Interstate Business Route 5

Interstate 5 has plenty of business routes, but none of them are particularly well-signed, due to the fact that most of them are locally maintained rather than state maintained.

Location Status Description
San Ysidro (San Diego), National City, and Chula Vista Decommissioned According to many maps from the 1960s, the original route of U.S. 101 (Beyer Boulevard, Broadway, Harbor Drive, and Pacific Highway) was signed for a time as Business Loop I-5. However, all references and signage for this route were removed by the 1990s.
San Diego Decommissioned with Remnant Signage This short, less-than-a-mile-long section of Mission Bay Drive near Pacific Beach, is the original U.S. 101 Pacific Highway. To get to Balboa Avenue (former California 274) and Garnet Avenue from southbound Interstate 5, you must use Mission Bay Driver (Old Business Loop I-5 and U.S. 101). A "Route 5 Business Next Right" sign remains posted on southbound Interstate 5 until a vehicle accident knocked it out in late 2008. All of the reassurance shields for this route save one is gone; most were removed in 2004-2005. According to the California State Highway System Signing Log (October, 1991), all of the Business Loops along Interstate 5 in Southern California do not exist.
San Diego - Del Mar - Solana Beach - Encinitas (Leucadia/ Cardiff) - Carlsbad - Oceanside Decommissioned This former business route is now San Diego County Route S-21 (a.k.a. Torrey Pines Road, Camino del Mar, Coast Highway 101, Carlsbad Boulevard, and Coast Highway) along the original U.S. 101 routing. This routing appears on early 1960s ACSC (Auto Club of Southern California, a branch of the national AAA) maps, especially when the freeway only bypassed Oceanside and Carlsbad as far south as Palomar Airport Road (San Diego County Route S-12). A mid-1960s Automobile Club Association of Southern California showed portions of former Business Loop I-5 along what is now Historic U.S. 101/Coast Highway through Oceanside and Carlsbad. A remnant of this long business route is perhaps the Solana Beach business loop (next entry).
Solana Beach and Del Mar Decommissioned with Remnant Signage This instance of Business Loop I-5 followed San Diego County Route S-6 (Via de la Valle), San Diego County Route S-21 (Coast Highway 101/Old U.S. 101), and San Diego County Route S-8 (Lomas Santa Fe Drive). For whatever reason, this business loop is only signed with a couple shields at the Via de la Valle exit near the Del Mar Racetrack south of Solana Beach, including an "END Business Loop I-5" shield assembly. The mainline "Route 5 Business Next Right" sign was removed from northbound lanes in 2000. The remainder of the loop is completely unsigned, and there are no signs at all along San Diego County Route S-8.
San Clemente Decommissioned with Remnant Signage This business route is supposed to follow El Camino Real through the center of San Clemente. Most of this business loop is signed with "To Interstate 5" shield assemblies rather than green business loop signs. The only sign left for this route is along northbound at the Cristianitos Road exit; the replacement sign kept the "Route 5 Business Next Right" in place. Our guess is that this sign is still shown because Caltrans District 11 may not have received the memo from Caltrans District 12 that the business route is no longer signed within San Clemente.
Los Angeles Decommissioned A former business loop for Interstate 5 used to follow the alignment of Historic U.S. 6-99 on San Fernando Road. Portions were briefly posted as Business U.S. 99 according to Rand McNally maps in the 1950s-1960s. It is unclear if this was ever signed as Business Loop I-5 (according to Daniel Faigin's page, it was signed as an Interstate 5 business route in the early 1970s), but it has certainly been in every Rand McNally map of the Los Angeles metropolitan area since the 1960s. This route is now signed as Historic U.S. 99.
Coalinga Decommissioned A Compass map from the early 1990s depicts a business loop through Coalinga, originating at Interstate 5 Exit 325 and ending at Exit 337. The business route traveled west along Jayne Avenue, north/west on California 33/Jayne Avenue, north/west on California 33/Polk Street, north/east on California 33-198/Elm Avenue, and north on California 33/Coalinga-Fresno Road. It is unclear whether AASHTO ever approved this route, whether it was ever signed, and if Caltrans officially recognized the route since it did not appear in the system signing log from 1991. No business loop signs are present along the intended route.
