California State Route 87

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State Route 87

Guadalupe Freeway
Route information
Maintained by Caltrans
Length9 mi[1] (14 km)
Existed1964 renumbering[2]–present
Major junctions
South end SR 85 in San Jose
Major intersections I-280 in San Jose
North end US 101 in San Jose
CountryUnited States
CountiesSanta Clara
Highway system
SR 86 SR 88

State Route 87 (SR 87), known as the Guadalupe Freeway or referred to by the locals as Highway 87, is a north–south state highway in San Jose, California, United States. Before being upgraded to a freeway, it was Guadalupe Parkway (and some signs still refer to it that way).

For most of its length, especially in Downtown San Jose, the highway follows the course of the Guadalupe River. Its southern terminus is at SR 85, and its northern terminus is at U.S. Route 101 (US 101) just north of San Jose International Airport. Unusually, it crosses over Interstate 880 (I-880) without an interchange.[3]

Route description

SR 87 intersecting with I-280 in Downtown San Jose
SR 87 looking north towards downtown San Jose from Communications Hill in 2006. VTA light rail runs between the northbound and southbound lanes; the freeway was under construction to add an additional lane in both directions.

The route is almost entirely within the city of San Jose, California. A very small portion between the Curtner Avenue exit and the Capitol Expressway Auto Mall exit is in unincorporated Santa Clara County.

SR 87 initially had 2 lanes in each direction for its entire length. Carpool lanes were added north of Taylor Street in 2005 and the remainder of the freeway in 2007.

SR 87 begins at SR 85 in southern San Jose. VTA light-rails run parallel to this freeway from SR 85 to I-280. After intersecting CR G21, SR 87 runs through a small pass in Communications Hill. SR 87 intersects I-280 in southwestern Downtown San Jose, then runs parallel to the western border of Downtown San Jose. SR 87 then runs east of the Mineta San Jose International Airport before terminating at US 101 in northwestern San Jose. This route is unconstructed from US 101 to SR 237 in Santa Clara, legislatively defined to run north from US 101 through suburban San Jose and Santa Clara, terminating at SR 237, as this route is defined as (a) Route 85 in the vicinity of Santa Teresa Boulevard to Route 101 in the vicinity of Guadalupe River and (b) San Jose easterly of Route 101 to Route 237.[4]

SR 87 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System,[5] and is part of the National Highway System,[6] a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.[7] In 2014, SR 87 had an annual average daily traffic (AADT) of 88,000 at US 101, and 176,000 between I-280 and CR G8, the latter of which was the highest AADT for the highway.[8]

I-880 Overcrossing

Unusually, SR 87 crosses above I-880 without an interchange. Located between Taylor Street and Skyport Drive, the site where the two freeways cross has two restrictions that prevent the construction of any connecting ramps. First, because of its proximity to the runways at San Jose International Airport, any elevated ramps running above the SR 87 mainline would interfere with flight paths. Second, tunneling underneath would leave a significant environmental impact on the nearby Guadalupe River.[3] Drivers from SR 87 to I-880 and vice versa have to use First Street, Taylor Street, and Coleman Avenue to get on the freeways.

SR 87 Bikeway

The SR 87 Bikeway is a 4.1-mile-long (6.6 km) pedestrian and bicycle path that runs alongside portions of SR 87. The path was constructed by Caltrans as part of the final phase of the SR 87 project. It opened to the public on September 1, 1993.[9] The north end of this path is at Willow Street (north of the Alma Street exit). The south end is at the 87-85 interchange. Along this route, the path runs along the east side of the freeway. The path diverges from the freeway for 0.7 miles (1.1 km) near Curtner Avenue and again for 1.1 miles (1.8 km) near Capitol Expressway, running along city streets near the highway. This path provides connections for other trails in the area, including the Guadalupe River Trail and Los Gatos Creek Trail.[10]


A Guadalupe Parkway connection between Downtown San Jose and the present day US 101 had existed since the early 1960s; the road channeled traffic between the Bayshore Freeway and ramps that connected directly to Market Street. However, construction on a freeway over the same path and southward beyond Downtown began a decade later and stretched across 30 years.

The first stage of the SR 87 freeway, its 4-level interchange with I-280, replaced an old downtown neighborhood in the mid 1960s. A ramp to Julian Street, north of the interchange with I-280, was completed in the mid-1970s. The freeway extension north to Taylor Street was completed in May 1988. Construction of SR 87 in the 1980s is shown in this photo. The southern part, from I-280 to SR 85, was opened to Almaden Expressway in September–October 1992 and to SR 85 in August 1993, built in conjunction with the construction of a light rail line. Local-express lanes were constructed along this segment, the Northbound segment running from I-280 to Julian Street and the Southbound extension from I-280 to Alma Avenue. At SR 87's northern terminus, its 3-level interchange with Highway 101 and North First Street was completed in 1992. Finally, with all grade-level intersections replaced by grade separations, construction of the six-lane freeway between Taylor Street and the Highway 101/North First interchange began in the late 1990s was completed in 2004, and the name Guadalupe Parkway stopped being used (except on some signs). The final ramps at the Skyport interchange opened in 2005. The widening of the southern segment, from Taylor Street to Highway 85, to six lanes was completed in 2007. In each direction, two lanes are for regular traffic and one lane is an HOV lane.[11]

The right-of-way for SR 87 south of I-280 includes two tracks for the Guadalupe line of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail system. Stations are accessible from the streets via staircases and elevators. Beyond 87's terminus, the line continues southeastward in the median of SR 85.

