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Interstate 880 (I-880) is an Interstate Highway in the San Francisco Bay Areamarker connecting San Josemarker and Oaklandmarker, running parallel to the southeastern shore of San Francisco Baymarker. For most of its route, I-880 is officially known as the Nimitz Freeway after World War II admiral Chester Nimitz, who retired to the Bay Area and lived on Yerba Buena Islandmarker.

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

Route description

The southern terminus of I-880 is at its interchange with Interstate 280 and State Route 17 in San Josemarker. From there, it heads roughly northeast past the San Jose International Airportmarker to U.S. Route 101. The Nimitz Freeway then turns northwest, running parallel to the southeastern shore of San Francisco Baymarker, connecting the cities of Milpitasmarker, Fremontmarker, Newarkmarker, Union Citymarker, Haywardmarker, and San Leandromarker before reaching Oaklandmarker. In Oaklandmarker, I-880 passes by Oakland International Airportmarker, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseummarker and Downtown Oaklandmarker. I-880 serves as the truck route thru Oaklandmarker for Interstate 580, which has truck restriction on it thru Oaklandmarker, causing incredible traffic on I-880 thru Oaklandmarker during rush hour. The northern terminus of I-880 is in Oakland at the junction with Interstate 80 and Interstate 580 (known as the MacArthur Mazemarker), near the eastern approach of the Bay Bridgemarker.

The Nimitz Freeway is Route 880 from Route 101 to Route 80, as named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 23, Chapter 84 in 1958.


The state legislature added the proposed San Josemarker-Richmondmarker East Shore Highway to the state highway system in 1933, and it became an extension of the previously short (San Rafaelmarker to the bay) Legislative Route 69, and part of Sign Route 13 (soon changed to 17) in 1934. From San Jose, this route temporarily followed existing Legislative Route 5 (present Oakland Road, Main Street, Milpitas Boulevard, and Warm Springs Boulevard) to SR 21 at Warm Springs, and then continued along existing county roads and city streets, now known as Fremont Boulevard, Alvarado Boulevard, Hesperian Boulevard, Lewelling Boulevard, Washington Avenue, 14th Street, 44th Avenue, 12th Street, 14th Avenue, 8th Street, and 7th Street, into downtown Oaklandmarker. It then turned north at Cypress Street (now Mandela Parkway), passing through the Bay Bridge Distribution Structuremarker and following a newly constructed alignment (signed as US 40) to El Cerrito.

The first short piece of the new Eastshore Freeway opened to traffic on July 22, 1949, connecting Oak Street downtown with 23rd Avenue. It was extended to 98th Avenue on June 1, 1950, Lewelling Boulevard on June 13, 1952, and Jackson Street (SR 92) on June 5, 1953. At the San Jose end, the overlap with Route 5 between Bayshore Highway (US 101) and Warm Springs was bypassed on July 2, 1954. Within Oakland, the double-decker Cypress Street Viaductmarker opened on June 11, 1957, connecting the freeway with the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridgemarker. The Oakland segment was extended south to Fremont Boulevard at Beard Road on November 14, 1957, and the gap was filled on November 24, 1958, soon after the state legislature named the highway after Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. (The short spur to Route 5 at Warm Springs (now SR 262) remained in the state highway system as a branch of Route 69.) As these sections opened, Sign Route 17 (and Legislative Route 69) was moved from its old surface routing, which mostly became local streets. Other than Route 5 south of Warm Springs, the portion from San Leandromarker into Oakland was also kept as part of Route 105 (now SR 185).

State Route 17

Prior to 1984, the route known as I-880 used to be part of State Route 17. SR 17 used to run from Santa Cruzmarker all the way though San Josemarker, Oaklandmarker; and then continued north via the Eastshore Freeway (Interstate 80) through Richmondmarker to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and San Rafaelmarker.

In 1984 the segment of SR 17 from Interstate 280 in San Jose to the MacArthur Mazemarker in Oakland was renumbered as I-880, and the portion of SR 17 from the MacArthur Mazemarker to San Rafael was renumbered as part of I-580.

Nimitz Freeway

In 1947, construction commenced on a freeway to replace the street routing of SR 17 through the East Bay. The new freeway was named the "Eastshore Freeway", and with the subsequent addition of a freeway to replace the Eastshore Highway north of the MacArthur Maze in the mid 1950s, it ran, appropriately, almost the entire length of the east shore of San Francisco Bay. In 1958, the portion south of the MacArthur Maze was re-named the Nimitz Freeway in honor of WWII Admiral Nimitz, while the portion to the north retained the name Eastshore Freeway.

Historic Business U.S. Route 50

The northern portion of I-880 was designated Business U.S. Route 50 for a time between the I-80 interchange and downtown Oakland.

