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California State Route 223: Wikis


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State Route 223 shield
State Route 223
Defined by S&HC § 523, maintained by Caltrans
Length: 31.92 mi[1] (51.37 km)
West end: I-5 near Taft
SR 99 near Greenfield
East end: SR 58 near Arvin
State highways in California (list - pre-1964)
< SR 222 SR 225 >
History - Unconstructed - Deleted - Freeway - Scenic


State Route 223 is a state route in Kern County, California, and is locally known as Bear Mountain Blvd. It is a truck route, connecting the agricultural land south of Bakersfield and east of SR 99/I-5, and the city of Arvin, to three major transportation corridors without having to drive through Bakersfield. It connects to I-5 (Westside Freeway) for goods traveling north and east of Sacramento. It connects to SR 99 for goods traveling to major San Joaquin Valley communities. It also connects to SR 58, for goods traveling to all points southeast, except for Los Angeles. For goods traveling south, trucks use SR 99 while cars can use Wheeler Ridge Rd, which is a north/south county road that connects to I-5 south of SR 99.

Route description

State Route 223 begins at Interstate 5. From there it travels east through relatively flat agricultural land. It crosses SR 99 and Union Ave. (SR 99 Business). It then crosses Weedpatch Hwy (SR 184)/Weeler Ridge Rd, which is the local north/south highway serving the region. Continuing east, it crosses through the only city served by the route, the agricultural community of Arvin. It continues through agricultural land, before reaching the eastern end of the San Joaquin Valley. The terrain changes to rolling hills, as the road climbs the Tehachapi Mountains. The road terminates at SR 58.


Bear Mountain Blvd. was constructed in 1915, as the bypass to the dreaded White Wolf Rd. to the south (the road still exists but is on private property). It is not known when White Wolf Rd. was constructed. The road was apart of the Midway Route, which was the most direct route between the San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles via Tehachapi Pass and the Mojave Desert. After the Ridge Route was constructed in 1915, the Midway Route was still important as the primary bypass to the newly constructed highway. Bear Mountain Blvd. served part of the Midway Route until 1933, when Bena Rd. was constructed to provide a more direct connection to Bakersfield.[2] Today, the Midway Route is served by SR 58 and SR 14.

In 1933, Bear Mountain Blvd. was adopted as an unsigned state highway. It was apart of Legislative Route 140, which ran from Taft to US 99 (locally known as Taft Highway), and from US 99 to US 466. The Taft Highway portion was signed as US 399, but the Bear Mountain Blvd. section was unsigned.[3] It was dropped from the route in 1959, and became LRN 264.[4] In 1964, with the renumbering of California’s state routes, Bear Mountain Blvd. became a signed route as SR 223. It was extended west to I-5.[5]

Major intersections

Note: Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured in 1964, based on the alignment as it existed at that time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage.

The entire route is in Kern County.

Location Postmile
Destinations Notes
1.85 Bear Mountain Boulevard Continuation beyond I-5
1.85 I-5 (Westside Freeway) – Sacramento, Los Angeles Interchange
4.86 Old River Road – Old River
8.89 Wible Road – Pumpkin Center
R10.54 SR 99Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Sacramento Interchange
SR 99 Bus. (Union Avenue) – Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Greenfield
Former US 99
R16.01 SR 184 north (Weedpatch Highway) / Wheeler Ridge Road – Lamont
Arvin 20.15 Comanche Drive
31.92 SR 58Mojave, Bakersfield


  1. ^ January 1, 2006 California Log of Bridges on State Highways
  2. ^ McAllister, Melvin. The 'old roads' to Bakersfield. Tehachapi News. Accessed: 11-05-2009.
  3. ^ Route 137-144. Accessed: 11-05-2009.
  4. ^ Route 257-264. Accessed: 11-05-2009.
  5. ^ Route 217-224. Accessed: 11-05-2009.
  6. ^ California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List (XLS file), accessed September 2008
  7. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  8. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2007


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