Woodland Active Business Loop I-5 in Woodland follows portions of Historic U.S. 99W, the Main Street through Woodland. It begins at Interstate 5 Exit 537 and ends at Exit 540. The route travels east along Main Street, then turns north along Road 98 (where it shares pavement with California 16 and Yolo County Route E-7) Originally, the east-west portion of this business loop was California 16. Today, only the north-south portion is part of California 16. Traveling south along Interstate 5, in Woodland at the Road 98 (West California 16) exit, there is a Route 5 Business sign along the freeway. The first Business Loop I-5 shield is posted east of downtown Woodland at the Interstate 5 interchange, but signage is sporadic until the junction with California 16 west. There are few if any Business Loop I-5 signs in town and there is nothing at the southern junction with I-5 at the south end of Woodland. According to the California State Highway System Signing Log (October, 1991), Business Loop I-5 in Woodland runs from "Interstate 5 and Main Street undercrossing over Main Street and California 16 (County Road 98) to Interstate 5 at the County Road 18 overcrossing."
Arbuckle Active Business Loop I-5 follows Historic U.S. 99W along Fifth Street. We are convinced Arbuckle is one of the smallest towns in the country with its own Interstate business loop. There are some small towns in Idaho and Texas that may well compete with Arbuckle for this honor. According to the California State Highway System Signing Log (October, 1991), Business Loop I-5 in Arbuckle runs from "Interstate 5 and Hillgate Road undercrossing over Fifth Street to Interstate 5 and North Arbuckle undercrossing."
Williams and Maxwell Active This lengthy business route exits Interstate 5 at the Husted Road exit, then turns north on Old Hwy 99W, part of which is known as Seventh Street. Business Loop Interstate 5 and Business California 20 meet in downtown Williams, a town which has seen a renaissance due to hotel and restaurant growth along the Interstate. There is an "END" Business Loop 5 sign at the southern end of the loop. Closer to Maxwell is an "albino" business loop shield - it is so old and faded, the whole shield is white (see the picture on the Interstate 5 Roadtrip page). This business loop connects directly to the Willows/Orland loop via old U.S. 99W, but it is not continuously signed between the two loops. According to the California State Highway System Signing Log (October, 1991), Business Loop I-5 in Williams runs "from Interstate 5 and Husted Road overcrossing over old U.S. Highway 99W, Seventh Street, and old U.S. Highway 99W to Interstate 5 and the North Maxwell overcrossing" for approximately 13.5 miles. There is a 12-mile gap between the north end of this business loop and the south end of the Willows/Orland business loop.
Willows and Orland Active Business Loop I-5 through Willows and Orland follow Road 99W (Old U.S. 99W). This business loop's northern end is at Glenn County Road 7, just before the Tehama County Line and several miles south of Corning. Therefore, Corning is not served by an instance of a business connection from Interstate 5. According to Jerry Mullady, at both Orland and Willows there is a small sign at the primary exits that has a small Interstate 5 trailblazer with the word business. But there are few business loop signs in the towns. The August 1998 California State Automobile Association Northern California Section map clearly marks Business Loop 5 along Road 99W. At the southbound Maxwell exit there is a Route 5 Business/Freeway sign (like the one at Arbuckle). According to the California State Highway System Signing Log (October, 1991), Business Loop I-5 in Willows and Orland runs from "Interstate 5 and County Road 57 overcrossing via old U.S. 99W and County Road 7 to Interstate 5 and County Road 7 overcrossing" for approximately 21 miles. Therefore, this loop does not connect with the Williams/Maxwell loop.
