California State Route 4

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State Route 4

SR 4 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Caltrans
Length197 mi[1] (317 km)
California Scenic State.svg Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway
RestrictionsSegment through Ebbetts Pass closed in winter
Major junctions
West endSan Pablo Avenue in Hercules
Major intersections
East end SR 89 near Markleeville
CountryUnited States
CountiesContra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Alpine
Highway system
SR 3 I-5
Roadside art, Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway.

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 roughly parallels the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a popular area for boating and fishing, with a number of accesses to marinas and other attractions. After crossing the Central Valley, the highway ascends up the Sierra foothills. It passes through Ebbetts Pass and contains the Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, a National Scenic Byway.

Route description

Intersection of California State Routes 4 & 89
Interstate 680 crossing State Route 4, with Mount Diablo rising in background. September 30, 2007.

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 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 is located directly north of Route 4 on Alhambra Avenue in Martinez. Alhambra Avenue at SR 4 is also the site of the Franklin Canyon Adobe. Two gauges of BART tracks run in the median of the freeway from the Port Chicago Highway interchange in Concord to just east of the Hillcrest Avenue interchange in Antioch, where the light rail line currently ends at the Antioch station.[3] After Antioch, the freeway turns southward at its intersection with State Route 160, turning into a suburban and rural road bypassing the Bay Area's rapidly growing and outermost eastern suburbs (Oakley, Brentwood and Discovery Bay, California); and continues east across Victoria Island.[4] This section is also known as the John Marsh Heritage Highway.

Route 4 east 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) Pacific Grade Summit on its way up to the 8,730 ft (2,660 m) Ebbetts Pass and ends at State Route 89 ten miles (16 km) west of Topaz Lake, on the California–Nevada border. However, "To SR 4" signage continues along southbound SR 89 north to near its intersection with SR 88 in Woodfords, including reassurance shields for both SR 89 and SR 4 on top of the mileage sign just south of town.[5] 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 eventually single-track, with no center dividing line shortly after the Mount Reba Turnoff to Bear Valley Ski area, with tight switchbacks. Ebbetts Pass is not plowed for snow, and thus closes during the winter months, often from November through as late as May, blocking through traffic between the Mount Reba Turnoff and Markleeville.[6]

SR 4 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System,[7] and from just west of Stockton to SR 49 is part of the National Highway System,[8] a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.[9] SR 4 is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System;[10] however, it is only a scenic highway as designated by Caltrans from a point east of Arnold to SR 89,[11] meaning that it is a substantial section of highway passing through a "memorable landscape" with no "visual intrusions", where the potential designation has gained popular favor with the community.[12] SR 4 is also known as part of the John Muir Parkway from I-80 in Hercules to I-680 near Martinez, named for the environmentalist John Muir.[13] The stretch through Franklin Canyon was once known as "Blood Alley".[14]


Although segments of Route 4 had been part of the state highway system since 1909, Route 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 Route 4 did not finish until 1935, however.[2]

The portion of Route 4 from US Route 40 to State Route 24 was added to the highway system in 1933 as Legislative Route Number (LRN) 106. East of the concurrency with State Route 24 to State Route 49, Route 4 was designated as LRN 75 from 1931 to 1934. Finally, the segment from State Route 49 to State Route 89 was signed as LRN 24 from 1909 to 1934.[2]

In the 1970s, a significant portion of the Filipino American community of "Little Manila" in Stockton was demolished when the "Crosstown Freeway" was constructed,[15] displacing what was once the largest population of Filipinos outside of the Philippines.[16] The freeway, while not yet designated SR 4, was initially constructed from a long-term temporary west end at Fresno Avenue, past I-5, up to a temporary east end at Stanislaus Street, essentially becoming a "freeway to nowhere." In 1993, construction of the Crosstown Freeway from Stanislaus Street to SR 99 was finally completed. It is officially the Ort J. Lofthus Freeway for which it is named after the local civic leader lobbied to get construction of the freeway finished.[17] SR 4, which originally was routed on Charter Way (now Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) and portions of Mariposa and Farmington Roads, transferred its designation onto the Crosstown between I-5 and SR 99. In December 2016, the Crosstown Freeway west of I-5 (though technically not part of SR 4) was extended to Navy Drive via a viaduct bypassing the Boggs Tract neighborhood in Stockton. The connection to Fresno Avenue was subsequently closed to traffic permanently. This was to alleviate heavy traffic to and from the Port of Stockton that plagued the Boggs Tract neighborhood for several decades.[18] Despite being in the planning books for decades, it is unclear if the Crosstown Freeway past Navy Drive will ever be extended to SR 4 west of Stockton.

