Traveling southwest through the four-level interchange linking SR 24, I-580 (MacArthur Freeway) and I-980 (Grove Shafter Freeway) in Oakland. Photo taken 07/18/09.
Interstate 980 is an urban freeway connecting I-880 (Nimitz Freeway) with California State Route 24 (Grove Shafter Freeway) in the city of Oakland. I-980 forms the western leg of a major commuter route joining the East Bay communities of Walnut Creek and Concord with Downtown Oakland and Oakland International Airport (OAK).
Sign replacements made in 2016 added exit numbers to eastbound off-ramps. Confirming markers along Interstate 980 were installed by 2011.
Interstate 980 was added to the Interstate Highway System to secure federal funding. Otherwise it was slated to become part of an extended California 24 freeway. A 0.80 mile section of the route was initially approved as an addition to the California Interstate Highway System mileage in 1976. The Interstate was designated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 1983 and added to the California State Highway System in 1984. A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the completion of Interstate 980 on March 6, 1985.1
Interstate 980 served as a detour route for the northernmost portion of I-880 (Nimitz Freeway) between 1989 and 1999. Portions of the Cypress Structure, the double-decked section of the Nimitz Freeway (I-880), collapsed during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. I-980 became the defacto route north to I-80 west across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and I-80/580 north to Richmond.
There are no plans to extend the Interstate 980 designation east or west. With the addition of the fourth bore for the Caldecott Tunnel, SR 24 is up to Interstate Standards east to Orinda and Walnut Creek. The fourth bore opened to traffic on November 16, 2013, expanding the freeway to eight overall lanes across the Berkeley Hills.