Red Bluff Active According to the California State Highway System Signing Log (October, 1991), Business Loop I-5 in Red Bluff follows Main Street (old U.S. 99W). According to Jerry Mullady, there is no sign from the Interstate 5 freeway southbound indicating that Main Street in Red Bluff is Business Loop I-5, but there is a Historical U.S. 99 Trailblazer with an arrow for the exit. Once you leave the freeway there is a Business Loop I-5 sign on the old U.S. 99 route. There are more Business Loop I-5 signs than Historical U.S. 99. Once sees the real historical U.S. 99 when the old Southern Pacific Railroad (Union Pacific) tracks join the highway from the northwest at the west California 36 junction. Historical U.S. 99 is marked in Red Bluff alongside Business Loop I-5, California 36, and California 99. There is a bridge west of the business loop on the north side of town near the California Highway Patrol post that might be part of the original U.S. 99. There are no more Business Loop 5 signs south of the California 36 eastbound turnoff, but there is one at the exit going northbound at the south end of town. At the south end of town there is another Route 5 Business sign at the Historical U.S. 99 sign. Incidentally, for about 2.5 miles south of Red Bluff, I-5 is six lanes. According to the Redding Record Searchlight, there were plans to extend the California 99 freeway from Red Bluff southeast to Chico, beginning at the southern end of the six-lane section. The article went on to say that it was canceled during Governor Jerry Brown's anti-freeway days.
Cottonwood Decommissioned According to Jerry Mullady, there used to be a sign for Business Loop I-5 along northbound at Exit 662, Bowman Road/Cottonwood, with a sign that used to read 'Route 5 Business.' However, an early 2000s replacement of signage resulted in the removal of the business loop. Along the business loop itself through Cottonwood, there are only Historic U.S. 99 signs. There is nothing along southbound (starting from Exit 665). One possible reason why the business loop was signed until just recently may be because the Bowman exit is located in Tehama County, even though Cottonwood itself is in Shasta County. However, now that replacement signs have been installed, Cottonwood no longer hosts a business loop.
Redding and Anderson Decommissioned An early business loop followed Market Street (now California 273). Old AAA California maps (1970s and 1980s) show California 273 as Business Loop I-5. Jerry Mullady reports that Business Loop I-5 in Redding is not signed as such any more; we verified this in May 2008. Going northbound from Interstate 5 the exit for what was once Business Loop I-5 just says Anderson. There might be a side sign that says Deschutes Road and Outlet Mall Drive, but Jerry is not sure if an auxiliary signs says Business Loop I-5 or not. The signage changed with the conversion to exit numbers, and there is no reference to any business routes. There is a standalone sign that says Junction California 273. Although there is no California 273 shield on the exit sign, the whole road from Anderson to North of Redding is marked as California 273. Until you cross under the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, California 273 is pretty much the standard four-lane expressway with right and left turnouts. There are cross streets, some of which are controlled with lights. Caltrans is responsible for maintenance rather than the two cities. After crossing the Sacramento River, California 273 goes through this stretch that the local call Miracle Mile, full of old motels now used as transient lodging. The stretch of California 273 from the Sacramento River to Interstate 5 is similar to the expressway between Anderson and Redding. Jerry adds that many old California U.S. highway expressways have a similar feel to them. The southbound exit for California 273 from Interstate 5 read "Market Street/Redding." There might be one or two business loop shields along this route, as well as an older sign that has the words "business loop" associated with a California 273 shield.
Dunsmuir Active According to the California State Highway System Signing Log (October, 1991), Business Loop I-5 in Dunsmuir runs from "Interstate 5 and South Dunsmuir undercrossing over Florence Avenue to Interstate 5 and North Dunsmuir undercrossing and Siskiyou overcrossing." For a time in the late 1990s, Dunsmuir Avenue in Dunsmuir was marked as Historical U.S. 99 (complete with brown sign). That sign is now gone. From the south there is no notice for any business loop. Going north on Dunsmuir Avenue, it is a narrow (for a highway) residential street. It is possible that Business Loop I-5 comes into town from the central Dunsmuir exit. For a brief period in the late 1990s/early 2000s, there was an Historical U.S. 99 shield, but it has since been removed. From the north of Dunsmuir, there is a sign that says "Route 5 Business Next Right," and there are business route signs at the bottom of the ramp.
Mount Shasta Active At Mount Shasta, there are Business Loop I-5 shields at the north and south exits for Mt Shasta City. There are no Business Loop I-5 shields within the town.
