Interstate 880

Interstate 880

Interstate 880 marker

Interstate 880
Nimitz Freeway
Route information
Defined by S&HC § 625
Maintained by Caltrans
Length: 45.698 mi[1] (73.544 km)
History: 1930s as a state highway, 1983-84 as an interstate [1]
Major junctions
South end: I-280 (CA).svgCalifornia 17.svg I-280 / SR 17 in San Jose
  US 101 in San Jose
SR 84 in Fremont
SR 92 in Hayward
I-238 (CA).svg Interstate 238 in San Leandro
I-980 (CA).svg Interstate 980 in Oakland
North end: I-80 (CA).svgI-580 (CA).svg I-80 / I-580 in Oakland
Highway system

Auxiliary route of the Interstate Highway System
Main • Auxiliary • Business

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

I-805 SR 905

Interstate 880 (I-880) is an Interstate Highway in the San Francisco Bay Area connecting San Jose and Oakland, running parallel to the southeastern shore of San Francisco Bay. For most of its route, I-880 is officially known as the Nimitz Freeway after World War II fleet admiral Chester Nimitz, who retired to the Bay Area and lived on Yerba Buena Island.

This route is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System.[2]


Route description

The southern terminus of I-880 is at its interchange with Interstate 280 and State Route 17 in San Jose. From there, it heads roughly northeast past the San Jose International Airport to U.S. Route 101. The Nimitz Freeway then turns northwest, running parallel to the southeastern shore of San Francisco Bay, connecting the cities of Milpitas, Fremont, Newark, Union City, Hayward, and San Leandro before reaching Oakland. In Oakland, I-880 passes by Oakland International Airport, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and Downtown Oakland. The northern terminus of I-880 is in Oakland at the junction with Interstate 80 and Interstate 580 (known as the MacArthur Maze), near the eastern approach of the Bay Bridge.

I-880 between I-238 in San Leandro and the MacArthur Maze is used as an alternate truck route; trucks over 4.5 tons are prohibited through Oakland on I-580.[3]

Officially, the Nimitz Freeway designation is Route 880 from Route 101 to Route 80, as named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 23, Chapter 84 in 1958.[4]


The state legislature added the proposed San Jose-Richmond East Shore Highway to the state highway system in 1933, and it became an extension of the previously short (San Rafael to the bay) Legislative Route 69,[5][6] and part of Sign Route 13 (soon changed to 17) in 1934.[7] From San Jose, this route temporarily followed existing Legislative Route 5 (present Oakland Road, Main Street, Milpitas Boulevard, and Warm Springs Boulevard) to SR 21 at Warm Springs, and then continued along existing county roads and city streets,[8] now known as Fremont Boulevard, Alvarado Boulevard, Hesperian Boulevard, Lewelling Boulevard, Washington Avenue, 14th Street, 44th Avenue, 12th Street, 14th Avenue, 8th Street, and 7th Street, into downtown Oakland. It then turned north at Cypress Street (now Mandela Parkway), passing through the Bay Bridge Distribution Structure and following a newly constructed alignment (signed as US 40) to El Cerrito.[9][10]

The first short piece of the new Eastshore Freeway opened to traffic on July 22, 1949, connecting Oak Street downtown with 23rd Avenue.[11][12] It was extended to 98th Avenue on June 1, 1950,[13] Lewelling Boulevard on June 13, 1952,[14] and Jackson Street (SR 92) on June 5, 1953.[15] At the San Jose end, the overlap with Route 5 between Bayshore Highway (US 101) and Warm Springs was bypassed on July 2, 1954.[16] Within Oakland, the double-decker Cypress Street Viaduct opened on June 11, 1957, connecting the freeway with the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge.[17] The Oakland segment was extended south to Fremont Boulevard at Beard Road on November 14, 1957,[18] and the gap was filled on November 24, 1958,[19] soon after the state legislature named the highway after Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.[20] (The short spur to Route 5 at Warm Springs (now SR 262) remained in the state highway system as a branch of Route 69.[21]) As these sections opened, Sign Route 17 (and Legislative Route 69) was moved from its old surface routing, which mostly became local streets. Other than Route 5 south of Warm Springs, the portion from San Leandro into Oakland was also kept as part of Route 105 (now SR 185).[22]

State Route 17

Prior to 1984, the route known as I-880 used to be part of State Route 17. SR 17 used to run from Santa Cruz all the way through San Jose, Oakland; and then continued north via the Eastshore Freeway (Interstate 80) through Richmond to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and San Rafael.

