The Old Road

You can guess that The Old Road was, well, the old road that ran through these hills before being supplanted by Interstate 5. But there’s more to the story. The road was originally called the Ridge Route – Castaic now has a separate street by that name – and it was opened on November 16th, 1915, connecting Los Angeles to Bakersfield. At the beginning of 1926, highways 99 and 101 were proposed, with the former to consume part of the (now-paved) Ridge Route. Soon, however, the road itself was becoming clogged with traffic, so engineers chose a slightly different route for Highway 99 – the one you now know as I-5, which took over this portion of Hwy 99 in the early 1960s. (If you call it the “Golden State Highway”, that’s cool – that name was officially chosen in 1927.) Anyway, once Hwy 99 opened here in 1929, drivers quickly abandoned the Ridge Route: the first mentions of “the old Ridge Road” came about in the 1930s, with one newsman calling it “almost absolute solitude”. It was officially named The Old Road, capitalized, by 1966.