Weed Active It seems like Main Street in Weed is a business loop, but California 263 is not part of that business loop, nor does it enter Weed. Jerry Mullady reports, "There is no sign for Route 5 Business going northbound. However, if you get off at the South Weed exit go under the freeway to the west you see a sign that says 'To Business Loop I-5' (green shield). I did not see any signs in Weed going northbound through Weed. I did see a business loop sign with arrows in both directions at the T-intersection with U.S. 97. Going southbound, there is a Route 5 Business sign an there are regular Business Loop I-5 reassurance signs, but they peter out south of town, with no 'loop' back to I-5 that I can tell." In the meantime, correspondent JorGorK writes, "Concerning business loops off of I-5, California 263 is neither a business loop nor is it in Weed. It is a nine mile section of old U.S. 99 that takes off on the north side of Yreka (On Main Street, which is also old 99 and is not signed as a business loop). It goes through scenic Shasta River Canyon (a road truckers often prefer, by the way) and reconnects to Interstate 5 nine miles later, where Interstate 5 covers the old 99 alignment."
Gazelle Not a Business Loop Old 99 Highway travels through Gazelle, but there were no business loop shields present when driving through the area in May 2008. According to Daniel Faigin's California Highways page, this is also known as the "Old 99" Highway.
Yreka Active Business Loop I-5 in Yreka follows old U.S. 99. This is the last business loop northbound until Washington State, since Oregon does not sign any Interstate business loops. Jerry Mullady writes that there is no sign for Business Loop I-5 either northbound or southbound from the freeway. However, when he exited the freeway at the southern Yreka exit to the east on the frontage road, there was a Business Loop I-5 shield with an arrow in both directions. On the east side of the freeway, where California 3 comes in from Weaverville, there is also a Business Loop I-5 that is marked all the way through town. At the north end of town, there is Business Loop I-5 shield at the bottom of the ramp. The north end of California 263 occurs at Business Loop I-5 rather than at Interstate 5 proper. My suspect that this section of Business Loop I-5 is part of California 263, so travelers may stay on the state highway system while connecting from I-5 to California 263.
Salem Not a Business Loop Business Oregon 99E; not Business Loop I-5. Oregon does not post Interstate Business Loops. Business SR-99E follows Mission Street, Commercial Street, and Salem Parkway between Interstate 5 (Oregon 99E) Exits 253 and 259. The Salem Parkway was, at one time, programmed for a freeway spur from Interstate 5 into Salem (Interstate 305). Interstate 305 was not built.
Vancouver Decommissioned Followed old U.S. 99 (Main Street) from Exit 1A to Exit 3, but apparently does not do so anymore. Page 6 of the March 1967 edition of Washington Highways magazine has a photo of Interstate 5 southbound at what is now numbered Exit 3. The sign just before the exit ramp read Business Loop I-5 (shield) BUSINESS Vancouver.
Castle Rock Active The Castle Rock business loop, the only active business loop along Interstate 5 in Washington, departs the freeway at Exit 48 and follows old U.S. 99 north into the city center. Business Loop I-5 returns to Interstate 5 at Exit 49 via Washington 411.
Chehalis - Centralia Decommissioned with Remnant Signage From Exit 76 headed east on 13th Street to old U.S. 99, followed old U.S. 99 to Exit 82. On June 1, 1999, Mark Bozanich wrote, "There is an east-west road built in the mid-1950s that connects Interstate 5 at Exit 79 with old U.S. 99. Earlier known as National Avenue Extension, this road was renamed Chamber of Commerce Way a few years ago. The Washington State DOT signs this exit as Chamber Way. The route that is now Interstate 5 from Exit 79 to Exit 102 was opened to traffic in the early to mid-1950s. The east-west connector was temporarily part of U.S. 99 until the freeway/expressway was extended south from Exit 79 to the vicinity of the Toutle River near Exit 52. When Interstate Business Loops were posted in Washington State in the mid-late 1960s, not only was old U.S. 99 from the south end of Chehalis to Exit 82 in Centralia posted as Business Loop I-5, but the National Avenue Extension (Chamber Way) was posted as Business Loop I-5 as well. This provided a way to use Business Loop I-5 to approach downtown Chehalis from the north without going all the way through downtown Centralia. One could claim that this east-west connector functioned as a spur rather than a loop from I-5 to old U.S. 99. As of early 1999, there were still a couple of Business Loop I-5 shields posted eastbound on Chamber Way." We have not revisited this area recently to confirm whether the remnant signs are still around as of October 2013.