From 1998 to 2009, a road built by the State Route 4 Bypass Authority, named the State Route 4 Bypass, opened in three phases, bypassing Route 4 in Oakley and Brentwood to the south and west.[19][20] Many of the signs and local maps designated this extension as simply "Bypass Road". A section of Marsh Creek Road was widened to serve as the connection between the bypass built by the authority and the original Route 4 towards Stockton. In 2012, Caltrans handed over authority for State Route 4 in Oakley and Brentwood to the respective cities. In return, it gained control of the bypass and the upgraded section of Marsh Creek Road, which officially became State Route 4.[21]

Construction is currently underway on widening the freeway section of Route 4 through Antioch, Oakley and Brentwood, with the final configuration as three mixed use lanes and one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction and auxiliary lanes between interchanges as far as the interchange with Route 160. The median accommodates the eBART extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. All work at the Loveridge Road and Somersville Road/Auto Center Drive interchanges has been completed; however, the HOV lane east of the Loveridge Road overpass remains closed pending completion of construction at the L Street/Contra Loma Boulevard and A Street/Lone Tree Way interchanges. Speed on the freeway through the Antioch portion of Route 4 is limited to 55 miles per hour (89 kilometers per hour), as there is severe congestion, as well as areas where no shoulder exists due to temporary concrete barriers in place.

Only the portion of the bypass from SR 160 to the Balfour Road interchange is a multi-lane freeway. The portion from Balfour Road to Vasco Road is single-lane each way and has a signal-controlled grade crossing at Marsh Creek Road. In May 2010, this narrow stretch of the road handled 27,000 to 30,000 vehicles per day.[22] In 2011, Caltrans awarded $25 million toward upgrading the section from Lone Tree Way to Sand Creek Road to a full freeway and constructing an interchange at Sand Creek Road.[23]

Soon after the Sand Creek interchange was opened in Brentwood in 2015, construction began on widening SR 4 to Balfour Road, the next major interchange planned for Brentwood. In 2017, work commenced on the Balfour interchange, which provided a 2-lane overpass for SR 4 and widened it a short distance beyond the Balfour exit.[24]

In early March 2016, reconfiguration of the intersection of SR 4 and SR 160 was officially opened, allowing westbound SR 4 traffic to access northbound SR 160 directly and southbound SR 160 to access eastbound SR 4.[25]

The freeway segment of SR 4 in Stockton is part of a proposed route to upgrade SR 99 into I-7 or I-9. 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.[26]

In 2016, Pittsburg moved to install surveillance cameras along their portion of the route, in response to a series of 20 freeway shootings in the area that had taken the lives of six people, and injured 11, in the past year.[27]

Major intersections

Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, based on the alignment that existed at the time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers to an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary (for a full list of prefixes, see California postmile § Official postmile definitions).[28] Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.

Contra Costa
CC 0.00-48.39
Hercules0.00John Muir ParkwayContiunation beyond San Pablo Avenue
0.001ASan Pablo AvenueAt-grade intersection; former US 40; west end of SR 4
0.001B I-80 – Oakland, San Francisco, SacramentoNo exit number eastbound; I-80 exit 23; no eastbound entrance from I-80 west
0.781CWillow Avenue – HerculesNo eastbound exit
R1.701Sycamore AvenueEastbound signage
Claeys LaneWestbound signage; no exit number westbound
East end of freeway (eastbound only)
2.703Franklin CanyonAt-grade intersection eastbound; interchange westbound
West end of freeway (eastbound only)

Cummings Skyway to I-80 east – Port Costa, Crockett, Vallejo
R5.176McEwen Road – Port CostaWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
MartinezR8.559Alhambra Avenue – Martinez
R9.1910Pine Street, Center Avenue
R10.3311Morello Avenue, Glacier Drive
12.4112APacheco Boulevard – PachecoFormer SR 21
12.6712 I-680 – Benicia, Sacramento, Walnut Creek, San JoseSigned as exits 12B (south) and 12C (north); I-680 exit 53
ConcordR13.6513Solano Way
R14.6715A SR 242 – Concord, OaklandSR 242 exits 3B-C; former SR 24
R15.4215BPort Chicago Highway
R16.8317Willow Pass Road
PittsburgR18.8319San Marco Boulevard – Bay Point
R20.1020Bailey RoadSigned as exits 20A (south) and 20B (north)
23.0523Railroad Avenue, Harbor Street
24.3224Loveridge Road – Pittsburg
Antioch26.0126Somersville Road, Auto Center Drive
26.9427L Street, Contra Loma BoulevardFormer exit 27A eastbound
27.2927BG Street – Central AntiochClosed; former eastbound exit and westbound entrance
R27.7928Lone Tree Way, A Street
R28.9429Hillcrest Avenue
SR 160 north – Rio Vista, Sacramento
Former SR 4 east; west end of bypass; westbound exit and eastbound entrance opened March 2016
R31.3831Laurel Road
BrentwoodR32.9933Lone Tree Way
R34.2934Sand Creek Road
R35.5835Balfour RoadFormer at-grade intersection; interchange opened December 2018
East end of freeway
R38.01Marsh Creek Road, Vasco Road – Concord, LivermoreEast end of bypass
43.97Byron Highway, Marsh Creek Road – BrentwoodByron Highway was former SR 4 west
ByronR44.37 CR J4 (Byron Highway) – Byron, Tracy
San Joaquin
SJ 0.00-38.06
5.96 CR J2 (Tracy Boulevard) – Tracy
25.36[N 1]