In 1984 the segment of SR 17 from Interstate 280 in San Jose to the MacArthur Maze in Oakland was renumbered as I-880, and the portion of SR 17 from the MacArthur Maze to San Rafael was renumbered as part of I-580.

Nimitz Freeway

In 1947, construction commenced on a freeway to replace the street routing of SR 17 through the East Bay. The new freeway was named the "Eastshore Freeway", and with the subsequent addition of a freeway to replace the Eastshore Highway north of the MacArthur Maze in the mid 1950s, it ran, appropriately, almost the entire length of the east shore of San Francisco Bay. In 1958, the portion south of the MacArthur Maze was re-named the Nimitz Freeway in honor of WWII Admiral Nimitz, while the portion to the north retained the name Eastshore Freeway.

Historic Business U.S. Route 50

The northern portion of I-880 was designated Business U.S. Route 50 for a time between the I-80 interchange and downtown Oakland.

Original routing of I-880 in Sacramento

From 1971 to 1983, Interstate 880 was also the route designation for the Beltline Freeway, the northern bypass freeway for the Sacramento area. This freeway begins in West Sacramento as a fork from the original Interstate 80, continues northeast over the Sacramento River to its interchange with Interstate 5, continues east through the communities of North Sacramento and Del Paso Heights and ends at an interchange with the Roseville Freeway Interstate 80. Watt Avenue, and the now designated Capital City Freeway (which was originally I-80 continuing southwest directly into downtown Sacramento).

Cypress Viaduct Loma Prieta earthquake 1989

Portion of the collapsed Cypress Viaduct in Oakland.

A large double-decker section in Oakland, known as the Cypress Street Viaduct, collapsed during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, causing 42 deaths. This was the greatest loss of life caused by that earthquake. Rebuilding the affected section of the freeway took nearly a decade, due to environmental impact concerns, the feeling that the freeway divided the neighborhood, and design considerations. The freeway reopened in 1997 on a new route parallel to railroad tracks around the outskirts of West Oakland.

Although only about three miles (5 km) in length, the replacement freeway cost over $1.2 billion, for several reasons: it crossed over and under the elevated BART line to San Francisco; it squeezed between a post office, the West Oakland BART station, the Port of Oakland, a rail yard, and a sewage treatment plant; it occupied an entirely new right-of-way, which required the acquisition of large amounts of valuable industrial real estate near the Port of Oakland; and of course, it had to be earthquake-proof.

The former path of the structure, Cypress Street, was renamed Mandela Parkway, and the median where the freeway stood became a landscaped linear park.[23]

Flood plains

Several aspects of the I-880 facility have been constructed in designated floodplains such as the 1990 interchange improvements at Dixon Landing Road. In that case the Federal Highway Administration was required to make a finding that there was no feasible alternative to the new ramp system as designed. In that same study, the FHWA produced an analysis to support the fact that adequate wetlands mitigation had been designed into the improvement project.[24]

Sound barriers

Due to high sound levels generated from this highway and the relatively dense urban development in the highway corridor, Caltrans has conducted numerous studies to retrofit the right-of-way with noise barriers. This activity has occurred in Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Newark and Fremont. During the 1989 widening of I-880 in parts of Newark and Fremont, scientific studies were conducted to determine the need for sound walls and to design optimum heights to achieve Federal noise standards.[25]

Gasoline tanker accident in 2007

On April 29, 2007, a gasoline tanker overturned and caught fire on the connector between westbound I-80 and southbound I-880 on the MacArthur Maze interchange. The fire caused major damage to both this connector and one directly above (eastbound I-80 onto eastbound I-580). The overpass was replaced and re-opened 27 days later. The governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, declared it as a State of emergency and all public transportation was free on the first commute day.[26]

2010 I-880/I-280 Interchange improvement

In 2010 improvements to the I-280/I-880 and Stevens Creek Boulevard interchanges were made. Previously, both interchanges shared a handful of ramps, but they are now independent from one another.[27]


The I-880 Corridor Improvement Project, one of the last seismic retrofit projects of a major transportation corridor in California, consists of eight separate projects located in a 15-mile segment of the freeway between Oakland and Hayward. [28][29]

The overall goal of the project is to improve the seismic safety of the corridor. After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) initiated Phase 1 of its seismic retrofit program. After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, Caltrans initiated Phase 2 of its seismic retrofit program, which included projects along the I-880 corridor. [30] Other goals include reducing traffic congestion and improving road quality. [31]

The individual projects included in the I-880 Corridor Improvement project are the retrofitting or replacement of the 5th Avenue, 23rd Avenue, 23rd Avenue, Fruitvale Avenue, and High Street bridges in Oakland; improvements to both the I-238 and Highway 92 interchanges (the latter, a four year project, completed in October 2011)[32]; and an overall rehabilitation/repaving project along the entire segment. Construction will take place from 2006 to 2014, although individual project schedules vary. The total cost of the project is $462.7 million, provided by federal, state, and regional funds.

