchange; west end of I-5 overlap; Charter Way was former SR 4 east
West end of freeway on I-5
26.19[N 1]
65B I-5 north – Sacramento East end of I-5 overlap
T15.32 Fresno Avenue
R16.62 66A El Dorado Street, Center Street – Downtown Stockton Serves Stockton Arena and Ballpark; no exit number eastbound
R17.05 66B Stanislaus Street – Downtown Stockton Signed as exit 66 eastbound
R17.71 67 Wilson Way Former US 50 / US 99
R18.77 68A Filbert Street Signed as exit 68 westbound
18.68[N 2]
68B SR 99 north – Sacramento West end of SR 99 overlap
18.15[N 2] 253 Main Street Westbound exit only
18.02[N 2] 253 Charter Way (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) No westbound exit; former SR 26 west
East end of freeway on SR 99
17.22[N 2]
SR 99 south / Farmington Road – Fresno, Los Angeles, Stockton Interchange; east end of SR 99 overlap; Farmington Road was former SR 4 west
24.87 CR J5 (Jack Tone Road) – Lockeford, Ripon
Farmington 33.10 CR J4 (Escalon-Bellota Road) – Escalon
STA 0.00-8.89
4.54 CR J14 (Milton Road) – Milton, Eugene
CAL R0.00-R65.87
Copperopolis R8.14 CR E15 (O'Byrnes Ferry Road) / Rock Creek Road – Copperopolis
Angels Camp R21.09 SR 49 (Main Street) – San Andreas, Sonora
Vallecito 26.22 CR E18 (Parrots Ferry Road) – Moaning Cavern
ALP R0.00-31.68
3.89 SR 207 (Mount Reba Road)
Bullion 31.68 SR 89 to US 395 – Markleeville, Monitor Pass
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
     Concurrency terminus     Closed/Former     Incomplete access     Unopened
  1. ^ a b Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along I-5 rather than SR 4.
  2. ^ a b c d Indicates that the postmile represents the distance along SR 99 rather than SR 4.

California SR 4 Bypass

SR 4 continues eastward from the Hillcrest interchange in Antioch as a limited access freeway to the Main Street exit in Oakley. The freeway continues as SR 160 to the Antioch Bridge. SR 4 continues east and south as an unlimited access street, known as Main Street in Oakley and Brentwood Boulevard in Brentwood.

A freeway extension bypassing Oakley and Brentwood has been built in three sections. Officially, it is designated as the California SR 4 Bypass, and has been named the John Marsh Heritage Highway. However, many of the signs and local maps designate this extension as simply "Bypass Road." By the end of 2009, all three sections were opened to traffic. Only the portion from California SR 160 to Lone Tree Way interchange is a multi-lane freeway. The portions from Lone Tree to Vasco Road are single-lane each way and have signal-controlled grade crossings at Sand Creek Road, Balfour Road and Marsh Creek Road. In May 2010, this narrow stretch of the road handled 27,000 to 30,000 vehicles per day.[15] In June 2011, Caltrans awarded $25 million toward construction of a proposed interchange at Sand Creek Road.[16]

The "bypass" does not reconnect to SR 4 east of Brentwood. Eastbound motorists wishing to reconnect to SR 4 are recommended to take Marsh Creek Road. The westbound bypass highway does not connect directly to SR 160. Instead, drivers wishing to go north must exit at Hillcrest, cross over the freeway, turn left and enter the eastbound lane of SR 4.

Big rigs are prohibited from using the bypass at present. This will change when Caltrans officially accepts responsibility for the road from the Highway 4 Bypass Authority in 2012.[17][18] At that time, Caltrans will hand over authority for Main Street in Oakley and Brentwood Boulevard in Brentwood to the respective cities. The bypass will then be renamed State Route 4.[19]

Major intersections on SR 4 Bypass Road

The entire route is in Contra Costa County.

Location Postmile
Destinations Notes
Antioch 31.13 30 SR 4 east / SR 160 north – Stockton, Rio Vista, Sacramento Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; SR 4 currently exits; freeway continues as "Bypass Road" [20]
31 Laurel Road
33 Lone Tree Way
East end of freeway
Sand Creek Road Proposed interchange[21]
Balfour Road Proposed interchange[21]
Marsh Creek Road (to SR 4 east), Vasco Road
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
     Concurrency terminus     Closed/Former     Incomplete access     Unopened


  1. ^ a b c California Highways: State Route 4
  2. ^ January 1, 2006 California Log of Bridges on State Highways
  3. ^ CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  4. ^ CA Codes (shc:260-284)
  5. ^ California Department of Transportation, Officially Designated Scenic Highways, accessed 2009-09-14
  6. ^ 2007 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California. Caltrans. pp. 116–117. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  7. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (1999-06-10). "Project to Straighten Out Part of Highway 4". San Francisco Chronicle: pp. A–17. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  8. ^ Faigin, Daniel. "State Route 4". California Highways. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  9. ^ "State Route 4 Bypass Authority". Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  10. ^ a b California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List (XLS file), accessed February 2008
  11. ^ a b California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  12. ^ a b California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
  13. ^ a b California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, State Route 4 Freeway Interchanges, Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
  14. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, State Route 99 Freeway Interchanges, Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
  15. ^ Coetsee, Rowena (May 28, 2010). "Safety fears still dog East County roadway, but opinions differ over causes". San Jose Mercury News. 
  16. ^ Lafferty, Justin (September 29, 2011). "Savings lead to Bypass progress". Brentwood Press. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  17. ^ Coetsee, Rowena (July 8, 2010). "Brentwood to step up enforcement efforts on Highway 4 bypass". Contra Costa Times. 
  18. ^ Lemyre, Rick (November 16, 2011). "Downtown Brentwood: C’mon down!". Brentwood Press. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  19. ^ Roberts, Ruth (August 19, 2011). "Cities ready for highway handover". Brentwood Press. Retrieved 2011-11-23. .
  20. ^ "Caltrans District 4 Photography: Highway 4 Bypass Ribbon Cutting 3-13-08". Caltrans. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  21. ^ a b State Route 4 Bypass Authority: Maps, accessed December 2007

External links

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