Tumwater, Olympia, Lacey Decommissioned From Exit 102 the business loop headed east on Trosper Road to Old U.S. 99, then followed Old U.S. 99 north to Exit 114.
Fife and Midway Decommissioned When Interstate 5 was opened from near Exit 136 to Exit 149 in Fall 1962, U.S. 99 was switched to the Interstate 5 freeway route. It is possible that old U.S. 99 from Fife to Midway was posted as Business Loop I-5. Around 1970, when U.S. 99 was decertified in WA and the Tacoma-Seattle-Everett portion of U.S. 99 became Washington 99, Washington 99 was switched back to the route of old U.S. 99 from Fife to Midway. Mark Bozanich was browsing the March 1967 edition of Washington Highways magazine. There is a photo of what is now the jct of Washington 99 (Pacific Hwy South) and Washington 516 at Midway on page 10. The photo was taken from a few hundred feet north of the intersection facing south. A sign bridge before the intersection has three signs. The left sign reads I-5 South Tacoma, the center sign reads I-5 Business, and the right sign reads Washington 516 Des Moines. There is an American gas station on the left side of Pacific Hwy South a couple hundred feet north of Washington 516. This 1967 issue also contains a pictorial review of highway construction in Washington State for 1965-66.
Everett - Marysville Decommissioned This business route followed old U.S. 99 between Exits 192 and 198. The route from Marine View Drive to Exit 198 is now Washington 529.
Bellingham Decommissioned This business route followed old U.S. 99 between Exits 252 and 258 and is now decommissioned.

Location Status Description
Tracy Active Business Loop I-205 follows Eleventh Street in Tracy. This is signed with a green shield on the overhead gantry at the Interstate 5/Interstate 205 junction. Business Loop I-205 nearly matches the length of its parent route. This was originally U.S. 50 (and U.S. 48 before that). This business route is listed in the 1991 state signing log.

Page Updated October 3, 2013.

A Route 5 Business guide sign is posted prior to Exit 72, Cristianitos Road in northern San Diego County. This is the only remaining sign for the now-defunct business loop through the city of San Clemente in Orange County. Photo taken 04/26/08.
California generally only references business loops only once on an auxiliary guide sign in text as "Route 5 Business".
Westbound California 36/Antelope Boulevard approaches its junction with Business Loop I-5/Main Street and Tehama County Route A-8 in downtown Red Bluff after crossing the Sacramento River bridge. The first sign points the way to historic U.S. 99, and the second sign assembly shows Business Loop I-5 and the continuation of California 36 west. Signs for Historic U.S. 99 are quite common along the business loops of Interstate 5 in Northern California, especially in places like Red Bluff and Dunsmuir. Photos taken 05/24/08.
Business Loop I-5 through Dunsmuir begins at Exit 729, but it is currently signed from the northbound mainline as Historic U.S. 99. However, once on the business loop, the route is well-signed with green shields. Photo taken 05/25/08.
Northbound Business Loop I-5 travels along Dunsmuir Avenue beginning at Exit 729 and continuing north to Exit 732 following Historic U.S. 99. Photo taken 05/25/08.
California generally only references business loops only once on an auxiliary guide sign in text as "Route 5 Business" or as a Historic Route for a former U.S. highway, such as "Historic U.S. 99 Route."
The Mount Shasta business loop departs Interstate 5 northbound at Exit 737 in northern California. A rare Business Loop shield accompanies the overhead assembly. Photo taken 03/31/05.
California generally only references business loops only once on an auxiliary guide sign in text as "Route 5 Business".
This trailblazer shield assembly for California 3 and Business Loop I-5 is located along westbound Moonlit Oaks Avenue between Interstate Exit 773 and California 3/Fort Jones Road in the city of Yreka. Photo taken 05/26/08.
California generally only references business loops only once on an auxiliary guide sign in text as "Route 5 Business".
Interstate 5 south approaches its junction with Business Loop I-5 at Castle Rock, Washington. This is one of the few remaining business loops in the state of Washington. Photo taken 09/02/06.
The Castle Rock business loop is the only remaining business loop in Washington and is not well-signed.