I-5 south / Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (SR 4 Bus. east) – Tracy, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Angels Camp
Interchange; west end of I-5 overlap; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was former SR 4 east / Charter Way; SR 4 west follows I-5 exit 471
West end of freeway on I-5
26.19[N 1]
I-5 north / Navy Drive – Sacramento
East end of I-5 overlap; SR 4 east follows I-5 exit 472; Navy Drive serves Port of Stockton
R16.6266AEl Dorado Street / Center Street – Downtown StocktonServes Stockton Arena and Ballpark; eastbound exit via I-5 exit 472
R17.0566BStanislaus Street – Downtown StocktonSigned as exit 66 eastbound
R17.7167Wilson Way (SR 99 Bus.)Former US 50 / US 99
R18.7768AFilbert StreetSigned as exit 68 westbound
18.68[N 2]
SR 99 north – Sacramento
West end of SR 99 overlap; SR 4 west follows exit 254A
18.15[N 2]253Main StreetClosed; former westbound exit only
18.02[N 2]253Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. BoulevardClosed; former interchange with no westbound exit; currently accessible via Golden Gate Avenue; former SR 26 west / Charter Way
East end of freeway on SR 99
17.50[N 2]

SR 99 south / Golden Gate Avenue / Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard – Fresno
Interchange; east end of SR 99 overlap; SR 4 east follows SR 99 exit 252B
Farmington Road (SR 4 Bus. west)Former SR 4 west
24.87 CR J5 (Jack Tone Road) – Lockeford, Ripon
Farmington33.10 CR J6 (Escalon-Bellota Road) – Escalon
STA 0.00-8.89
4.54 CR J14 (Milton Road) – Milton, Eugene
CAL R0.00-R65.87
CopperopolisR8.14 CR E15 (O'Byrnes Ferry Road) / Rock Creek Road – Copperopolis
Angels CampR21.09

SR 49 / SR 4 Bus. east – San Andreas, Sonora

SR 4 Bus. west – Angels Camp, Sonora
Former SR 4 west
Vallecito26.22 CR E18 (Parrotts Ferry Road) – Moaning Cavern
ALP R0.00-31.68
R2.91 SR 207 (Mount Reba Road) – Bear Valley Ski Area
Lake Alpine East Shore4.63Eastbound winter closure gate
18.56[33]Ebbetts Pass (closed in winters),
elevation 8,730 feet (2,660 m)[33]
31.68Westbound winter closure gate

SR 89 to US 395 – Markleeville, Monitor Pass
East end of SR 4; SR 89 south through Monitor Pass closed in winters
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  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.

Angels Camp business route

Business plate California.svg

State Route 4 Business

LocationAngels Camp, California

State Route 4 Business is a locally maintained business loop within the city of Angels Camp, California. It was established in August 2013 to attract customers to businesses along the parent route's former alignment, prior to the completion of the Angels Camp Bypass. It runs along South Main Street (co-signed with State Route 49), between State Route 4 and Vallecito Road, then turns east along Vallecito Road.[34][35]

SR-4/I-680 interchange improvements

On February 1, 2019, the Brentwood Press newspaper reported that officials representing the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) had held a groundbreaking ceremony to start a project that is intended to reduce congestion at the SR 4/I-680 interchange just outside Martinez. The multiphase project will widen SR 4 by adding a third lane in each direction, beginning at Morello Avenue in Martinez and ending at the merge of SR 4 and SR 242.[a] It will also include replacing the 50-year-old Grayson Creek Bridge, which has outlived its serviceable life and does not meet current bridge safety codes. The project will impact about 4 miles (6.4 km) of SR 4. Although no schedule or end date has been announced, the officials said that the estimated cost is about $136 million (in 2018 dollars).[36]


  1. ^ The Caltrans representative noted that the interchange currently handles more than 100,000 cars per day.[36]