Exit list

Note: Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, 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
Santa Clara
SCL 0.00-10.50
San Jose 0.00 SR 17 south – Santa Cruz Continuation beyond I-280
0.00 0A I-280 – San Francisco, Downtown San Jose Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.41 0B Stevens Creek Boulevard, West San Carlos Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1.25 1 Bascom Avenue – Santa Clara Signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north) northbound
2.08 2 SR 82 (The Alameda) – Santa Clara
2.67 3 Coleman Avenue – Mineta San Jose International Airport
3.57 4A First Street – Downtown San Jose
4.08 4 US 101 (Bayshore Freeway) – Los Angeles, San Francisco Signed as exits 4B (south) and 4C (north)
4.28 4D Gish Road Southbound exit provides access to US 101 north; southbound exit is via exit 4C
5.34 5 Brokaw Road
6.71 7 Montague Expressway (CR G4)
Milpitas 7.69 8A Great Mall Parkway, Tasman Drive
8.42 8B SR 237 (Calaveras Boulevard) / McCarthy Boulevard – Mountain View, Milpitas Signed as exits 8B (east) and 8C (west) southbound
10.41 10 Dixon Landing Road
ALA R0.00-R35.47
Fremont 2.28 12 I-680 (CA).svg Warren Avenue, Mission Boulevard (SR 262 east) to I-680 – Sacramento
3.25 13B Fremont Boulevard South, Cushing Parkway
4.71 15 Auto Mall Parkway
6.24 16 Stevenson Boulevard
7.19 17 Mowry Avenue – Central Fremont
8.84 19 SR 84 east (Thornton Avenue) – Central Newark South end of SR 84 overlap
10.30 21 SR 84 west (Decoto Road) – Dumbarton Bridge North end of SR 84 overlap
Union City 11.40 22 Fremont Boulevard North, Alvarado Boulevard
13.05 23 Alvarado Niles Road
13.67 24 Whipple Road, Dyer Street
Hayward 14.54 25 Industrial Parkway Northbound exit is via exit 24
15.65 26 Tennyson Road
16.70 27 SR 92 (Jackson Street) – San Mateo Bridge
17.60 28 Winton Avenue
18.35 29 A Street – San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo 20.16 30 Hesperian Boulevard Northbound exit and southbound entrance
20.32 30 Lewelling Boulevard – San Lorenzo Southbound exit and northbound entrance
San Leandro 20.68 31A I-238 to I-580 – Castro Valley, Stockton, Fresno Signed as exit 31 southbound
20.82 31B Washington Avenue Southbound exit is part of exit 31
22.84 33 Marina Boulevard Signed as exits 33A (east) and 33B (west)
23.64 34 Davis Street (SR 112)
Oakland 24.77 35 98th Avenue – Oakland International Airport
25.50 36 Hegenberger Road – Oakland Coliseum, Oakland International Airport
26.61 37 66th Avenue, Zhone Way – Oakland Coliseum
27.71 38 High Street (SR 77) – Alameda
39A 29th Avenue, Fruitvale Avenue – Alameda
28.93 39B 23rd Avenue – Alameda
40 Embarcadero, Fifth Avenue, 16th Avenue No northbound entrance
31.09 41A Oak Street, Lakeside Drive Northbound exit and southbound entrance
31.2 Jackson Street Northbound entrance only
31.6 41B Broadway (SR 61) – Downtown Oakland Northbound exit and southbound entrance
31.68 42A I-980 east (Grove Shafter Freeway) to SR 24 – Walnut Creek Northbound exit and southbound entrance
32.1 42B Market Street – Harbor Terminal Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R32.79 42 Broadway (SR 61) – Alameda Southbound exit and northbound entrance
44 7th Street, West Grand Avenue
R34.18 46A I-80 west (Bay Bridge) – San Francisco Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R35.47 46B I-80 east (Eastshore Freeway) / I-580 west (MacArthur Freeway) – San Rafael, Sacramento Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
     Concurrency terminus     Closed/Former     Incomplete access     Unopened