Original routing of I-880 in Sacramento

From 1971 to 1983, Interstate 880 was also the route designation for the Beltline Freeway, the northern bypass freeway for the Sacramentomarker area. This freeway begins in West Sacramentomarker as a fork from the original Interstate 80, continues northeast over the Sacramento River to its interchange with Interstate 5, continues east through the communities of North Sacramento and Del Paso Heights and ends at an interchange with the Roseville Freeway Interstate 80. Watt Avenue, and the now designated Capital City Freeway (which was originally I-80 continuing southwest directly into downtown Sacramento).

Cypress Viaduct Loma Prieta earthquake 1989

Portion of the collapsed Cypress Viaduct in Oakland.
A large double-decker section in Oakland, known as the Cypress Street Viaductmarker, collapsed during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquakemarker, causing 42 deaths. This was the greatest loss of life caused by that earthquake. Rebuilding the affected section of the freeway took nearly a decade, due to environmental impact concerns, the feeling that the freeway divided the neighborhood, and design considerations. The freeway reopened in 1997 on a new route parallel to railroad tracks around the outskirts of West Oaklandmarker.

Although only about three miles (5 km) in length, the replacement freeway cost over $1.2 billion, for several reasons: it crossed over and under the elevated BART line to San Francisco; it squeezed between a post office, the West Oakland BART station, the Port of Oakland, a rail yard, and a sewage treatment plant; it occupied an entirely new right-of-way, which required the acquisition of large amounts of valuable industrial real estate near the Port of Oakland; and of course, it had to be earthquake-proof.

The former path of the structure, Cypress Street, was renamed Mandela Parkway, and the median where the freeway stood became a landscaped linear park.

Flood plains

Several aspects of the I-880 facility have been constructed in designated floodplains such as the 1990 interchange improvements at Dixon Landing Road. In that case the Federal Highway Administration was required to make a finding that there was no feasible alternative to the new ramp system as designed. In that same study, the FHWA produced an analysis to support the fact that adequate wetlands mitigation had been designed into the improvement project.

Sound barriers

Due to high sound levels generated from this highway and the relatively dense urban development in the highway corridor, Caltrans has conducted numerous studies to retrofit the right-of-way with noise barriers. This activity has occurred in Oakland, San Leandromarker, Haywardmarker, Newarkmarker and Fremontmarker. For example in the 1989 widening of I-880 in parts of Newark and Fremont, scientific studies were conducted to determine the need for sound walls and to design optimum heights to achieve Federal noise standards.

Gasoline Tanker Accident in 2007

On Sunday, April 29, 2007, a gasoline tanker overturned and caught fire on the connector between westbound I-80 and southbound I-880 on the MacArthur Mazemarker interchange. The fire caused major damage to both this connector and one directly above (eastbound I-80 onto eastbound I-580). The overpass was replaced and re-opened 27 days later. The governor declared it as a State of emergency and all public transportation was free on the first commute day.

I-880/I-280 Interchange improvements

Construction will begin in 2010 on improvements to the I-280/I-880 interchange. A new dedicated ramp will move traffic from I-280 Northbound to I-880 Northbound. Currently this traffic has to share the Stevens Creek Boulevard exit ramp. The I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard interchange will also be upgraded, changing from a cloverleaf design to a diamond design.

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 numbers reset at county lines; the start and end postmiles in each county are given in the county column.

County Location Postmile

# Destinations Notes
Santa Claramarker

SCL 0.00-10.50
San Josemarker 0.00 1A Continuation beyond I-280
0.00 1B Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.41 1C Stevens Creek Boulevard, West San Carlos Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1.25 1D Bascom Avenue – Santa Claramarker Signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north) northbound
2.08 2
2.67 3 Coleman Avenue – Mineta San Jose International Airportmarker
3.57 4A First Street – Downtown San Josemarker
4.08 4 Signed as exits 4B (south) and 4C (north)
4.28 4D Gish Road Southbound exit provides access to US-101 north; southbound exit is via exit 4C
5.34 5 Brokaw Road
6.71 7 Montague Expressway (CR G4)
Milpitasmarker 7.69 8A Great Mall Parkway, Tasman Drive
8.42 8B Signed as exits 8B (east) and 8C (west) southbound
10.41 10 Dixon Landing Road