State Route 87

LocationSan FranciscoSan Jose
Existed1964–1980 north of US 101

SR 87, as once defined legislatively, would have extended from its current northern terminus, skirting the edge of San Francisco Bay as the Bayfront Freeway to San Francisco. This would have provided an eastern bypass to US 101 along the Peninsula (US 101 itself being originally a bypass to El Camino Real along the Peninsula). The route would have ended at SR 480 (the Embarcadero Freeway) practically underneath the Bay Bridge, and it would also have connected to the approaches of the unconstructed San Francisco Bay Southern Crossing. Along with SR 61, a similar project on the eastern shore of the Bay, this portion of SR 87 was abandoned due to local opposition to the project that would have destroyed a nearly pristine wildlife habitat. In 1980, the route was truncated to end at SR 237.[2]

A resolution of the state legislature in 2007 named a section of this highway (between I-280 and Julian Street/Santa Clara Street) the Lewis E. Platt Memorial Highway (honoring the late chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard who successful campaigned for local ballots to fund transportation improvements), and required that signage be paid by private donations.[12]


The high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on SR 87 are proposed to be converted into high-occupancy toll lanes. The date of conversion isn't certain, but Plan Bay Area plans for the project to be completed by 2018 and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) plans it by 2020.[13] Caltrans' post-25 year concept also proposes an additional express lane in each direction.[13]

Exit list

The entire route is in San Jose, Santa Clara County.

SR 85 south (West Valley Freeway) – Gilroy
Southern terminus; SR 85 exit 5B
SR 85 north (West Valley Freeway) – Mountain View
SR 85 exit 5A
0.000.001CSanta Teresa BoulevardSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
1.342.161DCapitol Expressway Auto Mall (CR G21)Signed as exit 1 northbound
2.834.553ACurtner AvenueSigned as exit 3 northbound
3.355.393BAlmaden Expressway (CR G8)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
4.126.634Alma AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
I-280 to I-680 – San Francisco, Sacramento
I-280 exit 3A
San Carlos Street / Auzerais Street / Park Avenue to SR 82
C/D lanes provide northbound access to Santa Clara St. and Julian St. exits; signed as exit 6A southbound; Park Ave. not signed northbound, Auzerais St. not signed southbound
6.109.82Santa Clara Street (SR 82)Northbound exit only; accessible from C/D lanes
6.109.82Julian Street / St. James StreetNorthbound access from C/D lanes; signed as exit 6B southbound; St. James St. not signed northbound
Market Street, Coleman AveFormer southbound exit and northbound entrance; closed in 2002 during construction of northern freeway segment;
6.8010.947Taylor StreetSingle-point urban interchange (SPUI); opened in 2003-05
Hedding StreetFormer intersection; closed in 2004 during construction of northern freeway segment
I-880 (Nimitz Freeway)Closed, as the proximity to both the Guadalupe River and San Jose International Airport makes the construction of ramps impractical
8.3113.378 Skyport Drive – Mineta San Jose International AirportSPUI; opened in 2004; former intersection

Airport Parkway / Brokaw Road to US 101 south
Former intersection; closed in 2004 during construction of northern freeway segment;
9.2214.849ANorth First StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
9.2214.84391Trimble Road / De La Cruz BoulevardNorthbound exit only; exit number follows US 101
US 101 north (Bayshore Freeway) – San Francisco
No access to US 101 south; northern terminus; US 101 south exit 390
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.
  2. ^ a b California Highways: State Route 87
  3. ^ a b Richards, Gary (July 23, 2007). "Missed connection: Why there is no interchange at Hwy. 87 and I-880". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
  4. ^ "STREETS AND HIGHWAYS CODE SECTION 300-635". CA Codes. CalTrans. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets and Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  6. ^
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ California Department of Transportation (2014). "All Traffic Volumes on CSHS". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  9. ^ Kava, Brad (1993-09-17). "Highway 87, The Way to San Jose". San Jose Mercury News. p. 1C. {{cite news}}: |url-access= requires |url= (help)
  10. ^ "Highway 87 Bikeway". Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services. City of San Jose. 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  11. ^ "South Bay Carpool Lanes". 511 Rideshare Carpool Lanes. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  12. ^ Simitian, Saren Joseph; Alquist, Elaine Kontominas (April 29, 2007). "Lewis E. Platt Memorial Highway". California State Senate. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Schermer, Frederick; Oakes, Cameron (24 October 2014). "State Route 87 Transportation Concept Report Draft" (PDF). California Department of Transportation. pp. 1–4. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  14. ^ a b Warring, KS (March 7, 2008). "State Route 87 Freeway Interchanges" (PDF). California Numbered Exit Uniform System. California Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 1, 2014.

External links