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Interstate 980 shield
Interstate 980
Auxiliary route of the Interstate Highway System
Grove-Shafter Freeway
Defined by S&HC § 624, maintained by Caltrans
Length: 2.027 mi[1] (3.262 km)
Formed: 1976 (FHWA); 1981 (state)
West end: I-880 in Oakland
East end: I-580 / SR 24 in Oakland
State highways in California (list - pre-1964)
< SR 905 SR 1 >
History - Unconstructed - Deleted - Freeway - Scenic

Interstate 980 (I-980) is a short Interstate Highway spur entirely within Oakland, California connecting Interstate 580 and State Route 24 to Interstate 880 near downtown Oakland in the U.S. state of California. I-980 passes the Oakland Convention Center and near the famous Jack London Square. I-980 is commonly considered the dividing line between Downtown Oakland and West Oakland.

The route is never signed by itself; that is, signs along Interstate 580 and Route 24 read "980 to 880" and signs along Interstate 880 read "980 to 24". Roadside signs eastbound between 880 and 580 refer to it as SR 24, even though it is defined as Interstate 980 through that section. Westbound the highway is signed as I-980. Interstate 980 was used as an alternate route between Oakland and San Francisco when the Cypress Viaduct collapsed in the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Traffic headed from the south would have to use 980 to 580 west to 80 west to get across the Bay Bridge to reach San Francisco.

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


Route description

Although I-980 physically goes in a diagonal direction from southwest to northeast, it is signed as an east–west route like SR 24. Immediately after traffic leaves I-880 on elevated connector ramps, I-980 then descends below grade to pass under downtown city streets. The freeway then ascends above grade to pass over San Pablo and 27th Street before reaching I-580 and SR 24.

The freeway itself lacks signs or reassurance markers mentioning I-980. Immediately after Exit 1B - 17th Street/San Pablo Avenue going eastbound on I-980 is a guide sign mentioning the junction with I-580. Likewise, the guide signs on westbound I-980 at Exit 1D - 18th Street list I-880 and San Jose as a control city. There is even a reassurance marker for SR 24 along eastbound I-980 prior to its junction.


I-980 was added to the state highway system in 1947 as part of Legislative Route 226,[3] and to the California Freeway and Expressway System in 1959.[4] This segment of Route 226 became part of State Route 24 in the 1964 renumbering.[5] The Federal Highway Administration approved the addition of the roadway to the Interstate Highway System in January 1976, with Interstate funding only used west of San Pablo Avenue,[6] and the number was legislatively changed to 980 in 1981.[7]

Construction on Interstate 980 began in the 1960s, but was not completed until 1985;[8] officially the freeway was designated as I-980 from its opening. The surface roads which existed prior to the completion of the freeway had been designated as State Route 24.

It is assumed by many that had the San Francisco Bay Southern Crossing ever been built, it would have carried the designation of I-980; this remains purely speculative, however.[9]

Exit list

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 Oakland, Alameda County.

#[12] Destinations Notes
0.09 1A I-880 south (Nimitz Freeway) – San Jose Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
0.09 1B Jackson Street Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
1C 11th Street, 12th Street Signed as exit 1A eastbound
0.70 14th Street Eastbound exit is via exit 1A; westbound exit is via exit 1D
1D 17th Street, 18th Street, San Pablo Avenue Signed as exit 1B eastbound
1.33 27th Street, West Grand Avenue Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
2.04 2A I-580 (MacArthur Freeway) – San Francisco, Hayward Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
2.04 2B SR 24 east (Grove-Shafter Freeway) – Berkeley, Walnut Creek Continuation beyond I-580


  1. ^ a b California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List (XLS file), accessed February 2008
  2. ^ CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  3. ^ "An act to provide for a system of public streets and highways...", 1947 (1st extraordinary session) chapter 11, p. 3798: "Route 226 is from a point in the vicinity of the intersection of Webster Street and Santa Clara Avenue in Alameda to a point on Route 5 [I-580] in Oakland."
  4. ^ "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. 3114: "Route 226 [SR 61, SR 260, and I-980] from Route 258 [SR 13] near San Leandro to Route 5 [I-580]."
  5. ^ "An act...relating to routes on the state highway system.", 1963 chapter 385, p. 1173: "Route 24 is from: (a) Route 17 near Castro Street in Oakland to Route 580..."
  6. ^ California Department of Transportation, State Highway Routes: Selected Information, 1994 with 1995 revisions
  7. ^ "An act to amend...the Streets and Highways Code, relating to state highways.", 1981 chapter 292, p. 1419: "Route 980 is from Route 17 in Oakland to Route 580."
  8. ^ Interstate 980 California @
  9. ^ Freeways of San Francisco,[1]
  10. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  11. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2006
  12. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, I-980 Eastbound and I-980 Westbound, accessed February 2008

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