ALA R0.00-R35.47
Fremontmarker 2.28 12 Warren Avenue, Mission Boulevard (SR 262 east) to I-680 – Sacramentomarker
3.25 13B Fremont Boulevard South, Cushing Parkway
4.71 15 Auto Mall Parkway
6.24 16 Stevenson Boulevard
7.19 17 Mowry Avenue – Central Fremontmarker
8.84 19 South end of SR 84 overlap
10.30 21 North end of SR 84 overlap
Union Citymarker 11.40 22 Fremont Boulevard North, Alvarado Boulevard
13.05 23 Alvarado Niles Road
13.67 24 Whipple Road, Dyer Street
Haywardmarker 14.54 25 Industrial Parkway Northbound exit is via exit 24
15.65 26 Tennyson Road
16.70 27
17.60 28 Winton Avenue
18.35 29 A Street – San Lorenzomarker
San Lorenzomarker 20.16 30 Hesperian Boulevard Northbound exit and southbound entrance
20.32 30 Lewelling Boulevard – San Lorenzomarker Southbound exit and northbound entrance
San Leandromarker 20.68 31A Signed as exit 31 southbound
20.82 31B Washington Avenue Southbound exit is part of exit 31
22.84 33 Marina Boulevard Signed as exits 33A (east) and 33B (west)
23.64 34 Davis Street (SR 112)
Oaklandmarker 24.77 35 98th Avenue – Oakland International Airportmarker
25.50 36 Hegenberger Road – Oakland Coliseummarker, Oakland International Airportmarker
26.61 37 66th Avenue, Zhone Way – Oakland Coliseummarker
27.71 38 High Street (SR 77) – Alamedamarker

39A 29th Avenue, Fruitvale Avenue – Alamedamarker
28.93 39B 23rd Avenue – Alamedamarker

40 Embarcadero, Fifth Avenue, 16th Avenue No northbound entrance
31.09 41A Oak Street, Lakeside Drive Northbound exit and southbound entrance
31.2 Jackson Street Northbound entrance only
31.6 41B Broadway (SR 61) – Downtown Oaklandmarker Northbound exit and southbound entrance
31.68 42A Northbound exit and southbound entrance
32.1 42B Market Street – Harbor Terminal Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R32.79 42 Broadway (SR 61) – Alamedamarker Southbound exit and northbound entrance

44 7th Street, West Grand Avenue
R34.18 46A Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R35.47 46B Northbound exit and southbound entrance


  1. CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  2. : "San Jose to Richmond (East Shore Highway)."
  3. : "Route 69 is from: (a) Route 1 near San Rafael to Point San Quentin. (b) San Jose to Richmond (East Shore Highway)."
  4. California Highways and Public Works, State Routes will be Numbered and Marked with Distinctive Bear Signs, August 1934
  5. Ben Blow, California Highways: A Descriptive Record of Road Development by the State and by Such Counties as Have Paved Highways, 1920 ( or Google Books), p. 134
  6. H.M. Gousha Company, San Francisco and Vicinity, 1941
  7. United States Geological Survey, San Jose (1943), Pleasanton (1943), Hayward (1942), Concord (1943), and San Francisco (1942), scale 1:62500
  8. Hayward Daily Review, The Beginning of an East Bay Freeway, July 16, 1949
  9. Hayward Daily Review, Editorial Page, July 29, 1949: "Our main complaint with the Freeway is that it's so very short and runs you into dead ends at both 23rd avenue and at Sixth street so that the turn-off is hardly worth the bother."
  10. Oakland Tribune, East Oakland to Celebrate Opening of New Freeway Section, May 28, 1950
  11. Hayward Daily Review, June 13, 1952
  12. Oakland Tribune, New Eastshore Freeway Link Opened With Oakland-Hayward Ceremonies, June 6, 1953
  13. Fresno Bee Republican, Eastshore Freeway is Open to Traffic, July 3, 1954
  14. Oakland Tribune, City Officials to Open Freeway Link, June 6, 1957
  15. Hayward Daily Review, New Freeway Link Ready, November 12, 1957
  16. Oakland Tribune, 250 Officials Hail Freeway Finish, November 25, 1958
  17. : "Route 69 is from: (a) San Jose to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Toll Plaza including a connection to Route 5 near Warm Springs."
  18. : "Route 105 is from:...(c) Hayward, via Fourteenth Street in San Leandro, to Seventh and Cypress Streets in Oakland."
  19. Environmental Assessment for the I-880 Dixon Landing Road Interchange Improvement Project, Cities of Fremont and Milpitas, California, Report EMI 7360, Federal Highway Administration Publication, February, 1989
  20. Acoustical study for the widening of Interstate 880 in the cities of Newark and Fremont, Alameda County, California, Earth Metrics Inc, for the Federal Highway Administration, October, 1989
  21. Tanker accident story
  22. California Department of Transportation, State Truck Route List (XLS file), accessed January 2008
  23. California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  24. California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2006
  25. California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, I-880 Northbound and I-880 Southbound, accessed January 2008

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