One of several routes cancelled during the San Francisco Freeway Revolt of the 1960s, Interstate 280 was originally proposed along a different course than where it ends today. As displayed on the 1964 Official California State Map, the section of today’s I-280 between SR 82 and I-80 was to be signed as a northern extension of SR 82 and SR 87.
I-280 was instead proposed to run northward along a corridor roughly paralleling SR 1 (19th Avenue). It was to follow Junipero Serra Boulevard, Portola Drive and Seventh Avenue, then skirt the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park, where it would have converged with a western extension of I-80. Continuing north, I-280 would have followed Park Presidio Boulevard into the Presidio. Interstate 280 would have ended at the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge, where U.S. 101 would continue north to Marin County and Interstate 480 would turn east along the unconstructed Golden Gate Freeway and demolished Embarcadero Freeway to connect with I-80 at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. This in effect would have created a belt freeway system for San Francisco.
However, between 1965 and 1968, San Francisco city government decided not to construct most of the planned freeway system. Short portions of SR 480 (Embarcadero Freeway) and U.S. 101 (Central Freeway) were built, but neither spur connected with another freeway beyond I-80. Since the proposed alignment of I-280 had yet to be constructed prior to the revolt, it was dropped from plans in its entirety. As a result, I-280 was rerouted onto the SR 82 corridor north to U.S. 101 and SR 87 from there to Interstate 80.
Interstate 280 was retracted two blocks west from 3rd Street and realigned onto King Street due in part from damage during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and the subsequent redevelopment in the vicinity of the San Francisco Giants ballpark. The elevated roadway previously ran directly along side the China Basin Water Channel from the Sixth Street ramps to a stub end at 3rd Street in South Beach.
The double deck section of Interstate 280 spans an array of warehouses and distribution centers through the Bayview section of San Francisco. Photo taken 03/07/15