  1. ^ "January 1, 2006 California Log of Bridges on State Highways". California Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2011-11-29. Does not reflect the transfer of the State Route 4 Bypass to Caltrans in 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "California Highways: State Route 4". Retrieved 2011-11-29.
  3. ^ Szymanski, Kyle. "eBART extension to Brentwood still a distant idea". The Press. Brentwood, California: Brentwood Press & Publishing. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  4. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  5. ^ "Google Maps". Google Street View - Google Maps. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Winter Driving Tips". Caltrans. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  7. ^ "Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets and Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  8. ^ Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: Stockton, CA (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
    Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: California (North) (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  9. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  10. ^ "Article 2.5 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets & Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  11. ^ California Department of Transportation (August 2019). "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways" (XLSX). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  12. ^ California Department of Transportation (2012). Scenic Highway Guidelines (PDF). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. p. 5. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  13. ^ California Department of Transportation; California State Transportation Agency (January 2021). 2020 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California (PDF). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. pp. 7, 310. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2022. {{cite book}}: |archive-date= / |archive-url= timestamp mismatch; October 10, 2022 suggested (help)
  14. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (1999-06-10). "Project to Straighten Out Part of Highway 4". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. A–17. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
  15. ^ Antonio T. Tiongson; Edgardo V. Gutierrez; Ricardo Valencia Gutierrez; Dawn Bohulano Mabalon (2006). "Losing Little Manila: Race and Redevelopment in Filipina/o Stockton, California". Positively No Filipinos Allowed: Building Communities and Discourse. Temple University Press. pp. 73–89. ISBN 978-1-59213-123-5.
  16. ^ Deborah Kong (26 December 2002). "Filipino Americans work to preserve heritage". Star Bulletin. Honolulu. Associated Press. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
    Rachael Myrow (2 September 2013). "Stockton's Little Manila: the Heart of Filipino California". KQED. San Francisco. Archived from the original on 2014-12-23. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
    "Little Manila: Filipinos in California's Heartland". KVIE. 2014. Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Ort J. Lofthus Crosstown Freeway Historical Marker". The Historical Marker Database. J. J. Prats. April 29, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  18. ^ "Projects: San Joaquin Council of Governments, CA". San Joaquin Council of Governments. CivicPlus. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  19. ^ Faigin, Daniel. "State Route 4". California Highways. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  20. ^ "State Route 4 Bypass Authority". Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  21. ^ Lafferty, Justin (January 26, 2012). "Brentwood, Oakley celebrate Highway 4 transfer". Brentwood Press. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  22. ^ Coetsee, Rowena (May 28, 2010). "Safety fears still dog East County roadway, but opinions differ over causes". San Jose Mercury News.
  23. ^ Lafferty, Justin (September 29, 2011). "Savings lead to Bypass progress". Brentwood Press. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
  24. ^ Archived 2017-07-30 at the Wayback Machine "CCTA – SR4 / Balfour Road Interchange." June 17, 2014.] Accessed July 29, 2017
  25. ^ Szymanski, Kyle. "East County connector ramps open." Brentwood Press. March 4, 2016. Accessed March 5, 2016.
  26. ^ "Chapter 3" (PDF). Caltrans Route 99 Enhancement Plan (PDF). California Department of Transportation. Interstate designation, under the current proposal, would apply to the 260-mile (420 km) segment between the junction of State Route 99 with I-5 south of Bakersfield to I-5 in Stockton using State Route 4 as the connector to I-5. Since there is an I-99 route currently in existence in Pennsylvania, it is anticipated that should designation be granted, the Route 99 designation would become either I-7 or I-9 to satisfy Interstate numbering convention.
  27. ^ "Authorities move to stop Northern California highway killings". 2016-05-17.
  28. ^ a b California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (XLS file) on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  29. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  30. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
  31. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, State Route 4 Freeway Interchanges, Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
  32. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, State Route 99 Freeway Interchanges, Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
  33. ^ a b "Elevation and Location of Summits and Passes in California". California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on March 1, 2017.
  34. ^ Petesen, Tracey (15 August 2013). "Directing Traffic Downtown". My Mother Lode. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  35. ^ City of Angels Camp, CA. "CITY OF ANGELS CITY COUNCIL MINUTES" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014. CONSIDERATION OF ESTABLISHING PORTIONS OF SR49 AND VALLECITO ROAD AS A BUSINESS ROUTE MOTION by Council Member Lynch, seconded by council Member Kulm and carried 4-0 APPROVING PORTIONS OF SR49 AND VALLECITO ROAD BE ESTABLISHED AS BUSINESS ROUTE.
  36. ^ a b "Interstate 680 construction gets underway. Brentwood Press. February 1, 2019. Accessed February 5, 2019.

External links