  1. ^ a b California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List (XLS file), accessed January 2008
  2. ^ CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  3. ^ "California Interstate Route 580 Special Restriction History". CalTrans. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  4. ^ 2006 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California. Caltrans. pp. 61. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  5. ^ "An act...relating to...the addition of certain highways to the State system.", 1933 chapter 767, p. 2036: "San Jose to Richmond (East Shore Highway)."
  6. ^ "An act to establish a Streets and Highways Code...", 1935 chapter 29, p. 280: "Route 69 is from: (a) Route 1 near San Rafael to Point San Quentin. (b) San Jose to Richmond (East Shore Highway)."
  7. ^ California Highways and Public Works, State Routes will be Numbered and Marked with Distinctive Bear Signs, August 1934
  8. ^ Ben Blow, California Highways: A Descriptive Record of Road Development by the State and by Such Counties as Have Paved Highways, 1920 ( or Google Books), p. 134
  9. ^ H.M. Gousha Company, San Francisco and Vicinity, 1941
  10. ^ United States Geological Survey, San Jose (1943), Pleasanton (1943), Hayward (1942), Concord (1943), and San Francisco (1942), scale 1:62500
  11. ^ Hayward Daily Review, The Beginning of an East Bay Freeway, July 16, 1949
  12. ^ Hayward Daily Review, Editorial Page, July 29, 1949: "Our main complaint with the Freeway is that it's so very short and runs you into dead ends at both 23rd avenue and at Sixth street so that the turn-off is hardly worth the bother."
  13. ^ Oakland Tribune, East Oakland to Celebrate Opening of New Freeway Section, May 28, 1950
  14. ^ Hayward Daily Review, June 13, 1952
  15. ^ Oakland Tribune, New Eastshore Freeway Link Opened With Oakland-Hayward Ceremonies, June 6, 1953
  16. ^ Fresno Bee Republican, Eastshore Freeway is Open to Traffic, July 3, 1954
  17. ^ Oakland Tribune, City Officials to Open Freeway Link, June 6, 1957
  18. ^ Hayward Daily Review, New Freeway Link Ready, November 12, 1957
  19. ^ Oakland Tribune, 250 Officials Hail Freeway Finish, November 25, 1958
  20. ^ "Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 23—Relative to the designation of State Highway 17 as the "Nimitz Freeway."", 1958 resolution chapter 84, p. 154
  21. ^ "An act to amend...the Streets and Highways Code, relating to state highways, providing for a California Freeway and Expressway System...", 1959 chapter 1062, p. 3116: "Route 69 is from: (a) San Jose to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Toll Plaza including a connection to Route 5 near Warm Springs."
  22. ^ "An act to establish a Streets and Highways Code...", 1935 chapter 29, p. 282-283: "Route 105 is from:...(c) Hayward, via Fourteenth Street in San Leandro, to Seventh and Cypress Streets in Oakland."
  23. ^ Google, Inc. Google Maps – Interstate 880 (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc.,+Oakland,+CA+94607&ll=37.813954,-122.292209&spn=0.030501,0.022505&t=k&hl=en. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 
  24. ^ Environmental Assessment for the I-880 Dixon Landing Road Interchange Improvement Project, Cities of Fremont and Milpitas, California, Report EMI 7360, Federal Highway Administration Publication, February, 1989
  25. ^ Acoustical study for the widening of Interstate 880 in the cities of Newark and Fremont, Alameda County, California, Earth Metrics Inc, for the Federal Highway Administration, October, 1989
  26. ^ Tanker accident story
  27. ^ Vink, John A. (July 25, 2009). "Community Meeting reveals I-880/I-280/Stevens Creek/Winchester plans". South Winchester News. 
  28. ^ "Construction along 880 corridor will mean better roads" Heather Ishimaru, KGO-TV(ABC 7), July 14, 2010
  29. ^ "$227 million freeway project will protect Nimitz commuters in Oakland" Cecily Burt, Oakland Tribune, May 12, 2010
  30. ^ Caltrans Seismic Retrofit Program
  31. ^ I-880 Corridor Improvement Project Website
  32. ^
  33. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  34. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2006
  35. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, I-880 Northbound and I-880 Southbound, accessed January 2008

External links

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